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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.


Honeysuckle Woes - The Garden Mix


Don’t let your sickly honeysuckle vine get you down.  The abundance of beautiful flowers and hummingbirds that the goldflame, dropmore scarlet and other non-invasive honeysuckle vines attract, make it worth the occasional problems.
Powdery mildew is the most common disease on this plant.  Growing honeysuckle in full sun and proper pruning will help minimize this disease problem.  Once it develops you can live with the damage or use one of the eco-friendly controls like the Cornell baking soda mix, Neem oil or horticulture oil labeled for mildew control.
 
Aphids are often found feeding in large colonies on the honeysuckle’s new growth. A strong blast of water will help manage small populations.  Insecticidal soap and horticulture oil will provide short-term relief.  Weekly applications will be needed to get larger populations under control.
 
A bit more information:  Make the Cornell University powdery mildew control solution by mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 to 2.5 teaspoons of lightweight oil in one gallon of water.  Remember when using “home remedies,” even those based on University research, it is best to test it on a leaf or two before treating your whole planting.   And if powdery mildew is a yearly problem consider moving the plant to a sunnier location and thin out some of the older canes in late winter. Click here to watch my powdery mildew video.  

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


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07/20/2012 4:34PM
Honeysuckle Woes - The Garden Mix
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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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