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The Garden Mix



Make plans now to join Melinda on her famous Garden Walks at Boerner Botanical Gardens in 2014!

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.


Flowers Fail to Bloom

 
Summer heat and drought can be hard on our plants and impact our gardens beauty and productivity.  We can’t change the weather but we can help our plants through these stressful times. 

Stressed plants often fail to flower.  Extreme heat or cold prevents tomatoes from setting fruit and causes peppers to drop their blossoms.  The same goes for many of our ornamental plants.  Some flowers like sweet alyssum and lobelia tend to stop flowering during hot weather.  Grow more heat tolerant varieties like Snow Princess and the variegated Frosty Knight alyssum as well as Laguna and Techno lobelia. 
 
And when the heat sets in, reduce the stress on your plants. Mulch the soil to keep roots cool and moist during hot weather.  Water thoroughly but less frequently to encourage deep roots that are more heat and drought tolerant.  And don’t apply high nitrogen quick release fertilizers than can damage stressed plants.
 
A bit more information:  Proper soil preparation and fertilization will improve the overall health and vigor of your plants making them more heat and drought tolerant.  Use a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer like Milorganite (miklorganite.com) at the start of the season. If the season turns hot and dry, it will not damage your plants.  Consider using a plant strengthener like JAZ Spray (jazsprays.com)to increase your plants natural defenses making them more resistant to heat and drought stress as well as insect and disease infestations.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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04/22/2013 1:12PM
Flowers Fail to Bloom
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Eco-friendly Control of Thrips
Poorly developed flowers, stunted plants and silvery streaks on leaves are indications thrips may be feeding on your plants. These tiny insects have file-like mouthparts they use to puncture the outer surface of leaves, stems and flowers and suck out plant sap. They are very small and difficult to detect. Hold a white piece of paper under the plant and shake. Or remove the petals of damaged flowers, place in a sealed jar with 70% alcohol and shake the jar to dislodge and detect the pests. Control is difficult and often not needed as the damage is discovered after the thrips have finished feeding. Provide the proper growing conditions and care for your plants. Avoid excess nitrogen that promotes lush succulent growth these pests prefer. And remove spent flowers that tend to harbor the insects. Manage weeds in the garden and keep thrip-susceptible plants away from weedy areas where the pest populations tend to be high. A bit more information: Beneficial insects like predatory thrips, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs and some parasitic wasps feed upon plant damaging thrips. Invite these good bugs into the garden by planting a diversity of plants and avoiding persistent pesticides. Visit the University of California IPM online for more details on this pest. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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