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Expert’s Tip: Wild Parsnip — What is it and why should we be concerned about it?

by Ken Schroeder, Portage County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent

Wild Parsnip, Pastinaca sativa, is an invasive member of the carrot family that continues to spread into unmanaged areas throughout Wisconsin. It likes to grow in sunny, grassy areas along roadsides, railroads, and field borders but is not limited to these conditions. Primary means of spread is by seed that can be moved long distances while mowing roadsides after the plant has set seed.

What’s the concern?  The biggest concern isn’t the fact that it is invasive and rapidly spreading but that it will cause burns and blistering of the skin if you come in contact with plant sap in the presence of sunlight. This is known as phytophotodermatitis. Blisters and rashes appear 24 to 48 hours after exposure. Blisters do not spread like poison ivy but are uncomfortable and may leave scars lasting for several months to two years.

Pastinaca_sativa_'wild_parsnip'_2007-06-02_(plant)How do we identify wild parsnip?  The plant is a monocarpic (the plant dies after blooming) perennial and has two growth stages. The first year it produces a non-flowering leafy rosette of pinnately compound leaves with 5 to 15 leaflets.  It looks a lot like celery at this stage.  In the second to third year, it produces a flowering stem four to five feet tall. Stems are grooved, hollow, and have alternately arranged compound leaves with 2 – 5 pairs of opposite, sharply toothed leaflets and petioles that wrap around the stems. Flowers are flat-topped clusters (umbels) of yellow flowers 2 – 6” wide blooming in late spring to mid-summer in Wisconsin. Seed begins to form mid to late July changing from yellow-green to tan as they mature.  Along with the seeds maturing the stems and leaves begin to senesce, turning tan to brown in color.

How do we manage wild parsnip?  Early detection when populations are small allow for pulling or digging.  Be sure to wear gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and safety glasses or face shields to avoid skin contact with the sap.  One can simply cut the taproot with a shovel or spade 1 – 2” below the soil surface.  With larger populations mowing is an option if done after emergence of flower heads, but before seeds enlarge.  Additionally, several chemical options exist.  Be sure to read and follow label directions when using chemicals.  For more detailed management options see the UW-Extension wild parsnip management publication A3924-15 at the Learning Store website https://learningstore.uwex.edu/ .

What can I do as a Master Gardener to help?

  • Know how to identify wild parsnip and report locations at the Wisconsin First Detectors Network website http://fyi.uwex.edu/wifdn/get-involved/report-invasive-species/.  Several options are listed including a downloadable smartphone app.
  • Educate others about the existence and danger of wild parsnip.
  • Carry a sharp shovel or spade with you and when you see only one or a few plants consider cutting off the stems below the soil surface.  As long as they haven’t gone to seed the plants can then be left to die.  Check back the next year to see if additional plants emerge and cut those too.  CAUTION do not do this on private property without getting permission from the property owner.

Additional invasive species information

  • The University of Wisconsin Weed Science website http://fyi.uwex.edu/weedsci/ is a great resource for weed id and management info and has several short YouTube videos to help with identification.

The Wisconsin DNR invasive species website http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/ has a wealth of information on not only terrestrial invasive species but aquatic and wetland invasives as well.

The Story of Black-eyed Sue

By Anne Garde & Alan Okagaki,  National Public Radio – 1986

black-eyed-susan-1344895368GENI rose early, at four o-clock, the morning glory still iris away. I was worried. Anemone of mine, Johnny Jump Up, was looking for me, and I’d heard he was carrying a pistil, a 357 magnolia. Iironed a periwinkle blouse, got dressed, and took a sprig of a dusty Miller’s beer. Johnny Jump Up was one of several rhizomes who’d gone to seed in Forsythia, Montana. He was convicted of graft in 1984, arrested again in ’85 for digging up coreopsis. Johnny then drifted on the wind up to my neighborhood, the corner of Hollyhock & Vine. He was a petal pusher in a phloxhouse nearby.

I knew he was trouble when he rode-a-dendron to my house and said, “Hey, little Black-Eyed Susan, wanna come over to my place and take a look at my vetches?” I didn’t want to tell him in all the cosmos, there was no one for me but Sweet William, so I said no, I was taking care of a pet dogwood that had a litter of poppies, which was weird cause she was just spade. Johnny had no sense of humus. He stamped his foot with impatiens.

“You’ll rue the day you turned me down,” he snapped. Then he spit a wad of salvia into the petunia on my portulaca and stalked away. “Forget me not, Sue, cause I’ll be zinnia.”

Ever since then, he’d cultivated a relationship with Lily of the Valley, a self-sowing biennial. One day, I aster what she seed in him. “Mum’s the word on this” she said, “He’s got a trillium dollars in the bank.”

“A trillium?” I snorted. “He’s lime to you. Besides, what about love?”

“Alyssum,” Lily said. “You bleeding hearts are all alike. Kid, you can go for a guy who’ll azalea with affection, orchid you can be like me and try to marigold”.

“Now begonia.”

I was in my kitchen, mullein over these past events. It was thyme to quit dilly-dahliaing. The calendula read August 3rd, and Johnny had sworn to propagate vengeance before the snowdrop. I hopped into my autolobelia and drove over to Daisy’s for help. Daisy was a pretty little transplant from Florida, who had wilted in the humidity there, but was now rooted in the well-drained soil of Bloom County.

Daisy mostly took care of her baby’s breath, but lately she had branched out and was columbining work with home life. “We’re all sick today, I think it’s gaillardia. Even the cat has got harebells. If we could take a knapweed be o.k.” Daisy’s face was blight yellow. She would not be of any help.

I beetled feet over to Sweet William’s garden plot. “Will, am I gladiolus to see you.” “Black Eyed Sue, I’ve been praying mantis see you. Let’s lilac in the snow on the mountain before it all melts down the geranium. Let’s ride a sage to Tansynia. It’s only a chamomile away.”

“Don’t be fritillary, honeysuckle,” I said, clinging to him. “Look, here comes the clematis of the story.” Oh, oh. Johnny had hired Pete Moss, a bearded iris-man to do me in. He was wearing a blue nectar and larkspurs. He had a larva men with him. The pests! They began to charge. In all the confuchsia, I said to Will, “Stem still and give me some ground cover.” I ran down the primrose path in my lady slippers, right towards Pete. “Don’t gimme any flax, bud, or I’ll slug ya. You’ll look dandelion in the alley. “Don’t gimme any flax, bud,” Pete quoted me verbena. It nettled me. I clovered him with a 2X4.

“Sound the timpansy,” we sang “We won.” Pete moaned, “Curses, foliaged again. I noticed Johnny Jump Up planted on the border. I’ve sunk pretty loam, Sue, but now I’m be turning over a new leaf.”

“Bouquet,” I said. And he did. Will & I lived pearly everlasting.

 

Aphids – the storm of gardens

This blog post is from botanichka.ru, a Russian garden site. It’s incredibly interesting to me that the same problems occur everywhere — and gardening is truly an international language! This has been translated from Russian so the syntax and grammar may not sound exactly right.

 

Very often in suburban areas aphid damage, many trees and shrubs. Thereby causing irreparable damage to the gardener. This small insect harms not only garden plants but also indoor. It can be seen even with the naked eye. Vegetable, fruit, berry and flower cultures are damaged by various species of aphids. Often, many gardeners do not know how to treat already diseased plants. Let’s see what kind of insects and how to fight it?

Description aphids

Aphids ( Aphididae ) – is insects of the order Heteroptera ( Hemiptera ) ranging from 0.5 to 2 mm. The body is egg-shaped, soft and easily crushed, the legs are long, but the insects are moving slowly. There are wingless and winged birds.

Apterous female oblong-oval long mouthparts, thickened front. Winged insects have two pairs of wings, they fly and infect other plants. Proliferation of the aphids is because only one apterous female fertilization to 10-20 times every two weeks to give progeny 150 larvae.

Adult aphids – small insect green or black. In the middle of summer in some individuals grow wings. Thus, pests move considerable distances to find new sources of food. Aphids lives on buds, stems and the underside of the leaves on the tips of young shoots, preferring fatliquoring branches (tops).

Aphids – exceptionally large group of insects. According to the most conservative estimates it has about 4000 species, of which almost a thousand lives in Europe. Each year, describes all the new types.

Reproduction and air migration

Aphid lays eggs, certain types inherent in a live birth. Most species of aphids multiply over several generations using parthenogenesis. Certain generation is born winged and opposite-sex. In species that change hands, it happens before settling at a new plant or too rapid growth of the colony and the associated overpopulation. Winged individuals are able to travel long distances and create new colonies in new places.

According to new research, birth winged aphids may be caused by the particular aromatic substances, which are released by aphids when they are attacked by the enemy, for example ladybirds. These substances cause warning in the colony of great concern and increased traffic. This creates the effect of overpopulation, which causes a rapid production of winged offspring.

Damage from aphids

The damage to plants, aphids, many people underestimate, but in vain. Aphids are sucking plant sap from the stems and leaves, buds and buds. In the affected plant leaves are twisted, deformed buds and shoots, growth is slowing, the fruits do not ripen. Struck the weakened plants may not survive the winter. In addition to direct damage, aphid transmission of viral diseases on sugary secretions of aphids settled the black sooty fungus (black sooty mildew).

Aphids pierce the veil and sucks the juice plant. In places of mass tissue bites are deformed, and then die. Flowers on peduncles infected do not develop, wither as soon reveal. Sam spike quickly fade. Aphids, like mealybugs, root scale insects, whiteflies, leafhoppers, shitovki, Coccidae, suck out the plant a lot more juice than they need to maintain vitality.

Excess moisture and carbohydrate excreted aphids in the form of sugary secretions called honeydew or honeydew. This sticky sweet liquid covers the plant, making it difficult to breathe. Pad is a good substrate for the development of various fungi. Sooty fungus, e.g., a sheet may cover a continuous layer, reducing the rate of photosynthesis that inhibits the already weakened plants.

External signs of injury

Along with the clearly visible to the naked eye of the defeat aphids insects indicate warped tops of the shoots, twisted leaves and sweet selection (honeydew) on leaves and shoots. Subsequently, these secretions settles sooty fungus. If you see that some ants running around plants, be sure to check for the presence of aphids. Usually attracts ants honeydew that aphids highlights.

For aphids symbiotic ants. Some ants protect ( “shepherd”), aphids and receive from it in return release containing sugar.

Aphids live in large groups on the underside of leaves around growth points, on young shoots, buds, stalks, feeding on plant juices. They are dangerous in that weaken the plant, reduce its resistance to disease, and may also be vectors of viral diseases.

In damaged plant leaves curl and turn yellow, form nodules, buds do not develop or produce ugly flowers. In mature leaves appear sticky plaque, which can settle the fungus. Particularly affected by aphids roses, carnations, fuchsia, many Araceae, vygonochnyh bulb culture.

Many species of aphids can spread plant diseases in the form of viruses and cause the plants a variety of abnormalities, such as the Gauls and gallopodobnye education.

The diet of aphids

Aphids can settle on almost any garden and indoor plants, it is important not to miss the moment and start a fight at the time. Especially attractive to aphids green fruit trees and shrubs, roses, chrysanthemums, many houseplants. For black – beans, garden cornflower, etc.

prevention

Carefully inspect all new plants brought into the house, or bought for the garden and bouquets of fresh flowers – they may already have aphids. Upon detection of the enemy – to urgently take measures to combat it, otherwise it will occupy your plants and the struggle will require you to disproportionate effort.

When it comes to aphids in the garden Put umbrella plants – carrots, dill, fennel, parsley and others. Thus you will attract to the garden tireless eaters of aphids – hover flies. Arrange the flower pots in the garden with wood chips – they can settle earwigs also big fans of aphids for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Attract birds in the garden – arrange for these feeders, bird houses, ruining not found in the garden of the nest, the birds eat aphids in large quantities.

Lavender planted in the rose garden, the green scare aphids.

Thyme (savory), seeded next with legumes, to protect them from the black aphids.

The cherry tree trunks Sow nasturtium – it will attract the black aphids, reducing the load on the tree, in addition to combat aphids on nasturtium easier than on a tree.

Do not overuse chemicals unnecessarily – with the pests you destroy their enemies, hover flies, earwigs, ladybugs, lacewings, riders, ground beetles and predatory bugs.

It is important to a balanced feeding of plants – aphids prefer overfed or weak from lack of nutrients the plant. In addition to regular feedings strong healthy plants should be the right choice growing location, sufficient light and water, good air circulation – all this also is the prevention of the pest. It is important to loosen the soil under the plants, but better – mulch.

Ways to combat aphids

Insecticides against aphids

Aphids fairly easily destroyed by insecticides. Insecticides aphid separated into preparations contact, intestinal and systemic action.

contact action drugs penetrate the insect body surface and kill him. An example is the preparation of such formulations: Fufanon (Malathion)

Preparations intestinal action enter the digestive system of insects, causing his poisoning and death.

The most common combination of drugs produce a contact-intestinal action: Akarin, aktellik, Bankole

Systemic medications penetrate into all cells of the plant, including the fruit, and kept it for 2 to 4 weeks, not washed away by rain and irrigation. Systemic medications have the largest waiting time, easy to use, but the most dangerous. You must be careful to use them. The most advanced system drugs: Akhtar, Biotlin, Tanrek.

Folk remedies against aphids

Decoctions and infusions of herbs against aphids

Effectively act decoctions of herbs and crops, e.g. Dryopteris , wormwood , tansy , tobacco dust , yarrow , hot pepper , dandelion , garlic , onion , foliage of tomato , potato haulm , mustard , rhubarb (from black aphids). Wanted 2-3-fold processing at intervals of 7-10 days.

It is suitable infusion garlic or onion : 30 grams of minced garlic (onion) and 4 grams of soap pour liter of water. If pour houseplant liter of warm water, which dissolve 80 grams of sodium chloride, it is possible to get rid of the aphids, and ticks. Spraying and watering should be carried out at least three times with an interval of 10 days.

You can use the infusion of onion peel , tomato leaves . Treatment should be repeated 3 times at intervals of 8-10 days. When heavily infested by aphids small plants can be omitted in this solution, previously covering the ground. It is also possible around the affected aphids plants put for 2-3 days scented pelargonium, and aphids will disappear.

Pestilent insects are opposed to the infusion of cayenne pepper . 100 g of fresh fruits pour water and boiled for at least an hour in a sealed container liter. Then, insist two days, pepper rubbed, and filter the solution. Spray tenfold concentrate is diluted with water, add a tablespoon to soap powder.

Abundant watering with liquid fertilizer nettle can sometimes expel aphids in a few days. Plants rapidly absorb this nutrient, reinforcing mixture and for this reason in a short time become more resistant to pests.

Celandine harvested during flowering (take the whole plant). 300-400 g or 100 g of fresh chopped dry weight necessary to insist in 1 liter of water is boiled for 24-36 hours or 30 minutes. It also helps by Coccidae and thrips.

Taraxacum officinale (300 grams of ground roots of either 400 g of fresh leaf insist 1-2 hours in 10 liters of warm water (not more than 40 degrees), filter and sprayed.

Tagetis (marigold) at the time of flowering (dry raw material bucket is filled 1/2, poured 10 liters of warm water, insist 2 days, filtered and added to 40 g of soap).

Other teas and infusions

100 grams of dried peels of citrus fruits pour 1 liter of warm water and leave for three days in a warm place. Then spray.

Tobacco and tobacco. 40 g of dry raw insist in 1 liter of water to 2 days, filtered and added to another liter of water.

Also, when a plant aphids are sprayed with a solution of tar of soap (10 g per liter of water) or to settle and the filtered broth wood ash prepared as follows: 300 g of the sieved ash is poured boiling water and put on fire for 30 minutes. Topped up with 10 liters of water before use.

Wood ash. 2 ash glass soaked in 10 l. water, add 50 grams. shaving soap.

Manual assembly

If all the plants appeared a few aphids – remove them with a damp cotton swab.

Of course, at first glance, it seems that destroy these “small parasites” can not be looking at moth aphid plant, hands down immediately, but do not despair so early! For example, my grandmother is struggling with aphids only traditional methods and I want to say, they work!

A Geranium by any other name…

 

by OCMGA Master Gardener Vicki Schilleman

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Geranium ‘Brookside Blue’

When you hear ‘geranium’, I’m guessing you picture the beautiful annuals that are so beloved by northern gardeners. While I, too, love those gorgeous full heads of color all summer long, there is another geranium that I love as much: the ‘hardy geranium’.

Hardy geraniums are distant cousins of the tender plants known as geraniums. The irony is that the hardy plants have technical rights to the name (they belong to the genus Geranium), but it is the tender ones that most people think of when they hear “geranium”.

Technically, the familiar houseplants are not geraniums. They belong to the genus Pelargonium. But the confusion is natural. Both the hardy and tender versions belong to the Geraniaceae family, and they both used to be in the genus Geranium. Then the tender ones got split off into Pelargonium, but people kept right on calling them geraniums.

Pelargoniums were brought to Europe from South Africa early in the seventeenth century. They found immediate favor, but it was their scented leaves and not their flowers that caused the sensation. By the time they came to the U.S., more than a century later, Pelargoniums’ large clusters of bright red, orange, or hot pink flowers had taken center stage, a position they still hold; scented-leaved geranium fans are passionate, but a minority.

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My Cranesbill: ‘Bikova’ clustered at the base of a tree peony

Meanwhile, back in the temperate British and American countrysides, numerous species of native Geranium, known to the populace as cranesbills, were finding their way into gardens. The cranesbills do double-duty, offering beautiful, long-lasting leaves as well as loose umbels of flowers in a wide range of pinks, blues, and purples.

You can usually tell these plants apart by general appearance: the leaves of Pelargonium are thicker than those of true Geranium, their flower stems are stiffer, and though individual flowers are smaller, they tend to be clustered more densely. And if you look closely at the individual flowers, you can usually see a tiny spur on the pelargonium flower stalk (geranium flowers don’t have them).

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Cranesbill ‘Bikova’ in bloom

Color helps too: although both kinds might be white, plants in the genus Geranium come in purples, blues, and blue-tinged reds and pinks; those in Pelargonium may be true red, orange-red, pink, or orange, but they do not sing the blues.

Note: Wild geranium, also known as cranesbill,  (Geranium maculatum) is a hardy perennial excellent for naturalizing, or filling in, under bushes or wherever there is dappled shade or part sun. The American native wildflower, with it’s flat, delicate-looking pink-lavender flowers and deeply notched foliage, is very easy to grow, ultimately reaching between 12 and 18 inches.

Plants for Pavers

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Pavers planted in the style of a rock garden

Pavers create lovely walkways through our gardens, but why not make the garden part of your walkway?! There are many plants that will thrive between pavers, sending leaves and flowers through the cracks as they spread their roots under the protective mulch of the stones. Which ones you choose will depend on the size of the spaces between the stones, and on whether you want just a bit of green fuzz or something more like a rock garden.

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Pavers planted with sweet alyssum

In the latter case, you might like to try old-fashioned pinks, Dianthus deltoides. In early summer, this long-lived perennial sends up green wands topped with fragrant flowers in shades of red, pink, and white. But they’re equally valuable for their sturdy tufts of narrow, dark green leaves, which start early in spring and stay good looking for a long time. An alternative is sweet alyssum, an annual that self-sows so reliably that it’s effectively perennial. Alyssum can have a somewhat weedy appearance; the stems are lax and the leaves are pale, but it’s fragrant white, pink, or purple flowers will keep coming all summer as long as you shear it back from time to time.

If you want the low, mat-like look and would like to have fragrance to boot, choose Corsican mint (Mentha requienii), which has tiny, round intensely fragrant leaves, or one of the various creeping thymes (Thymus serphyllum). T.s. ‘Coccineus’ has crimson flowers and dark foliage, which T.s. ‘Albus’ has lighter green leaves and dainty white flowers in early summer.

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My considerably less formal pavers planted with thyme and moneywort

Don’t forget that not all paved places are created equal. Where conditions are hot and dry, the pinks and thymes will thrive, the alyssum will be ok, and the mint will fade away. Should the pavement be in damp shade, on the other hand, the mint will be happy, the heat lovers won’t, and you could also think about using moss. It is a slower grower that will take much longer than plants to fill up and spaces, but if conditions are right for it, the effect can be beautiful.

Miniature Neighbors

20170709_152219OCMGA Master Gardener Colleen Reed recently undertook a project to remove a small pond that had been in her yard, and replaced it with a whole new group of neighbors!

As Janit Calvo says in her book Gardening in Miniature, “What is it that draws the heart and eye to things smaller than real life? Perhaps the fact that anything miniature reminds us of play. After all, childhood toys were our first miniatures.”

Whatever the reason, gardening in miniature (or, creating mini-wonderlands) has become a huge industry. Once you are bitten by the miniature garden bug, there’s no turning back. The miniature industry is the biggest segment of the toy and hobby market, and the sheer number of sizes and scales is mind-boggling.

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To ensure the realism that creates enchantment, these critical elements are necessary: plants, accessories, and a patio or pathway. The planned, intentional aspect of a patio or walkway immediately signals to the viewer that this is no ordinary planting, teasing them to come in for a closer view.

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Creating your own little world is a lot of fun once you have the right parts, plants, and pieces all together. So collect the ingredients and tools, pour a favorite beverage, and enjoy some creative time with a new hobby!

Amaryllis Story

by OCMGA Master Gardener Rich Fischer

amaryllis 2I honestly don’t know much about amaryllis and I only have one plant, but it is an interesting plant with an interesting story. 

This plant I got from my mother-in-law in, Gertrude Lenore Armbruster Taipale, when she moved from her apartment in Superior, Wisconsin, into an assisted living home about 8 years ago.  Gramma Gertie as I lovingly called her died two years ago but I think of her often. 

When I got this plant I didn’t quite know what to do with it so I planted it in the vegetable garden where it grew for the summer and it seemed to like it there.  Then Gertie told me to put it in a small pot with some potting soil and store it in the basement for the winter.  The next spring I brought it up from the basement and found a nice place by a window in the house for it.    

 This year I brought this plant up from the basement two weeks before Memorial Day and watered it.  The plant had one little sprig poking out of the pot at that time.  Then when I had a house full of Fischers over for a cookout on Memorial Day it was in full bloom.  What dumb luck!    Not only did it make a nice table setting, but also made me think of Pat’s mom on the very day when we’re supposed to remember the dead. 

amaryrillis 1The amaryllis shoots up 1 or 2 very tall scapes with a large red flower on each scape.  They are beautiful, but only last about a week.   When the flowers start to shrivel I cut off the scapes.  Then about 4 to 6 large iris like leaves shoot up and grow all summer.  I no longer put the plant in the garden, but leave it in the smallish pot and water it just like all the other house plants. Around October the leaves start to whither and I put the pot on a shelf in the basement until next spring.    

That is my one and only amaryllis story.  Never read a word about amaryllis care except what Gertie told me.  She’s gone now but her memory and her beautiful amaryllis live on. 

Rich Fischer