April 1, 1999
Compiled by Vern Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension
(802) 257-7967 verng@sover.net

A LIST OF FRUIT NURSERIES has recently been compiled in which small fruit varieties are cross-referenced with more than 40 nursery catalogs. If a grower wants a particular variety, most of the North American nurseries that have that variety in their 1999 catalog will be listed. Also listed are these nurseries' addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. Call me for a hard copy or go to http://www.fvs.cornell.edu/ExtnServ/MPP/Nurseryfile.html. You may download these for printing purposes as .pdf files but please give Mary Jo Kelly and Angela Gaige credit for this effort. (Marvin Pritts, Cornell Extension)

SUGGESTIONS FOR GERMINATING SEEDS (Adapted in part from Ball RedBook). Sow good seed from reputable seed companies. Conduct germination test before sowing old seed. Use a potting soil that is loose, porous, fine-textured, well drained, low in salts and free of disease-causing organisms. Have non-commercial mixes tested for nutrient availabilty and salt content. Pre-wet flats with warm water, then keep the soil warm. The majority of bedding plants should have a soil temperature of 75 degrees F to promote prompt germination, 70 degrees wil sprout most annuals most of the time but not as fast or completely. Use a soil thermometer placed in your flats to accurately check their temperature. Use heat mats, cables or tape under flats if the greenhouse air is not kept warm enough. Always pre-warm your irrigation water to avoid cooling flats down. If you apply cold water it can take many hours for the flats to warm back up to ambient temperature. Keep the soil surface consistently moist until seeds have sprouted by misting or by covering with poly. To prevent damping off diseases, thoroughly wash and sterilize any used flats or tools. Inoculate your potting mix with a biological fungicide such as Trichoderma (Root Shield) or Gliocladium (SoilGard) before planting.

COLLARD GREENS TRAP OUT DIAMONDBACK MOTHS according to on-farm research by Dr. Everett Mitchell of USDA Agricultural Research Service in Florida. Planting collard greens completely around the edge of cabbage fields caused invading diamondback moths to stop and deposit their eggs on the collards rather than the adjacent cabbage plants. Diamondback populations continued to recycle in the collards as long as the plants remained green and continued to grow. Even when moth larval populations built up in the collards, the populations in the cabbage generally remained well below the threshold for pesticide application of 0.3 lava per plant. A natural bio-control for diamond moth, the parasitoid wasp Diadegma insulare, was found to build up in numbers in the collards, helping to keep diamondback populations in check. (Adapted from Agricultural Research, March 1999)