July 11, 2011 Newsletter

In This Issue
Tulip Research
Economic Impact
Marketing Equalizers
Stink Bugs
OFA Highlights
Buy Local
Quick Links
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Eileen Nelson
UW-Madison Department of Horticulture
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Speaker line-up Announced for the 2012 Garden Center Symposium, January 11-12, 2012, Country Springs Hotel, Waukesha, WI.


This promises to be one of the best line-ups ever providing helpful information to help "Independents" covering "bringing customers through the door," "training staff," "gardening trends," "targeted marketing," and "successful web use for small businesses."  Check out the press release for more details, and watch for registration information coming in September at www.GardenCenterSymposium.com.

More Tulips, Less Effort 

Cornell University's Flower Bulb Research Program has conducted a three-year study showing that "top-planting" is an excellent way to save labor while planting tulips -- as well as to help them come back and bloom well for several years.  


"Gardening is good, healthy exercise, and avid gardeners enjoy being outside planting bulbs in the fall," says Bill Miller, professor in the Department of Horticulture and FBRP research director. "But 'top-planting' can make bulb planting easier, allowing you to plant more bulbs with less effort."

The planting technique, also known as "drop and cover," isn't new, notes Miller. It's just underused. He suggests gardeners and landscapers:

  • Till the planting area 3 to 4 inches deep with a rotary tiller.
  • Spread bulb fertilizer and if possible till again.
  • Place bulbs on top of the tilled area. (Resist the urge to press them in as this could damage the bulb base.)
  • Cover with 2 to 4 inches of aged mulch or well rotted compost.

Avoid over-mulching, cautions Miller. Plots that received 6 inches of mulch had the least blooms by the third year of the study.

Miller used two tulip cultivars 'Ad Rem' and 'Negrita' known for their ability to perennialize (regrow and rebloom for several years after planting). While many people grow tulips for just a single season before ripping them out, in 2011 both cultivars still produced an average of at least one flower per bulb planted three years earlier.

"By the third year, all plots had at least two groups of plants," notes Miller. "Some of the plants were extremely large growing from large bulbs underground, and others were shorter, producing an 'understory' of color."

Read research report.


Are You Marketing Pollinator Gardens? 

Source: Penn State University


Despite widely published reports, many people are unaware that bees -- both managed colonies of honeybees and wild bees alike -- are in trouble due to Colony Collapse DisorderPopulations of bees -- both wild and managed -- have fallen sharply in recent decades. and other environmental factors.


Research shows that wild honeybee populations have dropped 25 percent since 1990, and more than 50 pollinator species are threatened or endangered. Planting a pollinator-friendly garden may be one of the best ways to help these beneficial insects, say experts in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.


"Because landscapes have been extremely fragmented due to urbanization, suburbanization and development, we would like to have homeowners and gardeners rethink their space," said Ginger Pryor, state coordinator of the Penn State Extension's Master Gardener Program.


"People typically include grass, non-native plants, and a few trees and shrubs that are not very pollinator friendly," she said. "People need to learn how to establish plantings that will help keep pollinators around."  For tips on getting a pollinator-friendly garden started link to the article. 


As an addendum to this: I posted this same link on the Retail Independen Garden Centers, Vendors and Media group on Facebook.  Don Shore of Redwoodbarn.com posted the list of plants he has at his place.  Annies Annuals nad Perennials posted a link to their list.   The power of of social media!

Economic Impacts of Growers in U.S. Green Industry 

 Join Dr. Alan Hodges (University of Florida), Dr. Marco Palma (Texas A&M University), and Dr. Charlie Hall (Texas A&M University) for a webinar discussion of the latest nursery and greenhouse survey results and the  latest update of the economic contributions of the green industry in the U.S.



Creating Market Equalizers 

 Source:  Greenhouse Grower, Delilah Onofrey


Using technology to support marketing programs can help level the playing field between smaller and larger growers and retailers, according to Delilah Onofrey of Mestermedia/Greenhouse Grower. Read her rationale and solution here.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug 

Source:  eCals.cals.wisc.edu


If you have friends in the East, you may have heard them grousing about stinkbugs. Specifically, what they're talking about is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, an invasive species from Asia that enters into people's homes in big numbers and is turning into a pretty nasty crop pest as well. The good news is that there have been only a few isolated sighting in Wisconsin. The bad news: It's just a matter of time-maybe four or five years-before we see these kinds of problems here, says Phil Pellitteri, Extension entomologist. Preventing their spread is difficult as best, because the bugs are good at hitchiking when people or goods travel from the east, Pellitteri says in this podcast recorded with Sevie Kenyon of the CALS external relations office.


From Penn State:


The damage BMSB causes in fruits and vegetables is quite obvious, and has resulted in economic loses for farmers. It seems that fruits and vegetables were not enough to satisfy the appetite of this foreign invader, and it is now moving into ornamental production. In ornamental horticulture crops it is unknown at this point whether the damage will cause significant economic loss. The BMSB feeds on more than 56 genera and more than 80 plant species. It feeds on different sites on ornamentals, from berries on serviceberry to the trunks of maple trees. Read more:

OFA Short-Course Highlights

For those of us who didn't get there. . . .


Day 1 highlights

Day 2 highlights

Buy Local Works

For the fourth year in a row, a national survey of independent businesses (2,768, including retailers, service providers, restaurants and others) has found that those in communities with an active "buy local" campaign have experienced markedly stronger revenue growth compared to those located in areas without such a campaign. It found that those in places with a "buy local" initiative reported revenue growth of 5.6% on average in 2010, compared to 2.1% for those elsewhere. Public awareness of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses has also increased in the last year. Download the Full Survey Results

24/7 Daylilies

Source: Today's Garden Center


Eight new daylilies comprise the Enjoy 24/7 collection of landscape perennials from Garden Debut. These Tetraploid

Eight new daylilies comprise the Enjoy 24/7 collection of landscape perennials from Garden Debut. These Tetraploid daylilies bloom non-stop from April through autumn, producing larger flowers with rich substance on shorter, rust-resistant plants.

"These daylilies are the culmination of a strategic breeding program to produce the perfect daylily for the home gardener and landscape public," says Ted Petit, breeder of Enjoy 24/7. "My daylilies now bloom in three seasons, with smaller stature and resistance to daylily rust. Rapid increase quickly produces mounds of color for a carefree garden or landscape."  Read More. 

Independent  Garden Center Show

August 16-18, 2012, Navy Pier, Chicago


Info here.

Please forward this newsletter on to others. 

Eileen Nelson  (eonelson@wisc.edu)