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Greenhouse Open House March 18

Ornithogalum research at KPL greenhouses

Ornithogalum research at KPL greenhouses

From Neil Mattson and Bill Miller:

We invite you to attend a free, informal open house at the Cornell campus to highlight some of the greenhouse research being conducted there. Come visit our trials and talk with Bill Miller and Neil Mattson. The open house will be held from 9 a.m. to 12. noon on Tuesday March 18, 2014 at the Ken Post Lab Greenhouses. Come and go as you please!

In addition, the nearby East Ithaca high tunnel facility (about 1 mile from campus) will be open to tour with Chris Wien from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.

Directions,  parking and more information.

Greenhouse trials in progress

  • Spring bedding plants growing with different rates of liquid, organic, and controlled release fertilizer
  • Comparing different vermicompost materials for vegetable seedlings and transplants
  • Cut flower callas and response to GA treatments and silicon
  • Testing PGRs for height control of daffodils, hyacinth, and tulips
  • Ornithogalum potted plants and response to temperature and PGRs
  • Hydroponic spinach and lettuce

High tunnel trials – not much green yet!

  • Anemone and ranunculus for early spring cut flowers
  • Overwintering trials with dahlia and eucomis (pineapple lily)
  • Check out the high tunnel structure where Mattson has conducted trials with finishing spring bedding plants with no heat

For more information, contact Neil Mattson at 607-255-0621 or

Small Farm Summit postponed to March 24

Updated 2014-03-12: Due to heavy snow and freezing rain forecast across upstate New York, the 2014 NY Small Farms Summit, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, is rescheduled for March 24th.  If you were previously registered for this event and still plan to attend, please complete a new registration form.  More information.

Small Farm Summit locations

Click map for larger view.

From Anu Rangarajan, Director, Cornell Small Farm Program:

Based upon the weather predictions, I have decided to postpone tomorrow’s NY Small Farm Summit- “Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell.”

We had a very engaged meeting planned for you. Your participation in the meeting is essential to us, but your safety is more important! We had over 220 people registered to attend at one of 7 locations around the state- so you can understand our concern.

We are trying right now to reschedule the meeting and will be sending out a new registration link for you hopefully by tomorrow. We hope you will still be able to join us for this important networking and action-oriented meeting about alternative markets for small farms in New York.

We hope that tomorrow, you and your loved ones are able to enjoy the snow (if we get it) and not just weather it.

More information about the Summit.

Signs of spring (3)

The current forecast is cold and stormy. But students in the course Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) took advantage of a sunny Tuesday afternoon to prune trees and shrubs, clean up debris and mulch gardens around the Plant Science Building.

Urban Eden students clean up the 'hidden garden' outside Plant Science Building

Signs of spring (2)

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) bloom in Minns Garden on Tower Road.

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) bloom in Minns Garden on Tower Road.

Seminar video: 20 years of vegetable research and extension

If you missed Monday’s seminar with Steve Reiners, 20 years of vegetable research and extension — successes, disappointments and what lies ahead, it’s available online.


Signs of spring (1)

Flower bulb research intern Rose de Wit collects data at Kenneth Post Lab greenhouses.

Flower bulb research intern Rose de Wit collects data at Kenneth Post Lab greenhouses.

Water: Horticulture’s Next Game Changer? (2014 Seeley Summit)

seeley brochure coverAfter a two-year hiatus, the 2014 Seeley Summit will be held June 22-24, 2014 in Lisle, IL (outside Chicago). There, floriculture leaders will gather to consider how water scarcity will affect their industry’s entire supply chain — including growers, retailers, landscapers, and consumers.

Seeley Summits seek to promote discussion of issues important to the future of commercial floriculture. The meetings are structured to foster discussion by industry leaders and increase the level of understanding of topics through presentations by speakers with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. The goal of the Summit is to better prepare attendees to make decisions on issues that have a great impact on their businesses and the industry as a whole.

The Seeley Summit evolved from the Seeley Conference, which was established in 1986 in honor of Dr. John G. Seeley (1915-2007) after his retirement from Cornell University and was held on campus annually. After the 26th conference in 2011, the conference’s board of directors began extensive research and re-imagining of the conference.  The result: a new, easy-to-reach venue, a shorter program, and a more focused opportunity to hear from renowned experts in the field.

For more information and online registration, please visit the Seeley Summit website.

Online garden design course starts March 31

garden_designx300Introduction to Garden Design
March 31 to May 17, 2014.
Cost: $600.
Enrollment limited to 12 students.

About the course

  • Learn garden site analysis and apply the concepts to your personal space.
  • Gain proficiency in basic garden design principals.
  • Articulate your personal aesthetic — what appeals to you, and what you enjoy.
  • Lay out a rough site plan overview of your garden design.

You’ll do all that and more if you take this 6-week online course (plus the introduction days), which provides an opportunity for you to design your own garden. You will be studying and experimenting with the basic design procedures, learning about proper plant selection, and you will write and reflect on the process as you learn. The instructor will take an active role in this creative endeavor by providing feedback on your assignments and journal entries. You will also have the opportunity to learn from one another through an open forum in which you can share your ideas with others.

This course is designed to encourage your discovery of basic garden design techniques. It is a garden design course for the beginner. We teach an approach to gardening that is based on the principle of right plant, right place. In other words, we will consider the needs of the plant in addition to the needs of the gardener.

Course schedule:

  • Introduction Days: Welcome & Introductions
  • Week 1: Site Assessment Part 1
  • Week 2: Site Assessment Part 2 / Basic Design Principles: Personal Style, Garden Unity, and Maintenance
  • Week 3: Basic Design Principles: Scale & Proportion, Balance & Symmetry, Repetition, Movement
  • Week 4: Basic Design Principles: Color, Form & Texture
  • Week 5: Designing Your Garden: Choosing & Buying Plants
  • Week 6: Designing Your Garden: Final Project and Buying Plants

More information/registration.

Full syllabus.

Plant Sciences Chili Cook-Off (and Games!) coming March 21

chili_cookoffFrom horticulture grad student Adam Karl:

The Plant Sciences Chili Cook-Off will be held in Emerson 135 on Friday, March 21, 4 to 6:30 p.m. The Departments of Crop and Soil Science, Horticulture, Plant Biology, Plant Breeding, and Plant Pathology should assemble their best chili chefs in three categories:

  • Meat
  • Vegetarian
  • Wild-Card (contains at least one non-traditional chili ingredient)

Students, Faculty, and Staff are all welcome to participate! To enter the contest, email chili entries to me (Adam Karl,

Please include the following info:

  • names of cooks
  • category
  • name of chili

Registration deadline is Friday, March 14. We only have room for 20 chili entrants – so don’t delay registering!

There will be prizes for the winners of each chili category.

We look forward to sampling some chili with you!

The Chili and Games team

Dilmun Hill 2013 Market Garden Report

dilmun hill crewReposted from CALS Notes:

Ever wonder what it takes to manage operations at an organic and sustainable student-run farm? It’s not all fun and games (though there’s a bit of that, too). For the curious, check out the recently published Market Garden Report from Cornell’s own student-run organic farm at Dilmun Hill. The report highlights Dilmun’s 2013 farming and marketing operations in detail. Find out what produce was grown, where it was sold, eaten and by whom. Learn about the kinds of infrastructure improvements that were made, the farm’s bed design and crop rotation plan, its irrigation and nutrient management practices, and its marketing and outreach activities. The report provides a fascinating primer into what it takes to manage a vibrant and successful organic farming enterprise!

But growing and selling produce as part of the Market Garden project is only one among many important research and learning experiences taking place at Dilmun Hill. Learn more about the soil management, permaculture, landscaping and other projects currently underway.

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