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.
National Pear Month
by Melinda Myers,posted Dec 14 2012 1:23PM
You purchase a beautiful pear, set it on the counter to ripen and a few days later take a bite. Seems it is either too hard or over ripe. In fact, 84% of people surveyed did not know how to tell when a pear was ripe.
Unlike apples, pears ripen better off of the tree. So harvest your homegrown pears when they easily separate from the tree. Lift the fruit to a horizontal position and if it detaches it is time to harvest. Then move them to a cool place for several days to improve ripening and longevity. Then finish ripening the fruit at 65 to 70 degrees.
Use the neck test to determine your pear’s ripeness. Hold the pear in the palm of your hand like a baseball. Use the thumb of that hand to gently press against the pear right below the stem. If it gives evenly under gentle pressure it’s ready to eat. If it resists wait a day or two.
A bit more information: Select Asian pears based on smell not firmness. A ripe Asian pear will be firm with a strong sweet aroma at room temperature and less so when the fruit is cold.
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
If you ever get a chance to see Milwaukee from the water...do it! I don't know what it is about the water but everything looks beautiful when you're on the water. I took these over the weekend and just looking at them calms me. We have a beautiful city enjoy it and enjoy what's left of summer:)