While we wait for next month’s pea planting milestone, let’s catch up on some plants and garden ‘lead rings’ this week…
Ban on invasive plants
Five species of honeysuckle are the latest plants to be banned from sale in Pennsylvania after being considered noxious and invasive and placed on the state’s noxious weed list.
The USDA’s Controlled Plants and Noxious Weeds Board voted last month to ban the sale of Amur, Morrow, Tatarian, Bell, and Standish varieties of honeysuckle in Pennsylvania. (This includes native trumpet and coral honeysuckle varieties such as ‘Alabama Scarlet’, ‘Major Wheeler’ and ‘Cedar Lane’, or ‘Gold Flame’, ‘Serotina’, ‘Sensation,’ and ‘Winchester’. )
The committee also voted to add star-shaped stonewort, an algae that can clog waterways and interfere with fish breeding areas, to the list of toxic weeds.
This addition brings the class A list to a total of 20 plants (plants that can be eradicated) and the class B list to a total of 38 (plants that are too extensive to be eradicated). Most of the plants on these lists are what most people would consider “weeds”, including Japanese knotweed, thistle, poisonous hemlock, kudzu, and giant he hogweed.
The latest action continues the state’s crackdown on invasive plants that began in late 2021.
Since then, Pennsylvania has been home to flowering pear trees, burning bushes, common glossy buckthorns, and chocolate vines (Akebi), four varieties of wart (Japanese, border, European, Chinese), and Japanese barberry (except four sterile varieties in the WorryFree series: Crimson Cutie, Lemon Cutie, Lemon Glow, and Mr. Green Jeans).
- Read more about previous plant bans
Gardeners are not required to remove prohibited plants from their gardens, but the Department of Agriculture recommends their removal to stop the continuation of unwanted seeding into the wild.
Many of the newly banned landscape plants are being phased out of sale.
For example, Japanese barberry will be banned from sale from October 3rd this year, and flowering pears will be banned from February 10th, 2024.
Burning Bush and 4 Banned Warts have a grace period until January 10, 2025.
Honeysuckle and starry stonewort were banned 60 days after the Ag Department’s notice of action was posted in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and they are expected to be banned by this spring.
The plants listed above can be sold until the deadline date above, but the agricultural sector is discouraging gardeners from purchasing them, instead recommending native or non-invasive alternatives.
- Read George’s column on landrace alternatives to invasive plants
Renovations at Hershey’s Children’s Garden
The renovation of Hershey Gardens’ 1.5-acre Children’s Garden is nearly complete, and the 20-year-old interactive garden will be unveiling a fresh new look by spring.
“We are waiting for additional things to be installed and replaced,” said Anthony Haubert, a spokesperson for Gardens. We aim to finish by the beginning.”
Work included new plants, new cedar for the bird blinds, repointed stone work, new raised beds in the hoop house, and fresh paint throughout.
Under construction, a converted treehouse (reimagined in a rainforest theme with a thatched roof, cocoa pod accents, and climbing poles), a new boating structure, and a new wooden deck at the river bunker picnic area. bridge.
The early spring end date coincides with a time when horticulturists are daunted by Hershey Gardens’ expansive spring bulb display.
The peak flowering of the bulbs is usually between mid-April and early May, depending on the weather in each season.
“When that happens is always guesswork,” says Haubert. “We have had a lot of inquiries since mid-March, and we would like to ask those who have contacted us to check our website and social media pages for the latest information on tulip blooms. I have.”
This fall, staff planted approximately 26,000 new bulbs. This includes his 1,500 new daffodils around the conservatory and the rest of the various varieties of tulips in the children’s garden around the conservatory and most of the seasonal display gardens.
Also during the winter, the Hershey staff replaced the overgrown potted palms in the conservatory’s front entrance atrium with more compact quince palms.
The Mount Cuba Center in Delaware has released the results of its latest plant trials. This time, we are investigating 70 different species and cultivars of sedge (sedge) four-year evaluation.
Sedge is a grass-like perennial that has recently become fashionable, especially since it is rarely visited by deer.
“(Sedge) is fast becoming a favorite with both homeowners and horticulturists thanks to its beauty, practicality and overall minimal maintenance requirements,” said Horticultural Research Manager at Mount Cuba. says Sam Hoadley. “The diversity of this genus is only distinguished by the wide range of habits in which they grow. From shady marshes to coastal dunes, you can find (sedges) growing and thriving there.” is a plant native to the United States, and as a Mount Cuba test report points out, most sedges can be mowed in place of conventional turfgrass.
Mount Cuba tested 70 sedges in both shade and sun in average garden soil. evaluated gender.
A native sedge about 30 cm tall with green blades (sedge) was recorded as the top performer of the trial. It excels in both sun and shade, says Hoadley, and from April to May he bloomed with a carpet of straw-colored flowers and was the best-performing cuttable sedge in the trials.
The remaining top 15 sedges from the trial (after Wood’s sedges) are: Cherokee sedge (Carex cherokeensis), bromsuge (Carex bromoides), Hayden Sedge (Carex haydenii), upright sedge (Carex stricta), Emory’s sedge (Carex emoryi), sedge (Carex sprengelii), Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica), Pennsylvania sedge ‘straw hat’, Muskingum sedge ‘little midge’, white sedge (Carex albicans), James Suge (Carex jamesii), Muskingum Sedge ‘Oehme’, Fringe Sedge (Carex Clinita), Leavenworth Sedge (Carex Leavenworthy), and plantain leaf sedge (Carex plantaginea).
raid on the lamp
Rumps—an onion-like plant that is often native to Appalachian forests—have recently become very popular among foodies, raising concerns about overharvesting.
A new study from Penn State University found that lamp colonies recovered much better when lamp collectors waited a month longer before harvesting.
Also known as wild chives, these strap-leaf plants have been a local favorite for hundreds of years for their garlicky aroma and onion-like flavor.
The demand and value of Lumpus has skyrocketed over the last few years as it has become a darling of foodies and restaurant chefs. Rising prices have led to a surge in collection from wild colonies.
Enter Penn State University, which has researched how to preserve this “cultural keystone resource.”
“Even a small harvest from a lamp patch can take years for those plant populations to recover,” says Eric Burkhart, associate professor of ecosystem science and management at Penn State University.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that delaying the peak harvest by one month from the normal harvest time of March 1 to May 30 significantly increased plant yields.
“If foragers waited a little longer,” says Sarah Nilsson, the study’s principal investigator and assistant professor of biology. We try to spread this little saying: The less slope per pound, the more slope on the ground. ”
Nilsson adds that it’s best to wait until plants have developed at least three leaves before harvesting.
Rumps are perennials that can be grown in home gardens, but unlike traditional onions and garlic, they grow best in moist, shaded areas.
Horticulturalists have long been able to grow tomatoes with purplish skin, but a pair of British researchers have developed the world’s first cherry-shaped tomato with a dark purple overall color.
The true purple tomato was genetically engineered in a British laboratory, using a pair of snapdragon genes as an “on-switch” for genes that trigger the tomato to produce a purple pigment in the flesh and skin of the fruit. I’m using.
Professor Kathy Martin and Professor Jonathan Jones founded a company called Norfolk Plant Science to produce and sell seeds.
The company received regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last fall and began marketing the new variety in the United States. Seeds are not yet available, but interested gardeners can sign up through his Big Purple Tomato website in Norfolk.
In addition to the fruit’s striking appearance, purple tomatoes have a long shelf life and improved nutrition, especially anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant anthocyanins that can reduce the risk of cancer and heart problems.
Seeds may be available later this year.