Program Information
February 2013


Air Dates: 7 & 10 | 14 & 17 | 24 | 28 & 3
Monthly Program Listing


Episode 2102
Airs 2/7/13 and 2/10/13

On Volunteer Gardener, we’ll join in the fun at a summer camp designed for junior gardeners. Julie Berbiglia finds the lessons to be hands-on, and hands-in, with vegetable gardening, propagation, composting and design. Sheri Gramer helps us get a beautiful garden of flowers instantly when some basics of good container design are used. Troy Marden takes us behind the scenes into the world of tropical plant hybridizing to learn what attributes are being bred into new introductions. New compact and showy specimens are hitting the market.

Julie’s segment was taped with the Davidson County Master Gardeners. For more information about their summer camp, visit and search the site for ‘Junior Gardener Day Camp’, or call UT Extension agent David Cook at 615.862.5995

Sheri’s segment was taped at Riverbend Nursery (provided plant material) with Barbara Wise.

Riverbend Nursery
2008 Lewisburg Pike
Franklin, TN 37064

Barbara Wise has written Container Gardening for All Seasons and it is available locally at Yarrow Acres and Riverbend Nursery, both located in Franklin, TN. Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million also carry it. It is also available online at Amazon and Target.

Some pointers about successful container gardening Barbara shared: Use good potting soil or container gardening mix, not topsoil. She recommends Garden Magic Potting Soil. The basic recipe to follow when choosing plants for a container is use a thriller, a spiller and a filler.

Troy’s segment was taped at Brian’s Botanicals
6350 North Preston Hwy
Louisville, KY 40229

Plants profiled were:
Canna ‘Lemon Punch’
Colocasia ‘Sangria’
Musa ‘Mekong Giant’
Colocasia ‘Madeira’
Colocasia ‘Royal gigantes’
Canna ‘Bird of Paradise’
Colocasia ‘Bikini-tini’
Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’
Alocasia ‘Zulu Mask’



Episode 2104
Airs 2/14/13 and 2/17/13

On this edition of Volunteer Gardener, Julie Berbiglia learns the many effects that several successive mild winters have had on plant disease, insects and weeds when she talks with a UT extension agent. Then Annette Shrader visits with a hosta hybridizer to find out what characteristics are being bred into this popular plant. Marty DeHart tours a garden and can’t help but notice the pleasing plant combinations.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus by David Cook, UT Extension Agent
Environmental conditions this year have favored the presence of a viral disease of tomato. The information presented here is taken from a fact sheet written by Dr. Steve Bost, UT Professor of Entomology and Plant Pathology.

Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) has been found in Tennessee crops each year since 1986. The primary crops affected are tobacco, tomato, peppers, and certain greenhouse ornamentals.

Symptoms: Symptoms vary, but usually begin with a blighting of young (upper) leaves, beginning with purple or brown spots on the leaves. Its appearance in the upper part of the plant distinguishes TSWV from fungal leaf blights, which often begin on the lower leaves. Purple to bronze streaks and rings may appear on stems. In older infections, stem surfaces exhibit tan to brown corky areas and tip dieback. Plants infected when they are small are stunted and pale, and leaves are rolled exhibiting purple veins on the undersides. Infected ripe fruit show noticeable yellow rings. Some fruit have a dark, rough ‘alligator’ skin.

Spread: TSWV is spread by tiny insects called thrips which pick up the virus by feeding on infected plants. TSWV has a wide host range, including many perennial weeds that can host the virus over the winter. Thus, there is a readily available source of the virus each year. If the virus and the thrips are present, the severity of the disease depends on the weather. Dry Spring weather is usually followed by problems with spotted wilt during the growing season, and preventive methods for the summer crop would be warranted.
Control: Many authorities suggest that infected plants not be removed, as doing so may cause more movement of the thrips than would occur otherwise. Furthermore, TSWV-infected tomato plants sometimes grow out of the condition and produce normal fruit. Insecticides with thrips activity have been shown to provide slight suppression of spotted wilt if applied early and frequently. Home gardeners are more limited in their choices, but pyrethroid products such as Ortho Bug-B-Gone and spinosad products such as Ferti-lome Borer, Bagworm, Tent Caterpillar, and Leafminer spray and Conserve (Southern Ag) would be the most likely to provide results.

Annette Shrader spoke to plant hybridizer Bob Solberg about what the future holds for hosta varieties. Click ‘Want More Gossip’ for a newsletter of tips and in-depth plant information.

Green Hill Farm
Franklinton, NC



Episode 2105
Airs 2/24/13

On this episode of Volunteer Gardener, bamboo sparks intrigue and fear in gardeners. “Invasive” first comes to mind. But Marty DeHart showcases some gorgeous and graceful bamboo varieties that will work wonderfully in the garden. Troy Marden battles extreme drought and temperatures of this brutal summer, and wins. Jeff Poppen notes the good characteristics of a few common weeds and utilizes them to create teas to help stressed out plants. Sheri Gramer helps to assemble a swag from everlastings that are easy to grow and versatile when dried.

Marty’s segment was taped at Our Bamboo Nursery
30 Myers Road
Summertown, TN 38483-7323



Episode 2111
Airs 2/28/13 and 3/3/13

Whether you need a showpiece for the garden, or want to make the most of a small space, espaliered fruit trees are a conversation piece. Sheri Gramer learns espalier training in the European tradition on a visit to River Road Farm. Annette Shrader learns new ways to combine plantings from a master of mixed border beds. Plus, we’ll follow along as Tammy Algood visits a farmer’s market and shares tips on selecting and storing fresh produce.

For more information about River Road Farm, visit
Email at