From the editors of American Nurseryman • April 4, 2014

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Welcome to 'Sprout,' American Nurseryman's e-newsletter published on the first and third Thursdays of each month. For even more, be sure to read our March issue.

U.S. Drought MonitorDespite storms, drought continues in West
This, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor: “During the past week, a series of disturbances pushed on-shore from the Pacific delivering much-needed rain and snow to northern California and Oregon. In northern California, liquid precipitation accumulations ranged from two-to-six inches in the northern coastal mountains while the northern Sierras received three-to-eleven inches. In the northern half of the Central Valley, precipitation accumulations were less than one and a half inch. Despite short-term gains, the long-term deficits across the region remained substantial. According to the California Department of Water Resources, California’s snowpack has increased since the first snow survey on January 3rd, but the latest survey results show California’s snow-water equivalent is only 32 percent of the average April 1st measurement when the snowpack is generally at its peak level prior to spring melt. In light of this week’s significant precipitation accumulations in the northern Sierra, a one-category improvement from Extreme Drought (D3) to Severe Drought (D2) was made to reflect short-term gains over the areas of greatest precipitation accumulations ranging from four-to-eleven inches. In northeastern Oregon, a one-category improvement from Moderate Drought (D1) to Abnormally Dry (D0) was made to reflect near-normal snowpack conditions in the Blue and Wallowa Mountains. In the Southwest, a warm and dry pattern continued across the region leading to slight deterioration of conditions in southwestern Colorado.” Read more>

Pacific Northwest Extension’s management handbook seriesPNW revises handbooks
Do you battle plant threats in the Pacific Northwest? Then you’re familiar with Pacific Northwest Extension’s excellent series of management handbooks, researched, written and produced by Oregon State University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho. The Revised 2014 Edition of the PNW Insect, Disease and Weed Handbooks are now available online, and hard copies may be ordered (see link). There are new sections in each of the handbooks, including an Emerging Pests in Pacific Northwest Ornamentals Section in the Insect Handbook. Read more>

AIB launches photo contestAIB launches photo contest
Working in concert with Home & Garden Showplace and Monrovia, America in Bloom has launched a new, annual photo contest for communities to highlight their best beautification efforts. Categories include—but are not limited to—floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, environmental efforts, heritage preservation and overall impression. Cities will be divided into three groups for judging: Small city population under 50,000; medium city population 50,001 to 249,999; and large city population over 250,000. Three $1,500 awards will be presented. Portfolios must be submitted no later than August 5. Read more here and here.

Student Career DaysStudent Career Days sets record
Now in its 38th year, PLANET’s annual Student Career Days—the National Collegiate Landscape Competition—attracted approximately 800 students to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where they competed in 28 individual and team contests. Out of the 65 teams, Brigham Young University-Provo placed first; Hayden Angelotta of Cuyahoga Community College in Highland Hills, Ohio, was the top placing individual. Challenges included hardscape installation, wood construction, plant ID, sales presentation, tree climbing, exterior/interior design, 3D exterior landscape design, among others. Read more>

Ruppert LandscapeRuppert acquires A R Star Services
Ruppert Landscape Inc. has acquired Maryland-based A R Star Services, a provider of commercial landscape management services. The transaction includes the purchase of selected commercial landscape management contracts, trucks and equipment. The commercial clients are primarily based in northern Baltimore County. Read more>

People News

Dr. Charlie HallKaty Moss WarnerAmerica in Bloom’s new leadership
Dr. Charlie Hall, professor at Texas A&M University, has been named the new president of America in Bloom; Katy Moss Warner is the organization’s new vice president. Each will serve a two-year term. Read more>

Marshall de Leonde Leon joins Argos Software
Marshall de Leon has joined Argos Software as Enterprise Specialist. Read more>

Antonio GalindezTim HassingerDow AgroSciences announces new head
Tim Hassinger, global commercial leader for Dow AgroSciences and global leader of Dow AgroSciences’ Crop Protection Global Business Unit, has been named President and CEO; he replaces Antonio Galindez, who retires May 1 after 31 years with the company. Read more>

Hot Products

Geum Wet KissGeum
Intrinsic Perennial Gardens has introduced its 10th, 11th and 12th Geum selections: Geum ‘Dark and Stormy’ PPAF, ‘Spanish Fly’ PPAF and ‘Wet Kiss’ PPAF (pictured). ‘Dark and Stormy’ emerges dark reddish orange fading to a clear orange with both colors showing at the same time. ‘Spanish Fly’ has unique, single gold flowers tipped in red held on red stems. The vermillion-red flowers of ‘Wet Kiss’ are also borne on burgundy-red stems and fade to a peachy orange. These new selections start blooming in late April or May and continue around three to four weeks or more. The short, clumping plants reach around 10 inches tall and wide with the stems reaching 18+ inches tall. The plants prefer a moist to well drained soil in full sun. The foliage is semi-evergreen. These hybrid plants are longer lived than the older chiloense varieties of Geum. Their hardiness is zone 4-9. Read more>

Eucomis ‘Zulu Flame’Eucomis ‘Zulu Flame’
Terra Nova Nurseries has available for pre-order Eucomis ‘Zulu Flame’, whose light purple, pineapple-like spikes sit proudly atop strong, 20-inch stems. ‘Zulu Flame’ has dark burgundy leaves that hold their color throughout the summer, creating a bold accent perfect for containers, mixed beds, rock gardens and more. This selection has broader leaves than Eucomis ‘Oakhurst’, as well as a wider habit. For optimal performance, this variety requires full sun to partial shade exposure and coarse, slightly organic soil. In addition, Eucomis ‘Zulu Flame’ is vigorous and cold tolerant, growing well in zones 6 through 10. Read more>

2014 Fountain Glo™ LED Low Voltage Light systemsLED lights for fountains
Otterbine now offers its 2014 Fountain Glo™ LED Low Voltage Light systems, operating a 6.5W LED bulb that is available in bright white (5700K) or warm white (3000K) flood lamp, and offering 80 percent energy savings over traditional halogen lamps. Manufactured from corrosion-resistant thermal plastics, Otterbine LED light systems come in two-, four-, six- and eight-light configurations and are recommended for all 1/2HP through 10HP units. Light systems for units 1HP and above come standard with a cable quick-disconnect feature, and are adjustable allowing the customer to both customize and maximize the illumination of the pattern. Because they operate on a DC power supply mounted onshore, there is no need for a junction box in the water; this allows long cable runs with smaller gauge cable. Read more>

Valley SoilPro™ 1200 communication towerSoil moisture monitoring
Valley Irrigation has introduced Valley SoilPro™ 1200, powered by AquaSpy™. SoilPro 1200 delivers detailed soil moisture data in an easy-to-understand format. With just a few clicks, growers can see the depth of their crop root zone, soil moisture levels by depth, soil electrical conductivity, temperature, and water penetration from rainfall and irrigation. This real-time data give growers the information they need to make smarter decisions and irrigate more efficiently. Read more>

Finally: Spring has sprung!

Water main break

Upcoming event
What: 2014 Native Plants in the Landscape Conference
When: June 5 to 7
Where: Millersville University, Millersville, Penn.
Sponsors: Various organizations
For more>

Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual, Second EditionBuy this book!
Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual, Second Edition
With over 70 percent new material, the second edition of the Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual discusses the principles determining how plants grow and the elements essential for successful crop production, with a focus on the principles of soil fertility and plant nutrition. The book covers physical and chemical properties of soil, chemical and organic fertilizers, soil acidity and alkalinity, liming and liming materials, and micronutrients essential to plant growth. It also describes elements toxic to plants, soil testing, and plant analysis. The topics and discussion in this self-contained book are practical and user-friendly, yet comprehensive enough to cover material presented in upper-level soil and plant science courses. It allows practitioners with general background knowledge to feel confident applying the principles presented to soil/crop production systems.
Read more>

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