For those of you whose trees suffered storm damage this week, the ISA (International Society for Arboriculture) has an online article that may be of use.
If any of you have photos or questions regarding tree damage, please comment below. Photos can be sent to me (lindacs followed by @wsu.edu).
I’m doing a webinar for WSU Extension folks next week with the decidedly unsexy title of "How to run literature searches when writing extension publications and how to develop client material using the information from the lit search." In reality, it’s how to research gardening topics, identify the myths (those practices and products with no basis in science), and then write up the valid scientific parts for use by gardeners. I’d hoped to get some ideas from this group on specific topics to demonstrate the process, but have gotten nothing. And I’m doing this a week from tomorrow.
So…how about you all? What practices or products that we’ve covered on this blog (or haven’t) that you’d like to see put through my sorting process? I don’t think people outside the WSU system can watch the webinar, but I’d be willing to post something on the blog about it later.
Feel free to comment below – the earlier the better, as I have to have this done by the end of the week so I can develop the presentation. And thanks in advance for your ideas!
Between Hurricane Sandy and the inglorious end of the Tigers’ season, the news today has been pretty depressing here. So I figured I’d stay with something light today and talk about a bombing incident that occurred on campus last Friday. In case you’re wondering how a bombing on a major university campus can be considered a light event, I need to point out that this was a Yarn Bombing incident. Yarn Bombing (also referred to as Yarnstorming or guerrilla knitting) is type of street art – in this case garden art – where trees and other objects are covered with colorful yarn. What’s the point? I don’t know; does art have to have a point? Anyway, to add a little whimsy to your day, here are some photos from this weekend’s Yarn Bombing at the MSU Gardens.
For more photos go to the MSU Gardens website
Thanks to Neil H. for sending this my way.
This is from The Tree Whisperer:
This past week one of our loyal followers, Karen, sent me a link to a New York Times Article by Mark Bittman. I have read articles by Bittman before and have found them to be kind of a mixed bag, some good, some not so good (but then I suppose many of you could say the same thing about my articles – so I’m not complaining). Anyway, this article was good. It discusses a study conducted in Iowa which demonstrated that growing different crops over time is healthier for the soil, reduces inputs like fertilizer and pesticides, and increases yields. Basically they’re saying that growing more than just soybean one year and corn the next is a good thing to do. For example, you could grow soy then corn then alfalfa. And basically I agree with the article. One of the things that it drives home really well is that there is a happy medium between dosing our soil with chemicals and going organic. I do have one complaint though. In the New York Times article Bittman seems to imply that yields of corn and soybean are higher when more crop rotations are used, and this isn’t exactly true. Certainly the yields were higher on a per year basis, but since corn (for example) was only grown for one out of every few years instead of once every two year, over the course of a decade you’d still produce more corn on the conventional plot – of course you would have additional crops, oats and/or alfalfa, planted to make up for this, but still, this is a significant concern and not one that can be brushed off quickly. There are certainly other concerns with this model if it ever became large. Would we be producing too much alfalfa? This study utilized cow manure as a fertilizer – how many cows per acre would you need? Still, I think this is a neat study and one which we should pay attention to as it’s stuff like this, rather than what we now call organic, which has real potential to decrease our pesticide and fertilizer use.
There was considerable interest in my post last week, where I shared a photo from Canadian garden writer David Hobson. I wasn’t impressed with the production method and materials for the petunia that was illustrated, but readers wanted to know a little more about the plant (how did the top of it look?) and the mesh encasing the root ball. So I contacted David, and he graciously shared some more information and photos with me.
Here are David’s comments:
“Attached are three photos. Not the best, but the one beside the broom is the original that I sent you. It’s been lying on the patio and has lost a few stems. I don’t have a shot of it in flower as I didn’t particularly like it — one of those new wine and yellow striped things. It was in a container with a couple of other plants and did flower somewhat, but not noticeably well.
“As an after note, I removed the fabric from the petunia and dried it. It is a very fine mesh. I then subjected it to a heat source whereupon and it shriveled and melted as one would expect a plastic material to perform — draw your own conclusions.”