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The Garden Mix




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.


Managing and Enjoying Reseeding Perennials

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

More is often considered better, except when it comes to unwanted seedlings. Self seeding perennials mean lots of free plants to move to other gardens in the landscape, but sometimes it just means more unwanted plants to control.

Purple coneflower and Black-eyed Susan are two popular perennials that can quickly fill your garden with their offspring. You can reduce the problem by removing faded flowers and thus eliminating the seeds. The downside, the birds will miss eating the seeds and you'll miss the winter beauty and bird activity the seeds provide. I choose to leave the seedheads intact, enjoy the birds and share the seedlings with friends, community organizations or my compost pile.

Garden phlox is another prolific seeder. Deadheading – removing the faded flowers - reduces reseeding, but also encourages additional bloom.

A bit more information: Plume poppy, Northern sea oats, columbine and blackberry lily are other perennials that tend to self seed. Share your extra seedlings with friends. Keep a few old pots or plastic bags and a trowel on hand. When your gardening friends come to visit, hand them a trowel and container and let them dig a few of their favorites. You'll have fewer seedlings and they'll have more plants for their garden.

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

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Save Money by Starting Plants from Seeds Directly in the Garden

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Maximize your plant budget and enjoyment by starting plants from seeds right in the garden.

Select flowers and vegetables suited to the growing conditions. This includes sunlight, soil, temperature and the length of your growing season. Check the back of the seed packet for the best time to plant the seeds directly outdoors. Also look for the number of days from planting until harvest. Make sure the seeds you sow will have time to flower or fruit before the end of your growing season.

Radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, and beans are a few of the vegetables that are relatively quick maturing and easy to start from seed in the garden.

Annuals like ageratum, bachelors button, sweet pea and sweet alyssum can be started in the garden as soon as the soil is workable. Wait until the danger of frost has passed to plant cosmos, French marigolds, nicotiana and sunflowers.

A bit more information: Further maximize your plant budget by swapping plants and seeds with friends. Buy the large economy package of seeds and divide it amongst your gardening friends. As you dig and divide perennials swap divisions, so everyone ends up with something new for their garden. Best of all, the plant will be a great reminder of your friendship.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Plant A Row for the Hungry in Your Community

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Gardeners are some of the most generous people I know. They love to share their ideas, passion for gardening and of course produce. So when you are overwhelmed with tomatoes, peppers, greens and zucchini, contact a nearby food pantry or meal program that can get these vegetables to people in need.

You may be surprised to discover there are hungry people in all our communities. Many are children and seniors who greatly need the nutrition that fresh produce provides.

Consider making a difference in their lives by planting a few extra tomatoes, row of greens or zucchini plants so you have plenty to donate. It is a great way to justify buying more seeds and plants as well as convincing your family that you need a larger garden.

Contact your local food pantry and visit www.gardeners.com resource page on Share the Harvest for more ways you can share your produce.

A bit more information: Garden Writers Association and Garden Writers Foundation launched the Plant a Row for the Hungry program in 1995. Since then, gardeners have donated over 20 million pounds of produce. To join the effort contact Plant a Row for the Hungry at http://gardenwriters.org/gwa.php?p=par/index.html or call 1-877-492-2727.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Clover; a Sustainable Lawn Grass Alternative

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Once included in lawn mixes as a nurse crop, then considered a weed, clover is now being considered as a low maintenance, lawn grass alternative.

If you have tried to rid your lawn of clover, you know it is a persistent plant. Like other legumes, clover is able to capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and move it into the soil, making it available for plants to use. The deep roots make it drought tolerant and female dog urine won't discolor it.

Clover attracts honeybees, bumble bees and other beneficial insects. This is great for our gardens, but may not be good for barefoot kids running through the lawn. Plus, it is not as tolerant of heavy foot traffic as lawn grass.

Before converting your lawn to low maintenance clover, start with a small patch where lower maintenance is needed and increased bee activity will be appreciated.

A bit more information: Consider a mixed lawn/clover lawn for areas with moderate to high foot traffic. You can overseed an existing lawn with clover. It will act as a nurse crop, adding nitrogen to the soil to feed your lawn. The lawn grass will tolerate dogs, kid play and sports activity better. Just be prepared to manage the clover stains that can be difficult to remove.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Gardening Advice in your Pocket: Mobile Apps

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Whether you are planning, planting or tending your garden, a bit of expert advice is always helpful. Now you can take this advice to the garden center, your garden or just about anywhere you need it. And best of all, it fits in your pocket.

More and more garden related mobile apps are now available. Just visit the app store and explore the many options. Universities are providing mobile apps to help gardeners and professionals identify plant disease and insect problems. Garden companies are using apps to help gardeners plan their landscape or select plants while shopping at the garden center.

A new one for this spring is Homegrown with Bonnie Plants. It is the most comprehensive app I have found for vegetable gardening. You can access information on various vegetable varieties, search for pest problems and even create your own garden journal using the app.

A bit more information: To find out more about Homegrown with Bonnie Plants mobile app see their User's Guide at http://bonnieplants.com/app/ or click here.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Low Maintenance Waterwise Gardening with Irrigation

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Reduce your workload, increase productivity and be water wise.
Container gardeners may want to make a one-time investment in a drip irrigation system, like the Snip-n-Drip Pot and Planter Soaker System especially designed for container gardens.

Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are also a great way to water in-ground and raised bed gardens. These irrigation systems apply the water directly to the soil, reducing water lost to overspray, evaporation and runoff. They also reduce the risk and spread of disease by preventing water from settling on the leaves of the plants.

Opt for a micro irrigation system if your water has a high mineral content that tends to clog soaker hoses.

Correctly installed, irrigation systems can help conserve water by ensuring that you water properly and only when needed.

A bit more information: Raised bed gardens will also benefit from irrigation systems. Elevated gardens often dry out more quickly than their in-ground counterparts and need more frequent watering. Some, like the Raised Bed Snip-n-Drip soaker system (gardeners.com), are easy to assemble and allow you to water when needed. Further save time by using preformed corners with built-in spigots when constructing raised beds. Simply slide the boards into the metal corner pieces to create the raised bed. Some corner systems, like Aquacorner, have built-in spigots to make irrigation even simpler.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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May is National Physical Fitness Month: Get the Kids Outdoors

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Celebrate National Physical Fitness Month this May by getting the whole family out into the garden. It is a great way to stretch, increase muscle strength, reduce stress and improve your mood. And if your garden includes some vegetables you will be increasing your health and fitness with nutritious and flavorful homegrown produce.

And don't forget to bring the children along to the garden. Allowing children to explore nature in a garden, natural setting or your backyard will help them focus and do better in school. Give them a pile of dirt to explore; leaves, twigs and cones to create fairy gardens; branches to construct a hideout; and most importantly give them time and space to explore the outdoors. Unstructured outdoor play is important for mental, physical, emotional and social development.

Need some ideas? Check out these kids gardening projects.


A bit more information: For more ideas on helping kids connect with the outdoors see conservationtool.org's Nature Play booklet. Part 1 explores the essentials of nature play. Part 2 provides actions that organizations can take to help put nature play back into children's lives. You'll read about how to create spaces and features to include for nature play no matter what your budget is.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Plant a Tree for Mother’s Day

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Give mom the gift that keeps giving for generations to come – a tree. And don't worry if there is no room in your backyard – donate a tree to your local botanical garden, community or American Forest.

I'm a mom that loves to garden, enjoys receiving plants and cut flowers. But more importantly I want to improve the world for my daughter and grandchildren. Adding trees to our environment can do just that.

Trees help capture rainwater, reducing soil erosion and storm water runoff. They also clean our air by capturing dust and pollutants, while releasing the oxygen we breathe. Plus, they provide food and shelter for wildlife.

If you are struggling for a local opportunity, consider Giving the Gift of Trees through the American Forests. They have planted more than 45 million trees in all 50 states and 44 countries since 1990. Just visit www.americanforests.org for details.

A bit more information: Or take a picture of a favorite tree. Maybe it is one you watch change with the seasons, or provides shade to your deck or shelter for family picnics. Or maybe it is just a pretty tree. Your mom will enjoy its beauty and your photography skills year round.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Add a Bit of Blue of the Spring Garden with Camassia

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Add a bit of blue to your spring garden with Camassia. Spring is a great time to locate a spot for this beauty while fall is the time to plant it in the garden or force it indoors.

There are several species of Camassia, extending their adaptability and growing zones from 3 to 9.

Most prefer moist soil when blooming and drier conditions when dormant. This makes them suitable for rain gardens. They also make great additions to meadow, natural and even more formal perennial gardens.

The spikes of blue, white, or purple star shaped flowers appear in spring and look great in the garden or as a cut flower in a vase.

This durable beauty grows in full sun to partial shade, tolerates wet, dry and clay soils and will grow near a black walnut.

Plant it among perennials to hide the foliage that can become scruffy as the bulbs start to go dormant.

A bit more information: Camassia scilliodes also known as Wild Hyacinth is native to Ontario and much of the eastern and southern United States. Blue Camass (Camssia quamash) is native to the Pacific Northwest. And Camassia leichtlinii can be found along the west coast from British Columbia to southern California as well as many zone 5 to 9 gardens.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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National Salad Month; Grow Your Own Salad

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

May is National Salad Month. Grow your own ingredients for the best tasting and most nutritious salad.

You don't need a lot of space to grow your own salad greens and fixings. A small spot in the garden or a container will do just fine.

Grow leaf lettuce for fast results. Add a bit of color to the mix with red leafed varieties like red sails or variegated varieties like freckles. You'll be harvesting greens in 45 to 55 days.

Add some radishes and carrots. Just make sure your soil is well-drained or container deep enough to accommodate these plants. I like short carrot varieties that grow better in heavy soils and containers.

Save space by planting carrots and radishes together. You'll harvest the radishes first, leaving space for the later maturing carrots to continue to grow and reach full size.

Include pansies, calendulas, and other edible flowers for a bit of fun and flavor.

A bit more information: Harvest the outer leaves of leaf lettuce when 4 to 6 inches tall. The plants will keep producing, providing lots of fresh greens for you to enjoy.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Save Money and Still Have a Big Tomato Harvest

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Whether you have a large or small planting budget, the more you save on each project means the more projects you can do.

Use 5-gallon buckets that contain non toxic materials or old nursery pots available from recycling bins at most garden centers, when growing tomatoes in containers. Be sure to fill the container with a quality potting mix.

Start with the smaller less expensive tomato plants. They will suffer less transplant shock, recover quickly and catch up or even surpass the larger transplants.

Split a six pack or flat of tomatoes with friends. It is often cheaper to buy larger quantities and you will all save money when you share.

Use handles of broken garden tools or other found items to support your plants. And don't forget to mulch the soil. Use evergreen needles or shred fallen leaves that most of us have on our property.

A bit more information: Be sure to drill drainage holes in the bottom of 5-gallon buckets or other items you recycle into planters. Or double pot plantings made in containers without drainage holes. Plant your tomato in a pot with drainage holes. Then place pebbles on the bottom of the pot that lacks the drainage holes. Set the planted pot on top of the pebbles inside the decorative container that lacks drainage holes. Be sure to pour off excess water that builds up in the bottom of the decorative pot as needed.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Rest in Peace, Anne Meara
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Prehistoric Funk
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"Nobody Sees It, Didn't Happen"
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Managing and Enjoying Reseeding Perennials
Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company. More is often considered better, except when it comes to unwanted seedlings. Self seeding perennials mean lots of free plants to move to other gardens in the landscape, but sometimes it just means more unwanted plants to control. Purple coneflower and Black-eyed Susan are two popular perennials that can quickly fill your garden with their offspring. You can reduce the problem by removing faded flowers and thus eliminating the seeds. The downside, the birds will miss eating the seeds and you'll miss the winter beauty and bird activity the seeds provide. I choose to leave the seedheads intact, enjoy the birds and share the seedlings with friends, community organizations or my compost pile. Garden phlox is another prolific seeder. Deadheading – removing the faded flowers - reduces reseeding, but also encourages additional bloom. A bit more information: Plume poppy, Northern sea oats, columbine and blackberry lily are other perennials that tend to self seed. Share your extra seedlings with friends. Keep a few old pots or plastic bags and a trowel on hand. When your gardening friends come to visit, hand them a trowel and container and let them dig a few of their favorites. You'll have fewer seedlings and they'll have more plants for their garden. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Letterman's Very Last Top 10 List
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Did you wonder what the other late night talk hosts did to mark David Letterman's retirement? Earlier this week, we posted Jimmy Kimmel's tribute. That was very special. On the night of Dave's last show, Conan O'Brien did his regular show for 35 minutes, and when the clock hit 11:35PM, he and his guest, Patton Oswalt, urged people to go and watch Dave's show. Pretty cool - and watch what they did afterwards!   James Corden, the new host of The Late Late Show that until Wednesday followed Dave, sang a special tribute song to Dave with the help of a heavily-bearded Sting. Also pretty cool...  
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JWoww Delivers a Smackdown
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The Rock Melts
This happened earlier in the week, but it's pretty uplifting and worthy of sharing. Dwayne Johnson - aka The Rock - posted a picture to Instagram. It shows him reading a letter, grinning like a child at Christmas. Turns out the letter is from Steven Spielberg - yes, that Steven Spielberg - who wrote to say that he is a fan of Dwayne's work. Dwayne was moved, because growing up, he'd been a huge fan of Steven's. Look at the picture. And read what he said. So cool!   Grinnin' now like a big ass kid... When I was 8yrs old I sat front row to see a sold out INDIANA JONES in its opening weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. I walked out of that theater excited and wanted to be "Indy".. cool, funny, charming with the ladies and kickin' ass w/ a smile. But at 8yrs old I was also perfectly content playing w/ my Star Wars figures and sneaking off listening to Richard Pryor concerts. Throughout the years I've credited this man and his movies as being my greatest inspiration in becoming an actor and wanting to always make "his kind" of movies - entertaining, quality and above all else.. heart. Just receiving this personal letter from him and its not only made me incredibly humbled and grateful, but it's also brought me back to being that 8yr old boy again who not only loves movies, but I now get to make the movies I love and enjoy the impact they have on others. THANK YOU STEVEN SPIELBERG for these inspiring and motivating words in your letter and cheers to making sure I'm always listening to that little voice in my gut. #CoolestGiftEver #BigAss8yrOldKid #SpielbergInspired A photo posted by therock (@therock) on May 15, 2015 at 9:34pm PDT
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Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out!
It wasn't even 24 hours since David Letterman signed off for the last time. Crews from CBS descended on The Ed Sullivan Theater yesterday to dismantle the Late Show set. Dismantle is a gentle word. They destroyed it. Chopped it to pieces. Tossed it into dumpsters. The New York Post has a series of pictures showing the travesty. Click here if you dare. According to reports, Dave's desk was carefully bubble-wrapped, and will be shipped off to the Smithsonian. As for the rest - headed for a scrap heap in Jersey, most likely. A pretty unceremonious epilogue for Dave's career, don't you think?
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Mine! Mine! Mine!
This is an amazing video. A guy in Holland was on the seashore, trying to lunch on some herring. He hung it over his mouth - that's the way you eat herring in Holland, they say - and had it half in his mouth when a seagull swooped in and grabbed it from him. Looks like the seagulls in Finding Nemo, doesn't it?   (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Wait, what just happened? Posted by Good Morning America on Monday, May 18, 2015
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Embrace Who You Are - J-Lo Does!
Jennifer Lopez is the cover girl for US Weekly's Best Bodies issue. And she offers up a video commentary on the photo shoot for the cover that's vintage J-Lo. She knows she's not a classic model - tall and leggy and a size 0. "I embrace who I am," she says. "I feel sexy, I feel youthful, I feel pretty sometimes." And she's a 45-year-old cover model. Not bad. Not bad at all.  
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Bill Murray, Entertainment Tornado
Bill Murray was David Letterman's last guest on Tuesday night. He popped out of a cake, and did shots of vodka with Dave. Then he went out to dinner, had a little wine, and zipped off to MSNBC - at their invitation - to talk about his appearance on Dave's show. Naturally, Bill was a little, shall we say, under the weather thanks to the night's libations. The folks at Inside Edition have the whole thing captured, including Bill landing on his butt trying to get onto a chair.  
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Mickey Says No Selfie Sticks Here!
The folks at Disney have officially banned the use of selfie sticks on their rides at Disney World and Disneyland. Let's face it: they can be obnoxious, the way people use them. But more importantly, they can be downright dangerous on a fast-moving amusement park ride. So Disney decided to make it official, with signs all over their parks. Now if we could just get them banned everywhere else, we'd be doing something... No Selfie Sticks sign outside Big Thunder Mountain! Good call, Disney. pic.twitter.com/OnzNRTT9Uj — Inside the Magic (@InsideTheMagic) May 17, 2015
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Can the Bromance Survive a Commute?
Adam Levine and Blake Shelton have a bromance. It's one of the most talked-about elements of The Voice, just how close these guys are. They put the relationship to the test recently, driving to work together. Adam's driving, and Blake's in the passenger seat with his Thermos of soup. It's like watching an old married couple squabbling. And it's pretty funny. Check it out.   (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Adam and Blake, together in one car. Will their bromance survive? Ride along as they commute to the set of The Voice. #VoiceCommute Posted by The Voice on Tuesday, May 19, 2015
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A Truly Touching Tribute to Letterman
We weren't the only ones watching David Letterman's farewell show last night. Other late night hosts were watching too. Like Jimmy Kimmel, who posted this touching tribute to Dave yesterday from his show on Tuesday night. And he didn't do a new show yesterday, out of respect for Dave. Those are genuine tears too....  
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