HGEC E-Newsletter Archive


Smart Shopping, Healthy Seedlings and Other April News

April is for smart shopping at the garden center, Keeping your seedlings healthy & Cleaning your hummingbird feeders!

"Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy plants, and that's the same thing."

- Unknown

Smart Shopping At The Garden Center!

Hanging baskets in a greenhouse
Photo by H.Zidack

This time of year is when the trucks start filling the garden centers with fresh plant material and new varieties! Growers who have been growing their new stock will start to

release their products both in retail and wholesale spaces. We're starting to look closer at what's coming for the new season and dreaming on gardens to come! Here's a few smart shopping tips for going into the garden center this spring!

  • New Varieties are "released" into the grower markets before they hit the retail market. It may still take a couple seasons to make it to your patio! When looking at new material, grower catalogs display what they plan on providing to their customers (garden centers) and therefore are more reliable.
  • Many garden centers order their plants in the fall of the previous year, so availability, especially for new varieties, can be very tight!
  • New introductions usually have been through years of display gardens, trials and other testing conditions to make sure that they will perform well in our zone and climate.
  • Not every garden center will carry every variety available. Many will choose to focus on a select few they've selected for their client base.
  • When substitutions are necessary, select a substitute that will meet your target size, growing conditions and maintenance expectations. Avoid decisions based on physical features alone.
  • Some perennials and flowering shrubs may have been forced to flower early in order to sell this spring. These plants will correct themselves to their "normal" schedule once they complete a season in the ground.
  • Planting your garden in "stages" will help you extend your budget, but it will also give you a chance to see how plants grow into the area.
  • When considering plant size, ask yourself the following questions:
    • Can I handle digging and planting this by myself?
    • How quickly do these plants grow in one season?
    • Am I willing to wait multiple weeks/months/seasons for it to grow in, or do I want instant gratification?

Monrovia New Plants 2024

Prides Corner New Plants 2024

Griffin: New Varities For 2024

Proven Winners 2024 Flipbook

Keeping Your Seedlings Healthy

Seedlings under a grow light
Photo by H.Zidack

In February, March, or even April we're starting seeds. Gardeners spend a lot of time and energy in picking out the right lights, creating the ideal conditions, and helping those seedlings get the right start. We're here to tell you keep up the enthusiasm! Here are few tips to keep your seedlings in good shape until you're ready to plant.

  • Maintain a consistent moisture across all cells.
  • Don't be afraid to thin or transplant seedlings into slightly larger cups or containers once true leaves are showing.
  • Maintain light! The height of your grow lights may need to be adjusted after germination to keep seedlings reaching for sunlight.
  • Air circulation is crucial! Consider using a fan on a low setting to keep air moving and to help strengthen young stems.

Read More Tips for Keeping Your Seedlings Healthy

Clean Hummingbird Feeders for Healthy Hummingbirds

Red-Throated Hummingbird
Photo by allaboutbirds.org

Each spring, ruby-throated hummingbirds embark on their annual migration north to Connecticut from Mexico. These migratory journeys, which can span hundreds or thousands of miles, require immense preparation and a shocking amount of energy from these small birds - the smallest in the world. Their spring migration north is a solitary journey with the goal of getting to their breeding grounds early enough to claim the best feeding territories. They will be very hungry and in need of nourishment when they arrive. Putting out feeders in anticipation of their arrival- early April- will help with their transition until the flowers are in bloom. Proper care of the feeders will ensure these little birds stay happy and healthy during their stay until they begin their migration south in the fall.

Care & Maintenance of Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbird Central: Spring Migration Map 2024

Native Plant Highlight: Red Trillium

Red Trillium
Photo by Pamm Cooper

Also known as red wakerobin, Trillium erectum is a native plant that blooms in late April. The rather putrid-smelling flowers are pollinated by flies. Found in open deciduous woodlands, it is often found among bloodroot, ramps and violets. Flowers vary in color, sometimes being green, white or pale red. Moths may also visit the flowers.

Learn More About Red Trillium

Be On the Lookout: Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Photo by Pamm Cooper

Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) is a large brush foot butterfly that overwinters in its mature form. It is one of the first butterflies seen in late winter- early spring and are sometimes seen flying on warm winter days. Seldom visitors to flowers, these butterflies lap tree sap, dung, mud and ripe fruit. Caterpillars are found mostly on willows and elms living in communal groups in silken shelters. Look for them when willows begin leafing out. These butterflies may be the longest living ones in North America.

Learn More about the Mourning Cloak Butterfly

The CT Native Tree & Shrub List Has Been Updated for 2024!

UConn Extension and CT DEEP Wildlife Division have released an updated list of CT native plant selections and businesses that grow and/or sell these plants! We shared the 2023 list last month. See below for the updated list for 2024. One of the biggest updates is that the list now also includes native perennials!

2024 Connecticut Native Perennial, Tree & Shrub Availability List

Blueberry Growers: Prevent Mummy Berry This Spring

UConn Extension's Fruit Expert, Evan Lentz, has advice for people that had blueberry mummy berry problems last year: " I’ve seen Forsythia beginning to bloom already. This means that we need to make sure to get down a 2-4” layer of mulch on our blueberries if you haven’t done so already. Forsythia bloom times coincide with the maturity of the overwintering spores that are currently on the ground under your bushes. We are a bit away from having the conditions required for infection (50-62°F) which makes this the perfect time to apply that mulch."

Mummy Berry of Blueberry

April 2024 Weather Outlook

A seasoned gardener always keeps their eye to the sky at any time of year! NOAA's National Weather Service released their discussion about how weather patterns in April will continue to lead us into spring! 

April Temperature Outlook Precipitation Outlook Map


Upcoming Events and Things to Do

Picking Daffodils in a field

  • Connecticut Audubon Walks- there are many walks scheduled around Connecticut for the month of April. The website also has Audubon centers and Ct. sanctuary sites. Late April is also the start of the spring bird census.
  • Sky's the Limit Hiking Challenge - Hosted by CT Parks & CT DEEP. March 22, 2024 - December 6, 2024
  • Pick your own Daffodils or Tulips!
    • Halfinger Farms- pick your own daffodils at this historic 1790 property on Candlewood Hill Road in Higganum. They recommend calling first for picking status- 860-345-4609.
    • Wicked Tulips, Multiple locations.  Check out their bloom reports for details of each location.
  • Total Solar Eclipse -  April 8th, 2024 - View details about where, when, and how much coverage we will see! 
  • Colorblends Spring Bulb Garden display - Bridgeport, CT. April 1- May 12. Features spring bulbs like snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, tulips, alliums and others that bloom in sequence. Located in Bridgeport. 
  • Visit Historic Homes and Gardens in Connecticut- Visit gardens and homes like the Henry Whitfield Museum in Guilford, Leffingwell House and Norwich, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme and the Rosewood Cottage in Woodstock, among many others.

Educational Opportunities & Workshops

    April Gardening Tips

    1. Apply pre-emergent crabgrass weed control when soil temperatures reach 50°F. Use a tool like this soil temperature map to track your timing. Do not use a pre-emergent weed control if you are trying to germinate grass seed.

    2. Place peony supports.

    3. Freezing temperatures don’t harm pansies, but if they have been grown in a greenhouse they should be gradually exposed to outdoor temperatures before planting. Frosts and freezing temperatures can damage delicate flowers. 

    4. A new generation of spongy moth and eastern tent caterpillars will hatch in late April and begin feeding on the leaves of many tree species. Remove and destroy any egg masses you find on your trees.

    5. Cut ornamental grasses back to a height of 6 inches before new growth appears.

    6. Set up a bat house early in the month to encourage them to roost. Visit the DEEP’s Bats fact sheet for information and bat house plans.

    7. When filling large containers for the deck or patio, use less soil by creating a false bottom. Most smaller container plants don't need more than about a foot of soil depth for their roots. Keep the plant in a smaller pot that is supported by an inverted pot or rocks.

    8. Start dahlia tubers in pots indoors in a cool, bright spot. Cover tuberous roots with 2 to 3 inches of potting mix. Pinch back tips when they reach 6 inches and transplant outdoors when the ground temperature reaches 60° F.

    9. Inspect houseplants for pests and use low-toxicity insecticidal controls as needed. Transplant houseplants that need repotting.

    10. Place seedlings in cold frames around April 25 or later to harden off.


    Did You Know...

    This year, a company called Light Bio received approval to produce and sell glow in the dark petunias! Scientists were able to genetically engineer a petunia with the genes of a bioluminescent mushroom to create this fascinating plant!

    Flowers are white in daylight, and in the dark the fastest growing parts of the plants will give off a soft glow. 

    Bioluminescent petunias show their daytime white color and their nighttime "glow" in this potted example.

    Photo by Light Bio

    This Month’s Newsletter Contributors: 
    Pamm Cooper, Dr. Nick Goltz, Dawn Pettinelli, Marie Woodward, Heather Zidack 


    Shamrocks, Pruning and other March News

    March is for Shamrocks, Pruning & Building Raised Beds!

    "Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job." 

    - George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist

    Shamrocks, Clovers & Oxalis, Oh My!

    Green Oxalis and Red Oxalis plants
    Oxalis. Photo by dmp2024

    For every 10,000 three-leaf clover, you'll find one or two four-leaf clover. These odds explain the "luck" behind the tradition of finding one! While the popular St. Patrick's Day symbol is seen everywhere in the month of March, have you ever stopped to think about the botany behind the symbol?

    The beloved shamrock, four-leaf clover and the Oxalis houseplant all have their own identities, but when St. Patrick's Day hits, they all become interchangeable. So what's the real difference?

    The Botany Behind the Shamrock

    Prune your Fruit Trees

    Late Winter/Early spring is a great time to be pruning your fruit trees! By keeping your fruit trees properly maintained, you can encourage air flow, healthy branch growth, and productive yields each season. There are a lot of factors that go into pruning your trees "the right way," and different gardeners may have different needs to be met. One of the most important things you can do is remove any dead, dying, or weakened branches. To read about all the considerations that play into pruning decisions, check out the link  below.

    UMaine: Pruning Fruit Trees

    Building Raised Beds Safely

    Raised beds can be the pride and joy of many home gardeners. They come with many advantages:

    • Using raised beds can combat poor soil conditions
    • Less bending or kneeling for gardeners
    • Extend the growing season by combining methods like cold frames or plastic covers over the raised beds
    • They can be either a temporary or permanent fixture in your garden

    When it comes to building raised beds, there are many options out there. Prefabricated beds are on the market as a quick "pop up" option. Meanwhile, others like to construct their beds themselves using various materials like cinder blocks, pallets, or fence panels. Whenever you're building your raised beds, be sure to consider the safety of the material you're using. Avoid pressure treated wood materials and take caution when using concrete products. Look for pallets with the "HT" symbol on them, indicating they have been heat treated instead of chemically treated. 

    If you already have beds made with these materials, don't panic! There are options to help you "seal" your beds to keep your plants safe from chemicals that may leach into the soil. For example, latex paint will help minimize the contact of the material with the soil. Some wood stains and even plastic sheeting can also be used. 

    To learn more about raised bed material safety, read the fact sheet below.

    The Safety of Materials Used to Build Raised Beds

    Native Plants that Support Native Bees in Early Spring

    Cellophane bee on black willow flower in early springCellophane bees (Colletes inaequalis)are one the first of our native bees to be out and about on a warm day in very early spring, sometimes when there is still some snow on the ground. Their flight normally coincides with native willow blooms, which are one of only a few native plants that may be blooming in March. These ground- nesting solitary bees are active for a few weeks, and other native plants like bloodroot, red maple and Amelanchier are visited by these bees. They also can be seen on crocus and other early blooming spring bulbs.

    Where to find these and other native plants is a common question that we get here at the Home & Garden Education Center. As gardeners become more aware of native plant solutions, we are seeing more widespread availability. The Connecticut Native Tree and Shrub Availability List is a fantastic resource to help you find both plant recommendations and nurseries that may carry these plants! 

    Learn more about Colletes inaequalis

    Wildlife Highlight: Eastern Phoebe

    Eastern Phoebe on a branch

    Eastern phoebes are native tyrant flycatchers in the Tyrannidae family. Characterized by its large head and a habit of wagging their tail when perched. Phoebes are among the first of our migrating birds to return in early spring. People often mistake the similar chickadee call for the raspier “phoebe” call. They build their nest on sheltered ledges, often on buildings. While primarily insect eaters, phoebes occasionally eat ticks, spiders, fruits, and seeds.

    Learn More About the Eastern Phoebe

    UConn's Brewing Innovation Initiative Talks Hops

    Hops flowers sprinkled around beverages

    Hops farming in the northeast goes all the way back to the 16th century. Now, the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources at UConn is working with experts in the craft brewing industry and growers tohelp bring the brewing industry to the next level here in Connecticut!

    Read more about Hops and what UConn is doing to get involved at the link below! 

    Come on, Get Hoppy!

    March 2024 Weather Outlook

    A seasoned gardener always keeps their eye to the sky at any time of year! NOAA's National Weather Service released their discussion about how weather patterns will continue to shape this winter season. 

    Monthly Temperature Outlook March 2024

    Monthly Precipitation Outlook March 2024

    Upcoming Events and Things to Do

    Maple sugar house

    • March 16th & 17th is Maple Weekend here in Connecticut! Many local sugarhouses will be open or hosting events this weekend. Find your local sugar house on the Maple Syrup Producers Association webpage.
    • Check in with your favorite garden center! March & April are common opening months to start getting your plant fix!
    • The Scantic Spring Splash is March 30th. Spectate or join in this canoe & kayak race to kick off spring!
    • Visit Elizabeth Park's 2024 Spring Greenhouse Show March 1st-March 8th
    • March 2nd - Early Spring Garden Planning Event at the Waterford Public Library​​
    • March 30th - Vernal Pool Hike. Join DEEP Outreach Biologist Paul Benjunas and Naturalist Laura Rogers-Castro for a hike along the Beaver Marsh Trail to a vernal pool. ​​​​​​

    Educational Opportunities & Workshops

    • March 9th - Wildlife in Connecticut's Changing Landscape. Paul Colburn, a CT DEEP master wildlife conservationist, presents a natural history of Connecticut from the early 1600’s, when European colonists arrived, to the present. ​​​

    March Gardening Tips

    1. Using sterile growing mix for starting seeds reduces problems with damping-off fungi. Avoid overwatering, which encourages root rots.

    2. Seeds of cold weather vegetables like spinach, peas, lettuce and broccoli can be direct seeded as soon as soil is workable.

    3. Before new shoots emerge, cut back last year’s stalks on perennials and grasses.

    4. Move woody plants before they begin new spring growth; transplant as soon as the soil is workable.5. Begin fertilizing houseplants with a water-soluble fertilizer as they resume active growth.

    6. If you potted bulbs for forcing last fall, check their progress. Soil should be barely moist. If tips have sprouted and have a few inches of growth, bring the pot into a cool, bright room (50 to 60 degrees F). Gradually expose the plant to increasing warmth, indirect sunlight, and increased watering. Feed once a week with half-strength houseplant fertilizer. To help the stems grow straight, turn the pot every day. When buds and foliage are fully developed, bring into full sunlight, and enjoy!

    7. Once your garden beds thaw, remove old garden debris such as leaves, stalks, and seed heads to reduce the presence of any overwintering diseases and pests.

    8. Thin bramble plantings (raspberries, blackberries, etc.) to increase air circulation and reduce stem and leaf disease problems.

    9. Clean out bluebird houses! They start looking for nesting spots in early March.

    10. Start cleaning containers and pots so they are ready for planting. Inspect for chips and cracks.

    Did You Know...

    Nursery wholesalers and greenhouse growers may sometimes have different product lines for independent garden centers and big box stores. 

    As you start your garden shopping this spring, consider shopping at different locations to find new and unique plants for your projects! 

    Different varieties of Basil plants

    This Month’s Newsletter Contributors: 
    Pamm Cooper, Dr. Nick Goltz, Dawn Pettinelli, Marie Woodward, Heather Zidack 


    Chocolates for your Valentine and other February News

    Chocolates for Your Valentine!

    Chocolate scented helianthus in bloom
    Chocolate scented helianthus by Pamm Cooper

    Many of us celebrate Valentine’s Day with a box of chocolates. What if you surprised your valentine with a chocolate garden that could last them all growing season long? We've found a couple of lists for you that can help you plan a garden that has the sights, smells, and even tastes of our favorite valentine’s day treat and compliments to make it pop! Check out these plant lists to help you create your own chocolate garden for this spring!

    Plants for the Chocolate Theme Garden

    Chocolate Plants

    What’s the Buzz About Cicadas in 2024?

    You may have heard the media buzz already that there is going to be a significant event this year in the entomology world. Periodical cicadas, who emerge on either a 13 year or 17 year cycle, will overlap for the first time in 221 years! Many are preparing to see an increase in insect activity and asking us how to best prepare their gardens. While this is indeed fascinating, there are a few details that are being left out of the whole story and we want to help set the record straight!

    These periodical cicadas are species that spend a significant part of their life underground. However, there are multiple populations, known as "broods" that emerge on different schedules. Because of this, it is typical to see a 13 year brood and a 17 year brood emerge "together" roughly every 5 years. These insects will emerge, begin singing their chorus of mating songs, and feed on nearby woody ornamentals. However, their damage is rarely extensive.

    Photo of Cicada by University of Connecticut

    Over the years, scientists have been able to map exactly where specific broods live. The two broods of interest this year, Brood XIX (13 year) and Brood XIII (17 Year) will emerge in adjacent locations, but the overlap is not anticipated to be significant. It is indeed the first time in 221 years that these two specific broods are emerging at the same time.

    The greatest impact may be found around Springfield, Illinois and surrounding areas.  Here in Connecticut, we will not see these broods. While we may not see the once in a lifetime periodical cicada emergence here at home, we will still be able to enjoy the songs of our Annual Cicadas. Keep an ear out for them this summer. To learn more about periodical cicadas, check out the link below!

    The 2024 Periodical Cicada Emergence

    Native Plant Highlight: Red Columbine

    Red Columbine Flower
    Image of Red Columbine flower by GoBotany

    Red columbine (Aquilegia canadenis) is a shade-loving perennial that has attractive foliage and eye-catching red and yellow flowers that resemble tiny ballerinas. It attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and hawk moths. As a short-lived perennial, it prefers to self-sow and pop up in places with bare soil. Plant or sow columbine seeds in areas where you are waiting for other plants to grow. It will prove to be a good competitor for weeds To learn more about this beautiful native perennial, visit GoBotany: Aquilegia canadensis


    Wildlife Highlight: Brandt Goose

    Along the Connecticut shoreline there are many species of birds that can only be found here in the winter. Among them are Brant geese, sanderlings and ruddy turnstones. Brant geese resemble Canada geese but are smaller and lack the white cheek patch. These geese breed in the lower Arctic regions. Look for small groups of them foraging off rocks and dipping in the salt water for vegetation.

    February 2024 Weather Outlook

    A seasoned gardener always keeps their eye to the sky at any time of year! NOAA's National Weather Service released their discussion about how weather patterns will continue to shape this winter season. 

    Precipitation outlook Feb 2024
    Precipitation outlook Feb 2024 - NOAA

    Temperature Outlook Feb 2024
    Temperature Outlook February 2024 - NOAA


    Knowledge to Grow On

    Bonsai tree before and after pruning
    Bonsai tree before and after pruning. Photo by Laurel Humphrey

    Read our Ladybug blogs written weekly

    Bonsai for Beginners
    A Glimpse of Some Connecticut Lichens
    Calculating Slope for Your Landscape
    Pretty Cape Primroses

    Upcoming Events and Things to Do

    • CT Flower & Garden Show Feb 22-25, 2024. Connecticut Convention Center. Theme: Bursting into Spring! ​​The UConn Home & Garden Education Center will have a booth at the CT Flower & Garden Show to answer plant questions, provide free pH testing for your soil samples, and we will be having speakers every day of the show.
      • Thursday 11:00AM - Dawn Pettinelli
        • Healthy Soils, Healthy Plants, Healthy You 
      • Friday 12:30PM - Pamm Cooper
        • Home on DeRange
      • Saturday 12:30 PM - Heather Zidack
        • Home Gardening Tips in a New Home
      • Sunday 11:00AM - Dr. Nick Goltz
        • The Plant Doctor is In: Flower Disease 101
    • Check out the CT Winter Wine Trail - From January 6th to March 30th, 13 wineries in the state participate in a passport program where visiting each of the sponsors can lead to prizes and adventure!
    • Get your seeds and seed starting supplies, locally! While many big box stores can be a great resource for affordable seed and seed starting products, local businesses like Natureworks Organic Garden Center, Hart Seed CompanyComstock Ferre and other garden centers throughout the state are starting to provide these products and their expertise as well!  February is still a great time to get a jump on your gardening chores! 

    Educational Opportunities and Workshops

    • The 2024 Northeast Extension Fruit Consortium winter series features sessions in February and March. Specific dates for various sessions and registration information can be found on their web page.
    • February 10th, 11AM-2PM in Litchfield, CT Cut it Out! The Local History and Practice of Ice Harvesting - Learn about how ice was harvested and stored right here in Connecticut! 
    • Mark your calendars for the CT Compost Conference (Details Below)

      February Gardening Tips

      1. Recent temperature swings may cause perennials to heave out of the ground. Gently push them back into the soil or cover with mulch.

      2. If you potted bulbs for forcing last fall, check their progress. Soil should be barely moist. If tips have sprouted and have a few inches of growth, bring the pot into a cool, bright room (50 to 60 degrees F). Gradually expose the plant to increasing warmth, indirect sunlight, and increased watering. Feed once a week with half-strength houseplant fertilizer. To help the stems grow straight, turn the pot every day. When buds and foliage are fully developed, bring into full sunlight, and enjoy!

      3. Begin fertilizing houseplants with a water-soluble fertilizer as they resume active growth.

      4. Turn the compost pile during any stretches of mild weather. 

      5. If you’re starting seeds under fluorescent lights, check the light tubes for signs of age. Dark rings on the ends of tubes means they should be replaced. Dispose of properly.

      6. Prune grape vines at the end of the month.

      7. This is the tine to prune currants. On a mild day, remove all deadwood and low shoots that are over 3 years old. Prune to an outward-facing bud. Prune apple and pear trees as the weather allows.

      8. When using salt to melt ice on walks and driveways, spread it carefully to avoid damage to nearby shrubs. Consider using sand or sawdust instead. After the snow melts, flush the area around the roots exposed to salt with fresh water.

      9. If you are overwintering plants into your garage or cellar, check the soil to see if it needs water. If the soil is frozen, it may be in too cold of a spot.

      10. Bring pruning tools inside and clean them for the upcoming season. Disassemble hand pruners, and loppers. Sharpen the blades, oil the levers, and remove any rust.

      The Master Gardener program is selling garden journals and calendars as a fundraiser and they still have some left! Order yours while there's still availability! 

      Photo Op: Fascinating Sights

      See something cool in your garden? Send your pictures to us at ladybug@uconn.edu with subject line “Newsletter Photo” and a brief caption to be considered for next month’s highlight!  

      Graphis scripta script lichen

      Graphis scripta script lichen Oak grove Jan 2024 for newsletter by Pamm Cooper

      This Month’s Newsletter Contributors: 
      Pamm Cooper, Dr. Nick Goltz, Dawn Pettinelli, Marie Woodward, Heather Zidack 


      Planning Your Gardens Early and other January News

      January Newsletter Decorative Cover

      Happy New Year!

      The UConn Home & Garden Education Center is here to help you make all those gardening resolutions a success!

      Planning your Gardens Early

      Whether you're planning a vegetable garden, foundation planting, or otherwise, January can be a great time to sit down and start planning! Here are a few tips that are helpful.
      • Check out those seed catalogs!
        • This is a great way to think spring during the coldest time of year! Be sure to look at catalogs from multiple vendors to get a complete picture of the varieties you're growing. A lot of plant growth data can be based on averages. Looking at multiple sources keeps you more informed!
        • The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station provides a quality control test of vegetable seed every year! If you felt you had issues with a particular brand or variety they may have some data for you! 
      • Get out your calendar and check your seed packets!
        • Most seed companies recommend counting backwards from your last frost date. Instead, some find it easier to review your days to germination & days to maturity to create this timeline
        • As a general rule of thumb, "days to maturity" for seeds started indoors, will mean the number of days your plant will take to mature after the transplant date. Using this knowledge and giving yourself a buffer for failed germination, you will be able to calculate when your plants will be ready for seeding and transplant into your gardens!
      • Review your notes! 
        • If you didn't do this in the fall, take some time to reflect on your previous growing season. Take stock of what plants performed well, and what you might skip next year to maximize space or increase yields
      • Get out the tracing paper! 
        • Sketch out your garden on a blank sheet of paper. Mark all the hardscape, pathways, and established plants. This will be your "foundation"
        • Grab a sheet of tracing paper for each season.  On each season's respective page draw ONLY the plants that are in place in that season.
          • For additional affect, color them the color that they bloom.
        • You should only draw over plants that are annuals/replaced on a regular schedule.
          • For veggie gardeners this can help you plan crop rotations!
        • Layer your 4 sheets on top of eachother in seasonal order to see the flow of your colors, shapes, or produce in the garden. This is a great way to make sure you have plants in flower/production for as long as possible!

      Winter Sowing Native Seeds

      Seed heads stored in paper bags. Photo by HZidack

      At the 2023 UConn Pollinator & Native Plants Conference, Sarah Michel, a Community Ecologist with the Land Conservancy of McHenry County in Illinois shared her knowledge about sowing native seeds in the home landscape.

      It turns out, saving the seeds of native plants is an easy, cost effective and family friendly way to create a native landscape in your yard! Seeding native plants in January and February can be a great way to save time and get out into the garden in those "off season" months.

      While Sarah is from a different region with some different native plants, her tips on harvest, storage and sowing were invaluable! She also highlighted the importance of always harvesting seed ethically and respecting community and private spaces. To learn more about how to sow native yourself, see the links below.

      Creating Brush Piles for Wildlife

      Brush pile against natural stone wall
      Brush pile against natural stone wall. Photo by MW2023

      Got extra brush? Why burn it when you can build a brush pile for wildlife. With more people being aware of the environmental effects of burning, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recommends this rediscovered method. Brush piles not only help the environment, but they create cover for small birds, reptiles and mammals who may be facing limited habitat. This is a great way to provide protection from harsh winter conditions. To learn more about brush piles and how to build them, visit the link below. 


      2024 Perennial of the Year

      Phlox paniculata 'Jeana'
      Photo by Dan Jaffe

      The Perennial Plant Association has named Phlox paniculata 'Jeana' as it's perennial of 2024! This tall garden phlox was highlighted for its impressive height and ability to hold up its showy flower heads without too much flopping over.  This particular variety is also resistant to powdery mildew and is a great performer in the pollinator garden!

      January 2024 Weather Outlook

      A seasoned gardener always keeps their eye to the sky at any time of year! NOAA's National Weather Service released their discussion on weather this January about how weather patterns will continue to shape this winter season. 
      January 2024 NOAA Precipitation OutlookJanuary 2024 NOAA Temp Outlook

      Upcoming Events and Things to Do

      • January 13th - Life on the Webster Farm: Work Days. Visit the museum on select Saturdays every month from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and enjoy live demonstrations from our experienced team of museum educators. Each demonstration will focus on a unique aspect of early American work and play. Stop by and learn about the trades and activities of life on the Webster farm
      • Visit a local brewery, winery, or distillery. Many of these local businesses are still open at this time of year and offer entertainment options during the winter months like comedy shows, trivia nights, and even workshops to learn a new skill! 
      • See butterflies up close! The Connecticut Science Center's Butterfly Encounter is open! Explore their all season butterfly habitat housing over 40 species of butterflies! If you're looking to take a day trip, Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory is in South Deerfield MA. This conservatory hatches and maintains its butterfly population year round as well.
      • Mark your calendars! The CT Flower & Garden Show will be Feb 22-25, 2024! We will be there and offering free soil pH testing at our booth! As long as the ground is still not frozen, we'll be able to process this for you at the show! 


      Educational Opportunities and Workshops

      • January 9th - CT Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Conference - Hosted by UConn Extension program. Spots are still available! Visit the link above for agenda and registration details.
      • January 24th - Plainfield Fish Hatchery Bird Walk - Join Andy Rzeznikiewicz as he leads you around the extensive hatchery grounds. This location often has many bird species wintering there, due to the open water conifer trees and dense shrub areas. Registration required. See link for details. 
      • Multiple Dates in January - Owl Prowls - Join the CT Audubon Society for an evening walk to look for Owls in nature! 
      • January 28th - Winter Ecology and Wildlife Tracking hike/snowshoe at Northwest Park Windsor, CT 1-3pm. Join naturalist Aimee Gelinas M.Ed, Director and co-founder of the Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center on a winter ecology hike (or snowshoe) through Northwest Park. Participants will learn how to observe and identify wildlife tracks and patterns, signs of wildlife such as scent markings, scat and other wildlife activity that gives a glimpse into the lives of wildlife that stay active in winter.  Along the way, participants will learn how to identify evergreen and deciduous trees in winter by bark, buds and branching patterns plus evergreen ferns and plants. Exploring the woods in winter provides an opportunity to understand how fauna and flora adapt to the cold. This program is sponsored by the Friends of Northwest Park. Registration required. See link above 
      • Registration is now open for NOFA's Land Care Accreditation course to start Feb. 1st, 2024


      January Gardening Tips

      1. Start seeds of pansies, dusty miller, browallia, begonias, snapdragons, and delphiniums indoors under lights.

      2. Inspect stored bulbs, tubers and corms for rot or infestation. Discard those showing signs of decay or insect damage.

      3. Turn and prune houseplants regularly to keep them shapely. Pinch back new growth to promote bushy plants. 

      4. When placing your seed and plant orders keep in mind that many seeds have improved insect and/or disease resistance. Watch also for drought-tolerant types. Our fact sheet Vegetable Garden: Basics and Plant Selection has some useful suggestions. 

      5. At month's end, start seeds of onions, leeks, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower indoors under lights.

      6. Avoid using salt to melt ice on driveways and sidewalks which may end up on the lawn, when possible use sand or kitty litter. This will help prevent salt damage to plant roots.

      7. Brush snow from evergreens as soon as possible after a storm. Use a broom in an upward, sweeping motion. Serious damage may be caused by heavy snow or ice accumulating on the branches.

      8. When you are finished with holiday evergreen boughs, use them to mulch tender perennials and shrubs.

      9. Use wood ashes from the fireplace as a good source of potash. Keep in mind the pH of wood ashes is 11 so only use them on areas where the pH needs to be raised.

      10.Clean bird feeders and baths regularly to avoid the spread of avian diseases. Disinfect feeders and baths monthly.


      We Want to Hear From You!

      Thank you for reading the UConn Home & Garden Education Center Newsletter! In 2024, we want to make sure that our newsletter is delivering content that you want to know about!  Please take a moment to complete our brief survey to help us learn what topics really matter to our gardeners! Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to give us your feedback!

      Photo Op: Fascinating Sights

      See something cool in your garden? Send your pictures to us at ladybug@uconn.edu with subject line “Newsletter Photo” and a brief caption to be considered for next month’s highlight!  

      Fog on Horse Barn Hill

      Fog on Horse Barn Hill by Nathan Oldham

      Before We Go...

      Did you know?

      The Connecticut Greenhouse industry is the largest agricultural sector in the state! While many of us are dreaming of spring - greenhouse growers are already well underway with production for next season. Your favorite spring annuals are being planted this month, or some may be in pots already! Meanwhile, plants like succulents and houseplants are grown year round for plant enthusiasts like us!

      Succulents in greenhouse

      Photo by Sean Flynn

      This Month’s Newsletter Contributors: 
      Pamm Cooper, Dr. Nick Goltz, Dawn Pettinelli, Marie Woodward, Heather Zidack 


      Looking back on 2023 and Other December News

      Looking Back at 2023

      This year we saw some spectacular sights in our gardens, yards, and environment! We saw historic flooding and wildfire smoke in our air. Some of you also noticed bumper crops of acorns, strange timing of veggie crops, and hungry bunnies going after your plants.

      In our newsletter this month, we're highlighting some of the most interesting sights we saw and answered questions about! 

      Large azalea galls on the ground, caused by Exobasidium vaccinii

      Exobasidium vaccinii Azalea Galls
      A familiar gall to those who see them on the native Pinxter azaleas, this year they were widespread in Connecticut on older Rhododendron and azalea shrubs. These are leaf galls and are very heavy and succulent to juicy when cut in half. Twigs containing galls should be pruned off just below the gall before white spore surface appears.  

      Maple Anthracnose
      Maple Anthracnose caused early leaf drop on many native maples. Continued wet weather caused many fungal outbreaks on our plants this year with sugar and red maples having severe anthracnose outbreaks causing  brown shriveled leaves as early as August. A drier year in 2024 may avert any recurrence, especially if leaves were raked up and removed.

      This could have been the year of the fish, with many rainfall events that had inches of rain at a time. The Connecticut River flooded and acres of crops were taken out by standing water. Once edible crops have been flooded by rivers, crops are not suitable for human consumption, and farmers without insurance for this type of event suffer economically. To avoid compaction, gardens and lawns should not be worked in or walked on until surface water has infiltrated into the ground or evaporated from the soil surface. Vegetable gardens affected by floodwater generally have other issues, especially those concerning food safety.

      Asian Jumping worm with the distinctive white band marker.
      Photo by Cornell Cooperative Extension

      Jumping Worms/Snake Worms Everywhere! 

      This invasive worm seemed to be quite prevalent among Connecticut homeowners this year. As awareness continues to spread, we hope that research on how to manage these pests will become more available.

      Notice a Lot of Acorns, Fruits and Pinecones?

      This year was a mast year for many species of woody plants like white pines, oaks and Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana. Mast means fruit, and a mast year is when more fruit than normal is produced. Reasons for mast years are not always clearly understood. 


      Rabbit in the landscape.
      The Year of the Rabbit
      This was the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, and boy was it ever. Some rabbits eat fallen leaves if they are green and will perhaps stay away from garden plants when they are available. We had many reports from around the state as people noticed larger than normal numbers of rabbits on their property. Many of this year’s crop of bunnies seemed nonplussed by humans, and you may have had to practically push them out of your garden…

      Rime Ice Events in Parts of Connecticut
      Rime ice forms quickly when the moisture contained in a winter fog freezes onto an object having colder temperatures. As more moisture droplets from the fog contact these freezing surfaces, this ice can build up, sometimes appearing as feathery frosting rather than as a clear ice. If foggy conditions continue over a few days, rime ice can build up and get heavy, which it did in some areas of Connecticut. When the sun comes out, rime ice can melt quickly.


      Smoke from Canadian wildfires hanging over Vernon, CT in the summer of 2023.

      Canadian Wildfires and Ashy Skies

      Many perennials that were starting growth spurts in the spring were affected by weeks of hazy skies in May and June caused by wildfire ash from Canadian wildfires mingled with extended cloudy days. Many perennials were noticeably taller than normal as they reached upward for some sun and had difficulty finding adequate amounts of light for lengthy periods. Next year height of plants should be normal. Image is from Vernon, Ct.


      Photo by CT Agricultural Experiment Station

      Spotted Lanternfly

      We were on alert this year for the Spotted Lanternfly as it was spotted in places all around Connecticut! While this invasive has been here since 2020, awareness about this invasive species has been spreading.


      Did your Lilacs lose their leaves this year?

      Older lilacs that had not been pruned regularly to allow foliage to dry out better may have been affected by a fungal pathogen of a Pseudocercospora spp. Leaves may have turned brown and fallen by the end of summer. If this happened to your lilacs, make sure to remove the leaves from the ground and discard them. Prune if needed to allow better air circulation. With all the rain and humidity this year, lilacs may still have been infected, but next year may be drier with less incidences of this leaf disease.

      The USDA Updates Their Plant Hardiness Zone Map

      USDA Hardiness Zone map for Connecticut and Rhode Island 2023
      Photo by USDA

      In November, the USDA updated the Hardness Zone map for the first time since 2012. Here in Connecticut, this caused a shift in zones across the state.

      Christmas Tree Recycling?

      Many homes across the country will be celebrating Christmas this year with a live tree. Environmentally conscious gardeners may be wondering if there are other uses for it besides putting it on the street for the town to pick up. "Old" Christmas trees and holiday greens can be used as a shelter and food source for wildlife, compostable organic material, or wood chips. Always remember to remove any wire or decorations from trees and greens before recycling them.


      Holiday Food Safety Tips

      Dr Indu Upadhyaya from UConn Extension published an article recently about things to keep in mind as you're preparing your holiday meals this season. While this is something the Home & Garden Education Center doesn't have expertise in, UConn has detailed food safety resources for home cooks as they prepare traditional holiday meals this season.

      Upcoming Events and Things to Do

      Gingerbread House

      • The UConn Horticulture Club will be selling poinsettias and a collection of rosemary plants shaped and decorated like miniature Christmas trees. The sale will be on Monday (12/4), Wednesday (12/6), and Friday (12/8) from 2-5 pm each day, in the Floriculture building.

      • It's a great time of year for craft fairs and festive shopping! Check your with your local recreation department for events like Holidays on Main in Wethersfield, CT or the Winter Festival at the Woodstock Fairgrounds.

      • Winterfest Hartford is an opportunity to go ice skating in Bushnell Park! They host free events, including free skating lessons and visits with Santa through the month of December. 

      • Twilight Tours at Osbourne Homestead Museum - Museum volunteers transform this historic museum into a festive, holiday showcase!

      • Holiday Light Festival & Market in Hartford, CT - Enjoy interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, seasonal food and drinks, family-friendly activities, a festive holiday market and daily live entertainment. 
      • Winterfest and Tunnel of Lights at the Connecticut Trolley Museum takes guests on an evening trolley ride along with carols and other festivities.
      • Visit the Lobster Trap Tree in Stonington, CT - This is the third annual event honoring the rich fishing history in the town of Stonington. Artists paint buoys to hang from the lit tree of lobster traps - quite a sight to see!
      • Go Snow tubing, skiing or visit the artisan market at Powder Ridge's Lifted Spirits event in Middlefield, CT
      • Celebrate Hanukkah by participating in a community Menorah Lighting
      • Wood Library 13th Annual Gingerbread House Festival is one of the largest gingerbread festivals in our region- features replications of historical buildings and other structures. Opens the day after Thanksgiving- December 17th.
      • Christmas Bird Count- participate in the annual bird count in your area this year. The Christmas Bird Count occurs December 14 to January 5 every season. Join in the count or sign up to see the results of this annual Christmas season  bird species count. 

      Educational Opportunities and Workshops

      UConn Extension Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers' Conference Save the Date January 9, 2024 UConn Student Union, Storrs, CT - Join us for an educational day of learning and updates on the latest trends in vegetable and small fruit production. Trade show will be held throughout the converence. More information on trade show and participant registration coming soon!


      Master Gardener Calendar Sale

      The UConn Master Gardeners have assembled a calendar for Connecticut gardeners! There are tips through every month on how to plan and maintain your garden for fresh blooms and abundant vegetables. This year there is additional information on supporting beneficial insects in the landscape, with tips on using integrated pest management, creating habitat for beneficials, and starting native plants by seed in the winter. All photos were submitted by local gardeners and selected by MG Volunteers during a statewide photo contest. This makes a great holiday gift for the gardener on your list!

      UConn Master Gardener Calendar Sample Page - January 2024

      December Gardening Tips 

      1. Rotate windowsill plants a quarter turn each week to give all branches equal exposure to the winter sun.
      2. Holiday plants, including amaryllis, mistletoe, and yew are toxic and should be kept away from children and pets. Contact Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect a problem. 

      3. Reduced light during the winter can cause houseplants to become dormant. Be careful not to overwater them during this time although they may need to be watered more often when the heating system is on. 

      4. Harvest any leeks and root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips that are still in the garden 

      5. Mark perennials and bulbs before they become covered in snow to help you identify plants in early spring. 

      6. Avoid using salt to melt ice on driveways and sidewalks which may end up on the lawn, when possible, use sand or kitty litter. This will help prevent salt damage to plant roots. 

      7. Tap the evergreen branches gently to remove snow and ice to prevent the branches from breaking. 

      8. Be sure to keep bird feeders stocked with seed and suet for the winter months. 

      9. If you have friends or family that like to garden, think of gardening gifts for the holidays. Books, gloves, hand tools, weather instruments, and fancy pots are some fun ideas to consider. 

      10. Turn compost piles one more time before they freeze for the winter.


      Photo Op: Fascinating Sights 

      See something cool in your garden? Send your pictures to us at ladybug@uconn.edu with subject line “Newsletter Photo” and a brief caption to be considered for next month’s highlight!  

      Rainbow over Connecticut River

      Rainbow Over Connecticut River by Elizabeth Merkt

      Before We Go...

      Did you know?

      Your shadow will be its longest length of the year on December 21st? 
      This date marks the Winter Solstice. After this day, we will see daylight begin to increase again. Gardening will return before we know it! 

      Sunset Over Christmas Lights

      This Month’s Newsletter Contributors: 
      Pamm Cooper, Dr. Nick Goltz, Dawn Pettinelli, Marie Woodward, Heather Zidack 


      Why Your Lilacs Flowered & Other November News

      November Newsletter

               Fall Lilac Bloom?         

      Lilacs in bloom

      This fall many lilacs have bloomed for the second time this season. Stress factors such as heat, drought or the loss of most of the plant’s leaves can have a lot to do with spring blooming plants that become remontant (flowering out of season).  This year a major stress to some lilacs was severe defoliation caused by a fungal pathogen known as Pseudocercospora. Infected leaves should be raked up and discarded to avoid the winter survival of the spores, which could cause re-infection next year if conditions are right. Plants should recover, and some flower buds may remain for bloom next spring. 

      Lilac Re-Bloom in Fall 

      November is a Good Time to Tie Climbing & Rambling Roses 

      Now is a good time to train climbing or rambling roses. Young canes are easy to tie due to their flexibility. In addition, tying them in the fall adds support and protects them from damaging winter winds. Canes can be tied to fences, posts or use a straining wire to create a support anywhere in your garden.    

      How to Train your Roses 

       After the Turkey, Hunt for the Tree  

      The holiday season is quickly approaching us! Many Connecticut families prepare to get their Christmas trees and holiday greens as early as Black Friday.   

      Finding the right species of tree can help you achieve your holiday decorating aesthetic and home needs. Consider not only the overall look of the tree, but also the sturdiness of the branches and texture of the needles. The classic Frasier Fir will have dense, compact needles, sturdy branches for hanging heavier ornaments and that unforgettable evergreen smell! 

       The Douglas fir will have softer needles and a brighter green color than its counterpart but be advised that lighter ornaments are best for this type of tree. The Concolor Fir has a more open and softer needle structure that creates a bushier look overall with a blueish tint. Keeping with the blue trend, Blue Spruce has a similar structure and sturdiness to the Frasier Fir, but with a silvery blueish hue. Lastly, white pine will have the fluffiest look of the trees and will again need lighter ornaments to hold up to the holiday season.  

      There are many other species of Christmas trees available to homeowners who love a fresh tree for their holiday festivities. No matter what type of tree you select, check out these tips from the CT Christmas Tree Growers Association to help you select and keep a healthy tree all season long!    

      Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ 

      This late-blooming perennial is an ideal addition to the landscape for a bloom that can last from September into late October. Bees that are active late in the season will benefit from these late flowers. Related to the Joe-pye weeds, this plant likes moist soil and full sun to part shade for optimum flowering. It does tolerate drier conditions. Common Name: Chocolate Snakeroot, Joe-Pye Weed  

      Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ 

      American Oil Beetles 

      American oil beetles are a member of the beetle family Melòidae, the blister beetles. These blister beetles cannot fly, and they are often seen crawling over lawns and on roads and sidewalks in October as they look for a suitable place to spend the winter. They are sometimes pests of vegetables and some perennials. Above, left, an oil beetle on parsley. Blister beetles may release a chemical when alarmed that can cause skin to blister. Oil beetle larvae are parasitoids of certain solitary ground-nesting bees. Adults eat plant material. 

      American Oil Beetle 

      Knowledge to Grow On

      Read our Ladybug blogs written weekly! Here’s November’s Highlights:

      Fall for Composting!

      Incredible New Houseplant Varieties

      Fall Cleanup Provides an Opportunity for Dazzling Dried Bouquets!

      All About Pumpkins: Celebrating Fall’s Most Festive Fruit 

      Upcoming Events & Things to Do       

      • Take a Fall Foliage DriveThese self-guided, drivable tours of the fall foliage are a fantastic way to take in the local autumn colors. They even recommend stops along the way!
      • Wine & Design: Craft your Thanksgiving CenterpieceCreate your own seasonal centerpiece using a selection of fresh-cut flowers and accent pieces curated by Amy Sapirstein of Eye Candy Florals.  Registration required.
      • Mattabasett TrailLocated near Middlefield, CT. There are spectacular views even in November as oaks should be in full fall foliage color.
      • Consider buying local produce, baked goods, turkeys and other goodies for your Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve found a few to get you started:
      Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling 

      Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury 

      Red Barn Creamery in Mansfield 

      Gozzi’s Turkey Farm Guilford 

      Clark’s Farms at Bushy Hill Orchard in Granby 

      Silverman’s Farm in Easton 


      • Manchester Road Race Take part as a runner in the 43rd Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day or enjoy as a spectator along the route!  


      • Holiday Light Festival & Market Enjoy interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, seasonal food and drinks, family-friendly activities, a festive holiday market and daily live entertainment. 


      Educational Opportunities & Workshops 

      • The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants – This national webinar will be held November 16th at 6:00PM. Authors Neil Diboll & Hilary Cox will discuss their book, The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants
      • James L. Goodwin State Forest letterboxing programregistration is required for this program which will take place on November 20, 2023 at the James L. Goodwin State Forest in Hampton.
      • Winter Birds Gain an understanding of birds that spend the winter in Connecticut. Learn how to identify by recognizing characteristics and behaviors. We will walk the habitats in search of species and end at the center’s feeding stations. Wrap up by making a simple feeder to take home with you by repurposing a plastic bottle. Registration is required. 


      Information and Registration at https://www.cfba.org 

      Information and Registration at s.uconn.edu/winter-riding  

      November Gardening Tips 

      1. It’s your last chance to plant bulbs in the first week of November.
      1. Be sure not to store apples or pears with vegetables. The fruits give off ethylene gas which speeds up the breakdown of vegetables and will cause them to develop a strange taste.
      1. Cut back most perennials to 3-4 inches, but ornamental grasses can be left to provide winter interest. 
      1. Asian lady beetles, Western Conifer Seed Bugs and Brown marmorated stink bugs may enter the home to overwinter. Use weather stripping or caulking to keep them out.
      1. Continue to thoroughly water trees, shrubs, planting beds, lawn areas and recently planted evergreens until a hard frost. Plants should go into the winter well-water.
      1. Be persistent in collecting leaves that fall late as it will make cleanup in the spring much easier.
      1. Keep mowing your lawn as long as the grass is growing. Meadow voles and field mice will damage turf and nearby trees and shrubs if they have long grass for food and cover.
      1. Clay and ceramic pots can crack over the winter if they fill with rain or melted snow that subsequently freezes and expands. Empty pots and place them upside down under a tarp or store them in a shed or the garage
      1. Drain Garden hoses and store in a shed, garage, or basement for the winter. Turn off all outside faucets.
      1. Pull stakes and plant supports. Clean them with a 10% bleach solution before storing them for the winter.

      Bonus Tip: Ornamental grasses can be cut back for the winter or left as they are if winter interest is desired. The tall grasses are a suitable place for birds to find shelter during the winter.  

      More November Gardening Tips 

       Notice something going on in your garden? The UCONN Plant Diagnostic Laboratory diagnoses plant problems including diseases, insect pests and abiotic causes. Submitting a sample is easy! For details, visit the UConn Plant Diagnostic Laboratory 

       Have Your Soil Tested for Macro- & Micronutrients: Send your soil sample in for testing now to avoid the spring rush. For details on submitting a sample, go to the UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory       

      Photo Op: Fascinating Sights in the Garden 

      Diaperis maculata Olivier fungus beetles on Phlebiopsis crassa fungus on a decaying log

      See something cool in your garden? Send your pictures to us at ladybug@uconn.edu with subject line “Newsletter Photo” and a brief caption to be considered for next month’s highlight!

      Before We Go…              

      Did you know…The USDA estimated that more than 46 million Turkeys were eaten across the United States on Thanksgiving last year! 

      UConn Extension offers food safety guidance for home cooks all year; but the holidays are a suitable time to review your home practices to ensure safe preparation, cooking and storage of leftovers through the holiday season.   



      This Month’s Newsletter Contributors:
      Pamm Cooper, Dr. Nick Goltz, Dawn Pettinelli, Marie Woodward, Heather Zidack