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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.


Pick a Bit of Purslane for Your Salad

Put down the weeder and break out the harvest basket. The weed you are trying to kill may be a tasty addition to your salads and sandwiches.

Purslane is an aggressive annual weed that can be found anywhere from cultivated gardens to vacant patches of earth. It grows flat on the ground with thick succulent leaves similar to a jade plant. It spreads by stem pieces and seeds that can last for up to 40 years in the soil. You’ll see more of this weed during hot dry summers.
 
Harvest young plants and use the leaves fresh in salads and on sandwiches. Stir-fry, puree or steam the leaves and use it as a spinach substitute. Just don’t overcook as it gets a bit slimy.
 
Be sure to wash the plants before eating and only harvest plants growing in areas where pesticides, including weed killers, have not been used.
 
If you become a fan of purslane, consider purchasing the seed of varieties bred for better flavor.
 
A bit more information:  If you decide to control this weed, pull the plant before it goes to seed. Then mulch the soil with a one to two inch layer of shredded leaves or evergreen needles to help prevent the seeds from sprouting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 


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06/04/2014 4:23PM
Pick a Bit of Purslane for Your Salad
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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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