Thursday, September 3, 2015         

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Strategic pruning can boost crop production in fruit trees

By Jayme Grzebik
It takes a lot of energy from the rooted plant to produce fruit, so properly maintaining and training a fruit tree will produce a quality harvest. Pruning fruit trees is an art that requires practice and experience. Sometimes people prune to keep busy, but it should be a well-planned, thoroughly thought-out activity in the garden.

Hearty pineapple is linked to Hawaii’s economic past

By Richard H. Ebesu & Glenn Taniguchi Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 6, 2015
Pineapples have been associated with Hawaii from the plantations to the fruit’s presence on tables at luaus. But the origin of bromeliaceous plants to which pineapples belong is intertwined with the story of the New World.

For a fruitful tree, a little research goes a long way

By Jayme Grzebik
A fruit tree can be the best gift. Visions of bountiful fruit and lower grocery bills fill the new owner with hope. But I encourage caution at this stage — you may not know this living thing that you’ve adopted.

Enlist insect allies in war against damaging pests

By Jody Smith Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 4, 2015
If you've got an infestation of aphids, thrips, mealybugs or whiteflies and you're not squeamish about small-scale biological warfare, beneficial insects, also known as natural enemies, may be an attractive option.

Swarming offers occasion to increase bee population

By Pam Hinsdale and Jody Smith Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 6, 2015
Is your morning coffee from Kona or Kauai? Are cucumber, zucchini and squash part of your diet? Love lychee? You can credit our kama­aina honeybees, descendents of European stock, for doing much of the work to pollinate our local produce.

Local seeds often result in better acclimated plants

By Jayme Grzebik
Plants are amazing! They need no added nutrients to germinate. Once they sprout, they'll need fertilizer to grow but inside each little seed is the energy and food required to reproduce another plant. Each seed capsule also retains information of environmental pressures to where it was grown.

Mildew is the likely culprit tainting mango flowers

By Jayme Grzebik
Q: Why are some of my mango flowers turning dark? A: According to University of Hawaii at Manoa plant pathologist specialist Scot Nelson, the symptoms you see are caused by a fungus that first appears as a white powder on the flowers and eventually alters infected flowers.

Fertile soil and fewer pests are bright side of sunnhemp

By Sharon Motomura Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 5, 2015
Sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea), a legume plant from South Asia identifiable by its bright yellow flowers, is becoming a common cover crop. Tropic sunnhemp is an excellent source of organic nitrogen, which can reduce dependence on commercial fertilizers.

Wet weather increases risk of diseases in the garden

By Kim Perry Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 1, 2014
The rainy season is off to a strong start this year, with most areas across the state reporting above average rainfall. While rain is generally a good thing in the garden, too much rain can pose challenges, particularly when it comes to plant disease.

Butterflies and honeybees are important pollinators

By Pamela Hinsdale Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 6, 2014
A Chinese yellow swallowtail laid her eggs on my lemon tree, and now I have fat little green caterpillars voraciously eating the leaves on their way to becoming beautiful butterflies.

Mushrooms and other fungi are natural and beneficial

By Jayme Grzebik
While we are all familiar with the mushrooms we find in our grocery stores, I hear concern from home gardeners surrounding mushrooms and other fungi in our backyards.

Lure and help pollinators with buffet of tasty plants

By Kim Perry Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 7, 2014
Summer is the perfect time of year to plant a pollinator garden. Creating a habitat is one of the best ways we can support our pollinators and slow the declines we have experienced in Hawaii due to habitat loss, pesticide usage, disease and introduced species.

Test your yard to prevent the spread of little fire ants

By Christy Martin and Jayme Grzebik Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 5, 2014
So many of us have stories about being stung by a different type of ant, tropical fire ants, when we've stood in the wrong spot at a picnic or at the beach park, but these little fire ants are different.

Using low-risk pesticides prevents damage to nature

By Kimberly Perry Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 7, 2014
Studies have found that home gardeners are apt to apply more pesticides than farmers or landscapers and with the National Garden Association reporting that 85 million U.S. households engage in home gardening, the collective misuse of pesticides is an issue of growing concern.

Chinese rose beetles do damage after sundown

By Marsha Yokomichi and Jayme Grzebik Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 3, 2014
Every rosarian living in Hawaii recognizes the telltale signs after Chinese rose beetles have made a feast out of the foliage on their rose bushes. Left uncontrolled, these beetles may make a buffet out of every leaf on every bush growing in your rose garden.

Now's the time for planting vegetables, pruning trees

By Lorraine Brooks Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 6, 2014
One of the advantages of living in Hawaii is that we can garden all year, and winter is actually the best season for planting a number of vegetables. It is also a time when gardeners can perform tasks that will help plants do well all year.

Rain gardens can reduce polluting water runoff

By Kim Perry Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 4, 2013
The rainy season is upon us, and often when it rains, it pours. Heavy rains can turn your landscape into a soggy, muddy mess and lead to more serious environmental problems such as flooding, erosion and water pollution.

Papayas not native to isles, but thrive in sunny weather

By Lorraine Brooks Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 5, 2013
Q: I've heard the term "Hawaiian papaya." Is papaya a native plant? A: No, papaya was introduced into Hawaii from Barbados in 1911. The introduced species was later named "Solo" in 1919.

Urban gardens offer food and community connections

By Sarah Henly-Shepard & Jayme Grzebik Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 1, 2013
"Resilience" is fast becoming the buzzword in many circles, much like its sister term "sustainability" has been in vogue since the Rio Earth Summit and other efforts made it famous in the 1990s.

Conserve water by using native plants, good mulch

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 3, 2013
AS the rainy season gives way to the hotter, drier months of summer, it's important to consider ways to conserve water in the home garden and landscape.

Children themselves thrive by growing things in nature

By Jayme Grzebik, Leah Rothbaum and Lydi Morgan Bernal Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 6, 2013
Gardening with children is an activity that engages keiki and adults alike. Parents, relatives, neighbors, educators and group-activity coordinators all have the potential to ignite a child's lifelong appreciation for our Earth's natural systems and gain valuable life skills.

Herbs, native plants attract pollinators to urban gardens

By Ethel M. Villalobos Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 4, 2013
Home gardens, whether a collection of potted plants on a lanai or a backyard with fruit trees, reflect an owner's personality and interests. Urban gardens, with their splashes of color and scent, are also a source of nutrition for insect pollinators.

Planting leaf cuttings propagates succulents

By Jayme T. Grzebik Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 4, 2013
It was more than 5 million years ago when a fern spore drifted on tradewinds to settle upon these islands. Fern spores were some of the first plant parts to inhabit these large volcanic rocks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Transplanting potted prize requires wise site selection

By Ty McDonald Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 7, 2013
Potted plants are a popular holiday gift, especially poinsettia, Christmas cactus and Norfolk Island pine, or perhaps something more exotic or trendy. Eventually you may want to transplant that prize into your yard or garden.

Swap store-bought fertilizer for your own 'green' manure

By Kimo Franklin and Jayme Grzebik Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 3, 2012
Fertilizers for home gardens can be expensive, heavy, require large storage areas and contribute to nutrient pollution in Hawaii's streams and groundwater.

Cooler temperatures fine for propagating vegetables

By Ty McDonald Posted 2:30 a.m. HST, Nov 5, 2012
With cooler weather upon us, now is a good time to begin planting some heat-intolerant vegetables. For those who like to propagate their own plants, it's also a good time to begin germinating seeds.

Pumpkins, winter squashes signal arrival of autumn

By Richard H. Ebesu Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 1, 2012
The autumn season in temperate regions like the mainland is a time for the trees to shed their leaves before the coming winter. Autumn is the last growing season for most plants before chilling frost prevents further plant growth.

Home gardeners can help curb invasive plants' spread

By Lorraine Brooks Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 3, 2012
Native plants are plants that were not introduced by humans, and by definition they can't be invasive. Only a small percentage of non-native plants are invasive, but those that are can cause a great deal of damage.

Chives, scallions grow easily in home container gardens

By Ty McDonald Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 6, 2012
Chives and scallions are herbs grown for their onion-flavored leaves and stems. Like the common garden onion, they are members of the genus Allium, in the lily family.

Vertical gardens are easier to assemble than they look

By Andrew Kawabata Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 9, 2012
Vertical gardens, also known as green walls or living walls, are gaining in popularity.

Sticky leaves likely caused by various sucking insects

By Richard Ebesu Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 7, 2012
When your plants don't appear healthy and the leaves are sticky, sucking insects could be the culprits. The stickiness is probably honeydew, and I'm not talking about the melon.

Springtime months, ridges are best for sweet potatoes

By Lorraine Brooks and Lance Mohler Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 2, 2012
The sweet potato is a "canoe" plant brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Polynesians. The Hawaiian names are uala and uwala.

Derisive nickname belies naio's value

By Duane Choy
Naio (Myoporum sandwicense) has the notorious nickname of "bastard sandalwood," which sometimes is softened by the more innocuous label "false sandalwood."

Growing tomatoes in isles requires a bit of legwork

By Celeste Makrevis and Ty McDonald Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 5, 2012
Fresh, ripe-on-the-vine, plump and nutritious tomatoes are tempting to anyone planning a vegetable garden. As many a frustrated gardener has discovered, however, there are numerous challenges to successfully growing tomatoes in the islands.

Rose beetle likely cause of damaged leaves

By Jayme Grzebik
Q: I have a rose bush in my yard with many holes in the leaves, but why don't I ever see any insects? A: The holes in your leaves are most likely caused by a pale reddish-brown beetle called the Chinese rose beetle.

Blueberries a tasty garden addition

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 2, 2012
Blueberries can be grown in various Hawaii climates. Southern highbush blueberries have flowered and fruited at as low as the 250-foot elevation, even without a companion plant for cross-pollination, and they are relatively easy and very rewarding plants.

Trying to eradicate fruit flies starts with identifying hosts

By Richard Ebesu Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 5, 2011
One question often asked of Master Gardeners and extension agents is, "How do I keep fruit flies from stinging my fruits and vegetables?"

Bacteria give legumes their high protein content

By Harold Keyser Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 7, 2011
Legumes are known for their high protein content and the symbiosis they form with rhizobia bacteria, which provide them with free nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Photos can help pinpoint problems that ail plants

By Ty McDonald Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 17, 2011
University-trained extension master gardeners routinely put themselves in the hot seat while fielding an array of home-gardening questions via phone and email help lines and at Plant Doctor clinics in the community.

Trees' roots extend into a past of tranquility

By Heidi Bornhorst
Three, tall slender gold trees grow in Thomas Square near the corner of Ward Avenue and Beretania Street, across from the Honolulu Academy of Arts. They bring joy whenever I see them.

Proper plant maintenance can keep whiteflies at bay

By Jayme Grzebik
Q: I have tiny white insects on the backs of the leaves of my gardenia. When I brush the leaves they fly up into the air like dandruff. What are they? • Q: I am trying to garden organically and don’t want to spray for whiteflies; what are other methods of control?

The ohia lehua ensures rain is caught by our rain forests

By Heidi Bornhorst
Ohia lehua is the icon of Hawaii forests, right along with native koa, and it's the predominant tree that makes up a million acres of watershed forests. What would Hawaii be like without ohia lehua?

Crown flower is versatile and has a royal background

By Duane Choy
She was born with the name Lydia Lili‘u Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamaka‘eha. This column celebrates our beloved Queen Liliu­oka­lani's most cherished blossom, the crown flower (Calotropis gigantea), or pua kalaunu in Hawaiian — also known as liliu on Niihau.

Haleakala slopes home to prestigious arboretum

By Heidi Bornhorst Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 18, 2011
Puu Mahoe literally means "the hill of twins," but it is so much more. Puu Mahoe is a cinder cone on the eastern flank of Haleakala. You have to go through three locked ranch gates to get there. It's worth the trip.

Stephanotis, or pua male, is Hawaii's wedding flower

By Duane Choy Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 11, 2011
Today my oldest nephew, Travis Choy, is getting married to Youna Choi. This article about stephanotis (Marsdenia floribunda), known as pua male — "wedding flower" in Hawaiian, is dedicated to them.

Landscaping and pests topple hardy mock orange

By Heidi Bornhorst Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 20, 2011
Mock orange hedges, once the toughest thing in town, are dying; they are drying up. What's going on? Mock orange is one of Hawaii's best drought-tolerant and attractive hedge plants. It is in the orange family, Rutaceae, and comes from driest parts of India.

Sugar cane is a colorful and tasty garden addition

By Heidi Bornhorst
Maybe we should grow some ko. That's the Hawaiian name for sugar cane. Did you know that it's a canoe plant? Ko was carried here by the ancient seafaring Polynesians, who developed many wonderful and ono varieties here in Hawaii.

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