Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.
New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Add sea lavender to your list of must-have cut flowers. The light airy flowers blend nicely in any garden and the flowers are great for fresh and dried arrangements as well as craft projects.
Sea-lavender, also known as statice and wide-leaf sea-lavender is heat, drought and salt tolerant. It is hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grows best in full sun with well-drained soil. It can flop and need staking when grown in heavier clay soil.
Plant it in the proper growing conditions right from the start, as it does not like to be moved.
The wide green leaves form a low mound. The light blue flowers are held high above the leaves, creating a misty look and feel in the garden.
Harvest a few stems to use in dried flower arrangements and crafts. Cut the flower stems just before the flowers are fully open. Hang upside down in a shaded airy location to dry.
A bit more information: Statice (Limonium sinuatum) has bolder flowers of rose, red, apricot, yellow, lavender and white. It grows best in full sun and is also heat and drought tolerant. Most gardeners grow it as an annual unless gardening in zones 8 to 10.
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
Put fall leaves to work improving your garden soil.
Fall is a great time to improve your garden soil whether you are able to plant a winter garden or just want to get a jump start on next spring.
You may want to try lasagna gardening, an intense form of sheet composting. You'll create a raised bed from layers of shredded leaves, compost and other organic matter.
Or shred your fallen leaves and dig them into the top 8 to 12 inches of soil in new or annual flower and vegetable gardens. Add an inch or two of finished compost or peat moss at the same time.
Store extra fall leaves and evergreen needles to use as a summer mulch. This helps conserve moisture, moderate soil temperatures and suppress weeds. And as the mulch breaks down over summer it will improve the soil below.
Make adding leaves and mulching an ongoing part of your gardening efforts. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make.
A bit more information: Shred and bag fall leaves and then spread a one to two inch layer over the soil surface around perennials in fall. You'll save time by putting the leaves to work immediately in the garden.
. For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
Find a container with drainage holes that will fit near a sunny window or under artificial lights. Fill it with a well-drained potting mix.
Sprinkle seeds of your favorite leafy greens over the soil surface. Lightly cover the seeds and moisten the soil.
Once the seeds begin to sprout make sure your salad garden receives plenty of light. Move it to a sunny window or under artificial lights. Keep the artificial lights about 6 inches above the top of the plants.
Your salad garden will thrive in cool brightly lit locations. Check your potting mix to see if it contains a long lasting fertilizer. If not, fertilize with a dilute solution of any indoor plant fertilizer every few weeks or when plants need a nutrient boost.
Once the plants reach full size begin harvesting the outer leaves. Use these for sandwiches, garnish or salads.
A bit more information: Grow a few sprouts or microgreens to add some zest to your fresh salad. You need very little space and only a few days to see results. Listen to my audio tip for more information.
Don't let the gray days of winter or limited window space prevent you from gardening indoors.
Select plants suited to lower light conditions. Pothos, philodendron, cast iron plant, Chinese evergreens and snake plants are a few to consider.
Turn plants regularly, so all sides of the plants benefit from available light.
Place plants in the brightest location available. Increase your growing locations by rotating plants from higher to lower light areas. Regularly moving the plants will help all of them capture the needed sunlight throughout their lifetime.
Water thoroughly, but only when needed. Plants growing in low light use less water and need less frequent watering. Pour off any water that collects in the saucer or elevate the pot above the water with pebbles.
Limit or eliminate fertilization. Only fertilize actively growing plants in need of a nutrient boost.
A bit more information: And if this all has not helped, consider supplementing natural sunlight with artificial light. Individual spot lights or grow light set ups can help increase your gardening possibilities and success.
Don't let those hot chili peppers go to waste. Use them fresh, preserve or give as gifts.
Chili ristras are not only decorative, but a traditional way of drying and storing hot red chili peppers for future meals. Create your own ristra with cotton string, red chili peppers and a series of knots to secure the peppers onto the string and eventually the twine.
Or dry your peppers in a dehydrator or on a foil lined cookie sheet in the oven. Wipe the peppers clean and spread in a single layer. Speed up the process by slicing through the peppers or dicing into smaller pieces.
The peppers are dry and ready for storage when they are dark red, shrunken, but still flexible.
Thoroughly dried peppers can be crushed into flakes.
Or try canning, freezing or pickling a few peppers to enjoy throughout the winter.
And be sure to wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly when you're done.
A bit more information: Always label peppers at harvest. Some hot peppers, like Hungarian half sharp peppers, look just like the banana pepper. Try using separate harvest pails or labeled plastic bags to separate the sweet and hot peppers.
Fading plant labels and disappearing tags can make planning and maintaining your garden a bit challenging. Avoid these frustrations by writing it down.
Use a piece of paper and sketch out the shape of your garden. Don't worry about the artistic value or scale. Right now you just want to capture the general location and name of the plants in your garden. You can fine tune the design when time allows.
Write the name of the plant at its approximate location. Or better yet use numbers for each plant and create a list to accompany the plan. You may want to record additional information about each plant such as where it was purchased, when it was planted and the like.
If you still have the plant tags you may want to keep these for future reference. Place them in a page protector or container or attach them to the garden map.
A bit more information: Put your cell phone camera to work. Use it to take pictures of your garden, plants and tags throughout the season. It is a convenient way to record the information while in the garden.
Fall is a great time to plant trees. Follow these important planting tips to insure the health and longevity of your plants.
Make sure the root flare, the place where the roots flare away from the trunk, is at or slightly above the soil surface.
Dig the planting hole the same depth as the distance between the root flare and bottom of the root ball. Digging deeper can result in the soil settling and creating a water collecting depression around your tree.
Roughen the sides of the planting hole to avoid glazed soil that can prevent roots from growing into the surrounding soil.
Water thoroughly whenever the top 4 to 6 inches of soil are crumbly and slightly moist.
Spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of wood chips over the surrounding soil. And pull the mulch away from the trunk of the tree to prevent rot and disease.
Wait a year to fertilize your newly planted tree.
A bit more information: No need to stake most newly planted trees. Staking should only be done for bare root trees, trees with large canopies and small root balls, and those exposed to high winds.
Colorado blue spruce are a favorite tree of many gardeners. Their bluish green needles and pyramidal shape are a nice addition to the landscape. But several diseases can kill branches and distort their beauty.
One such disease is Needle cast. It's usually not deadly, but it ruins the beauty and screening value the trees provide. Promptly remove and destroy infected branches to help slow the spread of this disease. Disinfect your tools with a one part bleach and nine parts water or 70% alcohol solution between cuts. Make sure your trees receive sufficient water during dry periods, mulch the soil and give them plenty of room for light and air to reach all parts of the plant.
Copper containing fungicides are listed as effective against needle-cast and some formulations are considered organic. Proper timing and thorough coverage are critical for effective control.
A bit more information: One of the other common disease problems on blue spruce is cytospora canker. There is no effective chemical control. Removal of diseased branches, mulching and proper watering can minimize the damage.
Moss gardens are a beautiful trend in the gardening world. But for many gardeners moss in the lawn and garden is a source of frustration.
Moss, like other lawn weeds, is an indication of poor growing conditions. This unwanted plant thrives in shade as well as compacted, poorly drained, acidic soil. Correct the cause and you will eliminate the problem for years to come.
Improve drainage and reduce compaction by adding several inches of compost or other organic matter to the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. Core aeration of the lawn can also help with compacted soil.
Increase the light reaching the grass by having a certified arborist thin the crown of overhead trees. Only use lime if a soil test indicates your soil is too acidic.
There are moss killers on the market, but if you don't eliminate the cause you will be fighting this weed for years.
A bit more information: If it is too difficult or impossible to eliminate the cause of the problem, consider embracing moss as a part of the landscape. Many gardeners pay money for the very plant you are trying to eliminate. Add a few steppers for a walkway or add a few stones and call it a moss garden. Many gardeners in your situation have quit fighting the moss and embraced it as a groundcover. In fact, you will see moss for sale from several gardening sources.
Blame it on the weather. This could be one cause for a poor garden harvest.
Late spring frosts can damage the flowers preventing pollination. Cool wet weather reduces bee activity and extremely hot dry weather can also prevent flowering or cause blossom drop and all can reduce our harvest.
But we also can be the culprit.
Overfertilization promotes lots of leaves and stems and discourages or prevents flowers and fruits. Growing plants in too much shade can also prevent flowering and fruit production.
Some plants need a male and female or two different varieties to insure pollination, fertilization and fruit production.
Don't let all this dissuade you from growing your own produce. Just do a bit of reading and be sure to check the plant tags and seed packets when planning your garden and purchasing your plants.
And if things don't work out – just blame it on the weather.
A bit more information: Not sure if you have a male or female plant? Take a closer look at the flowers. Female flowers contain a swollen vase-like structure called a pistil. Male flowers have long, thin filament or pin-like structures called stamens. Some flowers are "perfect" and contain both the male and female parts.
Fall is pumpkin time. Find new ways to display these fall favorites.
Scoop out the inside and use it for a planter. Fill with potting mix - you'll have a biodegradable pot for the compost pile when finished - or set a planted container inside. Try an ornamental cabbage, short ornamental grass or trailing pansies like cool wave for a fun fall container.
Or carve an opening in the side of your pumpkin after removing the center. Create a fall or Halloween display inside. Use faux moss, figurines and your imagination.
Scoop out the insides of small pumpkins and use them for vases to create a fun fall centerpiece for your table. Or use them as soup bowls for butternut squash or your other favorite fall soup.
Or leave them intact and set them in your container gardens to fill voids or add some fall interest to your plantings. And add a few to your indoor planters as well.
Don't let flower hungry wildlife stop you from planting spring flowering bulbs. Plant a few animal resistant bulbs in your garden this fall for added color and beauty next spring.
Start off the season with a few minor bulbs. Winter aconite and snowdrops are some of the first bulbs to appear in spring. Mix grape hyacinths with daffodils to double your flower power and pop in some Siberian squills for a bit of blue in the spring garden.
Try little Tommies, botanically known as Crocus tomassinanus. Garden catalogues claim and I have found them to be resistant to squirrels.
Daffodils are well known for surviving hungry animals and now there are lots of new varieties to choose from.
And don't forget to try some alliums you may know as ornamental onions. There are small and large flowered varieties and those that bloom in spring, summer or fall.
A bit more information: Consider Camassia with blue flower spikes that resemble hyacinth, but tolerate partial shade. Snowflakes (Leucojum) Autumn crocus (Clochicum), Fritillaria and of course hyacinths are a few other animal-resistant bulbs. Southern gardeners need to select low chill varieties or use precooled bulbs if their winters are too warm for forcing spring flowering bulbs into bloom.
Baby Makes Three
Jessica Biel is pregnant. At least, that's what the folks at RadarOnline.com are reporting.
Jessica and her hubby, Justin Timberlake, are expecting a child in another seven months or so - the first for both of them.
Like any good reporter, I had to find another source before reporting this news.
And looky here - HipHollywood.com had the story six days earlier.
So it's got to be true, right?
I mean, if HipHollywood.com says so, and then RadarOnline.com says so without saying that HipHollywood.com said, so, then it's got to be true.
That's the fourth law of journalism, I believe.
What Wine, What Candy?
It's an annual adult dilemma: what wine goes best with which candy?
Fret no more - the folks at vivino.com have come up with the Ultimate Guide to Pairing Wine with Halloween Candy.
Your prayers are now officially answered.
Skittles, for instance, go with a dry white or a sweet white.
Kit Kats go with sparkling wines or a medium red.
A dessert wine goes with just about any sort of candy - which you'd expect.
And poor little Sour Patch Kids - they pretty much go with nothing.
Now we know what makes them sour...
Mystery Solved, Sooner or Later
Investigators are pretty certain they've found a piece of Amelia Earhart's plane.
The aviator disappeared over the Pacific Ocean about 77 years ago, while attempting to fly around the world.
The aluminum aircraft component was found on an atoll called Nikumaroro, somewhere between Hawaii and Australia.
Oh, and the debris from Amelia's twin-engine plane was found in 1991.
Looks like they sent it to the We'll Get Around To It Eventually forensic laboratory.
Game of Thrones Grilling
George R.R. Martin, author of the books that spawned Game of Thrones, showed up on Late Night with Seth Myers the other day.
On the couch with him, Amy Poehler, there to promote her own book - not quite as epic as George's, but still, a literary work.
Amy showed how much she knows about GOT by quizzing George about who uttered certain lines of dialogue.
The results are very, very funny.
Is It Mother's Day Already?
Someone needs to stop Snooki from procreating!
Check out the video she did for US Weekly.
She talks about a lot of things, but key to the conversation is her new daughter, Giovanna.
"Giovanna just turned one month yesterday," Snooki said. "All she does is eat and s--t and sleeps… she just lays there. I think once Giovanna starts to actually move and crawl and run around, that's when s--t's gonna hit the fan."
Doctor Spock must be whirling in his grave...
I'm Sorry, What Are We Selling Again?
Miley Cyrus rolled out a new ad campaign, serving as the new spokesperson for MAC cosmetics Viva Glam line.
Check out the ad, which was posted to Miley's Instagram yesterday.
She's selling lipstick and lip gloss.
Other than the brand name positioned in the center of the ad, do you see anything that says, "Hey, I'm selling lipstick and lip gloss" in that picture?
I don't know - maybe the products get photoshopped in after the fact?
Every $ from the sales of my #VIVAGLAM will go to @MACAIDSFund to help those affected by HIV! 💋💋💋
Una foto publicada por Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) el Oct 10, 2014 at 1:45 PDT
Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner
Terra and Drake nailed this Dirty Dancing routine and surprised their wedding guests. You'll smile and even get a tear watching them dance. What a beautiful couple!
Leave My Lips Alone!
Kylie Jenner - the youngest and hopefully the last of the Kardashian-Jenner clan - has declared that she wants the world to stop talking about her lips.
A couple of weeks ago, there was all sorts of speculation out there on whether she'd had plastic surgery to make her lips look fuller and more luscious.
Now, she wants people to "just talk about something new, at least."
Here's a thought: maybe we don't talk about the Kardashians and Jenners at all.
Wouldn't that be heavenly...?
That's Kylie on the right, by the way.
DON'T LOOK AT HER LIPS!
i love you
A photo posted by Kylizzle (@kyliejenner) on Oct 10, 2014 at 5:28pm PDT
Charades, or "Shahrodds"?
Ewan McGregor dropped by The Tonight Show the other night.
And these days, no one can just drop in to The Tonight Show without participating in a bit of some sort.
The chosen activity: a game of charades, Ewan versus Jimmy Fallon, with rocker Jeff Tweedy and basketball great Charles Barkley joining in the fun.
And it is fun. Especially the British versus American banter.
Check it out!
God is Not a Magician with a Magic Wand
Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, sort of set the Church on its ear this week,
He declared in front of a gathering at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope said that both evolution and the Big Bang Theory are real.
That's the theory that substances collided in space eons ago, setting the universe in motion, not the TV series about the geeks and the blond.
He said that God is "not a magician with a magic wand."
Which sort of takes away the buzz for kids who grew up thinking Harry Potter was God...
Bazooka Swats Fly!
This could be the most bizarre story of the week - well, so far, anyway.
A 75-year-old property owner in Marathon County, Wisconsin is at odds with the local government about the use of his land.
The government says he's using the land for non-zoned purposes. They've demanded that he remove certain equipment, or pay a fine of $500 per day.
The property owner disagrees strongly, and has refused to move the equipment in question. The dispute's been going on for a while, and with the bill rolling up toward the $100,000 mark, the county decided it was time to collect.
So, send in the tax collector?
Not so much.
Send in two dozen police officers and an armored SWAT vehicle.
Because the 75-year-old was deemed "argumentative."
The sheriff's department offers no apology.“I’ve been involved in about five standoff situations where, as soon as the MARV showed up, the person gives up," said a representative, "saving time, money and increasing safety. People may not always understand why, but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now.”
Talk about overkill.
Here's what the SWAT vehicle looks like - the video is from a few years ago, when the sheriff's department acquired it.
How to Get Yourself Hurt Very Badly
English pop star Robbie Williams shared videos of himself entertaining his wife in the delivery room at a hospital as they awaited the arrival of their second child.
So, despite his wife Ayda being all smiles afterward, you can bet that Robbie will get some significant payback - and I'll bet very quickly.
Here's what he did wrong, in no particular order:
He took videos of his wife in labor.
He posted videos of his wife in labor.
He sang to his wife while she was in labor.
One of the songs he sang, while she pushed very hard, was "Let It Go," from Frozen.
Oh, yeah, he's gonna be hurtin' for certain!
"Frozen" RW x https://t.co/dmGhbqElHE
— Robbie Williams (@robbiewilliams) October 27, 2014
Space Race Gets Scary Again
We've gotten pretty complacent about launching rockets into space.
Yesterday's launch of the Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia changed that.
The rocket, carrying supplies to replenish the International Space Station, exploded about six seconds after launch, just barely off the launch pad.
Luckily, no one was hurt.
The only injury was to the pride of the news photographers covering the event from a bunker well away from the event, but still close enough to be hit by the shockwave.
Check out the video...
Is It Taunting, or Celebrating?
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen posted a photo to Instagram Sunday, after her husband, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots, beat up on the Chicago Bears.
Final score - 51 to 23.
And here's Tom and Gisele, getting ready to head home after the victory, flashing a triumphant "51."
Five fingers on his hand, one on hers.
I suppose it all depends on whether you're a fan or not.
If you are, celebration. If not - well, okay, it's still a celebration. Never mind.
So happy for my love!!! Go Pats!!! 51 points!!! 👏👏👏👏👏
A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on Oct 10, 2014 at 2:40pm PDT
Proof of Life, Unfortunately Required
I've never quite understood the death hoax thing.
Someone starts a rumor that a celebrity has passed away.
A news organization grabs hold of the rumor and starts reporting it as fact.
Then Facebook grabs hold of it, and boom, the celebrity is no more.
It happened this weekend to Judd Nelson, the actor who made a splash with The Breakfast Club and...
Well, The Breakfast Club.
The internet had him dead and buried.
So he had to send the Los Angeles Times "proof of life." A picture of himself, reading the Sunday Times.
Funny how THAT's not making the rounds of the internet...
Judd Nelson didn't die last night. He sent us this photo to debunk the rumor. http://t.co/FrIUzW4VmV pic.twitter.com/OjuBPgnutt
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 26, 2014
This Frozen Will Melt Your Heart
Okay, this might be the coolest thing a bunch of tough guys has ever done...
Members of the Boston Bruins visited Boston's Children's Hospital, dressed as characters from Disney's Frozen.
It's become a Halloween tradition for the team. Players dress in their own costumes, usually sharing a theme, and try to bring a little fun into the lives of the patients at the hospital.
Mission accomplished, boys!
"Just here to put smiles on their faces" B's make annual Halloween visit to @BostonChildrens: http://t.co/kwOl8K477A pic.twitter.com/2GMidHp79a
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 27, 2014
A Fabulous Takedown
We can now have some faith in humanity.
Check out the video, shot by passengers in line at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport recently.
A very loud and obnoxious fellow started taunting a guy at the ticket counter, making homophobic remarks because the guy was wearing a pink shirt.
Because that's a sign, of course, that someone is gay.
The obnoxious guy started throwing punches - well, just one, and then the crowd swarmed around him and took him down.
We can feel good, people!
The Little Zombie Mermaid
Just in time for Halloween, Traci Hines - aka YouTube's Hipster Mermaid - has put together a new horror ditty.
Start with "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid.
Toss in an ample helping of The Walking Dead.
Et voila - Scariel, in "Part of Your Brain."
Why DO You Drive a Lincoln?
Matthew McConaughey's taped a series of "contemplative" commercials for the folks who make Lincoln automobiles.
He's driving along, in deep thought, explaining all the reasons he drives a Lincoln MKC.
This weekend, on Saturday Night Live, Jim Carrey took a swipe at Matthew's ads.
Three swipes, to be exact.
And he pulled off some dead-on impressions that were - uncharacteristically - NOT over the top.
Which makes them even better. Check them out.
Tough Act to Follow, Indeed
Across The Pond, in the United Kingdom, folks rave about a variety show called Saturday Night Takeaway.
There's been a lot of talk lately of bring a version of the show here to The States, and it looks like that's about to happen.
Vulture.com reports that NBC has confirmed they'll be handling the show. “We have a natural affinity for this type of show. It’s in our DNA,” one NBC executive told the website.
And here's the best part: Neil Patrick Harris is set to host!
It's a match made in heaven - the uber-talented NPH hosting a good old-fashioned variety show that will likely originate out of New York.
Doubt he's got the chops for it? Check out this opening number from the 2013 Tony Awards show.
This. Will. Be. Epic!
50 Shades of Bland?
Things may not be so rosy with the production of 50 Shades of Grey.
Insiders report that the sex scenes aren't passionate enough.
Some say that Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele, isn't coming off sexy enough.
Some are saying there's a decided lack of chemistry between her and Jamie Dornan, her co-star.
So they're heading back to bed. You know, to try to get it right.
I wonder what the trailer will look like when they're done. This is what it looked like a month ago...
Whose Walk Is It Anyway?
Benedict Cumberbatch has made a name for himself starring in Sherlock Holmes on the BBC.
Last week, on the BBC's Graham Norton Show, Benedict showed a decidedly different side.
Comedian Miranda Hart was demonstrating the different walks she talks about in her act, when she got into her "ultimate walk" - that of a pop star.
She imitated Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" walk, and then got Benedict to give it a shot.
Check it out. Sort of a cross between a giraffe and an ostritch, but it's pretty good.
If It Ain't Your Move, It Ain't Your Move
Lamarr Houston, a defensive back for the Chicago Bears, sacked the Patriots' back-up quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, yesterday.
The Bears were getting whalloped - down by 25 points at the time - so you can't really blame the guy for wanting to celebrate a little.
But clearly, Lamarr didn't catch any of the video of Stephen Tulloch of the Detroit Lions, who celebrated a sack imitating Aaron Rodgers' "discount double check" move, and ended up with a self-infllicted season-ending knee injury.
Because the same think happened with Lamarr. Sack, "discount double check," hit the knee wrong, boom. Probably done for the year.
Lesson to be learned: if it's not your move, maybe you shouldn't be making it.
Into the Woods, Anyone?
The movie doesn't open for another two months, but already, there's a lot of buzz about Into the Woods.
The Stephen Sondheim musical makes the leap from stage to screen on Christmas Day, and it's got some powerhouse names associated with it.
Meryl Streep as The Witch and Johnny Depp as The Wolf, for starters.
Add in Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella's prince and more, and they could have a winner on their hands.
Check out the featurette that hit the internet over the weekend.