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Poinsettia Production – September Monthly Meeting Sept 16 at 7:30 Invite

Posted by on Sep 15, 2020 in Continuing Education, News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners:

Here is the link for our September Monthly Meeting on Wednesday September 16 at 7:30 pm.  Please log on a few minutes before.  Our topic is greenhouse poinsettia production with guest speaker Greg Carofine , grower for Great Swamp Greenhouses.

Madeline Flahive Di Nardo invites you to participate as an attendee in the following online training session:
Topic: Master Gardener Monthly Meeting
Host: Madeline Flahive Di Nardo
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Time: 7:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)

Session number: 120 970 2453
Session password: 3PbSEMN44zY

To join the training session
1. Go to
2. Enter your name and email address.
3. Enter the session password: 3PbSEMN44zY
4. Click “Join Now”.
5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link

To join the session by phone only
To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the training session, or call the number below and enter the access code.
USA Toll:+1-650-429-3300
Global call-in numbers:
Access code: 120 970 2453

For assistance

Can’t join the training session?

To add this session to your calendar program (for example Microsoft Outlook), click this link:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This Webex service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, discuss your concerns with the meeting host prior to the start of the recording or do not join the session. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.

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September Newsletter and Monthly Meeting Sept 16

Posted by on Sep 14, 2020 in Continuing Education, News and Events, Newsletters and Bulletins

Hello Master Gardeners,

Hope you have been enjoying this September weather as we wind down summer and greet the fall.  While we gardeners are planting our fall ornamentals like panies and mums , commerical growers are growing a popular holiday plant – poinsettias.

We will be having a September monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30 featuring Great Swamp Greenhouse Grower Greg Carifone. Greg will give us a behind the scenes look at what goes into producing a poinsettia crop.  Details on how to join the meeting via WebEx can be found in the September Newsletter below:

September 20 MG Newsletter MFD (1)

If you are new to joining a class using WebEx or need a refresher from this spring, here are some tips:

Tips for Phoning In

Web Ex Training Screens

WebEx Instructions from iPhone

Thanks to our Newsletter team led by editor Stephanie Bourk and Continuing Ed Chair Tina Helmstetter for an interesting September newsletter and monthly meeting.  Please note that the Pin Party, usually held in September, has been postponed until the new year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Take care and be well,




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Seeking Individuals to Serve as State Representative + Alternates

Posted by on Sep 2, 2020 in News and Events

The MG Executive Board is seeking individuals to serve as State Representative and Alternates.

Representatives serve as liaisons between the State Master Gardeners Association and the Union County Master Gardeners, reporting the State activities and business to the Executive Board at its meetings.

Appointed for a two-year term, representatives need to be Certified Active Master Gardeners (CAMG) and be willing to attend Rutgers Master Gardeners Association of New Jersey (RMGANJ) monthly meetings,(except January and February), usually held on the 2nd Thursdays of the month @ 10 am , at Rutgers Cook Campus in New Brunswick. Because of Covid-19, meetings are currently being held virtually.

This is a unique opportunity, and if interested, please contact RMGUC President, Althea Llewellyn, by email –, or by text – 908 720 4330.

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Two Virtual Events – The Great Tomato Tasting and Tick Identification

Posted by on Aug 20, 2020 in News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

There are two upcoming virtual events you may be interested in attending.

This year the annual Great Tomato Tasting at Rutgers Snyder Farm is going virtual.  Please join us for the Great Tomato Tasting at Home event on Wednesday, August 26. There will be educational webinars, a virtual tour of the research projects, cooking demonstrations and a chance to get your tomato growing questions answered by Rutgers experts. All events are free but you do need to register for the webinars.

Our fellow Master Gardeners in Ocean County are offering a virtual Tick Safety on Tuesday Sept 8 from  6:30 – 7:30 pm.  Please refer to the link below for more information and to register.

Ticks of NJ – September 8

Hope you will enjoy participating in these programs!



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August Newsletter

Posted by on Aug 17, 2020 in News and Events, Newsletters and Bulletins

August 2020 MG Newsletter

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Update on Rutgers Cooperative Extension MG Program

Posted by on Aug 7, 2020 in News and Events

Dear Master Gardeners,

I am sad to let you know that all in-person Rutgers Cooperative Extension programs and activities continue to be suspended through the fall Rutgers University Semester. Your health and safety is our top priority.

We received the following message from our State Director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Brian Shilling:

“Since April 3, 2020, Rutgers Cooperative Extension has been operating under the directive that all in-person events, classes, programs, club meetings, camps, and other group activities organized by or under the auspices of Rutgers Cooperative Extension are suspended through at least August 14, 2020.

While reported daily increases in new COVID-19 cases in our state are tracking lower today than several months ago, community transmission of the virus continues. In order to protect the health of the university community, Rutgers University will continue offering its academic instruction predominantly in remote formats through the fall 2020 semester. In-person activities at the university will also remain suspended through the fall semester.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension is governed by university policy and direction. Therefore, we are not able to resume normal operations as of August 15, nor would it be prudent to do so amid the ongoing uncertainties presented by COVID-19. Extension programs will continue to be offered in remote formats through the fall.”

The restriction on in person activities includes working in the demonstration garden, community gardens and beautification projects and the Garden Helpline.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension will be offering on-line programs in the fall and our county Master Gardener activities such as our Monthly Meetings will be held virtually. The Master Gardener Executive Board will continue to meet virtually.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we face these challenges.

All the best,

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Invasive Insect Pest Webinar Thursday Evening Aug 6

Posted by on Aug 5, 2020 in Continuing Education, News and Events

The RU Ready to Garden program this Thursday will discuss four Invasive pests that have generated many questions this summer.

Live on WebEx.  Register for the FREE program at

RU Ready 2 Garden Webcast

Session 15   August 6, 6:30 pm

Invasive Pests Discussion and Q & A-

Giant Murder Hornets, Asian Jumping Worms,

Spotted Lanternfly and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Advice for All Gardeners: Beginners to Advanced. Connecting gardeners with Rutgers NJAES, SEBS and AES scientists and experienced growers from our farm community.  

Time: Thursday, August 6, 2020  6:30 to 8 pm  

Live on WebEx.  Register for the FREE program at

Invasive Pests Update

 Identification and Control featuring Giant Murder Hornets, Asian Jumping Worms, Spotted Lanternfly, Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

Dr. George Hamilton from Rutgers University and Dr. Kyle Wickings from Cornell University will join our Team to discuss four invasive pests that are raising many questions this season. The team will share their research and some interesting stories.

Instructors and Hosts:

George Hamilton is a Rutgers University Extension Specialist in Pest Management

Dr. George Hamilton’s research interests are in the area of implementing integrated pest management programs and the examination of pesticide usage patterns in New Jersey. These interests led to the implementation of an IPM program in eggplant. Current research interests include conservation biological control as it pertains to ornamental insect pests and studying the biology, ecology and management of the recently introduced brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Ståhl).

Kyle Wickings is an Associate Professor of Soil Arthropod Ecology and Turfgrass Entomology at Cornell University who is interested in improving basic knowledge of soil invertebrates to help minimize damage by root-feeding pests while simultaneously preserving the biodiversity and function of beneficial soil organisms.


Bill Hlubik is an Agricultural Agent and Professor with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, NJAES, Rutgers, the State University. Bill has 30 years of experience in the production, research and marketing of specialty crops. He teaches Sustainable Agriculture and Starting a Small Farm classes for the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and has been farming with his family for over 35 years.

Ray Samulis is an Agricultural Agent and Professor Emeritus with Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Professor Samulis has over 42 years of experience working with vegetable growers and has taught agricultural production classes at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Ray has a passion for brewing homemade beers and producing his own award-winning wines. Ray is an avid gardener and has a wealth of knowledge in horticulture and food production systems.    

Bill Errickson is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Monmouth County with a focus on nursery, turfgrass, and agricultural innovation. He has worked in various aspects of the agricultural sector for the past 15 years, including operating his own diversified farm in coastal Maine and consulting on edible landscapes for residential clients.

Information sheets from past sessions and upcoming program

descriptions can be found at: 

Past episodes of the webcast can be found at:

Many more Rutgers Cooperative Extension resources on your home, lawn and garden can be found at:

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NJ Department of Agriculture – Unsolicited Seeds

Posted by on Jul 28, 2020 in News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Rutgers has received this information from the NJ Department of Agriculture & the USDA about unsolicited seeds being sent to consumers.


Alert from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has been receiving reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order. Sometimes the seeds are sent in packages stating that the contents are jewelry. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants, or be harmful to livestock.

Here’s what to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country:

1)DO NOT plant them and if they are in sealed packaging don’t open the sealed package.

2)Take a photo of the package and seeds and send the photos to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and USDA SITC at


If you still have the seed packets and shipping/packaging materials, please do the following:

* Do NOT open the seed packets;

* Do NOT plant the seed packets;

* Do NOT compost the seeds;

* Do NOT throw the seeds in the trash, flush them down the drain, or expose them to the environment in any way; and

* Put all packaging materials and seeds into a Ziploc bag.”

This is known as agricultural smuggling. Report it to the USDA! Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.

If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Anti-smuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.

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July Newsletter

Posted by on Jul 17, 2020 in News and Events

Hello Master Gardeners,

Hope you are all doing well.  Here is our July newsletter:

July 2020 MG Newsletter

Stay cool and enjoy!



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Tree Survey in Berkeley Heights Continuing Education Opportunity

Posted by on Jun 24, 2020 in News and Events

The Berkeley Heights Tree Survey program is offering a  training class will be via Zoom on July 2 at 7 PM.  It will last about an hour and a half. Certified Tree Expert Richard Wolowicz will conduct the training on basic identification and tree hazard evaluation.  The township has already inventoried and evaluated  many of the street trees (those along the right of way), and now the goal is to follow up section by section, especially with trees that have been noted for follow up.  1.5 Continuing Education units have been assigned for the program.

To sign up for the workshop, please contact Richard Leister at by June 30   Please note that  participating in the survey is not a Master Gardener volunteer project until the Rutgers In-person volunteer activity restrictions have been lifted, which may not be until at least  after August 14.  The date is subject to change.

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