Horticulture

  • Conservation Seedling Nursery:  Order forms can be printed from their web site, and sent via mail, email or fax. For detailed descriptions and other information on each species please visit their web site at www.dnrc.mt.gov/nursery. Please consult their web page, call, or email for current availability and pricing.
  • Potato ordering is now available!
News and Events
Event/News Details Details (con.)

Montana Berry Growers Association

View Berry Conference Flyer (PDF)

berry growers flyer

3 Half Day Presentations

  • Day 1 Speakers
    • Zach Miller - WARC: Review of cold hard berry varieties and research data on variety trails in Montana.
    • Rachel Leisso - WARC: Review of data on consumer acceptable trails, and harvest labor research trials.
  • Day 2 Speakers
    • Bob Thaden, Tongue River Winery and Larry Robinson, Flathead Lake Winery: Opportunities for fruit wines in Montana and partnerships between fruit growers and wineries
    • Aly Robins, Snowy Mountain Marketing: Using social media platforms to market your product.
  • Day 3 Speakers
    • Nina Heinzinger, MT DPHHS: Introduction to the Montana Cottage Food Law for berry growers
    • Round table discussion with MTGBA and benefits of membership

Cold-Hardy Berry Varieties Suited for the Mountain West

berry webinar flyer

Patrick Mangan

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

12:00 PM Noon

Register for Cold-Hardy Berry Webinar here

 

"While we all know blueberries are the darlings of the berry world, they can struggle to live in northern climates with alkaline soils. Instead of torturing blueberry bushes through a few short years of life, consider finding the right berry for the right place, and choose a plant that can thrive in your climate conditions."

This presentation will highlight berry and small fruit varieties that are well suited for growing in the Intermountain West. Considerations for cold, hardiness, soil conditions, pests, and market opportunties will be included.

Invasive Diseases of Landscape Trees

Marion Murray

IPM Project Leader

Utah State University

Register for Diseases of Landscape Trees Webinar

March 9, 2021

11:00 AM Pacific Time

In this webinar, Marion discusses tree diseases that occur in Utah, or diseases to watch out for.

These include:

  • Bleeding Canker
  • Bacterial Scorch
  • Pine Wilt

Utah Industrial Hemp Seminar

Speakers:

  • Justen Smith - USU Extension
  • Aleisha Baker - UDAF
  • Cody James - UDAF Cannabis Program Director
  • Miles Maynes - UDAF Cannibis Program
  • JD Lauritzen - Attorney with Christensen and Jensen Law
  • Dr. Tanner McCarty - Department of Applied Economics
  • Mair Murray - USU
  • Dr. Matt Yost- USU
  • Wacey Clarke - Colorado Hemp Producer
  • Dr. Bruce Bugbee - USU
  • Mitch Westmoreland - USU
  • Kyle Egbert - Montain Valley Botanicals

 

Register for Utah Hemp Seminar

March 10 - 11, 2021

Agenda:

  • Wednesday, March 10
    • Check - In
    • Welcome and Instruction
    • Pesticide use in Hemp Production
    • State of Utah Industrial Hemp Program Panel
    • Break
    • Laws, Economics and Associations Panel
    • Hemp Market Outlook
    • Questions/Answers - Wrap up
  • Thursday, March 11th
    • Check - in
    • Welcome & Introductions
    • Hemp Variety and Production Panel
    • Break
    • Utah Hemp Research Presentation
    • Hemp Buyer Outlook
    • Questions/Answers - Wrap up

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Spotted Laternfly

Register for IPM for Spotted Lanternfly Webinar

April 13, 2021

11:00 AM Pacific Time

This topic is a continuation of our IPM for Tree Pests webinar series and will review one of the newest invasive challenges to face trees in the U.S.- the spotted lanternfly.

Join us to learn about the environmental and the economic devastation currently taking place throughout the mid-Atlantic states.

Unfortunely, the laternfly is on the move, expanding toward the northeast, Appalachia, and north-central states.

This webinar will present the latest in prevention and control strategies used by arborists, including pesticides (biopesticides and conventional pesticides), cultrual controls, and biological controls.

Continuing education credits will be available through some tree/arborist and pest management associations.

Drone Applications for Biologists

Register for Drone Webinar

Virtual 2-Part Workshop

April 15 - 16, 2021

April 22 - 23, 2021

Speakers:

  • Dr. Sean Hogan
    • Academic Coordinator, IGIS Lead Instructor
  • Dr. Andy Lyons
    • Program Coordinator, IGIS Lead Instructor
  • Dr. David Bird
    • Emeritus Professor, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec
  • Steve Goldman
    • Geographic Information Officer and UAS Coordinator, CDFW
  • Stephen Earsom
    • Biologist - Pilot, Regions 4 & 5 Aviation Manager, USFWS
  • Dr. Debbie Saunders
    • CEO, Wildlife Ecologist, Chief Remote Pilot, Wildlife Drones
  • Dr. Ann McKellar
    • Wildlife Biologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Description:

This virutal workshop is designed to provide an overiew of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology, regulations and image analysis in support of drone applications.

It is targeted towards biologists who are interested in exploring practical applications of UAS. Additionally, we'll discuss geospatial technologies for monitoring and mapping natural resources with hands-on experience on practial examples.

To reduce Zoom fatigue, the workshop is taught in two parts: April 15-16 and April 22-23, 2021.

(These dates represent one workshop, not two)

What to Expect:

Participants will come away with a basic understanding of drone technology and operations, how they are regulated by the FAA, USFWS, and CDFW, and what to consider when planning a survey or project involving drones. Participants will also have the opportunity to develop their skills using data processing with Pix4D on their personal laptops.

  • Have you tried to find canning supplies recently with little or varied luck in doing so? Well you are not alone. This year has been a year of change. One of those changes has been an increase in home gardens. With fall setting in many gardeners are looking to can their produce and are having difficulty finding adequate supplies to do so.
  • Some supplies such as jars may be found at garage sales and thrift stores or on social media buy/sell sites. While lids may be out of stock in some stores you may find success on the internet or at garage sales. Whatever the situation there are some things to consider when gathering and preparing your canning supplies.
    • Make sure all jars are free of chips, cracks, or scratches. Even the smallest scratch, not even visible to your eye, could cause a jar to break when pressure canning.
    • Lids or flats are for one use only. That means they should not be used more than once to seal jars. They can be used to store freezer jams or dried fruits or vegetables.
    • Ring bands should be rust free with no dents or damage and should screw on the jar easily.
    • Lids or flats should be new or manufactured within the last 5 years. Older lids may compounds that are hard and may not seal correctly, or effciently. Follow directions for use on the box lids specifically. If you cannot find the directions for the use of the lids, the jars may not process correctly.
    • Jars should be canning jars. Salad dressing jars, baby food jars, and commercially canned sauce food jars are not designed for home canning. Many of these jars can not withstand the time and temperature of pressure or water-bath canning and may break. The surface where the lid seals is also thinner than a regular canning jar causing seals to fail.
    • Use the two-piece lid system for all of your canning. The two-piece system includes a flat and a screw band. Do not reuse commercial lids or any type of flat canning lid.
    • Cleaning jars is extremely important when buying used jars. There may be unknowns as to what jars contained prior to purchase. Wash in hot soapy water, presoaking is necessary. Jars may be then sterlized in boiling water to ensure any bacteria or toxins are killed prior to use.
    • Do not use jars that have stored nonfood products such as oils, fuels, or chemicals.
  • Waterbath and pressure canners may also be hard to find. There are several things to consider when purchasing a used canner.
    • Waterbath canners should be free of rust, dents, include a rack and lid and have a flat bottom.
    • Pressure canners should be free of pits, have a well-fitting lid and flat bottom.
    • Gaskets and seals should be flexible, clean and fill the area almsot to the point of being too large.
    • Gauges should be either a dial guage or a weighted gauge.
    • Dial gauges should be rust and moisture free with a crack-free cover.
    • Dial gauges should be tested yearly. A free service provided by most MSU Extension Offices.
  • Some other things to keep in mind when canning the summer's bounty include:
    • Use a recipe from a USDA tested source such as Complete Guide to Home Canning from the USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation website.
    • "So Easy to Preserve Cookbook available in most MSU Extension Offices or MontGuides
    • Update your skills if you have not canned in a while. Register for our Friday Food Preservation 101 series to attend live virtual classes or recieve recorded links.
    • Call and ask questions! Your local extension agent is here to help you preserve your foods by answering any questions you may have about canning, freezing, or drying foods or food safety.

MontGuide Updated 07/20

A well-maintained lawn and garden are something to be proud of: properly planned and maintained, they can be eye-catching parts of the landscape.

Healthy, attractive landscaping helps visually tie the property together, and improves homeowners' living environment.

On hot, sunny days, lawns and gardens reduce sun glare, keep surrounding areas cooler, and attract birds, and other wildlife. On windy and rainy days, lawns and gardens protect homeowners' propery from erosion and soil loss.

Go Native

Lanscaping with native plants makes good sense while saving a few dollars.

Native vegetation is a useful alternative to landscapes featuring exotic introduced species.

Native vegetation is generally easy to maintain because native species have been adapted to the regional climate: they are hardy; they can tolerate less than optimum soil and moisture conditions; and they are less susceptible to pests and dieseases - all good things for conservation.

Know Soils' Water-holding Capacity

The ability of a soil to store water is called water-holding capacity. Soil water-holding capacity is primarily controlled by soil texture (the amount of sand, silt and clay) and organic matter.

  • Clay soils absorb water very slowly, so apply water only as fast as it is absorbed by the soil.
  • Sandy soil drains water quickly so plants won't be able to aborb it.
  • Loam soil is a combination of sand, silt, and clay. Loam absorbs water readily and stores it for easy plant use.

Water Management and Conservation

Different types of soil have different water management requirements.

Overwatering can water-log some soils and cause excessive runoff, root rot problems and nitrate fertilizer loss. Overwatering can also be costly and can deplete water supplies.

WATCH THE WEATHER.

  • Don't water when it's going to rain, has just rained, or is raining. Sit back and let Mother Nature take care of this round, Install a rain sensor in a lawn sprinkler system to avoid manually shutting down the system.
  • Avoid watering when it's windy; windy conditions increase evaporation.

Read more watering tips for lawns, gardens, shurbs, and trees.

Garlic is very adaptable and tolerates our cold winters and short growing season.

Planted in the fall, garlic requires very little care.

Types of Garlic

Hardneck

  • The most winter hardy garlic, milder in taste and easier to peel than stoftneck.

Softneck

  • The strongest flavored garlic and stores best, but is slightly less winter hardy than hardneck garlic.

Development

Enclosed in a paper-like wrapping, a garlic bulb is made up of several cloves held together by a thin membrane, which you leave intact when planting.

Planting

In Montana garlic is tradionally planted in the fall, 4-6 weeks before the ground freezes, (typically mid-October), often until as late as November.

  • Just prior to planting, break the bulbs apart and plant the largest cloves, keeping the individual membranes intact. If you accidentally tear the membrane, save that clove to eat as it will be more susceptible to rot and mold in the soil.
  • Set the cloves in the soil root end down, pointed end up, about two inches deep and 4-6 inches apart in rows about 12 inches apart.

Pests and Diseases

Basal Rot

  • Symptoms include slow development, yellowing and subsequent die-back of the stalks.
  • The basal plate, at the roof end of the clove, may show signs of rotting pre-harvest and post-harvest.
  • Remove infected plants and take care to plant disease-free stock from a reputable source.

White Rot

  • Symptoms can look very similar to basal rot with the leaves and bulb showing rot.
  • Early indicators include fluffy, white mycelium at the base of the stalk and small, dark sclerotia (that overwinter) in the decaying tissue.
  • Plant pathogen free cloves form a reliable source.
  • Pre-treating cloves prior to planing by dipping them in hot (not boiling) water may help reduce infection.

Some garlic pests include the garlic bloat nematode and bulb mites. Symptoms of bloat nematode are deformation of garlic bulbs and swelling of the stems. Damage from bulb mites typically occurs in cooler, moist conditions and includes stunted growth and reduced yield.

Harvest

Garlic is ready to harvest when about half the leaves on the plant have browned and dried.

Do not wait too long or the bulbs will begin to seperate in the ground and become susceptible to rot.

The best time to harvest garlic is early in the morning or late evening when it is cooler, as it is best to not leave garlic out in the hot sun.

Read Full MontGuide on Growing Garlic in Montana

Picture of galic

A listing of flowers, vines, shrubs, and trees that deer prefer not to eat.

Deer can wipe out a garden faster than almost any other pest. They eat flowers and foliage in summer and browse on tender buds in winter. Even urban gardens are vulnerable to deer damage.

Deer typically feed at night, with a single adult capable of consuming from five to ten pounds of garden plants per night.

Utilizing deer resistant plants in the landscapre is a good first line of defense. Just remember, no plant is completely deer proof, as a hungry deer will consume almost any plant!

Taste and Scent:

  • These deterents make the area smell of the plant taste bad.
  • They typically come in granules or sprays, and often must be reapplied after rainfall.
  • The fungicide Thiram not only smells bad, but also tastes bad to deer.
  • Always read and follow label directions, particularly if using a product on plants being grown for human consumption.

Fear Factor

  • Mechanical and eletrical deterrents either frighten or lightly shock deer.
  • These include motion-sensing water and noise devices that are activated by the presence of deer.
  • Wireless deer fencing is available, consisting of eletrically-charged posts inserted near the target plant that gives off an odor pleasant to the deer. When they touch the posts, they receive a low charge, but frightening shock, that trains them to stay away.

A fence around your garden is a more permanent solution, but it must be at least eight feet high and slant outward from the protected area at a 45-degree angle.

  • A full fence may not be practical in your situation, but smaller barriers may be constructed.
  • Sink stakes and attach netting to surround individual plants.
  • Small plants may be protected with tomato cages or mik crates.
  • Deer are nosy creatures so be sure the holes in the barriers are small enough that those noses can't reach through.

Most of Montana is deer contry and you'll fight a battle you cannot win if you insist onplanting species the deer love to eat.

While there are some plants that seem to simply delight the palate of a night-feeding deer, like tulips, daylillies, or hostas, any part of a fruit tree, or an unprotected Arborvitae, there are many beautiful plants that deer don't prefer to eat.

Read full MontGuide on Deer-Resistant Plants

Included in the MontGuide is a full list of plants (ground covers, flowers, vines, shrubs, and trees) that generally grow well in our state and that deer will usually ignore if their natural food supply is sufficient.

Picture of a garden with deer resistant plants

This MontGuide has just about everything the home gardener might want to know about growing raspberries.

  • difference among cultivators
  • how to choose a good site
  • preparing the ground
  • planting
  • pruning and training
  • fertilizing and irrigating
  • Insects and diseases

Raspberries will grow best below 7,000 feet in elevation in full sun on neutral or slightly acid, well-drained loam soils.

Soils with higher pH can be deficient in available iron, resulting in raspberry leaves becoming chlorotic (turning yellow).

The canes are subject to rapid desiccation and breakafe, particularly in winter, and benefit from a windbreak.

Site Selection

Gently sloping sites protect the plants from some types of cold inury by allowing coder air to drain down-slope, away from the plants. Always plant on the slope and never at teh top of the hill, where wind damage is most severe, or at the bottom, which becomes a cold air pocket.

Raspberries need plenty of moisture but do poorly in wet soils. Be sure teh subsoil is well-drained with no hardpan or berm to restrict water drainage.

Cultivated raspberries can contract several diseases from wild relatives. To reduce disease incidence, select a site at least 300 feet from other cultivated or wild brambles. Also, raspberries have root rot diseases in common with tomato, potato, eggplant, peppers and petunias, so keep the plantings seperated by some distance and never follow one of these crops with raspberries.

Planting

  • Plant dormant raspberry plants as as the ground can be worked in early spring or in mid-fall after plants ahve lost their leaves.
  • Set potted plants as deeply as they grew in the nursery, spaced about 2 feet apart in rows spaced 5 feet apart. Set bareroot plants in a shallow hole wide enough to accommodate the roots. Spread the roots out so that the crown (where the roots meet the stem) is 1 - 2 inches below the ground surface.
  • Cover with soil and firm in to remove air pockets. Water well and cut canes back to six inches above the ground.
  • Newly planted canes will not produce fruit the first year, and typically not the second, but will provide a crop in the third year. Cultivate regularly to control weeds.

Pruning

During spring pruning remove all dead, damaged and weak canes. Thin the remaining canes to stand about 6 inces apart in the row. Let the row width slowly icrease to about 3 to 4 feet so that the row becomes a "bed". Harvesting from the middle of a bed wider than 4 feet is difficult.

Training

Common red raspberry cultivars grow erect but sometimes droop into the aisles making harvest difficult.

Unsupported canes are also prone to damage from the wind.

To make a trelli:

  • Sink two strong posts into the ground 8 feet apart and attach a cross piece 30 inches long to each post about 40 inches above the ground.
  • Fasten a strand of fence wire to each othe two ends of one crosspiece and run them the length of the row, fastening to the cross piece on the opposite post.
  • Train the canes to grow up between the wires to keep them from drooping too far out of the row.
  • Loosen one end of each wire at the end of the season to prevent the wires from contracting in winter and pulling the posts out of the ground.

Read full MontGuide on Growing Raspberries

MontGuide has more information on planting, growing, pruning, fetilizer, irrigation, harvest and storage, winter damage, pest control, and diseases!

Pictures of raspberries

Animal Safety on your property and surrounding area should be integrated into any management decision you make.

Learn how to prevent accidential animal poisonings in this MontGuide on Animal and Chemical Safety

Mild or Severe symptoms will occur depending on how much was ingested.

Mild symptoms often go unnoticed.

Severe Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Reduced food consumption
  • Increased Salivation or drooling
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Death if enough is consumed
  • Bees play an important role in natural and agricultural systems as pollinators of flowering plants that provide food, fiber, animal forage, and ecological services like soil and water conservation. In fact, approximately three-quarters of all flowering platns rely on pollinators to reproduce. In addition to honey bees, native bees provide valuable pollination services.
  • Though unknown, the number of native bees species in Montana is likely in the hundreds.
  • Bees, like other insects, have three body segments; a head, thorax, and abdomen.
    • Head consists of compound eyes, antennae that are segmented and bent, mouthparts that include jaws for chewing, and a tongue
      Bee body segments

      Bee body segments

      for drinking nectar.
    • The thorax bears the legs and four wings (two forewings and two hind-wings).
    • The abdomen contains the sting in female bees.
  • Female bees also have special pollen-carrying hairs or other structures commonly found on the hind legs or underside of the abdomen.

A Bee or Not a Bee?

  • There are two major groups of insects that are commonly confused with bees - flies and wasps.
    • Fly Identification
      • Flies have only two wings, while bees have four.
      • Flies have short, stubby antennae with long hiars or feathery antennae and sucking or sponging mouthparts.
      • Many flies have large eyes that almost meet at the top of their heads.
    • Wasp Identification
      • Similar to bees, wasps have four wings, chewing mouthparts, a sting, and long antennae.
      • But, while bees are usually very hairy, wasps are usually smooth and almost hairless.
      • Wasps also have a typical, slender "wasp waist" and rarely have pollen-carrying hairs because most are carnivores and don't eat pollen.
      • Wasps are important predators of many pest insects including cutworms, aphids, and grasshoppers.
      • Additionally, some wasps make paper nests in trees or on buildings.

Read more about bees and take a bee "quiz" here!

Garden Info


 

Pests and Bugs

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