Rutgers Home Gardeners School: Green Thumbs Invited to Let Knowledge Bloom

Rain Barrel Workshop at Rutgers Home Gardeners School. Photo credit: Rebecca Sheil Rathmill.

Rain Barrel Workshop at Rutgers Home Gardeners School. Photo credit: Rebecca Sheil Rathmill.

Gardening enthusiasts are invited to register for the upcoming Rutgers Home Gardeners School to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., March 19 on the Cook/Douglass campus. This year marks the 40th offering of this annual event, which many attendees come back for year after year.

Designed to offer “something for everyone” seeking a greener thumb, the Rutgers Home Gardeners School is made up of 35 individual workshop sessions covering a wide array of horticulture topics. This format allows attendees to select the workshops that are most relevant to their gardening interests in order to create their own unique, customized schedule for this fun day of learning. Dynamic speakers from commercial horticulture and landscape design firms, as well as faculty and staff from Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE), provide attendees with valuable opportunities to learn from seasoned professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience. [Read more…]

GARDENER STATE: Just a few cures for your cabin fever

Are you suffering from extreme irritability and restlessness during these post-holiday weeks with seemingly no one visiting and nothing to do? The tree is long recycled or boxed and the lights and decorations are all put away. And even your New Year’s resolutions just seem like nasty reminders of things you haven’t done yet, and possibly give up on. There are plenty of post-holiday events, programs, destinations, and happenings that have nothing to do with winter, but everything to do with getting you out and about and thinking more about where you are, what you’re standing on, and what’s up above. The Gardener State column is written by Nicholas Polanin, Agricultural Agent, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Read the entire article at MyCentralJersey.com »

Warm Weather Means Springtime in December for Flowers and Trees

It’s great fun when we humans can wear our flip-flops and shorts in December. That thick jacket with the fur-trimmed hood is just a short trip to the closet away when winter inevitably wallops us… Lena Struwe, a plant biologist at Rutgers University, has been noticing the weeds, because that’s what she studies. "In the last couple weeks, have you seen all these dandelions flowering?" she asked. She’s never seen so many at this time of the year. There are thousands on the university lawn. "There are all these fluffy balls right now," she said. She’s also seeing hairy cress, which usually comes out in April, and veronica. Because these plants are fast growers, they may be able get in an extra growing season, spreading extra seeds for the spring… Struwe is worried about how plants that have adapted over thousands of years to our seasons will ultimately respond to our warming, more unsettled climate. Plants that like warmer weather are already migrating northward. Kudzu, an invasive vine, has made it to Delaware and southern Pennsylvania.

Read the entire article at www.philly.com »

Rutgers 250th Anniversary All-Star Breeds Exhibited Through Another Social Media Contest

From November 10, 2015 through the end of 2016, the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) is celebrating Rutgers 250th anniversary by showcasing an all-star variety each month. The select varieties are developed by Rutgers agriculture and aquaculture researchers from across New Jersey.

Holly trees are the featured all-star breed for December. Rutgers plant breeders have been at the forefront of holly tree research, crossing varieties of trees from the genus Ilex for decades. The main purpose of this research is to improve the durability, pest and disease resistance, and overall appearance of this beautiful tree. A lovely display of mature hollies can be found at Rutgers Gardens’ Holly House.

NJAES’ Facebook and Twitter followers participated in a social media photo challenge to show off their favorite ornamental evergreen! From December 8-15, participants shared selfies with their holiday holly decor using the hashtag #RU250Holly. NJAES had many submissions and it was very hard to pick just one winner!

Winner of the #RU250Holly challenge!

Winner of the #RU250Holly challenge!

Jennifer Beacham, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences student, is the proud new owner of a Rutgers250 prize-pack! Due to the popularity of December’s social media challenge, NJAES is going to have many more in the new year. Keep a close eye on NJAES’ Facebook and Twitter pages for another chance to win Rutgers250 prizes.

Rutgers250 prize pack- stay tuned for more chances to win!

Rutgers250 prize pack- stay tuned for more chances to win!

Prof. Bruce Clarke to Receive 2016 USGA Green Section Award

Bruce Clarke at annual Rutgers Turf Field Day event.

Bruce Clarke at annual Rutgers Turf Field Day event.

Source: USGA – The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced Bruce Clarke, of Rutgers University, as the recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes an individual’s distinguished service to the game of golf through his or her work with turfgrass.

Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of turfgrass pathology in the department of plant biology and pathology at Rutgers, and is the director of the Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science. Clarke has authored or co-authored 75 refereed journal articles and more than 200 industry publications, and he has edited three books, including the second and third editions of the Compendium of Turfgrass Diseases. He is also a frequent contributor at turfgrass conferences throughout the world.

Clarke’s research and extension programs focus on the cause and control of turfgrass diseases and integrated pest management strategies to reduce fungicide use. Clarke’s work with the biology and control of summer patch and anthracnose, and his introduction of effective cultural management and fungicides are cited as some of the most important achievements affecting the playing conditions of golf courses worldwide. [Read more…]