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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.


October Birth Flower ? Calendula

An edible beauty serves as the birth flower for those born in October.  The yellow and orange blooms of calendulas were considered sacred by some and magical by other cultures of the past. And many used them for dyes, insect repellents and medicinal remedies.

In the garden, calendulas are easy to grow. They thrive in full sun, moist well-drained soil and cool temperatures. In hot weather they slow or stop blooming. Just continue to water as needed and wait for cooler temperatures and the flowers to return. And watch for seedlings in next year’s garden.
 
Brighten up your flower, herb or vegetable garden with these 12 to 18 inch tall flowers. And pick a few to enjoy in your cut flower bouquets.
 
Use the petals to brighten and spice up a salad or dry and brew as a tea. Or add them to soups and stews cooking in a pot. Thus, how they received their common name, pot marigold.
 
A bit more information: The botanical name Calendula officinalis provides insight to the plant and its uses. Calendula comes from Latin “calends” and the English “calendar”. It was said to bloom at the beginning of each month leading to its botanical name. Officinalis means medicinal and refers to the fact the flowers have been used in healing wounds and treating illnesses.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.


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10/04/2013 3:42PM
October Birth Flower – Calendula
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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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