News and Events


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Heart Hero

Heart Hero 21 December 2018

Heart Hero

Those at the Kona Research Station got a first-hand lesson in the value of CPR and first aid when ag tech Nick Yamauchi used these skills to save Marc Meisner’s life during a medical emergency in the field. At the annual 2018 Hawai‘i County staff meeting held December 7 in Kona, Nick was awarded a certificate of commendation for his outstanding, life-saving aid.

On Their Turf

On Their Turf 21 December 2018

On Their Turf

Zhiqiang Cheng (PEPS) and Norman Nagata (TPSS, Maui CES) organized the 2018 Maui Turfgrass and Landscape Pest Management Workshop at CTAHR Maui Extension Office, including updates on important turfgrass and golf course pests such as frit fly, take-all patch, mini ring, rover ant, coconut rhinoceros beetle, and lobate lac scale.

New Partners Against ROD

New Partners Against ROD 21 December 2018

New Partners Against ROD

Civil Beat recently published an article about the workshops CTAHR and the island Invasive Species Councils have conducted on how eco-tour operators can avoid spreading Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death (ROD) and other pathogens, weeds, and pests. The workshop leaders include Extension forester J.B. Friday and ROD educational specialist Corie Yanger (both NREM).

Nalo Kalikimaka

Nalo Kalikimaka 21 December 2018

Nalo Kalikimaka

Ken Leonhardt, Ilima Ho-Lastimosa, and Ted Radovich (all TPSS) represented CTAHR’s holiday spirit in fine style at the 2018 Waimanalo Christmas Parade, featuring Ken’s 1924 Model T and a “certified-organic” tractor loaded with gifts and cheerful candy-tossers that reminded onlookers of how long CTAHR’s been making life better for the community.

Where the Candidates Are

Where the Candidates Are 14 December 2018

Where the Candidates Are

The seminars for the O‘ahu County Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Extension agent position have been completed, so please evaluate the two candidates, Amjad Ahmad and Mitchell Loo. CVs and some video presentations for candidates for junior/assistant Extension agents in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Finance, and Livestock are available as well.

Documents to download

Ag Ed at a Distance

Ag Ed at a Distance 14 December 2018

Ag Ed at a Distance

The Women in Ag Learning Network will be holding a virtual conference featuring information, tips, and tools that ag educators and service providers can use to deliver more engaging and effective programs for beginning women farmers and ranchers. The conference will be held from January 29 to 31, from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. each day Hawai‘i Time.

Revel in Extension

Revel in Extension 14 December 2018

Revel in Extension

The college’s celebration of the centennial of Hawai‘i 4-H and the 90th anniversary of Extension in the Islands is still going strong! If you missed the luncheon hailing these milestone events or want to relive the memories, check out the CE90 – 4-H100 website, which features a video of the event, a photo gallery, and images of all the posters shared in the educational displays.

All in the Community

All in the Community 14 December 2018

All in the Community

Yvette Rodriguez Stern and Sarah Yuan (both COF) led the project team for the Center’s recently published 2018 Community Profile Series, created in collaboration with the YMCA of Honolulu. The team also included COF members Javzandulam Azuma and Kathleen Gauci. The profile series presents measures of quality of life and well-being for 11 communities on O‘ahu.

At the Helm of ADSC

At the Helm of ADSC 14 December 2018

At the Helm of ADSC

CTAHR’s Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center (ADSC) is looking for a manager! The ADSC provides analytical and diagnostic services to Hawai‘i’s agricultural community through soil testing, plant tissue analysis, feed and forage analysis, plant disease identification, and insect pest identification. It also runs the popular UH Seed Program.

Interviews in the Edible Crop Industry on Maui

Interviews in the Edible Crop Industry on Maui 7 December 2018

Interviews in the Edible Crop Industry on Maui

All are invited to attend the interview presentations of the candidates for junior/assistant Extension agent for the edible crop industry on Maui, a position that will be based in TPSS. Each candidate will speak on the topic of “Expanding the Edible Crop Extension Program on Maui.” 

Interviews in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture on O‘ahu

Interviews in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture on O‘ahu 7 December 2018

Interviews in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture on O‘ahu

All are invited to attend the interview presentations of the candidates for junior/assistant Extension agent for sustainable and organic agriculture on O‘ahu, a position that will be based in TPSS. Each candidate will speak their “Vision and Approach to Expand the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program on O‘ahu.” 

Interviews in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture on Kaua‘i

Interviews in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture on Kaua‘i 7 December 2018

Interviews in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture on Kaua‘i

All are invited to attend the interview presentations of the candidates for junior/assistant Extension agent for sustainable and organic agriculture on Kaua‘i, a position that will be based in TPSS. Each candidate will speak on their “Vision and Approach to Expand the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program on Kaua‘i.” 

Safe on the Farm

Safe on the Farm 7 December 2018

Safe on the Farm

There will be a statewide training for growers on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)’s Produce Safety Rule on Friday, December 14, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the UH Maui College’s Community Service Building #205. This training. especially timely in light of the recent warning against eating romaine, will help growers understand FSMA requirements and potential food safety risks on the farm. 

HNFAS Heroes

HNFAS Heroes 7 December 2018

HNFAS Heroes

Celebrate the careers, contributions, and well-deserved retirement of HNFAS faculty Brent Buckley and Douglas Vincent and Extension agent Glen Fukumoto on December 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Ag Sci 219. Attendees are requested to contribute either monetary donations or potluck foods. 

Masters on Maui

Masters on Maui 7 December 2018

Masters on Maui

A laudatory article in the Maui News spotlights Extension agent Cynthia Nazario-Leary (TPSS). Cynthia is also a CTAHR alumna, with a master’s degree in horticulture and a doctorate in Natural Resources and Environmental Management. Now, as an agent in urban horticulture, she is trialing sunflower varieties, overseeing the Bee House, and coordinating the Maui Master Gardeners.

New Study on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death

New Study on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death 5 December 2018

New Study on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death

The first study to implicate ambrosia beetles in Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD) has been published by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawai‘i.

Banish the Curl

Banish the Curl 23 November 2018

Banish the Curl

Feeling yellow? You may want to check out the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus Field Screening Pop-In Field Day. The college has been screening new varieties of tomatoes for possible resistance to the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus, and a field day of resistant varieties will be held on Saturday, November 24, at the Waimanalo Research Station to go over field screenings that have been conducted in 2018 in the certified organic and GoFarm field plots. 

Stopping ROD on Eco-Tours

Stopping ROD on Eco-Tours 23 November 2018

Stopping ROD on Eco-Tours

The Cooperative Extension forestry team is teaming up with the island Invasive Species Committees, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry & Wildlife, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association to offer a series of free workshops for eco-tour operators on how to avoid spreading the pathogen that causes Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death and other invasive species. 

Interviews in Ag Economics

Interviews in Ag Economics 23 November 2018

Interviews in Ag Economics

All are invited to attend the interview presentations of the candidates for junior/assistant Extension agent for agricultural economics on Friday, November 30; Tuesday, December 4; and Wednesday, December 5. Each candidate will speak on the topic of “Developing an Extension Program in Agricultural Economics for Hawai‘i.” 

Interviews in Livestock Extension

Interviews in Livestock Extension 23 November 2018

Interviews in Livestock Extension

All are invited to attend the interview presentations of the candidates for junior/assistant Extension agent for livestock on Hawai‘i Island on Monday, December 10, and Wednesday, December 12. Each candidate will speak on the topic of “Developing a Livestock Extension Program in Hawai‘i County.” 

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28 April 2020

Germination Is a Beautiful Thing

Understanding how seeds sprout will help your garden

Germination Is a Beautiful Thing

Whether you’re a fuzzy neophyte or gnarled veteran of the backyard garden, we should never lose our fascination with the seed germination process. It is magical how such little things, buried in darkness, will quickly emerge from the surface, full of life and independence.

If you’re growing vegetables for the very first time, it’s helpful to understand how plants propagate. So be inspired by your vision of a bountiful harvest of fresh produce, but don’t get so intoxicated that you merely “wet it and forget it.”

For a seed to germinate, it must be viable (alive) and non-dormant (no chemical or physical barriers). Your best bet is using fresh seeds, either saved from a working garden or purchased fresh or stored from a reputable source.

Germination begins when water is absorbed by a dry seed. Essentially, this is an awakening stage in which biological systems are reactivated by cell hydration. Next, stored food is transferred to the embryo’s growing points, which expand until the seedling emerges. You can help this process by keeping the soil loose and well-aerated, avoiding heavy or overly wet soil. Store-bought peat provides optimal conditions: water and oxygen retention, without pests or disease.

Temperature is an important environmental factor affecting germination and subsequent growth. For many plants, optimal sprouting temperature ranges between 80 and 90 degrees. It the weather is cool, or you live mauka, you can improve germination by bringing the seed bed or pot indoors and placing it in a warm location, such as next to a sunny window or on top of the fridge.

Most seeds do not require light to germinate. In fact, certain seeds, like some onions, are inhibited by light. However, lettuce seeds are a notable exception and do prefer light.

Keep It Moist

Once germination has begun, you must maintain a continuous moisture supply. Even a temporary drying out could result in the seed’s premature death—the most common source of failure. This is because seeds are near the surface, which is the first area to dry out between waterings.

As demonstrated by my daughter Yazzy, you can keep moisture from evaporating by stretching clear plastic wrap over the container tops. Leave several inches of clearance above the media for the emerging seedlings. Please remove the covering as soon as germination occurs, because the high humidity inside is conducive to fungal diseases that can attack a succulent sprout.

Yazzy had a blast demonstrating the ease and fun to be had planting tomatoes. Try it with your keiki, too!

Ty McDonald, Landscape Industry and Consumer Horticulture, Kona Cooperative Extension, UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources