The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Commercial Horticulture Program provides non-biased, research based information for growers, retailers, greenhouse operators, landscape contractors, landscape maintenance professionals and other green industry professionals in Delaware, the region, and the nation. Horticulture is the science, art, technology and business involved in intensive plant cultivation for human use. It includes non-food crops such as flowers, trees, shrubs, lawns, etc. and food crops (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and culinary herbs), which are covered in the UD Vegetable and Small Fruits Program.
The needs of the green industry are addressed with applied research and demonstration projects focusing on sustainable landscape installation and management as well as pest control. The information and knowledge is disseminated through a range of venues in collaboration with the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association (DNLA), including educational meetings, short courses, tours, publications, newsletters, direct contact and this website.
A certified nursery professional program is administered through the DNLA to help industry professionals learn technical information and demonstrate their professional standing.
2023 UD Cooperative Extension Horticulture Short Courses
Register now, pay later. Registration fees will be collected at each short course for which you have registered. Cash or check made payable to University of Delaware. The registration fee for each short course is $20.00 unless otherwise noted. Pesticide CEU's will be awarded.
Pest and Beneficial Insect Walk, Carvel Center
June 6, 4-6 pm, 1 CNP, 2 Pest., 2 ISA credits
Sussex County Extension Office, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE.
Learn to identify insect and disease pests, as well as beneficial insects in the landscape at the Sussex County Extension Office. Find out what signs and symptoms are used to identify pests and diseases.
Instructors: Jill Pollok, Brian Kunkel, John Emerson, and Tracy Wootten
Pest and Beneficial Insect Walk, Smyrna Outreach/Research Center
June 13, 4-6 pm . 1 CNP, 2 pest., 2 ISA credits
Delaware State University Outreach and Research Center, 884 Smyrna-Leipsic Road., Smyrna, DE
Learn to identify insect and disease pests, as well as beneficial insects in the landscape at DSU’s Outreach and Research Center. Find out what signs and symptoms are used to identify pests and diseases.
Instructors: Jill Pollok, Brian Kunkel, John Emerson, Blake Moore, and Megan Pleasanton
Pest and Beneficial Insect Walk in the UDBG
June 22, 4-6 pm . 1 CNP, 2 pest., 2 ISA credits
University of Delaware Botanic Gardens, 531 S College Avenue, Newark, DE. Meet at the entrance to Fischer Greenhouse.
Learn to identify insect and disease pests, as well as beneficial insects in the landscape at the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens. Find out what signs and symptoms are used to identify pests and diseases.
Instructors: Jill Pollok, Brian Kunkel, John Emerson, and Carrie Murphy
Hands-On Disease and Insect ID Workshop
July 11, 4 – 6 PM, 1 CNP, 2 pest., 2 ISA credits
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Room 012 Townsend Hall, 531 S College Avenue, Newark, DE.
Learn what signs and symptoms the Extension Specialists use to identify pests and diseases! Tips and techniques will be shared. Fresh and preserved specimens will be available to look at using hand lenses and microscopes.
Instructors: Jill Pollok, Brian Kunkel, and Carrie Murphy
OR check workshop description for meeting location, register by contacting:
Carrie Murphy, New Castle County Short Courses (302) 831-1426 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Blake Moore, Kent County Short Courses (302) 730-4000 or email@example.com
Tracy Wootten, Sussex County Short Courses (302) 856-7303 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Plant of the Year
- Plant of the Year - Each year the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association selects a woody and herbaceous plant that thrives in Delaware and should receive more attention in the trade. Plants are suggested by a team of loca professionals and the DNLA board votes on the winners. A one-page colorful flyer is developed to promote the winners each year.
Native Plant Nurseries serving Delaware and the region
- The DNLA, Delaware Department of Agriculture, and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension have worked together to develop a list of nurseries who provide native plant material to Delawareans.
- Nursery and Garden Center Management Manual – This is a manual for use in teaching nursery and garden center management to college students. For each of 17 chapters, the manual includes a fill-in-the-blank outline of class notes, and a collection of reprinted articles from trade journals.
- Establishing and Operating a Garden Center: Requirements and Costs NRAES-161
The Greenhouse and Nursery industry thrives on the Eastern Shore. Delaware has several large greenhouse operations and nurseries. There are also major nurseries in our neighboring state of Maryland. The Green Industry Consortium is a national group of horticulturists and Ag Economists who have been addressing the needs of the Green Industry for over 25 years. The Green Industry Consortium has developed many publications for this industry. The Greenhouse publication is for start-up or existing greenhouses and was part authored in Delaware. The Specialty crops initiative has provided funding for a number of specialty crops projects in the United States. A project conducted in Delaware to help nurseries explore growing more native species is listed below.
The Livable Lawns Program certifies lawn care companies that follow environmentally-friendly practices in fertilizer application while educating property owners.
- A brochure is available to print and leave with customers to explain proper lawn management
- Videos on the Delaware Livable Lawns website provide resources to show homeowners how to take and interpret a soil sample; and how to properly apply fertilizer to their lawns.
- A brochure entitled Livable Lawns: Managing a Healthy Lawn is now available.
Water Quality Research
- Winterthur/Applecross -This multidisciplinary project research site is located at Winterthur Museum and Gardens, where the team will compare the quality of a stream impacted by traditional mowed landscapes versus another stream that only receives runoff from meadows, forests and landscape beds. One of the primary goals of the project is to curb water pollution at its source — preventing pollution in the first place rather than waiting to treat contaminated water after it enters waterways.