Ohio State University Extension Bulletin

Ornamental Plants -- Annual Reports and Research Reviews 1998

Special Circular 165-99

Ohio State University Extension Buckeye Yard and Garden Line

Gary Y. Gao, Pamela J. Bennett, Joseph F. Boggs, James A. Chatfield, David E. Dyke, Jane C. Martin, David J. Shetlar, and Randall H. Zondag


The Buckeye Yard and Garden Line (BYGL) is one of the key ways through which Ohio State University Extension and the Extension Nursery Landscape and Turf Team (ENLTT) provide ornamental-plant and plant-problem information to the green industry, to Extension offices, and to the general public. This article answers some questions about BYGL and provides the results of the 1998 BYGL Evaluation Survey.

What Is BYGL?

The Buckeye Yard and Garden Line (BYGL) is a weekly plant update in the form of an electronic newsletter. It is written by OSU Extension agents and specialists, from a conference call held every Tuesday from April-October. BYGL is funded by the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association and OSU Extension, with additional contributions from the Ohio Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Who Is BYGL's Audience?

BYGL is written for green industry professionals, Extension agents, Master Gardeners, and other horticulturists in Ohio and throughout the United States, especially the Midwest.

How Do You Receive BYGL?

There are three ways to receive BYGL -- by e-mail, by fax subscription, and directly on the World Wide Web. Here's how:

Is There a Cost for BYGL?

Only the fax subscriptions have a fee ($35 a year) to cover phone line costs, and even fax subscriptions are free for members of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, the Ohio Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, and the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation.

Where Can You Find the Time for BYGL?

Reading time during the growing season comes at a premium, and that is why BYGL is formatted in short bytes (one to two paragraphs) of the most relevant information on a particular topic. We also strive for a lively, user-friendly, sometimes humorous style.

What Is Buckeye Yard and Garden onLine?

This is the World Wide Web version of BYGL, and it comes not only with the text of BYGL available on the e-mail and fax versions, but also with hot links to color images of pests and plants and to more than 20,000 additional fact sheets from Ohio State and other universities.

What Is BYGLive!?

BYGLive! is a series of informal programs at arboreta throughout Ohio on the first Monday of each month, May-October. The participants have a chance to see plants and plant and pest development throughout the season at sites listed here, to do some diagnostic troubleshooting, and to provide observations and insights that will add to the next day's BYGL conference call. Sites for 1999, with key contacts, are:

What Were the Results of the 1998 BYGL Evaluation Survey?

Number of respondents = 220

Key to Responses:

SA = Strongly Agree
A = Agree
N = Neutral
D = Disagree
SD = Strongly Disagree
NA = Not Applicable

Evaluation Question 1:
BYGL was useful to my job and business.

SA = 125
A = 85
N = 7
D = 0
SD = 0
NA = 3

Evaluation Question 2:
BYGL helped in answering clientele questions.

SA = 107
A = 93
N = 12
D = 1
SD = 0
NA = 7

Evaluation Question 3:
BYGL was timely.

SA = 131
A = 88
N = 1
D = 0
SD = 0
NA = 0

Evaluation Question 4:
I (we) changed some horticultural practices based on BYGL.

SA = 26
A = 102
N = 62
D = 5
SD = 0
NA = 25

Evaluation Question 5:
I (we) changed some pesticide-use practices based on BYGL.

SA = 32
A = 89
N = 61
D = 4
SD = 0
NA = 34

Evaluation Question 6:
BYGL has resulted in improved customer service in our company.

SA = 59
A = 102
N = 27
D = 4
SD = 0
NA = 28

Evaluation Question 7:
Do you use BYGL in employee training?

Yes = 102
No = 50
NA = 68

Evaluation Question 8:
How many people read BYGL from access to your subscription?

From 220 respondents = 1,340

Evaluation Question 9:
Has the information in BYGL saved your company money?

Yes = 73
No = 38
NA = 109

Selected Suggestions and Comments from the Evaluation Survey

"BYGL saved me money because of better customer service, hence more sales."
-- A Garden Center
in Summit County, Ohio

"The first week we did not receive the BYGL, several comments were made in the office that we are going to miss the helpful articles and the humor -- maybe fax us a hort joke periodically over the slow winter months."
-- A Green Industry Business

"It is a very useful tool -- many times prompting me when to act about several pests I tend to overlook. Many thanks."
-- Edson Tree Service
Allegheny, Pa.

"I have over 20 years experience in agriculture, and I still learn at least one or more things in every newsletter. Impressive."
-- Stacey Butterfield
The Way International, New Knoxville, Ohio

"Thanks for the great info -- helps us all feel connected. Your 'open door' for sound, solid info is like having a university on call all the time."
-- Andy Spiller
Grounds Maintenance and Garden Center
Hamilton County, Ohio

"BYGL saved us money by using the correct control on pests at the proper time. Very helpful and very interesting newsletter."
-- Dan Shaw
Winton Woods Maintenance, Cincinnati, Ohio

"More turf info needed. More info on poisonous plants would be helpful."
-- Porathe Wilson
The Seven Hills School, Cincinnati, Ohio

"Great! Keep it up! We/I count on this weekly update. We consider it a part of our weekly training. I personally use it as 'possible' info for articles/TV tips! Timely tips."
-- Ronald Wilson
Natorp Garden Center, Cinncinati, Ohio

"BYGL saved us money because it keeps us on top of any plant and disease problems. This allows us to better serve our clients."
-- Ammon Landscape, Inc.
Boone County, Kentucky

"BYGL saved us money by having authoritative, timely, concise information, eliminating biased research with manufacturers and suppliers. Saving time and eliminating out-dated practices. You're doing an excellent job -- but don't live on your laurels. Keep up the unbiased research and do keep industry members informed. Our future depends on your author research."
-- Woody Wesig
Woody Tree Medic, Montgomery County, Ohio

"BYGL saved us money by informing us [when] the window of opportunity is present so that you did not spray too late or too early. I enjoy the info and the subtle humor."
-- Jackie Suber
Wengerlawn Nursery Co.,
Montgomery County, Ohio

"BYGL saved us money through fine tuning pest-management programs."
-- Bal Rao
Davey Tree Service, Kent, Ohio

"The information in BYGL saved our company because (employee training) is done by reading newsletters rather/in addition to traveling; answers questions before they are asked; saves time on phone calls to Extension services."
-- Lowe's Greenhouse
Geauga County, Ohio

"We enjoy very much and appreciate the amount of effort required to consistently produce such in-depth, timely, and informative electronic newsletter."
-- Bob Childs
University of Massachusetts Extension Service

"I appreciate the timeliness of the BYGL. Ohio is similar in timing and pests to Indiana, and I get a lot out of it. I especially like the fact that field agents are knowledgeable enough to actually know what they are seeing. I especially like the background information on the pests (life cycle, historical significance, etc.). I most enjoy the comraderie that Ohio Extension staff have -- although I miss many of the inside jokes, it's nice to know that y'all have a sense of humor. Keep up the good work! I look forward to next spring's edition."
-- Larry Caplan
Extension Educator, Purdue University

"Please keep up the good work."
-- David Hensley
University of Hawaii

"I love the comments and timeliness. It helps me show my students that not all plant professionals are dry humorless workaholics."
-- Daniel Rueger
Ashland High School, Ashland, Ohio

"I like the wit and humor that goes with BYGL; it makes reading it fun as well as informative. I would like to see more emphasis on disease and insect identification and diagnostics."
-- Chris Vild
Service Director for
City of University Heights, Ohio

"I particularly like the light-hearted writing approach; I think it really helps make the information understandable (and palatable). We use you as an early warning device. Even though some of the pests and problems you have will never reach us, many of them do show up a bit later, so we're more prepared."
-- Deborah Brown
University of Minnesota

"BYGL was very useful in creating timely news columns and newsletters. We changed pesticide practices because we were able to offer alternatives to clientele. BYGL has resulted in improved customer service since we increased timeliness in working with clientele and answering questions."
-- Robert Moore
Ohio State University Extension,
Fairfield County

"BYGL saved us money because we use less chemicals now. Thanks a lot for all of your efforts this year. BYGL helped us a lot at Xavier University maintaining the grounds."
-- Jim Caldwell
Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio

"The BYGL might be improved if it was a bit shorter -- you know how we all get swamped with reading material these days. The observation of when pests are 'hatching' is super-helpful, and pesticide recommendations and timing are too."
-- Donnan, Landscape Contractor
Washington County, Pennsylvania

"I would like to see more information on how to grow different species of plants. This should contain information on how to propagate, fertilize, prune, water, overwinter, and [solve] disease and insect problems. The information should be specific to container and field growing. A good time to present this information is when a problem pertaining to a certain species is directed to one of the members of your team."
-- Ken Ewing
New Richmond, Ohio

"Please be more thorough with weather updates, give weekly rainfall totals for regions, soil temperature, etc. Maybe a way to access some highs and lows for temps from the week."
-- A Landscape Design and Maintenance Firm
Cuyahoga County, Ohio

"Another great year!! I'm not sure what I would do without the BYGL."
-- Manbeck Nurseries Inc.
New Knoxville, Ohio

Gary Y. Gao, Ohio State University Extension, Clermont County; Pamela J. Bennett, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County; Joseph F. Boggs, Ohio State University Extension, Hamilton County; James A. Chatfield, Ohio State University Extension, Northeast District/Department of Horticulture and Crop Science; David E. Dyke, Ohio State University Extension, Lawrence County; Jane C. Martin, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County; David J. Shetlar, Ohio State University Extension/Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center/Department of Entomology; and Randall H. Zondag, Ohio State University Extension, Lake County.

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