New England

May, 2003
Regional Report

Books

Container Gardening Books
There are dozens of books that focus on gardening in containers, giving step-by-step instructions and design ideas. Visit your local library or bookstore and you're sure to find a helpful resource. Here are a few to get you started:

Container Gardening for All Seasons: How to Plan, Plant, and Grow Imaginative Container Displays for Year-Round Color (Readers Digest Association, 2003; $19.95)

Contain Yourself: 101 Fresh Ideas for Fantastic Container Gardens, by Kerstin P. Ouellet (Ball Publishing, 2003; $24.95)

The Ultimate Container Gardener: All You Need to Know to Create Plantings for Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, by Stephanie Donaldson (Lorenz Books, 2001; $29.95)

Local Buzz

Fertilize Judiciously to Minimize Pest Problems
Excerpted from Agriculture Weekly News, published by Ohio State University Extension, 4-19-03:

Dan Herms, an entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, has been studying factors that enhance or reduce a trees ability to ward off insects. He has found that genetics, less fertilizer, and less pesticide usage can all promote pest resistance in trees and shrubs.

The use of less fertilizer may be the most surprising finding and possibly cause for controversy because it goes against conventional recommendations. Herms says that while fertilization can increase the growth and nutrient content of trees, it is actually the increased nitrogen concentration that makes them more attractive to insect pests. One of the reasons for this is because when trees and shrubs devote more energy to growth, they have less energy devoted to the production of natural defensive chemicals and the accumulation of energy reserves. In a natural environment, trees balance this tradeoff between growth and defensive mechanisms by having moderate rather than rapid growth rates. Read more at http://athens.osu.edu/ag/agcolm.htm

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