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Encouraging Home Gardeners to Buy Locally Grown Tomato Transplants

UMass professor Robert Wick and UMass Extension Specialists Bess Dicklow and Ruth Hazzard are mounting a public relations campaign to encourage home gardeners to buy locally grown tomato transplants. Locally grown transplants are much more likely to be free of serious diseases that tend to remain active in the southern United States. This effort, in addition to lab and field studies, is being funded by a grant to work on late blight of potato and tomato.

This past week, 350 posters encouraging the purchase of locally grown tomato transplants were distributed by mail to a selection of garden centers. If you did not receive a copy in the mail and would like one, use this link to download a high resolution digital image of the poster that you can have printed at your local print shop. This effort aims at helping businesses in addition to maintaining the health and well-being of the commercial potato and tomato crops.

Reusing Potentially Contaminated Landscapes

Reusing Potentially Contaminated Landscapes: Growing Gardens in Urban Soils (EPA 542-F-10-011). EPA’s new factsheet on urban gardening is now available. You will find information on common contaminants that can be found in urban soil, ways to identify contaminants and reduce exposure, improving soils and growing plants in mildly contaminated soil, and additional resources and technical assistance (Spring 2011, 12 pages). View or download at .

A Community Guide to Growing Greener

The Massachusetts Watershed Coalition (MWC) has just released A Community Guide to Growing Greener. It is available for free download from MWC’s website: These practical guidelines explain how low impact practices and better site design will help communities grow greener and fix stormwater problems. Its information is easy to understand and apply for many types of development projects.

The Guide to Growing Greener was created with the help of community boards in Hubbardston, Leominster, Rutland, Sterling and Westminster. Several communities have adopted this guidance, which does not add regulations but will help town boards and builders to achieve more sustainable development. The Coalition will host free workshops in Leominster on May 19 to discuss the Guide, better site design for natural resource protection and stormwater management. The Guide was created with support from Constellation Energy, The Country Hen of Hubbardston and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust.

Nitrogen and Water Use with Turfgrass

As you gear up for the 2011 growing season, a new fact sheet from UMass Extension entitled ‘A Practical Guide to Improving Nitrogen and Water Use Efficiency in Turfgrass Systems’ details cultural practices and other tips for prudent use of nitrogen and water. To download the fact sheet, visit:

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