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Tilling drawbacks, cold spots and smart bugs: New research to help your 2016 garden - pennlive.com

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According to new research, farming in autumn is a bad idea unless cover crops or mulches are carried out in autumn.

As we wait for the time to melt snow and grow peas, let us see what garden researchers have discovered recently that can help us become better gardeners in 2016.

The "old friends" of the vegetable garden will tell you that the garden should be rotated at the end of each season to "hibernate it".

 Researchers from the School of Agriculture of Pennsylvania State University found that traditional end-of-season customs actually backfired.

A 5-year study by Finney found that when you reach the bare ground until autumn, it will increase the loss of nitrogen needed by plants in the air and increase the possibility of nitrogen infiltration and pollution of groundwater.

Her suggestion: If you are farming, the nitrogen feel is stronger when you plant immediately in the spring.

Nitrogen for farming.

She said that if it is going to fall, follow-up actions are required to plant winter cover crops (oats, cereal rye or clover are good choices), or cover the ground with organic materials, such as chopped leaves or leftover dead. plant. This year's harvest.

Finney said: "If you know that you have diseased plants or pest materials, you can remove them." "But in my garden, I leave healthy materials in the garden. That is organic matter. Unless it poses a health threat. , Otherwise there is no need to remove it."

The plants that died last year will turn into semi-rotted weeding mats, returning nutrients to the soil.

Michigan author and plant breeder Joseph Tychonievich (Joseph Tychonievich) recently

 About an experiment he conducted in a cold area (microclimate) in the yard.

Snow is an excellent plant protection agent.

Last winter, Tikhonevic placed minimum/maximum thermometers in three places in his yard: in the air along the north-facing shed wall, on the ground along the south-facing shed wall, and on the open ground.

He thinks the warmest place will be the south facing sun-drenched wall.

This is not the case. Although the high point there is warm during the day, the temperature at night is as cold on the ground on the south side as the air on the north side.

From the perspective of tender plants, if the low temperature is also cold, it will not help.

Tychonievich said he suspects that the greater benefit will be planting along heated house walls, where heat leakage will create a warmer microclimate.

My guess is also that planting on a brick or stone wall facing south or west is more helpful than planting along a siding or wooden wall, because brick/stone will absorb heat better.

What is even more surprising in Tychonievich's experiment is how much the temperature under the snow has risen.

He found that when a foot of snow covered the ground, his ground thermometer was 20 degrees higher than the thermometer exposed to the air when it was in the open air.

He said: "I knew snow is a good insulator, but I didn't realize that it would bring about a big change." "I no longer try to lean tender plants against the south wall. Instead, I am After the ground freezes, a layer of mulch is piled up to enhance the thermal insulation capacity of the snow."

Tree planters sometimes ironically use the term "mower wilt" to describe the damage caused by a lawnmower hitting a tree trunk or a string trimmer that cuts the bark.

A new study by the New Zealand Institute of Forestry confirms that this is not just a matter for Americans.

In the first batch of studies to quantify this problem, New Zealand researchers inspected 1,000 trees in Christchurch public places (parks, cemeteries, campuses, etc.) to see if their landscape equipment was damaged.

They found that nearly two-thirds of trees had at least one such wound-especially in parks and campuses, compared with trees in nature reserves and roadsides.

A key finding is that trees with mulch rings suffered much less damage.

Key points: Leave mulch or plant buffer around the trees to reduce the chance of them being hit by lawn mowers, weed trimmers, etc.

Paul Abram, an entomologist at the University of Montreal, while studying bed bug reproduction, noticed that female bed bugs in cages lined with newspapers managed to change the color of their eggs according to the color of the ink below.


The brown stink bug... more talented than we thought?

Abram then noticed that these bugs do the same thing when placing eggs on the leaves-make the eggs darker to match the darker leaves, and lighten them to match the lighter ones. The color of the leaves.

He concluded that this ability is a camouflage technique for maximizing hatchability, and that stink bugs are the only species he knows that can change the color of eggs on demand.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Western Michigan State University found that it was more tricky to deceive traps than they thought.

 -Removal of ash tree bugs in half of the United States (including Pennsylvania).

Obviously, male gray borers can distinguish the difference between real female gray borers and fake gray borers carefully constructed in the laboratory.

An emerald gray borer adult looks like a metallic green beetle.

Therefore, the researchers now return to the drawing board to study heat-cured and painted "bionic" baits, which can at least be used to monitor the spread and population of borers.

Akhlesh Lakhtakia, a professor of engineering science and mechanics at Pennsylvania State University, said: "When we started in 2010, the idea was to use these baits to eliminate this invasive species." "We now realize that we can't get rid of them. They have spread all over the country. Half. But once the ash tree disappears from a certain area, the insects will continue to move forward. Maybe we can use bait to protect the new ash tree planted in that area."

The Chicago Botanic Garden has just released the results of a five-year detailed study that conducted a detailed study of the best plants to use on "green roofs," which is the growing trend of growing heat- and drought-resistant plants to isolate roofs.

Garden assessor Richard Hawke monitored the performance of 216 different types of 40,000 plants on three different soil levels at the top of the Rice Plant Protection Science Center in the garden.

Eight plants rose to the top of the list with a 5-star rating: cat toe (

); small cal(


); Juniper'Viridis' (


); Variations of Phlox "Emerald Blue", "Apple Blossom" and "Snowflake"; sumac'Gro-Low'(

) And the seeds dropped from the grassland (


Another 69 factories received a 4-star rating.

The full report (very useful if you are considering using a green roof or even a rock garden) is posted on


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