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.
Don't let the weather ruin your tomato harvest. Select the variety best suited to your area.
Weather extremes can prevent tomatoes from forming fruit. When daytime temperatures rise above 90 degrees and night temperatures remain above 70 degrees blossom drop and poor fruit development can occur. Combine this with low humidity and the pollen is not viable. In hot and humid conditions the pollen's too sticky and doesn't move from the male to the female part of the flower. Without pollination, fruit will not develop.
Cool weather can also hinder fruiting. Night temperatures below the optimum 59 to 68 degrees will reduce the amount and viability of pollen that the plant produces.
A bit more information: Don't fret if your tomatoes are already in the ground. When hot weather does arrive be sure the plants receive ample moisture. Mulch the soil with shredded leaves, pine straw or other organic matter to keep roots cool and moist.
Just say the date - April 15th and most U.S. citizens cringe, unless of course you are one of the lucky ones getting a refund. Soften the blow with a bit of horticulture therapy.
Once the taxes are mailed, take a walk through your yard, neighborhood or nearby botanical garden. Walking and working in nature helps lower our blood pressure and improve our mood.
See what's blooming and pick a few favorites to add to your landscape. That way you can look forward to these beautiful blooms each year. It's a great distraction, redirecting your thoughts from tax day to gardening.
Or plant some seeds indoors or out. Check the seed packet for specifics. And if the weather is bad consider repotting overgrown houseplants or start some new plants from cuttings. These can be added to your indoor or outdoor container gardens as soon as they're rooted and the weather permits.
A bit more information: My tax day planting includes winter aconite (Eranthis) and snowdrops (Galanthus). Most years they are in full bloom on tax day. These minor bulbs brighten my spring landscape and assure me the garden season has arrived.
Gardening is good for the mind, body and spirit, so let's celebrate National Gardening Week by sharing this healthful and fun hobby with others.
The Royal Horticulture Society started National Gardening Week in 2011. The goal is to beautify communities, neighborhoods, green spaces and the environment through gardening. The 2015 theme is "Start Something Beautiful."
You can start something beautiful with your family or a few friends. Organize a seed swap or plant exchange. Or have a Round Robin Garden Clean up. It's a great way to visit with friends while sprucing up each other's landscapes.
Get involved with your community. See if your local Tree Board or Beautification Committee needs help on their board or special projects.
Or introduce a friend or neighbor to gardening. Help them plant a few containers or start some plants from seeds.
A bit more information: And don't forget the youngsters in your life. Give them their own garden space or container to plant and tend. Gardening helps with creativity, focus and their studies.
For more ideas visit http://www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk
Azaleas are a sure sign of spring indoors and out. They're popular gift plants for the holidays and a great way to bring a bit of spring color indoors.
Grow your azaleas in a cool bright location. A sunny window or artificial lights can increase their health and longevity.
Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Use a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer once the plant is finished blooming. Repeat anytime the plants are actively growing and look like they need a nutrient boost. Pale leaves, lack of vigor or poor flowering may mean it's time to fertilize.
You can move the plants outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Gradually introduce them to the brighter light outdoors. Bring them back inside before the first fall or winter frost if your gift azalea is not hardy to your region. Isolate plants and monitor for insects before moving them in with your other indoor plants.
A bit more information: Flower buds of azalea, Christmas cacti, gardenia and other plants drop off when subjected to low humidity, blasts of hot or cold air and dry soils. Always wrap plants when transporting them in cold temperatures.
You can have a beautiful landscape and productive garden while working in concert with nature.
Start small. You'll be amazed the difference a few change of habits can make in your garden and maintenance schedule.
Capture rainwater in barrels or cisterns for use in containers and the garden when water is scarce. Check with your municipality first, as some cities prohibit the use, while others offer rebates.
Compost kitchen scraps and yard waste into valuable soil amendment. Use woody trimmings to create wattle fences, arbors and more.
Plant a few trees to shade your house and reduce cooling costs. Add shrubs and ground covers near your home to further conserve energy.
Don't know where to start? Get help and guidance from the free program Landscape for Life sponsored by the United States Botanic Garden and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
A bit more information: The free Landscape for Life program is geared to anyone gardening and landscaping in the city, suburbs or on a larger or more rural plot of land. It provides information, a workbook and links to useful websites to help you design and manage a sustainable landscape. Visit their site to download the information or find a class in your area.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
Whether you find them fascinating, creepy or annoying, spiders are an integral part of keeping our gardens and homes pest free. To improve their image and our appreciation, the first full week of April is designated "Be Kind to Spiders" week.
Spiders are not insects, but arachnids related to scorpions, ticks and mites. There are more than 35,000 known species worldwide with 3,000 in North America.
Spiders eat a variety of insects, many of which carry diseases or damage our garden plants.
And while they're busy eating bugs many invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles and even humans are busy eating them. They are a great source of protein and considered a delicacy in many countries.
So next time you feel the need to squash a spider, consider relocating it carefully out of your view and nearer to their food source.
A bit more information: Spiders may also hold the secret to better health. Researchers are also evaluating the benefits of spider venom for treating memory loss after a stroke, arthritis and some heart diseases.
Decorated eggs are part of many springtime and religious celebrations. This year consider using natural materials to dye your eggs.
Start by gathering vegetables, flowers and herbs to make the desired dye. Use one cup of blueberries for purple, 2 cups of chopped red cabbage for blue, 2 cups of chopped beets for pink and a handful of carrot tops or 2 TBSP of turmeric for yellow. A handful of onion skins will give you gold, while 2 TBSP of coffee grounds or 4 tea bags make a brown dye.
Place each dye ingredient in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Strain off the plant material and allow to it cool. Then add 2 tbsp of vinegar.
Dip cooled hardboiled eggs in the cup of dye. Leave it submerged until you have the desired color. And if it doesn't turn out, keep experimenting.
A bit more information: Put eggshells to work as planters. Fill them with a bit of potting mix, plant a seed or two, cover and water. Once the seeds sprout, move them to a sunny window. Then crack the egg shell and place the plant in its eggshell pot in garden when the time is right.
Brighten up your day and celebrate Daisy Flower Month with a visit to your favorite florist.
Daisies are members of the largest plant family known as Asteraceae (formerly Compositae).
Though we call the perky white bloom with the yellow center a flower, it is really a collection of flowers. The center of the daisy is a collection of tubular flowers known as disk florets. These are the less showy, but fertile, reproductive parts of the flower that can produce seeds. The showy parts we call petals are really ray florets. Together they make up the inflorescence known as a head or capitulum.
Now that you know what you are looking at, you may also be interested in knowing that daisy flowers stand for innocence and purity as well as new beginnings.
So go out and buy a bouquet of daisies. Be sure to pick up a few extra flowers, so you and the youngsters in your life can make a few daisy chain necklaces and crowns.
A bit more information: Mums and asters are other popular members of the Asteracea family, formerly known as the Compositae. This plant family has over 23,600 species of herbaceous plants (flowers, herbs, vegetables), shrubs and trees.
It’s not your common spirea found in many commercial and home landscapes; but rather it’s less utilized relative and North American native shrub known as steeplebush or hardhack (Spiraeatomentosa).
This adaptable shrub is hardy in zones 3 to 8. It prefers full sun, acidic sandy soils with wet to moist conditions, but it will tolerate light shade and a wide range of soils.
Steeplebush grows 2 to 4 feet tall and much wider as its suckering nature allows it to form colonies. This makes it a great choice for pond side plantings, hedges, natural areas, rain gardens and bank stabilization.
The spires of pink flowers appear from mid-summer into fall. Light deadheading will encourage more bloom. The attractive flowers help attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It’s a nectar source for the rare Karner Blue butterfly and the leaves are a favorite food for several caterpillars and moths.
A bit more information: Another native spirea, Meadowseet (Spiraea alba), produces spires of white flowers and is hardy in zones 3 to 7. It makes a great cut flower and is a butterfly favorite.
Buckthorn, honeysuckle and Tree of Heaven are just a few of the landscape plants that have left the garden and invaded our natural spaces.
These aggressive plants outcompete and crowd out our native plants, destroying the food and habitat needed by wildlife. They also invade our gardens, crowding out desirable plants.
Many gardeners are reluctant to remove them as they provide privacy or screen a bad view. Plant a garden or hedge to take its place and get busy removing these invaders.
Pull or dig small seedlings as soon as they appear. Or remove a 6 inch strip of bark around the base of the plant.
You can also cut the plant to the ground in fall and treat the stump with a brush killer recommended for this purpose. Or paint the bottom 12 inches of the trunk with a brush killer. This prevents the roots from re-sprouting.
As always read and follow label directions carefully.
A bit more information: Aggressive plants, unlike invasive plants, crowd out their neighboring plants, but do not leave the bounds of the landscape. Avoid aggressive plants, if space and time are limited. Or limit aggressive plants spread by growing them in small contained beds or containers. And do not plant invasive plants that will take you years to eliminate in your yard and nearby natural areas. For a list of the more common invasive plants, click here.
Ellen vs. Matt Escalates
We're at war, people.
Well, it's an early morning versus daytime war, between Matt Lauer and Ellen DeGeneres.
The most recent salvo is Matt's.
This comes after Ellen started jazzing up Matt's mornings with some racy Photoshopped clips.
Matt retaliated by filling Ellen's car with 20,000 ping pong balls.
Ellen sent her viewers to Rockefeller Plaza to test for Matt's tickle points.
And now, Matt paid to have billboards erected around Los Angeles, showing Ellen as a plumber, butt-crack and all.
Funny stuff. Even Ellen thinks so.
No telling what will be next though...
Look what I saw on my way to work today. Good one, @MLauer. #MattsRevenge pic.twitter.com/8QCUw5wqJM
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 16, 2015
Referee Trip & Fall Makes Highlight Reel
It's always funny to see someone take a fall - as long as the only thing hurt is a guy's ego, right?
The other night, NBA referee Joey Crawford took a center-court face-plant during the Toronto Raptors home game against the Charlotte Hornets.
It's tough to tell what he did - probably tripped over his own feet - but he did make a nice headfirst slide.
What better way to watch than with a continuous Vine, right?
Scary Road to the CMAs
Lady Antebellum's singer Hillary Scott was on her tour bus, heading to Dallas for a week of shows culminating in the Country Music Awards this Sunday night.
On Interstate 30 in Garland, a tire blew out and caused a fire.
Everyone got out safely, but Hillary lost many of her personal belongings.
Scary moments indeed. Glad to hear everyone's okay though.
50 Shades of... Wait! What Did You Do to Your Hair?
Dakota Johnson is between films right now.
She completed 50 Shades of Grey and was just about everywhere on the promotional tour.
And the word in the industry is that the sequel will start shooting fairly soon.
So what's up with the new haircut?
What has become her trademark Anastasia Steele long brown hair is now a bob.
Boom. Let's hope she had permission.
Check out the report from MM1 News. The read by the robotic and accented voice makes it almost hilarious.
The Force Continues to Awake...
Another official trailer is out for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, coming to theaters in December.
In this one, Luke narrates over a variety of images - "The force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too."
No one's saying who that you is - but I guess that's why they call this a teaser.
It's great to see Han and Chewbacca ever so briefly at the end.
I'm ready. How about you?
What's Going On at ESPN?
Seems like the folks who work at ESPN need to learn to keep their thoughts to themselves.
You'll remember Keith Olberman got in some trouble not too long ago for tweets he made about Penn State and a fundraising effort there.
Now ESPN reporter Britt McHenry got herself suspended for launching a tirade against a tow company's employee.
It's pretty nasty - if you want to watch it, you'll have to go to this link - but don't do it at work.
Britt apologized, but too little too late. She'll be off the air for a week.
Others are calling for her to be let go entirely. What do you think?
In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and (cont) http://t.co/Wx37XF2QtM
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) April 16, 2015
The Newest Avenger
Ellen DeGeneres breaks another Hollywood secret.
This time, it's all about the newest Avenger - the Honker.
Okay, it's Ellen, inserting herself into the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron as a joke-telling horn-honking superhero standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk and the rest of the gang.
This could make the movie even more interesting, don't you think?
Hard Enough to Play Real Drums...
It takes years to learn to play the drums. Even longer if you want to play them well.
Imagine how much more difficult it must be to play the drums well if you're a marionette.
Well, if you're the puppeteer manipulating the marionette, and the marionette is playing a drum set made of tin cans.
And the marionette has to keep up with Rush's classic "Tom Sawyer."
Impossible, you say? Think again and witness... It's pretty cool what's happening in this video.
Ah, Yes, the Buckingham Banana Peel!
The royal guards stationed outside Buckingham Palace in London are famous for their crisp movements and fierce focus.
Tourists try all the time to get them to laugh - even just to crack a smile - to no avail.
Which makes what happened on Tuesday even funnier.
During a routine changing of the guard, one soldier somehow managed to slip and fall while shifting to one side.
He got up quickly, but he was smiling a bit.
He stopped very quickly, but it was caught on someone's cell phone - of course - and now it's gone viral.
Have a look...
Carpool Karaoke, the Latest Craze
James Corden is starting off strong in his new gig on CBS's Late Late Show.
Strong guests, strong performances, and strong skits.
Like this one, where he's carpooling with Jennifer Hudson.
When songs come on the radio, they have no choice but to sing along, now do they?
And when they pull in to a drive-through, why not let Jennifer Hudson sing the order for you?
All that and more. Funny stuff.
Josh & Kelly Team Up for Phantom Duet
If you're a fan of musical theater, you're of course familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera and one of its more beautiful tunes, "All I Ask of You."
It's a haunting tune, really, and somewhat operatic.
Enter Josh Groban and his new album, "Stages" - his salute to musical theater.
He tackles the role of Raoul, opposite Kelly Clarkson's Christine.
This is not your typical Phantom, and there's not a thing wrong with that.
Give a listen.
The Epitome of TMI
Okay, maybe E! is starting to reach on its reality shows.
Their show, Botched, features plastic surgery nightmares.
And last night's season premiere focused on Tiffany Pollard, the self-professed queen of reality TV.
The star of VH1's Flavor of Love decided to get breast augmentation surgery when she hit the big time - no pun intended - inspired by Dolly Parton.
She's none too happy about the outcome, and of course, being the queen of reality TV, she doesn't mind sharing her story.
I'm sort of wishing she hadn't...
Hail to You, Robin Williams
Jamie Costa is a comic/ actor from South Carolina.
He's making a name for himself with celebrity impressions.
And this week, he released a reel of impressions of Robin Williams in a variety of roles.
Twenty of them, to be precise - from Mork to Teddy Roosevelt and many others in between.
He calls it his "tribute to the man whose spark ignited my passion."
Pretty good work, if I do get to pass judgment...
Oh No Pokemon Didn't...
File this one under Seriously?
A number of websites are reporting that the Creflo Dollar Ministries - that's a guy's name, by the way - has conducted a study that determined that Pokemon, the cartoon of the 80s and 90s, pointed children who were teenagers in that era toward homosexuality.
The quote most often seen: teens ”had their sexuality warped by Ash and his fruity friends.”
How about that?
And here I thought it was Tinky Winky the Purple Teletubby who was responsible for turning kids gay...
Milk Milk Lemonade
Amy Schumer's the hottest thing in comedy these days.
Her concerts sell-out. She was a hit hosting the MTV Movie Awards over the weekend.
She wrote and starred in Trainwreck.
And her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, starts a new season.
They're calling her the new Queen of Shocking TV Comedy.
And here's the promo for her show - "Milk Milk Lemonade" - sort of a very grown-up version of "All About That Bass."
Think twice before opening this one up at work...
Inside Amy Schumer
Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Jake Caputo's a man with an idea.
He tweeted out a message to the world asking people what they'd pay for a standalone HBO streaming service.
He even set up a website in 2012 called takemymoneyhbo.com.
And it looks like HBO was listening. And now they're ready to talk seriously with Jake - and take his money.
Who better to collect, than Paulie Walnuts and Big Pussy from The Sopranos, am I right?
Check out this promo!
Game of the Holy Grail
Game of Thrones is back, and all is well with the world.
Well, unless you live in Westeros. Or on The Wall.
But it's Game of Thrones.
In honor of that, here's a little Throwback Thursday fun.
What if Monty Python & The Holy Grail were a real fantasy film, instead of a comedy fantasy film produced by the coolest comedy troupe of all time?
Would it look something like this? Why yes, I think it would...
Cookie Meets Cookie
When Taraji P. Henson hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, some writer had a stroke of genius.
Insert her character from Empire - Cookie Lyon - into a show that already had a character named Cookie - Sesame Street.
The result is pretty brilliant, with a new Cookie Monster shaking thinkgs up on the street we all know and love.
Them's Fightin' Words
It didn't take long for Hillary Clinton's potential Republican opponents to come out swinging after her Sunday announcement that she'll be running for President on the Democratic side.
Rand Paul published a slickly-done apocalyptic message, warning about what would happen if Hillary weren't defeated.
Very Orwellian, or Hunger Games, or something like that.
Check out the picture they use of Hillary at about the 10-second mark.
Does she remind you a bit of Auntie Em from The Wizard of Oz?
How Yucky Was It?
Coachella's known for having some weird things happen.
Could be the weirdest thing happened this weekend, when Madonna shared the stage - and more - with Drake.
In the middle of a song, Madonna grabbed the seated Drake's head, tilted it back and locked lips big time.
We're not talking a peck here, or a friendly little kiss.
No, it was more like mouth-to-mouth.
And when it was done, Drake doesn't look any too happy.
Check out the video... and be sure to listen for Drake's heavily-bleeped response...
The Kardashian Invasion Continues
Kim and Khloe Kardashian continued their whirlwind tour of Mother Armenia - that's what they're calling it.
They met with the Prime Minister of Armenia, because, as you know, they are quite important Armenian American dignitaries.
At some point, Kim spotted an elderly woman in the crowd. According to the story, the woman had been waiting for 12 hours to meet the Kardashians, leaning on her cane the whole while.
No word from the woman if she thought Kim's hug was worth the wait.
It was an honor to meet the Prime Minister of Armenia, Hovik Abrahamyan who expressed how proud they are that we are proud Armenians and we have not forgotten our roots! #NeverForget
A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Apr 9, 2015 at 9:33pm PDT
Something Bugging You?
Seems like Hollywood is cranking out every Marvel comic character in the library.
Next up: Ant Man, starring Paul Rudd.
Paul plays a thief turned hero who's able to shrink in size and increase in strength and speed.
And of course, he has to save the world.
Otherwise, what's the point?
And having Michael Douglas on board as the scientist who makes Ant Man possible - that's just a bonus.
Pink Puts the Haters in Their Place
People think it's okay to take shots at anyone for anything.
On Saturday night, Pink went to a benefit to celebrate a friend's recognition "for her tireless efforts and stellar contributions to the eradication of cancer."
But all people could tweet about was Pink and her black dress and how she looked fat.
Pink took it in stride and issued the most polite "shut up" in history.
"While I admit that that dress didn't photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful. So, my good and concerned peoples, please don't worry about me. I'm not worried about me. And I'm not worried about you either:)… I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern. Love, cheesecake."
And then a little frosting on the cake...
and my hubby says "it's just more to love baby" (and then I smack his hand off my booty cause we're in a supermarket) pic.twitter.com/Mnd6PIoKhK
— P!nk (@Pink) April 13, 2015
"I've Been Trying to Teach Him to Blend In"
I've got to admit it. When I heard they were making a new Terminator movie that included Arnold Schwarzenegger, I wasn't expecting much.
I mean, the guy's 67, and the original Terminator came out over 30 years ago.
But watching this trailer for Terminator: Genisys, I might have to change my mind.
Some mind-boggling time-travel sci fi here, but the moment when now-Schwarzenegger goes toe-to-toe with then-Schwarzenegger could be worth the price of admission.
Who's with me?
Watching It Live Takes the Glamor Away
Every time you see a glamorous photo, don't you think how cool it must be to be a celebrity on the red carpet of some posh event?
Look at the photo of Jennifer Lopez that's part of this blog.
It was taken on the runway of last night's MTV Movie Awards. Breezy, serious, all-business but stylish too.
Now watch the footage of her as that shot and a whole bunch of others are snapped.
Poor woman must need a break by the end of it all. And she still has a whole awards show to sit through...
Jennifer Lopez 2015 MTV Movie Awards by maximotv