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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.


Maximize Your Sweet Corn Harvest

Nothing beats fresh from the garden corn on the cob. But this is one vegetable that takes up a lot of space for a small harvest.  Each plant usually produces just one ear of corn.  A healthy pest free plant may produce two.  So get the most out of your harvest with proper planting and care.
 
Plant one of the newer cultivars that has sweeter longer-lasting flavor.  Then plant the corn in blocks.  This will improve the wind pollination and that means a bigger harvest. 
 
Plant the seeds in rows an inch deep and 9 to 12 inches apart.  You can maximize your planting with wide rows. Just leave 12 inches between plants and make sure you can reach all the plants within the wide row. Protect seeds from birds and speed germination by covering with floating row covers.
 
And before you know it you will be boiling that pot of water or stoking up the grill to cook your first ear of corn. 
 
A bit more information:  Poor germination or weak misshapen seedlings are usually the result of corn root maggot. Prevent the problem by planting at the proper time. Planting seed in cold wet soil slows germination and increases the risk of damage. Replant as needed.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 


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04/18/2014 4:41PM
Maximize Your Sweet Corn Harvest
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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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