Downy mildew diseases are caused by oomycetes, a group of fungus-like organisms that also includes Pythium and Phytophthora species. Downy mildew pathogens are very different from powdery mildews. They attack different plants under different environmental conditions. Also, they are controlled by different classes of fungicides.
Most of the downy mildew fungi are very host specific and infect only one plant family. Pathogens include species of Peronospora, Pseudoperonospora, Bremia, Plasmopara, and Basidiophora. Downy mildews infect almost all ornamental plants as well as some indoor plants. Perennial hosts include aster, buddleia, coreopsis, geranium (not Pelargonium), geum, gerbera, lamium, delphinium, veronica and viola. Downy mildew is also caused on rose by Peronospora sparsa.
Source: UMass Extension
Don’t lose great talent by focusing on years of experience
Departments - Tip Jar
Use these 4 interviewing best practices to avoid ruling out the best talent for your organization.
Many organizations use years of experience as a qualifier for jobs. It seems like second nature, but it doesn’t garner better talent. Using years of experience is often tied to a compensation range exercise and can lead to a sloppy path to your company being at risk of being accused of ageism, or worse.
Rather than use years of experience in a job posting to eliminate very junior (or senior) people, a best practice is to describe what the actual job would do. Consider the key accountabilities and indicate that these are things that the candidate needs to show you they can already do. This is not the kind of talent you want to lose out on for policy-sake. During your intake meeting with the hiring manager, this is a good discussion to have, and make sure to ask, “what would someone have done in those X years that would make them qualified?”
Today, we need skills that may not yet be taught in schools, new thinking in our evolving workplaces and agility to respond to customer needs quickly. No matter your industry, the skills you need today are likely very different than what you were hiring for five years ago. With this being the norm and not the exception, why are so many HR departments still so fixated on time over mastery of skills? Don’t underestimate how your company looks to candidates when they read years of experience in your job posts.
If you are staunchly committed to this qualifier for hiring and recruiting, STOP NOW. Here are some scenarios to help you see how a small change to your hiring training can deliver big results.
Learning happens fast. In one year (or even less), a teenager can build a functional social media app, a scientist can have a world-changing breakthrough, and an entrepreneur can change a supply chain model. We see it often, so why wouldn’t you consider someone with two years of experience just because your job description template reads three-five years? Don’t let your templates blind you to how quickly learning and skill acquisition happens!
Prioritize accomplishments vs. time. When you or your hiring managers are discussing what is required in a new hire, what they have accomplished and could accomplish at your company matters most. Do you need someone who has managed a sales pipeline of over $1M, or organized merchandise in a specific way, or learned how to interact with customers to achieve a goal? If a candidate can demonstrate that they have successfully accomplished what your company needs, then how many years they have done it for may be irrelevant (for most jobs).
Using artificial barriers. Just because you have done something a certain way in the past does not mean you can’t change it. Take some technology jobs as an example. Many are brand new – as in there is no degree program yet, or the qualifications and skills have evolved very recently. Requiring 10+ years’ experience and a related degree will rule out the exact type of talent you really need, make your employer brand feel stuffy and could lead to age discrimination! Don’t let rules that don’t make sense from the start of the candidate experience deter candidates from speaking to you or accepting your offer.
Look what I can do. If you are using behavioral interviewing, which asks candidates for specific examples of how they acted in specific employment-related situations, you can easily understand what the candidate has done or is doing now. Identify what the candidate will need to accomplish in their first 12 months. If this list matches their resume or interview responses, this could be a great match. If they are doing half of what you need them to do, are you willing and able to train them to learn and grow with your organization? When a candidate explains what they are already able to do, listen to them. If they are successful in a role, does the length of that success really matter?
Training recruiters, HR and hiring managers to look for a match in skills and accomplishments will lead to more productive interviews and eventual hires for everyone. Don’t worry about trying to box someone into a compensation range based on years. If you are realistic about what the role is worth in the market you are hiring in, you will have greater speed to hire and an easier time targeting the right talent for your company.
Don’t let the legacy of demanding a specific time frame of experience let you miss out on top talent. Let your hiring team look for what matters most in people – their abilities today and their proven track record in what you need to be successful.
Jeremy Eskenazi is the founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique talent acquisition optimization consulting firm. Riviera Advisors specializes in recruitment training and strategy consulting. www.RivieraAdvisors.com
Departments - Green Guide
This alluring shrub provides fragrant flowers during the winter months.
Plants that provide winter beauty in the garden are limited and perhaps none deserve more recognition than Edgeworthia chrysantha. In mid-winter, this beautiful deciduous shrub boasts tubular flowers with bright yellow tips clustered together in dense groups to form 1- to 2-inch flower heads. Since these flowers appear overwinter on bare stems, they are striking focal points in the winter garden. Adding to their allure is the flower’s delicious gardenia-like fragrance which wafts many feet across the garden. Edgeworthia thrive in partial shade and prefer moist soil rich in humus. They can be grown in full sun, at least in the maritime Pacific Northwest. We have a specimen growing at Little Prince that seems quite happy in full sun. Its leaves turn yellow in the fall as opposed to plants grown in shade which do not give fall color.
In spring, lanceolate-oblong leaves form that are blue green in color with grey undersides. Edgeworthia are often mistaken for rhododendrons while in leaf. The plant has a nice symmetrical shape. Mature specimens reach 5-6 feet tall and wide. Another noteworthy feature is the paper-like bark. Because of the bark, E. chrysantha has been alternately referred to as E. papyrifera. The Missouri Botanical Garden’s website discusses this confusion, suggesting that the plants are synonymous, and that though both names were submitted for publication in the early 1800s, E. chrysantha was submitted first, and thus chrysantha is the preferred name. Guess it pays to be first in line. To further confuse things, The Plant List suggests that both E. chrysantha and E. papyrifera are synonyms of E. tomentosa. Call it what you like. An Edgeworthia by any other name smells as sweet.
E. chrysantha, (yes, I have chosen a lane) is native to the Himalaya of China and Nepal. Some references include Japan in this list, but reliable sources have the plant being imported into Japan in the late 1500s where it was prized for its bark which is used to make Japanese tissue called mitsumata paper. The genus was named after Irish-born amateur botanist Michael P. Edgeworth and his better-known sister Maria Edgeworth, a prolific 19th century author. There are several notable cultivars of E. chrysantha, my favorite of which is ‘Red Dragon’ with orange-red flowers.
Mark Leichty is the Director of Business Development at Little Prince of Oregon Nursery near Portland. He is a certified plant geek who enjoys visiting beautiful gardens and garden centers searching for rare and unique plants to satisfy his plant lust. email@example.com
A garden & a cocktail
Departments - View Point
Now that states are opening businesses to 100% capacity, how will garden centers compete with places like bars and restaurants for consumer’s cash?
In early March when Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order lifting the state’s mask mandate and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100%, I will readily admit that I cringed. I have the right to cringe as a resident of the Lone Star State, a supporter of wearing masks in public, and a frequent caregiver to a family member who’s in the extreme at-risk category.
To my surprise, many of my neighborhood businesses continue to require masks, have not opened up to 100% capacity, and I’m still seeing a lot of folks donning masks. Another thing I’ve noticed: The restaurants, bars, shops, and movie theaters are bustling with people, but so are the garden centers. And that is a reason to celebrate. But the journalist side of me asks, ‘Is that because it’s spring and the normal buying cycle for plants or is it because the pandemic gardeners are holding on to their new hobby?’
About two weeks after Abbott's announcement, Lloyd Traven, who owns Peace Tree Farm with his wife Candy Traven, tagged me and several others in a Facebook post. He linked to a beautifully written op-ed piece in the Washington Post by Alyssa Rosenberg titled, “While you’re waiting for post-pandemic life to resume, try growing something.”
Lloyd posted, “This is a very important message for us all in the hort industry and grab for it NOW, because when we can go back to Italy and Tahiti and Australia and RESTAURANTS, we ALL will. Will that be an end to these golden times for horticulture? Or will we hold onto the millions who figured out that plants matter?”
If consumers are anything like the Post’s Rosenberg, green spaces have become a valuable part of life.
She writes, “My garden feels like the bridge that will carry me through the pandemic’s final weeks and months. If routine activities are slow to resume outside my fence, I can still foster an explosion of new life inside it. I know I’m not alone — and I invite any reluctant or space-pressed gardeners to join our numbers. Prolonged isolation inspired a renovation boom for those who could afford to reimagine their private spaces. But no new deck or finished basement inspires quite the same awe as something emerging from nothing — be it a bloom finally opening up from a coddled houseplant or a bulb planted last winter breaking through soil in search of sun.”
I know the masses won’t share her uninhibited passion for live plants, but if we don’t keep reminding consumers about how and why plants are important to mental health, spiritual health, the environment, and the economy, we may lose them to blue-plate specials, craft beers, and airplane tickets. However, those folks are not our enemies. We can all work together to craft a message to support local businesses and industries. Messages like, invite your friends over for those local beers and enjoy them in your garden. Continue those take-out orders and eat on your patio under a string of lights. Grow your own veggies and grab a steak from your local butcher.
Your innovations during the pandemic made me so proud. Don’t stop innovating now.
Effective networking in a virtual world
Departments - Tip Jar
Those who are most effective at networking in this ‘new normal’ will bridge the gap between connections and relationships by strategically looking for opportunities to connect.
With the shift to our new virtual world, you have probably found it more difficult to build and sustain professional relationships. Yet, the virtual technologies we are all using have expanded opportunities to network and build connections. It is possible to build relationships by using virtual experiences. The challenge is, how do you do it?
Making virtual networking connections
Some social media efforts seem to be a complete waste of time. But social media now provides new opportunities to make connections with others. The key is how you use social media to build and sustain your relationships with others in your network.
Finding people to connect with by searching the social media sites using keywords and company names is one way to identify new connections. An even better way is to take advantage of the various virtual meetings and events that you are already participating in and connect with those who are also participating in them.
If you have two monitors on your computer, use one monitor to participate in the meeting and your other monitor as your search engine. If you don’t have two monitors, use your smartphone or tablet. Pay attention to the people you are resonating with or those who are making thought-provoking comments in your virtual meetings.
On your other monitor or device, go to LinkedIn and see if you can find this person while you can still see their face in the meeting. You might be surprised at how difficult that can be, especially if they have a common name or have changed their appearance. By doing it while you’re still participating in the virtual meeting, you can double check that you have the right person before you send them a LinkedIn invitation.
When you send the invitation, be sure to personalize the connection message. Say something like, “Joe, I enjoyed your comments in the XYZ meeting today. I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn to get to know you better.”
The goal here is to establish an initial connection, not to make a sale or have them do something for you. You have to earn that right. Do not immediately reach out and try to sell them something once they accept your connection.
Successful approaches to networking virtually
Once you’ve established a connection with someone, begin to explore ways to get to know that individual better. It is easier to do than you might think.
The most effective way to stand out to a new contact is to engage with them on the social media platform. Start to regularly post comments on their posts and when appropriate, share their post on your own social media profiles. Don’t just “like” something that they’ve posted. Likes, hearts, thumbs up and other reaction acknowledgments don’t make you stand out. These are just passive engagement reactions and do not get much notice.
Active engagement that gets your name in front of your connection will make you stand out and connect in deeper ways. Engagement is vital to building relationships. It requires energy and effort just as it does in the physical world. It is important to take this slowly. Nothing freaks someone out more on social media than the appearance of having a stalker or someone who is only connected to sell to them. Look for opportunities that are appropriate, but not every day, especially in the beginning.
Taking your virtual networking to the next level
If the person you’re connecting with is someone that you would like to know better and the feeling is mutual, suggest setting up a telephone call or virtual meeting. That will allow for deeper communication beyond the written word.
Explore opportunities that might be mutually beneficial or ask them if there is something specific that they need right now that you might be able to provide.
Leverage the combination of interacting with them on social media platforms, phone calls, virtual conversations and email as a way to stay connected. This needs to be organic and it cannot be forced. Too many people today make an initial connection on social media or in a virtual meeting and then begin to bombard their contact with too many emails or too many asks. That is not building a relationship. That is pushing for a sale.
Networking is about building relationships, not making sales. It is vital to keep this key difference in mind as you begin to take steps to use virtual opportunities to make new connections.
Jill J. Johnson, MBA, is the president and founder of Johnson Consulting Services, a highly accomplished speaker, an award-winning management consultant, and author of the bestselling book “Compounding Your Confidence.” www.jcs-usa.com