|Yard & Garden Line News
Volume 4 Number 17 November 1, 2002
It Might Be Worth Saving
Transplanting Trees and Shrubs-Part 2: Making the Move
Gary R. Johnson, Professor, and Extension Educator, Urban and Community Forestry
Weeks or months have now passed since you made the decision to move the tree or shrub and hopefully prepared that plant for the journey. I'm sure that to some people, all of this planning seems a bit excessive. If all you are doing is moving a 24 inch Potentilla, I'd have to agree with you. Just dig it up and move it anyway you can…it WILL live. However, since of lot of other readers may be thinking about moving a 12 foot spruce, or 20 old lilacs or a 5 inch caliper basswood, the excessive planning is much more necessary.
Ash with roots pruned. Ash four months after root pruning. Same tree.
A lot has been happening below ground since you root-pruned that tree or shrub a few weeks or months ago, but unless you have x-ray vision it hasn't been obvious. Every root that you cut during that process has rewarded you ten-fold…at least. The two photographs at left show the effect of timely root pruning. The image on top is of a green ash, immediately after root pruning. The image below is the same tree, four months later. The net result is not only a much more extensive root system, but one that is contained in a much smaller area. This visually exhibits why root-pruned plants survive transplanting so much better than those not pruned.
Before you transplant, take a look up, around and beneath. It's impossible to avoid talking about tree or shrub placement in a transplanting primer. After all, the plant is theoretically being moved to a "better" site than before. Add these next steps to your checklist:
1. Look up. Don't plant in a site where the mature tree or shrub can interfere with utility lines or views from windows. And don't fool yourself by thinking that regular pruning can keep the plant size in check. Too much work, too hard on the plant, too easy to forget.
2. Look around. Will the new placement create a blocked sight line? For instance, as it matures, will it block the view of the street from your driveway as you back out? Or the clear view at an intersection of streets? If so, don't plant it there.
If the proposed planting site is within 60 of the street, the street is a busy street and you know from past experience that a lot of deicing salt is used, don't plant the tree or shrub there unless it's known to be tolerant of Minnesota's main source of pollution. For a list of trees and their tolerances to deicing salt exposure, refer to "Minimizing De-Icing Salt Injury to Trees," (Johnson, Sucoff, 1995).
If the plant could get so broad that it would interfere with pedestrians walking by or lawn maintenance, don't plant it there thinking that pruning would contain the problem.
3. Look down. Actually, have Gopher State One Call look down and deep for you. I should have mentioned this in part I before you root-pruned, and hopefully none of you severed any utilities. Definitely contact them now at: 651-454-8388, or 800-252-1166, or www.gopherstateonecall.org. It seems like a bit of an annoyance, but it's cheap insurance.
While you're looking down, check the soil for compaction or drainage problems. If you can dig two spades lengths deep into the soil, you don't have a compaction problem. If you need to jump up and down on the shovel and have your 300 pound neighbor do it, too…you have a compaction problem. Compaction problems can be alleviated somewhat by an extensive site preparation (e.g., loosening the soil in an area 10 feet in diameter), and it's so much easier to do that before you move the new tree or shrub. Poor drainage is another story, though.
To check for drainage, dig or auger a hole 24 inches deep. Fill with water and allow it to completely drain. Fill a second time. That second filling should be drained within 24 hours. If it isn't, drainage may be an issue. If the transplanted tree is a sugar maple…it's an issue. If it's a silver maple, it probably isn't. Correcting soil drainage problems is difficult and often expensive. Your best move is to avoid them if they could become problematic for tree or shrub health.
Might as well have that soil tested, too. The most critical thing to determine is the soil pH (whether it's acidic or alkaline), and don't think that just because the native soils are acidic that your soil will be acidic. Most "urbanized" soils are alkaline, some just slightly and others obscenely. If the soil pH is 7.5 or so, and the transplanted tree is a river birch…don't plant it there! It WILL decline and die prematurely. And as with poor drainage, soil alkalinity is difficult and expensive to change.
(Soil testing lab: http://soiltest.coafes.umn.edu/submitti.htm )
I'm ready to transplant the tree but it's autumn now. Should I wait until spring? In Part I, I hinted that time of year may be more of a perceived problem, rather than a real problem. Certainly, there are some plants that are best and most successfully moved in the spring (see Part I for a partial listing), but quite honestly, there's little documented research that success or failure rates differ dramatically by seasons (obvious exceptions would be mid-winter and mid-summer).
Most of you reading this live in the southeastern part of Minnesota. That's just a demographic fact, not a location prejudice. Upstate New York is very similar climate-wise to much of Minnesota, especially the southeastern part of Minnesota. In a documented, two-year research experiment conducted by Cornell University in upstate New York (Buckstrup and Bassuk, 2000), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), ironwood (Ostrya virginiana) and bicolor oak (Quercus bicolor) survived and grew just as well when transplanted in the autumn as they did in the spring. Sometimes better in the autumn. That's research-based information. It's not inclusive for every tree or shrub imaginable, but it is factual and more reliable than memory or "my neighbor said" information.
What ARE the most important factors for transplant success?
* Transplant as many roots as possible.
*Never let them dry out.
*Prepare the new site for root growth.
* Plant the tree or shrub at the right depth.
* Take care of the plant after the move, for the life of the plant (figuratively and literally).
Transplant as many roots as possible. If you root-pruned the tree or shrub at least one season before the move, the plant now has a much more concentrated root system in a more confined area. This means that you will be able to move a much more extensive root system. The way it is moved depends on species and size.
Bare-root transplanting is just as the term implies: moving the plant's root system with little to no soil attached. Whenever possible, this is the preferred method because it is relatively simple, the (lighter) plant is easier to handle and move, any root problems become obvious and easier to correct, and in fact, you can usually move a larger root system this way. It is not usually recommended for moving conifers or trees larger than 2 inches in caliper (but those rules can be bent).
Step One: If possible, dig down a few inches beyond that root-pruning trench that you dug a season ago. You will hit some new roots, but the majority of the roots will be contained within the diameter of the root-pruned area. As you are digging down, pry the shovel to lift the roots and loosen the soil.
Bare-root apple tree.
Step Two: Loosen the soil within the diameter of the new trench. If the soil is very dry, it sometimes helps to moisten it a few inches deep the day before you dig. My implement of choice for loosening the soil is a "potato fork," which is similar to a short pitchfork with broad and flat tines. Loosening the soil is walking a fine line between freeing the roots and cutting them. You don't want to cut all the roots off, just loosen the soil from them so the plant can be lifted.
Step Three: If there are any roots growing down, slip under the root mass with your shovel or use a loppers to cut those roots. Now the plant should be free from the growing site and you can shake most of the remaining soil off.
Step Four: Keep the roots moist. Immediately after freeing the plant from the soil, "heel" it back in with loose soil and moisten it. An alternative would be to cover the roots with wet straw or woodchips and cover with a tarp or plastic. Those roots can die in minutes when exposed to air.
Now, I've left a couple "holes" that need filling.
*Caliper. This is the thickness of the stem, which is measured approximately 6 inches above the ground line. However, if the stem measurement taken at that point is greater than 4 inches thick, move up the stem another 6 inches and record the stem thickness at that point.
*Diameter of root mass. The American Association of Nurserymen has developed the "American Standard for Nursery Stock." (reference and address in concluding reference section). According to the standards, a tree with a 1 inch caliper should have a 18 inch diameter bare root system…AS A MINIMUM. A 2 inch caliper tree should have a 28 inch diameter bare root system…AS A MINIMUM. For a 3 inch caliper tree, at least 38 inches. For a 3 foot tall shrub, 14 inches in diameter; 16 inches for a 4 foot shrub; 18 inches for a 5 foot shrub; and 20 inches for a 6 foot shrub.
Keep in mind that these are MINIMUM dimensions. The more roots you transplant with the tree or shrub, the more successful the move will be.
Balling and burlapping (B&B) the root system requires much more skill, patience and muscles! For those larger trees and/or conifers that traditionally move better with a soil ball surrounding the roots, this and moving the plants with a tree spade (mechanical digger) are the preferred methods. The irony of it is that the root system is actually smaller (according to the Standards) for B&B dug versus bare-root dug plants. For instance: 2 inch caliper B&B should have a minimum soil ball diameter of 24 inches (compared to 28 for bare-rooted).
If the plant traditionally does better as a B&B transplant, if you will not be able to immediately replant the dug tree or shrub and need to store it temporarily, or if you are digging when the plant has leafed out, then those are good reasons to B&B it. In my opinion, however, if you have the option to successfully move the plant bare-rooted, bare-root it. Referring again to the study by Cornell University, in most cases they had equal success with bare-rooted and B&B plants, and those results have been confirmed by several other research experiments at other universities and botanical gardens for many years.
If you decide to ball and burlap the plant, the process is a bit different.
* Again, if the soil is dry, moisten it to a depth of several inches the day before the move. Carefully scrape away all excess surface soil until you find the first branch root/s. This should be the very top of your soil ball when the plant is finally dug.
* Use a flat spade, similar to a "sod-cutting" spade, instead of a rounded or "spoon" shovel. Turn the face of the shovel away from the stem of the plant as you dig down around the minimum root ball diameter.
Tie up the foliage and branches to reduce breakage during the transplanting operation
The soil ball has been shaved and tapered to where the roots are concentrated.
Slipping burlap under the soil ball.
Pull the burlap under and up to cradle the soil ball.
Tie the corners of the burlap together.
* As you sink the spade into the soil and cut the roots, press the handle back toward the stem and scoop the soil out away from the soil ball. This is the opposite action taken when bare-rooting a plant. This action compacts the soil into a solid root/soil ball with each spade of soil scooped away.
* After the first "lap" around the root ball diameter, begin a second lap digging down deeper. In effect, you will be digging this trench around the soil ball two spade-lengths deep.
* Begin "shaving off" soil from the soil ball. Don't try to move a soil ball if there are no roots to hold it intact, because it won't stay intact! Shave off soil until you hit enough roots that you can be confident that it will hold together. Then, begin cutting down and into the bottom center of the soil ball. This is known as "tapering" the soil ball, and again, if you don't hit any roots, don't try to move that soil with the soil ball. Keep tapering in until you begin cutting roots.
*Once the soil ball is shaved and tapered, fold up a sheet of burlap or an old sheet, slip it down into the hole against one side of the soil ball and roll the soil ball back onto the burlap or sheet. Pull half of the burlap or sheet under the soil ball and up around the opposite side.
*Pull up the four corners of the burlap or sheet, tie them to each other and snug up the wrapping. Sometimes it is necessary to "bind up" the burlap or sheet with twine or a rope to hold it all together.
*Get some help and lift the plant out of the hole.
That sounds like a lot of work and very confusing! You're right! It took me about four months to learn how to ball and burlap professionally when I started working for a nursery as a college student. It's very hard work, frustrating at times, and every tree and shrub is a bit different. I'd recommend that you hire someone experienced at this art if it needs to be done, or have it moved with a tree spade.
As mentioned earlier, if the soil is compacted, loosen it as much as you can tolerate. Then pass the shovel or roto tiller off to someone else and have them loosen it as much as they can tolerate. This will pay off in the form of a shorter transplant shock period and a healthier, longer-lived tree or shrub.
Replanting the shocked tree or shrub is at least as important as the digging process. For detailed information on the best planting practices, refer to "Planting Trees and Shrubs for Long-Term Health," which is listed in the concluding reference section. The steps are simple, however.
Step one:. Measure the depth of the root system if it's bare-rooted, or the soil ball depth if it's B&B or tree spade dug.
Step two: That measured depth is the deepest that the new planting hole should be. If you are to err, err on the side of planting high. This doesn't mean that the roots will be sticking up out of the ground. You will just need to haul in more good soil to cover those higher roots, creating a planting berm.
Step three: The width of the hole depends on the nature of the soil, the compacted nature to be specific. If the new planting site has beautiful, loose soil, the width of the planting hole is not a big issue. It should be large enough to place the soil ball/roots into it and work the backfill soil in around those roots. If the soil is very compacted, then the wider the planting hole, the better.
Step four: Double-check that planting depth and make sure those first branch roots are no deeper than the landscape surface. Don't worry, they're not going to die; they will end up with a light dressing of mulch over them.
Step five: If the tree or shrub has been balled and burlapped, backfill about half way up the soil ball depth and then cut off the remaining burlap or sheet above that point.
Step six: Complete the backfilling, water the soil ball/root area thoroughly and mulch the planting site with 2-4 inches of the mulch of your choice. Don't pile ANY mulch up against the stem, however.
Step seven: Religiously water, sometimes every day depending on the season, soil drainage and size of the transplant. Allow the soil to drain after each irrigation, but never allow the roots and the soil around the roots to completely dry out.
*Don't prune off branches to compensate for root loss! This practice may seem logical, but it's not bio-logical. If branches subsequently die, then prune them off.
There is a "magic bullet!" Everyone wants to know what they can do to ensure transplant success. Is it fertilizer? No. Is it soil fungi or bacteria? No. Is it cow manure, peat moss, composted leaves? No. It's water. Not too much, not too little, not once a week, not one inch of water per week, not just before planting, not only after planting. It's the amount needed to keep the roots moist from the time you begin digging until the tree or shrub is safely beyond transplant shock (at least one year). And then after that, for the life of the tree. When water is maintained at an optimum level, then fertilizers, soil amendments, microbial inoculations may be beneficial. If water is lacking or excessive, those other amendments are either worthless or damaging to plant health.
Occasionally, trees may need some support via stakes for a short period of time after transplanting. For more information on staking and guying trees, refer to the Forest Resources Extension web site listed in the reference section. Often, trees and shrubs need some winter protection from hungry critters. Again, refer to the Forest Resources Extension web site.
American Association of Nurserymen. American Standard for Nursery Stock, ANSI Z60.1. 1250 I Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005.
Buckstrup, Michelle J. and Nina L. Bassuk. 2000. Transplanting Success of Balled-and-Burlapped Versus Bare-Root Trees in the Urban Landscape. Journal of Arboriculture, 26(6): November, 2000. P. 298-308.
Hargrave, Rebecca, Gary Johnson and Michael Zins. 2002. Planting Trees and Shrubs for Long-Term Health. University of Minnesota Extension Service, MI-07681. 13 pages.
Johnson, G.R. and Ed Sucoff. 1995. Minimizing De-Icing Salt Injury to Trees. University of Minnesota Extension Service, FO-1413, 7 pages.
Forest Resources Extension, University of Minnesota. http://www.cnr.umn.edu/FR/extension/. Click on Urban and Community Forestry, then click on Maintenance for: Minimizing De-Icing Salt Injury to Trees, and Tree Stem Protection. Go back to Urban and Community Forestry page, click on Planting for: Staking and Guying Trees, Tree Planting 101, and Planting Methods for Trees and Shrubs.
Jeff Hahn, Assistant Extension Entomologist
Our stored foods are susceptible to several species of small-sized beetles. A particularly common species is the drugstore beetle, Stegobium paniceum. Drugstore beetles are brown, oval, and about 1/8th inch long. The head is pointed down and is hidden from view from above by the hood-like prothorax. The last three segments of the antennae are enlarged and saw-like. Under close magnification, you can see a number of narrow furrows running vertically down its wing covers. Immature drugstore beetles are small, whitish, ‘C' shaped larvae.
Drugstore beetles commonly infest cereal products, spices, seeds, beans and dry pet food, although they will feed on essentially any stored food product. They have even been known to feed on drugs, red pepper, book bindings, and chew through tin foil, and sheet lead. They may even be found feeding on animal based products, such as wool, hair, leather, and dead insects. It is not even beyond drugstore beetles to feed on poisonous items, such as strychnine.
The key to controlling drugstore beetles is to find their food source and remove it. Check opened packages in cupboards, pantries, and other places where food is stored. Pay particular attention to older products that are used infrequently. When you discover infested products, wrap it in plastic and throw it away (unless you are throwing it away directly outside). You can save bird seed or pet food (or lightly infested food products), by freezing them at 0o F. for at least four days. You should automatically freeze unopened food packages older than 60 days, even if insects haven't been seen.
Store susceptible, insect-free food in heavy plastic containers or other types of containers with tight lids. You can also store vulnerable food in the refrigerator. Particularly protect food that is eaten infrequently. It is less important to take these steps for food that is eaten on a regular basis. Also remove spilled food or crumbs to reduce potential food sources for drugstore beetles. Check around pet food, bird seed, spice drawers, toasters, cupboards and other places where product may spill or accumulate. Disinfecting counters and similar areas doesn't affect these insects.
You can vacuum drugstore beetles that you find crawling around. However, spraying them with insecticides is not practical or necessary. Although spraying insects found out in the open does kill them, it does not eliminate the infestation if a food source is present. Sanitation is the best control. Once infested food is thrown away and uninfested food is properly stored, drugstore beetles can not survive without a food source and they will eventually go away. If beetles are still seen after reasonable amount of time than there is still a food source present that needs to be found and eliminated.
Get the low down on this month's insect pests at
Flowers and Blooming Houseplants Provide Color Indoors
Deborah Brown, Extension Horticulturist
Bright bouquets and flowering houseplants can offset the sense of loss felt after frost has killed the last blooms in your garden. If you're fortunate enough to have a large sunny window, you can pick from among many colorful choices. Hibiscus, miniature orange, wax plant, geranium, and Christmas cacti are only a few of the houseplants that should bloom for you. But there are also some beauties that don't require such high light intensities.
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum or spathe flower) need only a north window or bright, indirect light to bloom. They develop elegant creamy white flowers, a bit like jack-in-the-pulpits, each with a little stalk protruding from its base. Flowers last several weeks, then gradually turn green as they mature. (Clip the stems at their base when they're no longer white.)
African violets are equally modest in their demand for light. Available in a wide array of forms and colors, they're so reasonably priced you could come home with a whole collection and barely dent your piggy bank. While some older varieties bloomed just once a year, newer African violets flower year-round, given good growing conditions. And they're ever-so-cheerful in a dreary winter!
With the same care, and only a little more light than you need for African violets, you can grow Streptocarpus successfully. This plant, also known as cape primrose, blooms for months on end, and will re-bloom year after year if you divide it or move it to a larger container.
A visit to your favorite florist's shop or garden center will also present you with a wide variety of "gift plants" – plants that bloom beautifully for a few weeks, then are generally discarded. In late October a large Twin Cities garden center had : kalanchoes, begonias, hydrangeas, cyclamen, azaleas, chrysanthemums, and an unusual plant called "coastal flame," (Scutellaria). They also had long-lasting exotic orchid plants, potted amaryllis bulbs, holiday cacti, and a large collection of brightly blooming bromeliads.
Floral bouquets and arrangements are always popular at Thanksgiving, but cut flowers are so readily available, and often so reasonably priced, you should plan to make them part of your winter decor regardless of whether it's a special holiday. You needn't even take a trip to the florist's unless you're looking for something truly exotic; most large supermarkets have floral departments where you can pick up a bouquet on your way to the check-out stand.
Cut flower bouquet.
Some stores offer sprays of small orchids, stems of fragrant lilies, alstroemerias, and other unusual flowers. But most often you'll find roses, chrysanthemums and carnations along with babysbreath, statice, and stems of leatherleaf fern. Pass by any garishly dyed blooms. Bright blue daisies don't exist in nature – why would you want them in your living room?
For sheer longevity, choose mini-carnations. They come in a wide array of colors, and many share the same spicy scent found in some large carnations. Mums – including daisies – should also last for two or three weeks before deteriorating. Roses are much shorter-lived, but for most people, nothing else compares to their classic elegance and beauty.
Regardless of which cut flowers you buy, you can extend their good looks by placing them in a relatively cool location out of direct sunlight and adding water with floral preservative faithfully. Keep your flowers in a clear vase so you can tell easily if the water begins to look cloudy. Remove the flowers, clean the vase with soapy water, then refill it with a mix of lukewarm water and floral preservative. Re-cut the stems to remove any discolored portions; they should be good for several more days.
Minnesota Gardening, a Great Holiday Gift from the "U"
Deborah Brown, Extension Horticulturist
Just a reminder: the team of University faculty has been producing award-winning garden calendars for thirteen years now. They're convinced Minnesota Gardening, 2003 is the best one yet. Written by horticulturist Deborah Brown and illustrated by noted University photographers Don Breneman and Dave Hansen (and Brown), the calendar has a unique focus on gardening and landscape care specifically for our challenging climate.
Deb and calendar.
U of Mn
These calendars make great holiday gifts for anyone who enjoys gardening and landscaping. Each month features a series of timely tips for northern gardeners. The calendar also depicts frost dates and USDA climate zones and has a special page devoted to the subject of gardening to attract butterflies.
Printed on heavy stock with soy-based ink, shrink-wrapped and spiral-bound, Minnesota Gardening, 2003 competes well with commercially produced calendars. It's available at book and gift stores, garden centers and county extension offices for $11.95. It's also sold at campus University bookstores and can be mail-ordered directly by calling 612-624-4900 (metro) or 1-800-876-8636 (greater Minnesota).
Taking My Work Home with Me: Birdhouse Gourd Anthracnose
Janna Beckerman, Extension Plant Pathologist
Many people have preconceived notions of what a plant pathologist is. Many more seem to think that we have perfectly groomed, disease-free yards. Although I know this is a terrible misconception, a recent conference I attended confirmed, at least to me, that nothing could be further from the truth. My favorite turf pathologist has always had problems with snow mold. Another pathologist reported that her yard was "a living tribute to plant pathology," whereas a third referred to his yard as "a plant pathology arboretum."
A blue spruce trellis.
| Infection developed several days after|
Black setae are interspersed among orange tendrils of spores.
I generally wage a campaign of benign co-existence with my yard and garden pathogens. The reality is that I am pitted against several billion spores. If those odds weren't enough to make me put down the spray bottle and slowly step away from the garden, years of working with fungi have convinced me of two things: 1) The fungi are smarter than I and 2) they don't read books. It's sad, but true, and I became a happier person after I accepted these two facts. The next few plant pathology articles are about what happens when I take my work home with me. Plant pathology happens.
Anthracnose of Birdhouse Gourd
Anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum orbiculare, is favored by warm temperatures, high humidity and rainfall. Although this disease is more often a foliar and fruit-infecting problem for melons (watermelon and muskmelon), the organism can also infect the fruit of gourds, pumpkin and squash.
I had never grown birdhouse gourds before. I was warned that I may not even get any fruit growing this type of gourd in Minnesota. However, the weather finally cooperated, and one seedling (the other seven succumbed to spring flooding and/or damping off) took off--Literally. In fact, it took off to the top of a large, Colorado blue spruce tree in my neighbors yard (Fi. My daughter named our first gourd, "Jimmy." She hugged it, fondled it and petted it incessantly. Jimmy rotted off the vine. Fortunately, "Jimmy, Jr." quickly replaced "Jimmy," followed by "Jerry." One plant produced 23 gourds, with three remaining on the top of the spruce tree, where they hang still. I was feeling very proud of my abilities as a gardener.
Even though I knew the battle between woman and microbe wasn't over, my arrogance over my success got the best of me. I took the gourds down to the basement to dry. This was a mistake. Simply cleaning the outer rind of the gourds with warm, soapy water may have prevented "Arma-gourd-on." Instead, lesions developed while the fruit was in storage. On gourds, lesions are mostly circular and measure 2 to 5 cm in diameter or larger. The central area darkens and develops tiny black hairs or setae. Spore production may give an orange appearance to the lesion (Fig. 3).
Ode to Rot
Rots can originate from fruit infections occurring in the field, from an explosion of fungal spores during harvest, or from direct fruit-to fruit contact in storage. Since I carefully spaced my gourds to make certain Jimmy was not touching his buddies, I am fairly certain that infection occurred in the field. At the time of harvest, there was no sign of infection. I will admit to the presence of leaf spot though.
We harvested only the healthy and mature fruit when the temperature dipped into the forties. Although I tried to avoid rind injuries, which provides entry for pathogens, I'm not sure my four year old was as successful. Secondary pathogens can invade damaged tissue, resulting in rapid decay. Fortunately, proper curing conditions allow wounded areas to heal themselves by producing corky tissue. Curing at 68-77° F for a week will harden the rind. One key is maintaining proper humidity during the curing process: Higher humidity favors the development of decay, and lower humidity promotes dehydration and changes in flesh texture, which, although unimportant for birdhouse gourds, may make for an unpleasant squash- eating experience.
Better Luck Next Year
When I preach, I say the following practices should be employed throughout the season: Start with a clean garden; rotate crops; use disease-free seed; supply adequate drainage, manage pathogens, pests and weeds; quickly diagnose and use fungicides appropriately; harvest crops carefully; control of storage temperature and relative humidity appropriately, and prepare the beds for next year. What will I be practicing? Rotation! I still have about a dozen birdhouse gourds, so I will be spending my winter researching what next "new" crop I can plant. If I were to replant my gourds, I would have on hand a fungicide containing the active ingredient chlorothalonil.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I am certain that the remaining crop debris I couldn't remove serves as an inoculum source for next year. For this reason, I will be using anthracnose-resistant cultivars for some of my other cucurbits. Resistant cucumber slicers include 'Bush Baby', 'Dasher II', 'Slicemaster', and 'Orient Express'. Thankfully, many pickling cucumbers are tolerant or resistant, including 'Calypso', 'Regal', 'Score' and 'Premier'. Resistant watermelon varieties include 'Charleston Gray', 'All Sweet', 'Crimson Sweet', 'Golden Crown' and 'Dixielee'. 'Passport' is the only currently available anthracnose-resistant muskmelon. For more resistant varieties, go to the Wisconsin Extension Service's guide to Disease Resistant Vegetables for the Home Garden at http://www1.uwex.edu/ces/pubs/pdf/A3110.PDF
As a footnote, I have to add that all was not lost. The gourds are still drying, and only one has completely rotted out. They are a little uglier than planned, but I am hopeful that after they are sanded, a thick coat of paint will hide their bad case of the "chicken pox." Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!
Well, this is certainly shaping up to be an odd fall! Hard freezes finally nailed many plants yet the 'Nearly Wild' roses in front of Alderman Hall are still looking reaasonably good, undoubtedly aided by a western exposure and the heat sink created by a 4 story brick building partially built into a hillside. The 'Nearly Wild' roses decorate the third floor level entrance to the building.
have vivid fall color.
The leaves that should be raked and bagged by now are still on the trees. A friend in Milwaukee mentioned the same thing in an e-mail a day or two ago.
Barberry shrubs (Berberis thunbergia) can be brilliantly colored in the fall. These grow by the U-St. Paul campus student center where they encourage folk to stay on the sidewalk.
In upcoming issues:
Michael Long, who is studying rhododendrons, will be able to take a break from his Ph.D research long enough to talk about plants that require acidic soils. Why are they different from other plants?
Charlie Rohwer, a floriculure grad student, will tell us all about the physiology of fragrance--why do flowers have a fragrance?
We'll hear from Doug Courneya, Regional Extension Educator, Olmstead County, about buckthorn reduction. He says there's no such thing as "control" but we can reduce it.
Kathy Zuzek, rose breeder extraordinaire, from the Horticulture Research Center, has agreed to talk about the latest in her rose research.
Lee Frelich, of Forest Resources, gave an eye opening presentation on the dangers of exotic earthworms at the state Master Gardener conference in Sept. He's agreed write about it for the March 1 issue.
By then it will be spring! Right now, it's painful to hear a weather person say there are 200 some days left of the snow season.
Please feel free to cut and paste any of the articles for use in your own newsletters. All we ask is that you give our authors credit.
Back issues Yard & Garden Line News are on the Yard & Garden Line home page at www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/. Our home page has clickable links to most of the components of the Yard & Garden Line, such as Bell Museum of Natural History, INFO U and the Soil Testing Lab.
Deb Brown answers gardening questions on Minnesota Public Radio's (MPR) "Midmorning" program on the first Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. Katherine Lanpher hosts the program that is broadcast on KNOW 91.1 FM, and available state-wide on the MPR news radio stations.
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Yard & Garden Line Project Coordinator
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