Posts By: Donald R. Buma

Donald Buma, Norfolk Botanical Garden Executive Director Hybrid tea roses are the darling of avid rosarians because of their spectacular blooms, rich, deep green foliage and repeat blooming qualities. At the same time, they are the bane of the casual home gardener who sees them as a maintenance nightmare requiring a rigorous regimen of watering,…


Winterizing Power Equipment

Posted by & filed under Director Blog, Horticulture News.

Late fall and winter weather brings the end of using most gasoline powered garden equipment.  Mowers, tillers and garden tractors should have their engines winterized if you plan to store them unused until next spring. Winterizing is a fairly straightforward process.  First, run the equipment out of gas or treat the existing gas with a…

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Cicada Killers

Posted by & filed under Director Blog, Horticulture News.

Have you seen any flying insects lately that look like giant yellow jackets?  If you have, they are most likely the eastern cicada killer, Sphecius speciosus.  Actually it is considered a beneficial insect because it helps to regulate cicada populations. This wasp gets its common name from the fact that it hunts cicadas, which becomes…

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Leaf-Spot Diseases on Tomato

Posted by & filed under Director Blog, Horticulture News.

Septoria leaf spot and early blight are two leaf-spot deases on tomatoes that start showing up about this time of year.  Both of these diseases are characterized by brown spots on the leaves. Despite their names, Septoria leaf spot usually appears earlier in the season than early blight. Septoria produces small dark spots whereas the…

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Carpenter Bees

Posted by & filed under Director Blog, Horticulture News.

Carpenter bees may very well be swarming around outside your homes about now.  They resemble bumble bees but have bare abdomens that are a shiny black to iridescent green. In the spring these bees, which overwinter as adults, are emerging and looking for mates. The male bees can be rather aggressive and may “dive bomb”…

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A Better Tasting Tomato

Posted by & filed under Director Blog, Horticulture News.

We can all agree that some tomatoes certainly taste better than others.  Science has now apparently determined why – a compound known as furaneol.  Not only has this compound been identified, it is in higher concentrations in tomatoes that taste better – particularly heirloom varieties, but the gene that controls the level of furaneol has…

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