Garden News

Garden news for the backyard gardener. Find out what's happening with landscaping, lawn art, vegetables,  flowers, trees, shrubs, seeds, garden  jokes, pesticides, bugs, agriculture, fertilizer, organic gardening, etc.


Released January 12, 2015, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The United States all orange forecast for the 2014-2015 season is 6.72 million tons, down 3 percent from the previous forecast and down 1 percent from the 2013-2014 final utilization. The Florida all orange forecast, at 103 million boxes (4.64 million tons), is down 5 percent from the previous forecast and 2 percent from last season’s final utilization. Early, midseason, and Navel varieties in Florida are forecast at 48.0 million boxes (2.16 million tons), down 8 percent from the previous forecast and down 10 percent last season’s final utilization. The Florida Valencia orange forecast, at 55.0 million boxes (2.48 million tons), is down 2 percent from previous forecast but up 7 percent from last season’s final utilization.
Florida frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) yield forecast for the 2014-2015 season is 1.59 gallons per box at 42.0 degrees Brix, down 1 percent from the December forecast but up 1 percent from last season’s final yield of 1.57 gallons per box. The early-midseason portion is projected at 1.45 gallons per box, down 5 percent from last season’s yield. The Valencia portion is projected at 1.72 gallons up 5 percent from last year’s final yield of 1.64 gallons per box. All projections of yield assume the processing relationships this season will be similar to those of the past several seasons.

10 Foot Python Found In Arizona Garden

On September 3rd, an Arizona man pulling weeds was shocked to find a 10 foot long Python snake in his flower bed! The homeowner called 911 for help. The professional snake wrangler needed some extra back-up when he saw how long the snake actually was.

No one knows where the snake came from, or at least no one is claiming to be missing their pet snake. 

The snake wrangler said that it was a good thing that the home owner and neighbors were quick to call a professional snake wrangler. Pythons aren't venomous but, they have teeth that can kill a cow. They're known to constrict, rather strangle large animals as well. 

Just a reminder to be aware of your surroundings while gardening. We may not find a Python in the garden but, rattlesnakes and venomous spiders are common in the western states.

Alert! Invasive Plant Species

See California invasive plant inventory

New regulations seek o prevent the spread of invasive species in NY State. Is this the future of America with global commerce and seed swapping?

In July, Governor Cuomo asked all New Yorkers to take action to protect public lands and waters from invasive plant species that can be harmful to human health, animal habitats, tourism and most importantly native plants and agriculture by designating New York's first ever invasive Species Awareness Week. 

Here's a list of state-by-state banned and noxious weeds that may be helpful to you before you decide to plant that invasive vine or flower. 

Click on an accepted name below to view its PLANTS Profile with more information, and web links if available. Noxious weeds that are synonyms retain their noxious status, and are indented beneath the current PLANTS accepted name.
AlabamaDivision of Plant Industry. 2003. Summary of plant protection regulations (20 October 2003). Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
AlaskaDivision of Agriculture. 1996. State of Alaska prohibited and restricted noxious weeds (20 October 2003). Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
ArizonaPlant Services Division. 2005. Prohibited, regulated and restricted noxious weeds (1 May 2006). Arizona Department of Agriculture.
ArkansasArkansas State Plant Board. 1997. Regulations on plant diseases and pests (20 October 2003). Arkansas State Plant Board.
CaliforniaCalifornia Department of Food and Agriculture. 2003. Pest ratings of noxious weed species and noxious weed seed (20 October 2003). California Department of Food and Agriculture.
California Department of Food and Agriculture. 2003. Plant quarantine manual, California plant quarantine policy - weeds (20 October 2003). California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Food and Agriculture Code. 2003. Camelthorn, Section 7301-7305 (20 October 2003). State of California.
Food and Agriculture Code. 2003. Hydrilla, Section 6048-6049 (20 October 2003). State of California.
ColoradoPlant Industry Division. 2003. Rules pertaining to the administration and enforcement of the Colorado Noxious Weed Act (23 January 2006). Colorado Department of Agriculture.
ConnecticutConnecticut Invasive Plants Council. 2004. Connecticut invasive plant list (20 April 2005). Connecticut Invasive Plants Council.
DelawareDelaware Department of Agriculture. 1986. Rules and regulations for noxious weed control (23 January 2006). Delaware Department of Agriculture.
FloridaBureau of Aquatic Plant Management. 2002. Aquatic plant importation, transportation, non-nursery cultivation, possession and collection (20 October 2003). Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Division of Plant Industry. 2000. Introduction or release of plant pests, noxious weeds, arthropods, and biological control agents (20 October 2003). Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
HawaiiDivision of Plant Industry. 2003. List of plant species designated as noxious weeds (20 October 2003). Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
IdahoIdaho Department of Agriculture. 2006. Noxious weed rules (24 May 2006). Idaho Department of Agriculture.
IllinoisIllinois Administrative Code. 2002. Illinois noxious weed law (20 October 2003). State of Illinois.
IndianaDivision of Entomology and Plant Pathology. 2003. Summary of plant protection regulations (20 October 2003). Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
IowaIowa Department of Agricultureand Land Stewardship. 2002. The Iowa weed law (20 October 2003). Iowa Department of Agriculture & land Stewardship.
KansasDivision of Plant Health. 2003. Kansas noxious weed law (20 October 2003). Kansas Department of Agriculture.
KentuckyKentucky Revised Statutes. 1990. Department to eradicate noxious weeds on right-of-ways -- advertisement of program (1 May 2006). State of Kentucky.
LouisianaLouisiana State Code. 1995. Agriculture and forestry. State of Louisiana.
MainePublic Laws of Maine. 1999. An act to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic plants (20 October 2003). State of Maine.
MarylandAnnotated Code of Maryland. 1994. Weed control (20 October 2003). State of Maryland.
MassachusettsBureau of Farm Productsand Plant Industries. 2006. Massachusetts prohibited plant list (23 January 2006). Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
MichiganPesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. 2002. Noxious and restricted weeds and prohibited plants - Michigan (20 October 2003). Michigan Department of Agriculture.
MinnesotaAgronomy Services Division. 2003. Minnesota noxious weed rules (20 October 2003). Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
MississippiBureau of Plant Industry. 2004. Regulation of noxious weeds (24 May 2006). State of Mississippi.
MissouriRevised Statues of Missouri. 2004. Insect pests and weeds (20 October 2003). Missouri Department of Agriculture.
MontanaMontana Department of Agriculture. 2003. Montana noxious weeds list (24 May 2006). Montana Department of Agriculture.
NebraskaBureau of Plant Industry. 1989. Noxious weed regulations (24 May 2006). Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
NevadaNevada Administrative Code. 2003. Control of insects, pests, and noxious weeds (20 October 2003). State of Nevada.
New HampshireNew Hampshire Code of Administrative Rules. 2004. Invasive species, Chapter Agr. 3800 (15 September 2004). State of New Hampshire.
New MexicoOffice of the Director/Secretary. 1998. New Mexico noxious weed list (20 October 2003). New Mexico Department of Agriculture.
North CarolinaNorth Carolina Department of Agriculture. 2003. Regulations for state noxious weeds (20 October 2003). North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
North DakotaNorth Dakota Century Code. 2003. Noxious weed control (20 October 2003). State of North Dakota.
OhioPlant Industry Division. 1997. Noxious weeds (20 October 2003). Ohio Department of Agriculture.
OklahomaOklahoma House of Representatives. 1998. House Bill 2277 (20 October 2003). State of Oklahoma.
OregonOregon Administrative Rules. 2006. Quarantine; noxious weeds, Chapter 603-52-1200 (24 May 2006). State of Oregon.
Oregon Department of Agriculture. 2006. Noxious weed policy and classification system (24 May 2006). Oregon Department of Agriculture.
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Department of Agriculture. 2000. Pennsylvania noxious weed control list (20 October 2003). Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Aquatic Nuisance Species Program. 2003. Illegal aquatic plants in South Carolina (20 October 2003). South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
State Crop Pest Commission. 1996. Designation of plant pests (24 May 2006). State of South Carolina.
South DakotaSouth Dakota Code. 1992. Plant quarantine and treatment, Chapter 38-24a, Article 12:51 (24 May 2006). State of South Dakota.
South Dakota Code. 2005. South Dakota weed and pest control, Chapter 38-22, Article 12:62 (24 May 2006). State of South Dakota.
TennesseeDepartment of Agriculture of Tennessee. 1998. Plant pest act (20 October 2003). Department of Agriculture of Tennessee.
TexasTexas Administrative Code. 2005. Quarantines and noxious plants, Chapter 19 (24 May 2006). State of Texas.
UtahUtah Department of Agriculture. 2003. Utah noxious weed act (20 October 2003). Utah Department of Agriculture.
VermontVermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets. 2003. Quarantine #3 - noxious weeds (20 October 2003). Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
VirginiaVirginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 2003. Virginia noxious weed law (20 October 2003). Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
WashingtonWashington Administrative Code. 2005. Noxious weed control, Chapter 16-752 (24 May 2006). State of Washington.
Washington Administrative Code. 2005. State noxious weed list and schedule of monetary penalties, Chapter 16-750 (24 May 2006). State of Washington.
West VirginiaWest Virginia Department of Agriculture. 2003. Regulations governing the distribution of plant material in West Virginia. West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
WisconsinDoll, J. 1990. Noxious weeds in Wisconsin (20 October 2003). University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Programs.


Wed August 27, 2014 

 The annual Great American Tomato Tasting at Snyder Farm continues to grow and expand, and this year there will be more to experience than ever. Hosted by Rutgers Snyder Research Farm in Pittstown, the event will take place on Wednesday, August 27 from 3 to 7:30 p.m.
In addition to the hundreds of varieties of tomatoes to taste, activities will include a chef’s cooking demonstration and tasting, guided educational wagon tours of the farm’s research plots, tastings of various fruits and herbs, access to the farm’s gardens with opportunities to ask questions and get answers, insect displays, information booths on various foods grown in the Garden State, and much more.
And for the first time this year, visitors will be able to walk a turf labyrinth, which is growing at the farm.
The labyrinth is an innovation of the Great Tomato Tasting planning committee, whose chair, Nick Polanin, agricultural agent of the Cooperative Extension of Somerset County and state coordinator of Rutgers Master Gardeners, describes. “While we have had a corn maze at past events, this is the first turf labyrinth we have ever offered. Although both maze and labyrinth depict a complex and confusing series of pathways, the two are different. A maze is a complex, branching puzzle that includes choices of paths and direction, while a labyrinth is unicursal, that is, it has only a single, non-branching path, which leads to the center.
“In ancient times, a labyrinth was considered a trap for mean spirits. In some places it is depicted as a path for ritual dances. In medieval times, it took a more spiritual notion of the difficult path to God and holiness, and traversing the path of a labyrinth was thought of as going on a pilgrimage. Later on, the religious connotation was lost, and it took the form of entertainment, while more recently there has been resurgence in its spiritual aspect and people get into a meditative mood while going through a labyrinth.”
Even if you’re not in a meditative mood, you will enjoy all that there is to see and do. And do stop by the special flower bed showcasing the Rutgers “R” and “U” in red flowers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension across the nation.
The farm is located at 140 Locust Grove Rd in Pittstown, NJ 08867.
To register please visit

According to Women's World Magazine and British Researchers .. . 

Start sowing vegetable and flower seeds for happiness! British researchers found that while you're gardening, you're in direct contact with mycobacteria (myco = Greek for fungus). 

Mycobacteria are healthy micro organisms that are found only in soil. Scientific studies have shown that when you come in contact with these little guys, they work just like an antidepressant. The end results is that mycobacteria found in your very own garden soil will release a mood boosting brain chemical called serotonin!

Serotonin will give you a feeling of well being and happiness. Ironically serotonin can be found in soil, bug venom, plant spines, etc. Serotonin is known to alter moods depending upon the dose and how it's administered. Did you know that serotonin in venomous spiders actually act like a pain inhibitor. 

It's all science and the recipe of nature where some micro organisms have just the right recipe of serotonin and some plants and bugs have a serotonin recipe that will cause you aches and pains. 

Scientific studies show that gardening can make you healthy, wealthy and wise. 

*You know that it’s going to be a bad day when…

You didn't know on Monday that it was the weekend to change your clocks for daylight savings time.

You discover the dress you wore to last night's party had petrified cake on the ass. The paper plate was still there too. 

You turn on the news and they are showing escape routes out of the city.

You call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business.

You put your bra on backwards and it fits better.

Your horn goes off accidentally as you follow a group of Hell’s Angels on the freeway.

Your cat decided to pay your kindness back by spraying your couch with love.

You turn down a one way street going the wrong way.

You discover too late that the fly you've been shooing away was actually a pissed off bee.

You put both contacts in one eye.

Your income tax check bounces.

Your garden order came in and all the seed packets were for turnips.

You walk to work and find your dress is stuck in the back of your pantyhose.

Your twin sister forgot your birthday.

The neighbor kid posted you on Youtube falling into your rose bushes.. and over a garden rake.. and over a hose.. and over your dog ... .

You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.

You discover the warm cat under your bed sheet wasn't your cat!

Your blind date turns out to be your ex.

You wake up face down on the pavement.

You find ants commandeered your car and you think they started the engine.

Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.

You wake up to realize your waterbed broke and then discover you don’t have a waterbed.

Your dog decided to make your garden shoes his play toy.

You go outside to pick some tomatoes only to find your resident gopher pulled it under ground.

Don't Throw That Poinsettias Away!
The Christmas Plant That Keeps On Giving!

Poinsettias are a classic Christmas tradition for gift-giving and holiday decorating. Yet many of these wonderful traditional plants end up in the trash once the holidays are over. Your poinsettia will not only make a beautiful indoor plant all year long, but can also be coaxed to bloom again each year in time for Christmas.

Remember.. no matter how you pronounce poinsettia, they actually an outdoor plant native to Mexico and Central America.

Poinsettias were introduce to U.S. in 1825 by Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico. The rage has been on since then.

Replanting your grocery store purchased poinsettias is easy breezy if you reside in the southwest, southern California or zones 8 - 11. Simply let your poinsettia first acclimate to your region by setting the plant outside inside its container overnight.

Find a sight that's on a South facing wall. Dig a hole that's a bit larger than the pot. Fill the hole partially with a rich, fast-draining potting soil. Adjust the soil under the plant so that 1/2 inch of the root ball will set above the surface of the soil once the hole has been filled. Cut the poinsettia back about 8 inches in height in late March or early April. By the end of May you should see a lot of new growth. Poinsettias can be transplanted anytime of the year if you live in warmer climates.

Now for the TLC... . You'll need to cover the plant for 14 hours at night, starting in October, making sure it receives no light at all. If  you don't have artificial lights from street lights or other houses, you should be fine and not have to cover the plants. You'll need to continue to do this for 10 weeks (October - December).

If you reside in snow prone areas well, you're going to have to recreate a Mexican winter either using a closet or basement. The temperature should be 55F or higher. By covering your poinsettia plants, you're forcing the plant out of its normal blooming face and making the color come out at a predictable time; otherwise, poinsettias bloom when they decide to.

*California is the top U.S. Poinsettia-producing state.
*Poinsettias are the number one sold potted plant in North American (Canada, U.S., Mexico).

Make Extra Money by Doing What You Love.

Take on Gardening Jobs In Your Neighborhood or Town. Simple Landscaping, Weeding, Flower Garden Creations, Planting Vegetables or Mowing Lawns Can Bring You Extra Big Bucks!

Here's a fine example of a hobby gardener who turns her bad day into a good one by doing what she knows to bring extra income into her life. Maybe the kid who used to tow the lawnmower around the neighborhood in search of a lawn to be mowed for a few bucks was really laughing all the way to the bank.

Gardening is enjoyable to us hobby gardeners and we often grow a backyard vegetable garden to save money on the grocery bill. Have you ever thought about putting your talent to work and making an extra income by planting a vegetable garden for someone else or perhaps pulling weeds for an elderly person who wants the garden but, can't maintain it?


If you enjoy digging in the dirt and putsing around your backyard, you're definitely not alone! Millions of people pop seedlings into the ground every spring, enjoying a bountiful gardening harvest as their plants mature; however, there's folks that want a garden but, can't get out their to dig, or to pull weeds. There's an opportunity in waiting for someone, no matter the age, to make a few extra bucks to pay that light bill or help with rent.

Why not have a part time job that you love. Sure you can head off to Starbucks or BestBuy but, why not fill your day with enjoyment and get paid for it? Think of the satisfaction in knowing that someone else is enjoying your creation.

Start by using your Facebook account to advertise and network your labor. Another place to advertise is Craigslist or Penny Saver. Another free site is to advertise on Yahoo's Groups. Look on the bottom of Yahoo's main page and click 'groups'. You'll find local groups or classifieds in your area. Vista Prints always has a free business card promotion going on too.

As always, safety first. Use working tools, have gloves, expect to feed, water and tinkle on your own time, tell another person where you're going and when you expect to be back, take a cell phone to check-in with a friend or family member every hour or so and it's always recommended to take a pal for security reasons. Better yet, make it a family affair.


There are plenty of owners and chefs that will appreciate the higher quality and freshness of a locally grown product. Do you have tasty tomatos, squash, corn or perhaps herbs that people rave about? Why not ask a local restaurant if they'd want to buy your locally grown produce?

Chef's love to create menus from locally grown and seasonably grown vegetables. If you have flavorful pumpkins that a chef may turn into a soup, melons to die for or romaine lettuce coming out of your ears... then you're an asset to a local chef.

When a restaurant buys locally, they're cutting out the middle man. This means they save a lot of money by buying from a high producing backyard gardener who grows organically of course. That's good money put into your pocket.


Farmer's markets are generally full of mass producing local farmers who in many areas have a monopoly over particular farmer's markets.

If you're an organic backyard gardener who also has a lot of wonderful extra fruits and vegetables on hand.. . you're considered an organic 'mico-farmer' who deserves the same rights to sell at the local farmer's markets. Believe me, I've been bullied a bit at my local farmer's market. The big guy likes to send over moles to ward off potential buyers. The mole will stand there and loudly ask questions that can ward off business.

Besides selling alongside the big guy, another option is to set up a roadside stand. Just think about it, you're your own boss and don't have to worry about any LLC farmer competition.

My suggestion to you is to not accept anything less than a retail farm-stand prices for your fruits and vegetables. If you are offering the freshest organically grown vegetables or superior product, then your cost should reflect quality. People will pay the money for convenience and for good quality produce.

It's a great idea to work on a cash-only basis. That makes things easier for you and keeps your costs down.

If your produce is tasty or flowers are beautiful yet are not of superior quality.. . than charge a lower price. Believe me, if you build it.. . people will come.

Helpful hints are to to have quality signs made up. Don't spray paint the word vegetables or produce across a beat-up old wood or poster board and expect people to stop. Take the time to create a simple sign with quality and easy to read printing.

Don't under estimate the power of a fold-up table and lawn chair. Mom and pop stands will always attract anyone who thinks you're peddling something.. keep their attention with a good signs and attractive displays.

Remember to have enough bags on hand. Plenty of people still are trying to work out that hole grocery tote bag thing.

Some areas may have strict seller codes or laws. If you think you need to get a reseller license.. than you probably do.

Helpful hints are to ask a property owners first before setting-up shop, good signs with prices, shallow display boxes vs deep display boxes (you can always refill), freebies for children, build a roadside stand (Google 'Free Roadside Stand Plans'), and lastly.. . plan ahead!

Growing season is just around the corner. If you're lucky you have your own greenhouse or hothouse but, for the rest of us growing season for fresh vegetables starts in early June and ends in early September. You can definitely extend your season a month or more by selling cider, apples, chrysanthemums pumpkins, gourds or even gift baskets in the fall. 


Another great way to make some extra money from gardening is to load up your little red wagon and head out into the neighborhood with your kids. There's nothing wrong with door-to-door sales. If someone knocked on my door selling cantaloupe or watermelon.. you betcha, I'm buying!

I reside in a community where folks do go around selling anything from strawberries to corn.

While you're at it.. load up on garden seeds. Have your kids sell your vegetables and have some extra packs of flower and vegetable seeds on hand. They will sell like a Popsicle on a hot day. Seeds are something most folks forget to buy. When you're standing at someone's door with a wagon full of goodies plus seeds.. do you really think they're going to say no? They're going to think it's a good idea.

Selling seeds along with your vegetables is a good way to clean out your seed box of older seeds, promote backyard gardening and reel in extra cash.

Sell seeds from seed packers that people will recognize like as like, Burpee, Gurney's, American Seed, Park Seeds, Johnny Seeds, etc.

Think about re-packing some of your extra seeds into home made seed envelopes. Be sure to let people know if they're heirloom seeds or hybrid. Planting instructions are always helpful.

A good hint is to Google for 'free printable seed envelopes'. Hewlett Packard usually has something on hand.

Always know that times often get hard for all of us. Our nation is going through troublesome times. We've all had our moments in life. And if you haven't .. well ta da for you.

There's nothing wrong with using your love of gardening to make an extra income for you and your family. You'll definitely make good money, rack up an experience, get a tan and make new friends.

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Thank you very much for your comments and questions.I will be sure to reply as soon as I can. With Regards ~Emma