September 2020
What is Causing those Lawn Spots?
Looks like the work of lawn grubs (aka baby beetles or Japanese beetles).

Signs of Grubs in Lawn
  • Grass with damaged roots will begin to thin, yellow, and die.
  • Irregular patches of brown grass will appear in random places in your lawn.
  • Grass will feel very spongy and will pull up very easily. ...
  • Grass will be very vulnerable to drought and other stressors..
Fall Dahlia Tips
By Master Gardener Debbie Lestz Teahan

This is the time when Dahlias are their most beautiful. They’ll continue to bloom until the first killing frost. Dahlia Shows are usually going on in September across the nation. This year we’ll miss the wonderful, inspiring, award-winning flowers.

Biological Control for Japanese Knotweed Released in New York
Japanese knotweeds (Reynoutria japonica, Reynoutria sachalinensis, and their hybrid Reynoutria X bohemica) are invasive plants that are infamously difficult to control and have negatively impacted ecosystems and economies in the US, Canada and Europe. For several years, researchers have sought to find a biocontrol for knotweed. Biocontrols are species selected from an invasive species’ native range that are used to control the invasive species in its introduced range. This approach is more targeted than chemical methods, and when successful, it permanently suppresses the invasive species. Now, after several years of biocontrol research for knotweeds, there may be some good news on the horizon. 

After extensive testing and review by federal agencies, in March of this year, an insect native to Japan called the knotweed psyllid (Aphalara itadori) was approved for release in the United States as the country's first biocontrol agent for Japanese knotweed. This sap-sucking insect was released in New York State on June 10 by Dr. Bernd Blossey and colleagues from Cornell University. A week after releasing the 2,000 A. itadori adults at two locations in Tioga and Broome counties, the researchers found the insects had successfully laid eggs. The releases in NY are part of a nationwide effort with similar releases made in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington State.

The Blossey Lab remains cautiously hopeful for success of A. itadori releases, however they will continue to explore additional safe, effective biocontrol organisms from Japan and China. This work in NY is led by Dr. Bernd Blossey in collaboration with the NY Invasive Species Research Institute, with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by DEC.

Photo of biocontrol release provided by Dr. Stacy Endriss
Check for Signs of Asian Longhorned Beetle
Do you own a pool? You can easily help DEC keep an eye out for the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in New York! Through the rest of the summer, please check your pool filter for any insects that resemble ALB, and report suspects by emailing photos to us at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. You can familiarize yourself with lookalike species using resources on our website (PDF).

No pool? No problem - you can still help! Check your yard or neighborhood trees for signs of ALB and let us know if you find anything suspicious by emailing us at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov.

ALB are wood-boring beetles native to Asia that were accidentally introduced to the United States through wood packing materials. These pests attack a variety of hardwoods, including maples, birches, and willows, among others. The beetles have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of trees across the country. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets worked diligently to managed ALB infestations in the state, successfully eradicating them from Brooklyn, State Island, Manhattan, Islip, and Queens. ALB is still actively managed in central Long Island, and there are active infestations in Massachusetts, Ohio, and South Carolina.
Upcoming Zoom Events
Presented by Master Gardeners (MGs). Registration Required.
Be on the lookout for your confirmation email with the Zoom link to access the class!
Fall Garlic Planting
Thursday, September, 17, 7 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Seymour Library
Register Here (FREE)
This workshop will feature the ins and outs of all things growing garlic. From soil to seed to harvest to preservation, you’ll be excited to get started on your garlic crop this fall.

Presented by MG Lauren Caruso.
Basics of Organic Composting
Wednesday, September 23, 6:30 PM -7:30 PM
Hosted by Rush Public Library
Register Here (FREE)
A great garden starts with great soil! One way to maintain good health and high nutrient content of your soil is by adding garden compost. Composting is more than recycling garden waste or kitchen scraps – it’s a way of creating a healthy environment for all organisms. Participants will learn good composting practices to help drive sustainability and production in their garden.

Presented by MG Sue Nolen.
Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden
Thursday, September 24, 7:00 PM -8:00 PM
Hosted by Seymour Library
Register Here (FREE)
Pollinators play an important role in native ecosystems, home gardens, and global food production. This presentation will discuss the wide range of pollinators active in our gardens and what gardeners can do to make their yard more attractive to pollinators. The talk includes discussion of a variety of native plants and the handouts include a plant list.

Presented by MG John Nelson.
Photo: Manchineel, known as "Tree of Death"
Poisonous Plants in Ornamental Gardens
Thursday, October 8, 7 PM - 8 PM
Hosted by Rush Public Library
Register Here (FREE)
Many of our favorite ornamental garden plants are poisonous and some have fascinating histories! 

You may be surprised to learn that there are poisonous plants growing in your garden. Join us online for our next gardening workshop and learn about a common shrub whose pollen produces toxic honey, and another called the “Tree of Death!” The speaker will provide some common sense precautions to safely grow these plants in your garden.

Presented by MG John Nelson.
Master Food Preservation Classes
Our colleagues at CCE-Saratoga are offering a series of food preservation classes online. Register for one or all of these FREE classes taught by Diane Whitten, CCE Nutrition Educator and Cornell Certified Master Food Preserver. For additional information, contact Diane at dwhitten@cornell.edu.

September is Mushroom Month & Honey Month!
Our very own, Lori Koenick, 4-H Educator is presenting an Oyster Mushroom Workshop!

Join educators from Grow Ohio Valley and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County to explore the fascinating world of mushrooms and different ways to grow them at home!
 
In this workshop, we will focus on oyster mushrooms. Participants will learn about the basic life cycle of mushrooms, the basic parts of the fungi that produce edible mushrooms, and ways to grow mushrooms inside and outside of your home.
 
Event will be delivered via Zoom. This workshop is geared towards people ages 13 and up, all are welcome to attend!
 
Fee: Pay what you can, if you can. Suggested donation: $1-$5

Speakers Bureau - Book a Master Gardener Program!
Master Gardeners are able to present horticultural lectures for your club or organization. We are also willing to present in nursing home facilities and will format the presentation to abilities.

Presentations are 45 minutes in length and conclude with an additional 15 minute question and answer period.Please note – some presentations have limited availability throughout the year. All presentations have a speaking charge of $50, payable to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County.

National Indoor Plant Week - September 21-25
National Indoor Plant Week was established to increase public awareness of the importance of indoor plants and their many attributes. Only some of which include cleaning the air we breathe...we like to say, "The oxygen doesn't arrive until the plants arrive.” Statistics have proven that indoor plants increase morale in the workplace and homes. The plant is such a miraculous living thing.
Real life office studies have been conducted to measure the direct relationship between clinical health, complaints and plant installations. Recorded health improvements in offices where interior plants were added were significant. Results show a large reduction among employees in the areas of fatigue, headache, coughs and their overall well-being rose dramatically.

Further, numerous studies have shown that plants have a positive psychological impact on people. According to a recent study, employees exposed to interior plant settings demonstrated better attitudes, positive emotions such as happiness, friendliness and assertiveness.
The Benefits of Plants in Schools
From the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)

Classrooms with plants have many positive effects for both students and educators, and are an important component of creating a healthy classroom environment. Plants are good for minds and bodies. Indoor plants remove air pollutants and stabilize CO2, while creating a happier and calmer space for creative and focused learning.

Classrooms filled with plants and school gardens are important for our kids’ mental and physical well-being! Research shows that test scores increase by 10%; children are 7% healthier; and symptoms of ADD are reduced in classrooms that contain plants. Teachers report more positive feelings, greater satisfaction, and less misbehavior in classrooms with live plants.

As children return to school in the midst of a pandemic or begin online classrooms, these findings are particularly timely and relevant. 

Gardening Helpline at Your Service
When plant, insect and wildlife problems happen in the garden, who can home gardeners call? A team of trained Master Gardeners are available to help answer gardening and pest questions, and solve problems using current research-based information.

By calling the helpline, you’ll find yourself in contact with someone who will help identify the cause of your problem, or give an answer to your question using Cornell’s experience and research knowledge. If the issue is addressed in one of our many factsheets, it will be sent to you for your reference.

Contact us: (585) 753-2555 or monroemg@cornell.edu

Gardening Helpline Hours:
April – October: Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 12 PM       
November – March: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 AM - 12 PM
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monroehort@cornell.edu 📞 (585) 753-2558

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monroemg@cornell.edu 📞 (585) 753-2555