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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.


Grow Your Own Pickles & Celebrate National Pickle Week

Celebrate National Pickle Week by growing a few of your own cucumbers for pickling.

All you need are a few seeds, a sunny location and a bit of garden space or a large container.  Train these large vining plants up a fence, trellis or decorative obelisk to save space.
 
Consider planting National Pickling Cucumber Seeds developed by the National Pickle Packers Association and Michigan Agriculture Experiment station.  These were bred for their versatility and perfect pickle shape.  You’ll be harvesting cucumbers in about 52 days after planting.
 
Or save some space with Bush pickle.  This cucumber forms a 3 to 4 foot wide mound and produces an abundance of 4-inch fruit.  It’s a perfect size for containers.  And save even more space and grow straighter fruit by training these smaller plants up a cage or trellis.  Cucumbers are ready to pick in about 45 days.
 
A bit more information:  Cucumbers are generally ready to harvest in 45 to 60 days after planting.  This makes them a great option for mid and late season plantings.  Just calculate the number of frost-free days left in the growing season to see how late you can plant.  And further extend the season by using floating row covers like ReeMay, Harvest Guard, and Frost Covers to protect plants from frosty weather.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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05/17/2013 2:17PM
Grow Your Own Pickles & Celebrate National Pickle Week
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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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