Protecting Plants from Summer Heat

June 6, 2011

It’s 90 degrees and the NWS issued an excessive heat warning today: summer’s officially here! Our faculty, staff and students are hard at work both on campus and at home. Display & Trial Garden interns Morgan and David have been blogging almost daily about their experiences in the garden behind Alderman Hall, and the students in the Cornercopia Student Organic Farm made big strides by planting 300 tomatoes last week.

According to Julie Weisenhorn, the state Master Gardener program director, sudden hot weather this week may cause heat stress for plants this early in the season. Here are a few tips she suggests to keep your plants safe:

1. Water early. Weisenhorn advises to water all plants, including turf, in the morning. This allows the plant to absorb the water before the heat of the day and minimizes evaporation. “It is especially important to water newly planted seedlings and young plants as they may already be stressed from being transplanted,” she says.

2. Move some mulch. “Mulch holds moisture in the soil and keeps plant roots cool,” Weisenhorn says. Mulch trees and shrubs with 4-6 inches of mulch; mulch perennials with 2-3 inches. In addition, make sure to pull mulch back a few inches from the main stem or trunk of the plant.

3. Watch for recovery. Some plants may wilt during the heat of the day but will recover as the day cools. If the plants don’t recover, they may need water or may be affected by other issues, such as severe water stress or pests. Go to the Ask a Master Gardener page for additional help discerning the issue.

Need inspiration? Check out this beautiful hosta rainbow our student services specialist, Evonne, just put in her backyard.

What are you excited to plant this summer?


Congrats, graduates!

May 21, 2011

Congratulations to all the horticulture students who graduated this May! We’re very proud of our outstanding graduates at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

16 Undergraduate Degrees Awarded
Jesse Belter
Sarah Busch
Heath Bredeson
Jared Cutting
Laura Geris
Sam Janicki
Christopher Lybeck
Jack Myers
Lisa Myslajek-Schmidt
Nicole Nelson
Stacey Noble
Rachel Palmer
Jamison Scholer
Kasandra Solverson
David TenEyck
David Weller

11 Masters of Agriculture Degrees Awarded
Elizabeth Adamek
Grace Anderson
Ann Davenport
James Fisk,
Ryan Hogan
Audrey Matson
Edith Renick
Laura Schwarz
Aaron Smith
Sarah Sydow

Field Work Begins!

May 20, 2011

With temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s, members of our department were excited to work in their fields this week.

Professor Emily Hoover, Post Doc Steve McKay and M.S. student Luke Haggerty spent the first half of this week at the HRC out at the Arboretum. Steve and Luke counted and removed flower clusters on the NC140 Honeycrisp rootstock planting.

The Nature Principle

May 18, 2011

Author Richard Louv spoke at the Arboretum on May 16-17 about his new book, The Nature Principle.

“Today, the long-held belief that nature has a direct positive impact on human health is making the transition from theory to evidence and from evidence to action. Certain findings have become so convincing that some mainstream health care providers and organizations have begun to promote nature therapy for an array of illnesses and disease prevention. And many of us, without having a name for it, are using the nature tonic. We are, in essence, self-medicating with an inexpensive and unusually convenient drug substitute. Let’s call it vitamin N–for Nature.”

(The Nature Principle, page 46-47)


Hort Club Plant Sale

May 3, 2011

The 2011 Hort Club Plant Sale was a great success!

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According to Meagan O’Brien, vice president of Hort Club, many customers came on the first day expressed interest in the Hort Club and horticulture program. Almost all the plants sold before the end of the sale.

“People were very enthusiastic about the sale,” she said. “It was really rewarding to see all the little details come together — all those weeks of organizing, emails, watering, and such came together so successfully.”

The funds collected will support monthly Hort Club activities, which in the past have included pumpkin carving, flower arranging and a bonsai demonstration. The money will also pay for the annual horticulture-focused field trip. Next year the club hopes to travel to Europe.

The Hort Club gives interested students a chance to explore areas of horticulture that aren’t typically covered in the classroom. It also gives students a way to bridge their classroom knowledge with real world experience through the student led planning and development of a plant sale. Email Myra ( if you would like to join!

Hello world!

April 25, 2011

Welcome to the Hort Blog! Join us to discuss news, events, people, and projects throughout the year.

Have ideas of what you would like to see here? Email Melanie at — all suggestions welcome!