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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.


Goldenrod, a Fall Favorite


One of the last flowers of fall, the goldenrod, adds color to landscapes across North America. 
 
You often find these and asters growing together in natural settings.  These beautiful native plants make a nice combination in nature and the landscape.

An old legend speaks to this beautiful combination.  It says two young friends, one with blonde hair and one with blue eyes were asked what they wanted to do when they grew up.  The blonde hair girl wanted to make people happy and the other wanted to be with her friend.  An old lady gave them magic cake and made their dreams come true by turning them into asters and goldenrod flowers.
 
Besides their beauty, these native plants provide food for butterflies, birds and beneficial insects, increasing their value in the garden.
 
Try adding a few of the tamer goldenrod varieties in your perennial or natural gardens. 
 
A bit more information:  Fireworks goldenrod grows 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide and the flowers explode like fireworks above the leaves. Golden Thumb is a shorter goldenrod variety.  Its yellow flowers top one-foot plants.
Grow these and most other goldenrods in well-drained soil and full sun.  Avoid over fertilization and harvest a few flowers to enjoy fresh or dried indoors. 
 

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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10/15/2012 4:07PM
Goldenrod, a Fall Favorite
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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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