By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

April 2018

Photo: Hannepin County Master Gardener

What’s the truth behind 6 gardening myths? (Kym Pokorny, OSU)

“In glyphosate review, WHO cancer agency edited out ‘non-carcinogenic’findings.  The World Health Organization’s cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer.” ( Kate KIelland, Reauters)

What do you do when twenty six thousand stinkbugs invade your home.  “These uniquely versatile bugs are decimating crops and infiltrating houses all across the country.”  The author explores, will we ever be able to get rid of them? (Kathryn Schulz, New Yorker)

“The best tool to fight crime may be a lawnmower. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which shows that sprucing up vacant lots by doing as little as picking up trash and cutting the grass curbed gun violence in poor neighborhoods in a major U.S. metropolis by nearly 30%.” (Roni Dengler,

What does a mosquito brain look like?  Researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute have mapped the neuroanatomical regions of the brain of a female mosquito (Aedes aegypti). (The Scientist Staff,

If you’ve enjoyed some spicy food lately, you might have a bird to thank. New research, at Iowa State University, illustrates how birds help to produce rare wild chili peppers (Iowa State University)

Curious Wasp Specimen Leads Entomologist to Find a First for North America. (Entomology Today)

Want an instant hedge? “Millennial gardening is not like 20th-century gardening. Patiently waiting for a seed to grow into a flower or tree is out. Instead, instant gratification is in. Everyone wants results … and yesterday is not soon enough!(

Photo: OSU

No room for vegetables?  Pot up your plants! Learn how from an OSU expert. (Kym Pokorny, OSU)

Are you a garden photographer? Check out this beautiful botanical photographs from the international garden photographers of the year awards.

Jigsaw puzzle configuration helps plant epidermal cells withstand high pressure. “Plant cells are under tremendous pressure. To prevent themselves from bursting, plants had to come up with something unique: According to scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, epidermal cells with an irregular shape can withstand their internal pressure better than round and other  uniformly shaped cells.” (Max Planck Society, Physorg)

Researchers study flower that catapults pollen. “Flowers are just about the last thing in nature you’d list as fast, but the mountain laurels’ filaments are an exception.” (Harvard, Physorg)

Are we loving Monarch Butterflies to death? “…the efforts of a well-meaning public to bring monarch eggs and larvae indoors to raise to maturity, or to purchase large numbers of farmed monarchs for release into the wild, may be making life even more difficult for the beleaguered butterfly.” (Susan Brackney, Discover Magazine)

More on Monarchs-Plan to save Monarchs’ backfires?  A new paper shows that well-meaning gardeners might actually be endangering the butterflies’ iconic migration to Mexico. That’s because people have been planting the wrong species of milkweed, thereby increasing the odds of monarchs becoming infected with a crippling parasite. (Lizzie Wade, Science Magazine)

As pollinating insects, bees get all the credit – but they don’t do all the work. A researcher from WSU, discovered that “about a third of the insects visiting and potentially helping pollinate these crops’ flowers were non-bee species, primarily flies. Of those, most were syrphid flies, also known as hover flies, many of which are bee mimics and do more than pollinate plants.” (Western IPM Center)

Photo: Lynn Ketchum, OSU

Got weeds? Roll up your sleeves: Invasive weeds need persistence to control.  Learn more from an OSU weed expert. (Kym Pokorny, OSU)

Pictures Capture the Invisible Glow of Flowers. Ultraviolet light reveals alien-like colors and fairy sparkles in seemingly normal plants.(Austa Somvichian-Clausen,

Winter Gardening Activities for Children. “Indoor gardening activities can help children learn basic plant science while having fun.” (Pamela T. Hubbard, Master Gardener, Penn State University Extension)

Hairy potatoes, a trait found in a wild potato, may make growing garden potatoes a lot easier. (Laidback gardener blog)

Got mosquitoes? A new study conducted near Tucson, AZ, reports that, in particular, flower pots and saucers underneath them hosted disproportionately more larval mosquitoes than other types of containers. (John P. Roche, 

Land plants arose earlier than thought—and may have had a bigger impact on the evolution of animals. (Elizabeth Pennisi,

GMOs in the news: According to a study looking at 21 years of data on genetically modified crops (GMOs) in the US has found that not only can they increase crop yields, but they can also be good for you. (

Are algae plants? (

Are you interested in planting natives?  Here is an informative read (Becca Rodomsky-Bish,

Plants are given a new family tree- “A new genealogy of plant evolution, led by researchers at the University of Bristol, shows that the first plants to conquer land were a complex species, challenging long-held assumptions about plant evolution.”(University of Bristol,

Do you like caterpillars?  Check out these great photos and videos of caterpillars up-close and personal! (Samuel Jaffe,

EPA settles with Amazon for distributions of illegal pesticides. (

Scientists suggest way to predict the behavior of invasive weeds. “Is it possible to predict which nonnative plant species will become invasive weeds and when? According to research featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management, the answer is “hopefully yes.” And those predictions can lead to more effective and cost-efficient weed management.” (Cambridge University Press,

Starting Seeds with Success: Best Practices. (

The Not-So-Puzzling History of the Monkey Puzzle Tree (The

Have you found bugs in your paprika? (Kristen Alken,

Where have all the entomologists gone? Fewer Scientists Are Studying Insects. Learn how this will impact you. (Alexandria Sifferlin,

Watch this interesting broadcast about the Oregon Silverspot Butterlfy and the Western Bog Lilly.  The Lloyd brothers have spent the last 70 years exploring the overlooked giant of the Washington Cascades-the Oregon Silverspot.   Also learn about their search for a rare, but beautiful Western Bog Lily in the bogs of southern Oregon. (

Learn about the status of Spring! The USA-NPN is tracking the start of the spring season across the country using models called the Spring Leaf and Bloom Indices. (National Phenology Network)

Did you ever wonder how ‘Air plants’ drink? (

When Hummingbirds visit, this flower pops open like a Jack-in-the-Box. (Elizabeth Preston,

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