Perennials Overwintering in Containers 3
So, you want to overwinter your perennials in a container but you’re
concerned the plant won’t make it? Researchers at Ohio State tested 30
perennials that were kept over the winter either in the ground, in
containers stored outside, or in containers stored in an unheated building. They found that of the perennials wintered outdoors in
containers only one – Sedum ‘Matrona’- survived. For most part, the
same plants that did well wintering in the ground also did well in
containers in unheated buildings. What this means is that if a
perennial is hardy in your location, it can probably be stored in a
container in your garage, or any other well enclosed outdoor storage
area such as a storage shed, as long as you keep the door shut. Just
not out in the elements (unless it’s that ‘Matrona’).
Demographics of Buying/Researching Online 4
Here’s some research with results that won’t surprise you, but will
confirm some things that you probably already thought you knew – the
finding that young, less affluent males were more likely to make online
gardening purchases while older, more affluent females were more likely
to make in-person purchases. Also, nearly 28% of consumers had
searched for gardening information online at least once in the past
year, and, of those people, over 50% searched for gardening information
weekly. Here’s the interesting part. People between the ages of 30
and 44 were most likely to have searched for gardening information.
Married people were also more likely to search for gardening
information. Income, where the people lived, and gender did not affect
online searching for garden related information. I liked this
conclusion: “The internet may be an effective means of reaching
slightly less affluent males for gardening related product
information.” Who would’ve guessed?
Grafting Tomatoes for Disease Resistance 5
Most of us buy disease-resistant tomatoes, plant them, and are
satisfied if the plants just survive and manage to produce a few
tomatoes by the end of the season. But recently heirloom tomatoes have
been getting popular and these tomatoes usually aren’t resistant to
disease. Researchers at NC State studied whether heirloom tomatoes
could be grafted onto more disease-resistant tomatoes to reduce disease
problems and found that the grafting indeed worked. This is very
important, not only to backyard gardeners, but also to organic growers
who want to reduce pesticides. Tomatoes are a relatively easy crop to
graft, so, if you’ve never grafted before, this is a great time to
Organic Produce Really Healthier? 6-7
There were a few articles in the last issue of Hortscience that are
worth mentioning because they demonstrate the problems that organic
growers (or indeed any growers) have in proving their produce is
healthier than conventionally produced produce. In study 6, done at a
university in Turkey, the authors measured the amounts of anti-oxidants
and other potentially beneficial chemicals found in black raspberries.
The results showed that where a raspberry is grown and which cultivar
it is both influence the amount of nutrients in that raspberry.
study 7, Italian researchers measured the amount of Vitamin E and other
nutrients in various cultivars of tomatoes and at various fertilization
levels (they fed the plants different amounts of potassium). They
found that both the cultivar type and potassium fertilization can
affect the nutrient content of tomatoes quite a bit. The take-away
message from both these studies is that to get good healthy fruit with
high nutrient levels, you need to take many different factors into
account. We don’t know for sure but I would suspect, based on studying
these and other papers, that organic production is one of the least important factors affecting nutrient content.
1 Hagen, A. K.,
J. R. Akridge, and K. L. Bowen. 2008. Nitrogen and flowering dogwood
I. Impact of nitrogen fertilization rate on the occurrence of spot
anthracnose, powdery mildew, and cercospora leaf spot and their effect
on tree growth. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 26(4):197-203.
2 Hagen, A. K., J. R. Akridge, K. L. Bowen and C. H. Gilliam. 2008.
Nitrogen and flowering dogwood II. Impact of nitrogen fertilization
rate on flower bud set and tree growth. Journal of Environmental
3 Dimke, K. C., S. K. Still, and D. S. Gardner. 2008. Effect of overwintering environment on the survival of 30 species of herbaceous perennials. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 26(4):222-228.
Behe, B. K., B. Harte, and C. Yue. 2008. Online gardening search
activities and purchases. Journal of Environmental Horticulture
5 Rivard, C. L. and F. J. Louws.
2008. Grafting to manage soilborne diseases in heirloom tomato
production. HortScience 43(7):2104-2111.
S., A. Parente, F. Serio, and P. Santamaria. 2008. Influence of
potassium and genotype on vitamin E content and reducing sugar of
tomato fruits. HortScience 43(7):2048-2051.
7 Ozgen, M., F.
J. Wyzgoski, A. Z. Tulio, A. Gazula, A. R. Miller, J. C. Scheerens, R.
N. Reese, and S. R. Wright. 2008. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic
antioxidants of midwestern black raspberries grown for direct markets
are influenced by production site. 43(7):2039-2047.