Nematodes are small, colorless, cylindrical round worms that occur naturally in soils throughout the world. Different species work best against different target pests. Steinernema feltiae is primarily used against fungus gnat larvae, but also used to combat thrips pupae in the soil.
The nematodes enter the insect host through body openings. They multiply within the host and release a symbiotic bacterium whose toxin kills the fungus gnats. The larvae are killed in one to two days by blood poisoning. More than one generation of nematodes may develop in dead host insect in the media. The infective juveniles then exit the dead body and search for new hosts to infect.
Nematode applications do not require masks or other safety equipment. And re-entry time, residues, groundwater contamination, chemical trespass, and pollinators are not issues. Most biologicals require days or weeks to kill, yet nematodes, working with their symbiotic bacteria, can kill insects within 24-48 hours.
S. feltiae is sold under several trade names and are labeled as a soil drench treatment against fungus gnat larvae. Preventive applications to moist soils work best. Nematodes are compatible with a number of different pesticides. However, they are generally not compatible with organophosphates, carbamates, nematicides and hydrogen dioxide. Do not mix nematodes with your fertilizer solution.
Departments - Green Guide
Slightly fragrant, magnolia-like flowers grace this lovely shrub that has proven to survive some rough conditions.
I have always loved the genus Calycanthus, and there are beautiful specimens in two of my favorite Pacific Northwest gardens. I look forward every year to seeing the Calycanthus begin blooming at Sebright Gardens in Salem, Oregon, and each June Michelle and I visit the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Shoreline, Washington, just in time to catch the blooms of two Calycanthus hybrids.
I’m attracted to the red (or sometimes white) magnolia-like flowers which have a light fruity fragrance, often described as melon-like. The multi-stemmed shrubs often reach a height of more than 10 feet.
We have several native species of Calycanthus in North America. C. occidentalis is native to the western Unites States, ranging from central California’s Seirra Nevada range north through the southern Cascades of Oregon and west through the Coast Range in Oregon and southern Washington. C. floridus, or Carolina allspice is native to the southeastern United States from Virginia south through the Carolinas and the Florida panhandle and as far west as Alabama. Both these species and their cultivars have horticultural value. C. chinensis (syn. Sinocalycanthus chinensis) is an Asian cousin, also of significant horticultural importance. C. chinensis has lightly colored flowers that have white to blush-pink outer tepals surrounding inner tepals that are yellow. Unlike its American cousins, the flowers lack fragrance.
One aspect of horticulture that I love is that talented persons have the ingenuity to create hybrids of closely related species. Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ is such a plant. It’s a cross of C. occidentalis with C. chinensis made by Tom Ranney at North Carolina State University’s Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in 2005. A plant patent for Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ was awarded to Proven Winners ColorChoice in 2013.
This really is a lovely cultivar. Its flowers are larger that the species, and are a deep reddish purple to chocolate brown, with distinct yellow tips on the inner tepals. The flowers are lightly fragrant. The plant grows to over 10 feet tall and has glossy green deciduous leaves. I’m impressed by its long bloom time. We have a lovely specimen in our landscape at Little Prince of Oregon Nursery near Portland, Oregon, which began blooming in April. Our poor plant survived a horrendous ice storm in February with no damage, and an unprecedented heat wave in late June where temperatures climbed to 117°F for two days. In late August, it was still flowering and looked fabulous. Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ is a great plant and deserves a prominent place in our gardens.
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 Growing Revolution
Advertorial - BrandSpotlight
High Caliper Growing, Inc. offers innovative products designed to help nurseries grow quality plant material.
High Caliper Growing, Inc. was founded as Root Control, Inc in 1984. However, the story began six years earlier. Then co-founder, Ralph Reiger, took an early retirement from the investing firm, Merrill Lynch & Co, and started The Tree Farm in Guthrie, Oklahoma. In the beginning, Ralph was using the traditional method of ball & burlap. Oklahoma wasn’t exactly the center of the nursery industry, therefore Ralph immediately began to have problems finding skilled employees to dig trees. In 1980, Ralph didn’t realize it, but he started A Growing Revolution by developing the first fabric container used in the horticulture industry. He fashioned the first fabric container at his home in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and planted River Birch, Elm and Conifers in the bags in hopes they would grow well and be easy to harvest. Two years later, when it came time dig, Ralph realized the fabric had root pruned the plants’ root structure, giving him a vastly improved plant. The Root Control Bag was revolutionized, and the concept of A Growing Revolution was born.
The Root Control Bag immediately drew the attention to a number of progressive nurseryman and in 1984, Ralph formed Root Control Inc. Since that time, we have helped thousands of customers grow millions of trees in all fifty states and a number of countries worldwide.
In 2004, the company changed its name to High Caliper Growing, Inc. to better reflect our mission in the nursery industry. Ralph’s son, Kurt Reiger, is now President of High Caliper Growing. High Caliper Growing is a family-owned business employing over 100 employees. Our office and manufacturing plant is located in Oklahoma City. Our fabric containers are proudly made in the USA and are now sold worldwide as a retail item known as the Smart Pot®. High Caliper Growing proudly supports the horticulture industry with long term memberships in state and national nursery organizations. Every step along the way, innovation was spurred by attending to the needs of our great customers. Learn more about our innovative fabric containers and our fabric tree collar straps.
Root Control Bag
The Root Control Bag started A Growing Revolution™ in 1984. The first porous fabric container was intended to make harvesting field-grown trees quick and easy, but the side effects were astounding. A true production tool was born for nurserymen world-wide. Nearly 80% of the root structure was intact after harvesting due to root prun¬ing inside the Root Control Bag and it was half the size and weight of a traditional balled & burlapped tree. Advantages of the Root Control Bag include no expensive tree spades for harvest, anyone can dig, ship more trees per truck, grow more trees per acre, significantly expand harvest season and nearly 100% transplant survival welcomed from root pruning that began at the beginning. Whether you’re growing from 1 inch to 6 inches, we have a Root Control Bag for you. Our Root Control Bags are 100% made in the USA and custom sizing is available.
Smart Pot Pro
High Caliper Growing still has customers from the 1980s using the Root Control Bags which lead us to develop an above ground version, known as the Smart Pot Pro. One reason a farmer plows his field is to give it aeration. The Smart Pot Pro containers breath from top to bottom, enhancing and creating a healthy root structure. Rigid plastic containers do the opposite. Plastic containers cannot breathe and limit aeration only to the top, whereas a Smart Pot Pro container, air continuously flows through all around. This allows for natural air root pruning. Root pruning increases the amount of fibrous roots in the containers. Recent university studies have found more than twice the root structure in plants grown in a Smart Pot Pro when compared to the same plant grown in the same sized plastic container. Because of the porous fabric of a Smart Pot Pro, it also releases heat when compared to plastic containers. The University of New Hampshire showed that on an 80-degree day, temperatures inside a plastic container were as high as 125 degrees! Inside a Smart Pot Pro, the temperature was only about 80 degrees. The Smart Pot Pro is available in numerous sizes, from 1 gallon up to 400 gallons. Custom sizes are also available for our Smart Pot Pros.
Did you know the High Caliper Growing Pot Pruner turns any plastic pot into a root pruning container? The Pot Pruner is a porous fabric sleeve that is custom made to line the inside of a standard plastic container creating the container into a root pruning pot. It helps plant growth because it stops root circling and promotes lateral root branching, as well as insulates. How does the Pot Pruner work? When the roots of a plant touch the fabric sleeve, they entangle and do not circle. The root tip loses its apical dominance, and the root structure begins to side branch, developing a healthy, fibrous root mass. Because the roots do not circle, you gain extra time and flexibility. When a plant stays longer than anticipated, the Pot Pruner continues to root prune, creating a healthy root ball that explodes with new growth when the plant is shifted. It’s ideal for Pot-In-Pot. Tell us the brand and model number of your nursery container you are using, and we will cut a Pot Pruner specifically for you.
Since 1984, High Caliper Growing has led a growing revolution for nurserymen. Our one-of-a-kind Tree Collars are the premium device to prevent blow-over and protect your investments. Developed on a Florida farm where wind and hurricane damage are a constant threat, Tree Collars attach to a cable creating a permanent holding station with easy on and off access to your plants. Sizes are available for a sapling up to a 6-inch tree. Give them a try and see how Tree Collars can save you money firsthand. Benefits include keeping trees up-tight and upright, reduced labor cost with quick and secure attachment, more sellable trees without damage, reduced fertilizer costs from blow-over, and the Tree Collars last at least 5 years so they will quickly pay for themselves. If you are looking to enhance your own growing revolution, Tree Collars are a sure-fire product for success.
If grace and flexibility were the key words in 2020, this year’s theme could easily be endurance and adaptability. In last year’s State of the Industry report, we asked you to bend, not break. It’s apparent as we near the end of 2021, the industry has bent and not broken. And each one of you should be proud of how you’ve handled what has got to be the oddest 18+ months of your professional career.
Like last year, there are some uncommon responses in our survey, due in part to burgeoning sales and supply chain issues. Many of the so-called “COVID gardeners” returned to garden centers this year, driving demand. Some growers are planning for sales increases in 2022, but not at the level they experienced in ’20 and ’21. We were a bit surprised to learn that 30% of respondents plan to increase production acreage by as much as 49 acres and 20% plan to add more than 50 acres. It’s no surprise that sales jumped from last year’s numbers, and it was refreshing to see growers once again raised prices. However, 16% said they expect profits in 2022 to decrease, likely due to the rising costs of inputs.
In July, Nursery Management magazine conducted a survey to learn how growers across North America administer pest management plans, budget for insect control, scout for pests and much more. Our survey of more than 300 growers revealed which pest growers battle most often and how they manage control programs. See how your peers handle insect management.
Editor’s note: Due to rounding, not all percentages add up to 100.