Consumers can call (585) 343-3040 ext. 127 or visit the Master Gardener Office at the Extension Center to get assistance from a Master Gardener. Master Gardeners are in the office Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. They may also be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumers are encouraged to bring plant or insect samples in to the office to help the Master Gardeners better diagnose their problems.
Messages can be left at any time for the Master Gardeners to answer. Please leave your name, address and phone number so the Master Gardeners can respond to your question.
We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CCEofGenesee.
Lists approved insecticides in NYS.
How do I manage Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) in my garden?
Recognize Fruit Damage from Spotted Wing
Luke F. Laborde; Penn State Dept of Food Science
Article by Barbara Ingham, Univ of Wisconsin
Are they safe to eat?
This is a large file! Color pictures of plants to use instead of impatiens.
Michigan State University
Disease threatens Impatiens
CCE Suffolk County
e-Gro Alert, CCE Suffolk Co.
Geared for greenhouse growers of impatiens
Welcome to USA blight, a new national website that will act as an information portal on late blight. You can report disease occurrences, submit a sample online, observe disease occurrence maps, and sign up for text disease alerts. There are also useful links to a decision support system, and information about identification and management of the disease.
Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN): http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/Drought/Pages/default.aspx
U.S. Drought Monitor: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/monitor.html
Extension's Consumer Horticulture Education program teaches Genesee County residents about the science and art of gardening. Creative workshops and educational classes, along with newspaper articles and Extension publications, provide garden enthusiasts with science-based information and helpful tips that will keep their gardens healthy and beautiful all season long.
The Master Gardener Program is a key component of the Consumer Horticulture Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers with an interest in horticulture, who assist in developing and delivering educational programming to Genesee County residents. They assist homeowners by answering questions regarding landscaping, houseplants, beneficial and harmful insects, diseases, wildlife management, integrated pest management, soils, and much more.
Poinsettias are a wonderful holiday tradition. Alone or in groups they make spectacular holiday displays. The showy colored parts of poinsettias, which most of us call flowers, are actually modified leaves called bracts. The actual flowers are the yellow clustered buds in the center. Poinsettias botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima, means "very beautiful". Poinsettias are native to Mexico and in the wild they grow ten to twelve feet tall with leaves measuring six to eight inches across. Hybridizing has created compact cultivars from this small tropical tree.
The poinsettia became part of the Christmas tradition in Mexico. According to legend, there was a poor, young girl who did not have a gift for the Christ Child on Christmas Eve. As she walked sadly to the church she was inspired to pick a bouquet of weeds from the side of the road. When she reached the church, she went to the altar to offer her humble bouquet. To her surprise, red blooms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From that day on poinsettias were known as the Flowers of the Holy Night.
Poinsettias were “discovered” by Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico. Because of his interest in botany he spent time in the countryside looking for new plant species. In 1828 he found a beautiful shrub with large red flowers growing next to a road. He took cuttings from the plant and sent them back to his greenhouse in South Carolina. There he propagated and distributed plants to his friends. The plant was named poinsettia in his honor.
While the red poinsettia is the most popular, there are over 100 varieties available. Colors range from white to shades of pink, peach and orange to the traditional deep red. There are also poinsettias with marbled bracts of pink and white as well as pink flecks on red. ‘Jingle Bells’ comes in red tones splashed with pink and white. ‘Winter Rose’ has leaves and bracts that are smaller than traditional poinsettias and a “flower” that resembles an open rose. ‘Winter Rose’ comes in dark red, pink, deep pink and marble. Poinsettias can be purchased in miniature sizes, trees, hanging baskets and even as fresh cut flowers. Poinsettias are being bred to last longer, so you can buy them in November and cared for properly you can enjoy them into February.
When picking out the perfect poinsettia look for a plant with dark green foliage down to the soil line. Choose bracts that are completely colored and do not take plants with yellowed leaves. Plants should not be drooping or wilting. Check the poinsettia’s maturity by looking at the true flowers which are located at the base of the colored bracts. Flowers that are green or red-tipped and fresh looking will last longer than if yellow pollen is covering the flowers. Poinsettias need space to flourish, so be careful picking plants from a crowded store display.
Protect your poinsettia from exposure to the wind or cold on the way home from the store. Poinsettias are very sensitive to the cold. If exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees F for even a few minutes they may wilt.
Watering is the most common problem when taking care of poinsettias. A wilted plant may drop its leaves prematurely. The soil should be kept moist. Pots should be taken out of the wrappings they come in and put into the sink to be thoroughly watered. Let them drain in the sink and then return the pot to its wrapper. Do not leave plants standing in water.
Temperature is another mistake made with these plants. Ideally poinsettias require daytime temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees F and night time temperatures around 55 degrees F. High temperatures will shorten their life so move them to a cooler room at night. Avoid warm or cold drafts from radiators, registers or doors. Do not let any part of the plant touch a cold window as this may cause injury.
Place plants in very bright, but indirect light for at least 6 hours per day. Fertilizer is not generally needed while the plants are in bloom. Poinsettias can be made to flower the following Christmas, but a yearlong schedule of care is needed for good results.
The most common pests affecting poinsettias are the usual houseplant pests - whiteflies, fungus gnats, spider mites and mealybugs. Washing the leaves can help control some of these pests. If this does not help a mild insecticide may be used.
Various reports have led people to believe that poinsettias are toxic to humans, but this has not been validated. Research conducted at Ohio State University and other institutions has shown that poinsettias are not poisonous. However, this does not mean that poinsettias are completely harmless. If ingested, it can cause stomach irritation and discomfort. The sticky white sap may also cause skin irritation for some people.
The poinsettia has become the classic Christmas plant. In honor of Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett and the plant he introduced, December 12 has been traditionally recognized as ‘National Poinsettia Day’ for more than 150 years. The date marks his death, December 12, 1851. Despite his many accomplishments, Poinsett will always be remembered for introducing the very beautiful poinsettia to us.
Resources for this article include the University of Illinois, Ohio State University, University of Vermont and Poinsettiaday.com.
(Master Gardener Article previously published in the Batavia Daily News.)
Another good resource is: http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/html_pubs/point/point.htm
Watch and record birds at your backyard feeder this winter.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
If you're a citizen: This is the place to find out about, take part in, and contribute to science through recreational activities and research projects.
Launching Soon -
Mapping project about habitat creation and low-impact land use
If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your home, contact the Health Department first. The Health Dept. is located at County Building 2, 3837 West Main St., Batavia. Insect samples should be put in a clear sandwich bag and then in another sealed bag or in a clear bag and then in a jar. Place them in the freezer for 3 days.
Please do not bring live samples into the Master Gardener office.
Univ of Minnesota
Information on freezing items
A series of FREE online webinars that are focused on topics such as recent research on EAB and other invasive pests and diseases (such as hemlock wooly adelgid, thousand cankers, Asian longhorned beetle & viburnum leaf beetle), what homeowners need to know to recognize and manage EAB, preparing municipalities for EAB, and many other useful and interesting subjects. The EAB webinars are being updated so that participants will have the latest information. It is funded by the USDA Forest Service.
For the webinar schedule or to view past webinars go to http://emeraldashborer.info/eab_university.cfm.
SWD is an introduced pest from East Asia. The crops at highest risk for infestation by spotted wing drosophila (SWD) include fall raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Cherries, both tart and sweet, elderberries and peaches are also susceptible. Thin-skinned grapes can be infested directly, though cracked or damaged berries are more susceptible. Early season June-bearing strawberries may escape injury, but late summer fruit or day-neutral varieties may suffer damage.
Guidelines for farmers to protect berry crops from spotted wing drosophila were recently published in the NY Berry News. The article, Chemical Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Berry Crops, by Loeb et al., outlines key approaches for getting the best results from sprays aimed at protecting berries from SWD infestation. To help home gardeners battle SWD, a fact sheet has been developed, How do I manage Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) in my garden?
Get the latest information from the NYS IPM Program. http://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/
There are several websites now dedicated to SWD biology and management in both the eastern and western US. The Cornell Fruit Resources website offers information on SWD monitoring and management for NYS: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/spottedwing/.
Learn how to identify it. Oregon State Extension has a video posted on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxHhMRh9gnI
Scientists at Cornell University have set traps in NY to monitor for SWD. As of June 7, 2013 no SWD have been found in any traps. They are posting data directly into a NY distribution map that is linked on Cornell Fruit Resources (http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/spottedwing/dist.html) and the NYS IPM (http://nysipm.cornell.edu/invasives_exotics/swd/swd.asp) websites.
Try one of these under used plants in your garden.
Winter Storage of Geranium, Canna, Gladiolus, Caladium, and Begonia