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The Garden Mix




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 Camera Day

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Celebrate National Camera day by spending a bit of time in your garden or favorite landscape.

Many gardeners use their camera to record their successes, favorite plant combinations or problems in the garden. These are all useful when planning for changes in the landscape or the upcoming season.

But take a moment or two to look for some of the missed beauty in the garden. Capture the way light plays upon the color and texture in the garden. Try shooting images throughout the day and look for these sometimes subtle other times dramatic differences.

These observations may have you moving a few plants in the landscape. Perhaps the backlit seedheads of grasses or colorful Swiss chard help brighten the morning or late afternoon landscape.

Or maybe it's time to capture your favorite garden visitors; a bird, bee, butterfly or young gardener enjoying the blossoms in the garden.

A bit more information: Don't worry if you do not have a fancy camera. Grab your cell phone or I-pad. Whichever camera you choose, take your time to select an interesting shot. Or maybe it's multiple shots of the same plant in different settings or various shade gardens.

For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Wilted Plant Leaves

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Stop, put down the hose and make sure that wilted plant needs more, not less water before turning on the faucet.

Wilted leaves are the clue many gardeners use to determine when a plant needs watering. But wilting can also be caused by factors other than a lack of water.

Compacted, poorly drained or water logged soils can also cause wilting. Water fills the air pores in the soil, preventing the plants from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

Root damage from construction, rodents, fertilizer burn, disease, soil temperature extremes, and girdling roots can also interfere in water uptake.

So be sure to check the soil moisture before watering your plants. If drainage is an issue, correct the cause and improve your plants' health. Aerate the soil, install a French drain or replace the stressed plant with something suited to the soil moisture conditions.

A bit more information: Your finger is your best moisture meter. Feel the top few inches of soil to check the soil moisture before watering. For more on plant wilt, click here.

For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Abnormal Growth on Rose plants: Rose Rosette

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Abnormally red leaves and stems, deformed leaves and fine twiggy growth may mean the Rose Rosette virus has infected your rose plant.

A very tiny mite spreads the disease from infected to healthy rose plants. Controlling the mites with horticulture oil and insecticidal soap can help reduce the risk.

The invasive multiflora rose is highly susceptible and its presence in or near ornamental rose plantings has helped spread the disease. Eliminate multiflora roses within 100 yards of your landscape, if possible.

Remove infected roses immediately to reduce the spread of this disease to your healthy plants.

Use a variety of plants properly spaced to reduce the risk of insect and disease problems.

You can replace infected plants immediately with non-susceptible plants or wait until all the diseased plant debris, roots and all have been removed if using roses.

A bit more information: Don't know if multiflora roses are a problem in your area? They are often found growing wild on roadsides and pastures. These upright plants have arching branches that can be 3 to 10 feet long. The small fragrant white to pink flowers appear in late spring to early summer. For more on this disease click here or visit
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/plant_pests/flowers/hgic2109.html

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Managing Mosquitoes - National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Don't let mosquitoes keep you from enjoying your garden and outdoor parties. Look for environmentally sound ways to manage these pests in your garden and landscape.

Here are a few suggestions from the American Mosquito Control Association. Drain water that collects in kids' toys, old tires, tarps and pool covers. Even small containers contain enough water for hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes to breed.

Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week. Consider a small pump to keep water moving to prevent mosquito breeding. Or use Mosquito Dunks and Bits, an organic mosquito control, in rain barrels and water features. They are safe for pets, wildlife and children.

Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. These pests are less attracted to the lighter colors and can't readily reach your skin through loose clothing. And cover as much of your skin as possible with long sleeves and pants.

A bit more information: National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association. The goal of this international organization of public health professionals is to promote environmentally sound mosquito control to help preserve the public's health. For more ideas for taking the bite out of mosquitoes visit http://www.mosquito.org/control.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Divide Spring Flowering Bulbs

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Improve next spring's bulb garden with a bit of late spring maintenance.

Digging, dividing and replanting will help improve the beauty and performance of many spring flowering bulbs. This can be done in fall as we plant our new bulbs. But by then the leaves are gone and it is difficult to find the bulbs in the ground. So move this task to late spring as the leaves decline.

Carefully dig declining and overcrowded bulbs. Use a flat tined garden fork or shovel to carefully lift the clump of bulbs.

Carefully remove the soil to make separating the bulbs easier. Replant the larger bulbs in properly prepared soil. Discard the smaller bulbs or plant them in a location where you won't mind waiting a few years for them to reach flowering size.

Discard any rotten or soft bulbs. Replant healthy bulbs immediately or store them in a cool dark location for fall planting.

A bit more information: Treat daffodil bulbs a bit differently. Break apart loosely connected bulbs, but leave the firmly attached offsets attached to the larger mother bulb.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Use Row Cover for Chemical-Free Insect Control

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Prevent insect damage on your vegetables with the help of floating row covers. These spun fabrics let air, light and water through, but prevent many insects from reaching the plants.

Eliminate cabbage worm damage on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts with the help of row covers. Loosely cover the plants at planting. Anchor the ends of the fabric with stones, boards or landscape staples. The plants support the fabric and prevent the moths from laying their eggs on the plants.

Cover beans with the fabric at planting to prevent bean beetle damage. Lift to harvest and recover the plants until the harvest is complete.

Cover squash and cucumbers to reduce the risk of squash vine borer and squash bugs on squash plants and cucumber beetles on cucumbers. Cover at planting and remove once flowering begins, so the bees can pollinate the flowers. The early season protection helps reduce the risk of damage to the harvest.

A bit more information: Use row covers on spinach and beets to prevent leaf miner damage. Barriers like row covers only work on insects that overwinter outside the garden and return during the growing season to lay their eggs or feed upon the plants in your garden.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Celebrate National Pollinators Week

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Celebrate national Pollinator Week by lending a helping hand to bees, butterflies, beetles, birds and bats that help pollinate our gardens, so we have seeds, fruits and vegetables to eat.

Start by evaluating your garden. Make sure you have something blooming in the garden throughout the growing season. Select plants suited to your climate and growing conditions. If you need help selecting some of the better plants for pollinators, review the regional planting guides at pollinator.org.

Include trees, shrubs, parsley, dill and other plants the caterpillars feed upon. With a diversity of plants you can easily overlook the leaf damage.

Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides that can harm the pollinators. Sanitation, barriers, traps, strong blasts of water and hand picking can help minimize pest damage. Soon you will find more birds, lacewings and lady beetles visiting your garden to eat the problem pests.

A bit more information: Encourage these and other beneficial insects to visit your garden. Predatory mites and wasps, lady beetles and lacewings feed upon troublesome garden pests. Consider planting some sedum, dill, alyssum, yarrow and columbine. For more information, click here.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Father’s Day Garden Gift Ideas

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Combine a bit of gardening and your imagination to create a memorable gift for Father's Day.

If dad likes to grill, plant a pot of his favorite grilling herbs. Purchase a decorative container, paint a terra cotta pot or recycle an old item into a planter. Just make sure to include drainage holes, fill with a well-drained potting mix and plant.

Or put a new spin on an often-maligned plant. Moss gardens have become popular, but you may want to start small. Harvest moss, with permission of course, or purchase some from one of the reliable online sources. Find a glass jar and fill the bottom with organic soil and press the moss in place.

Consider planting grapes for the wine enthusiast and hops for the beer-loving gardening dad. Make sure these plants have plenty of room and sunshine. Or try Pixie, the new tabletop grape, if space is limited.

A bit more information: Don't let a tight budget stop you from honoring dad. Offer to clean his garden tools, mow the lawn or mulch the garden. Most parents appreciate the gift of time and we can all use a helping hand in the garden.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Start a Garden Journal Now

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Inspiration, motivation and the ideal time to implement the plan do not always coincide. So what is a gardener to do? Start a garden journal.

I talk a lot about recording information on the plants, garden pests, gardening successes, and yes, even failures to help improve the garden's beauty and your satisfaction. We start out the year or new season with dedication and as spring progresses the journal entries dwindle, the plant tags accumulate in a pot and our good intentions have disappeared.

Start now and make this a fun and easy process. Snap a few pictures or record a few notes on your cell phone, e-mail yourself updates or create a spreadsheet of things you really want to remember. Or add a notebook and pen to your tool bag and carry it with you to the garden. It doesn't need to be fancy – just easy and convenient, so you'll do it.

A bit more information: An avid gardener, Susan, shared this tip. She cut up her copy of one of my books, added her plant tags and notes to create her own garden reference and journal in one.

My granddaughter loves notebooks and organizing, so we slip my tags in page protectors and add any notes or images, or ideas related to the plant. A scanner and electronic file is a high tech version of this technique.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Reduce Mowing Improve Plant Health

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Reduce time spent mowing while improving the health of trees and shrubs with a few minor changes in your landscape design.

Eliminate tight corners and narrow spaces that make it difficult to maneuver the mower. Edge the beds to keep grass out and eliminate hand trimming. Rent an edger or use a shovel to create a V shaped trench around the garden. Fill with mulch to create a nice edge for the mower wheel to travel upon.

Create large mulch or planting beds around trees and shrubs. Incorporate individual plants into larger planting beds. Mow the grass inside the bed short, cover with newspaper or cardboard and a layer of woodchips.

Now you just need to mow around one bed instead of several small plantings. Plus, you eliminate the risk of damaging the trunks with the mower or weed whips. And these permanent plantings will thrive once the competition from the grass is removed.

A bit more information: Grass competes with newly planted trees and shrubs for water and nutrients. Expanding the mulch garden can increase the health and vigor of these new landscape additions.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Increase Your Garden’s Beauty with Late Spring Grooming

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Save yourself some maintenance and improve the beauty of your landscape with some late spring grooming.

Mums and asters are the most often pruned perennials. Pinching them back to 6 inches throughout June will encourage compact growth, while still allowing enough time for the plants to flower in fall.

Pinching and pruning other late season perennials such as Boltonia, Autumn Joy sedum and Heliopsis can reduce floppy growth and eliminate staking chores.

Prune back Joe Pye weed, asters and Summer sun Heliopsis by one third to encourage fuller, more compact growth. This eliminates the need to stake these perennials.

Pinch out the growing tips of Boltonia, swamp sunflower and sneezeweed. They won't be noticeably shorter, but will produce more flowers that are smaller and less likely to flop.

A bit more information: You can also control the growth on Amsonia and Baptisia. Cut these plants back by about two thirds after flowering. You'll encourage fresh new growth and a tidier appearance. Unfortunately, you will eliminate the attractive black pods on the Baptisia.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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Heat Tolerant Cilantro Flavored Papalo

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Cilantro is a favorite ingredient in guacamole, tacos, rice dishes and of course salsa. But as summer temperatures climb the cilantro quickly goes to seed. Reduce the frustration by adding a bit of Papalo, also known as summer cilantro, to your garden.

Though not related to cilantro, Papalo has a similar, but stronger flavor and aroma as the popular herb. You may need to start your own plants from seeds if none of the garden centers in your area sell plants. Start seeds indoors or directly in the garden once the danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm.

Grow the plants in full to part sun and well-drained soil. These herbs can grow 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide, so give them some room. Harvest the leaves and use as needed to flavor fish dishes, tacos, salsas and guacamole.

A bit more information: The flowers of summer cilantro will also attract butterflies and bees. For more ideas on using this herb, click here.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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Algae Control in Water Gardens

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Keep the algae at bay and your pond water clear with a few strategies to keep your water garden in balance.

It may be easier said than done, especially early in the season when the water plants are just starting to grow.

Only feed the fish what they will eat within 3 to 5 minutes. Any uneaten food can decompose and encourage algae. And if the fish are hungry they will be nibbling on the algae, plants and insects, helping to keep your water clear.

Make sure you have enough plants to cover at least 50 to 75 percent of the water surface. Shading the water surface helps reduce algae.

Consider adding a pump or aerator to keep water moving and reduce problems. Biological filters can also help.

But once your water garden is back in balance, it will be much lower maintenance and provide even more enjoyment.

A bit more information: If algae is an ongoing battle, you may need to reduce the number of fish, change your water garden plant mix and adjust your fish and plant feeding schedule.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

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"... In the Hands of a Clown"
It hasn't been a good week to be Donald Trump. It seems like everyone knows that but him. When he kicked off his presidential campaign last week, he had some pretty nasty things to say about Mexico - the country and its people. As a result, Univision - the biggest Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States - announced that it will not be associated with the Miss Universe Pageant, as The Donald is part owner. And Christian de la Fuente, who was scheduled to be one of the pageant's hosts, decided to step away from it, but not before leveling a retaliatory attack at The Donald first. Check it out... (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Mr. Trump, As a #Latino I cannot work in an event associated with your name. The statements you made against Mexicans and immigrants show that you are ignorant. It is unacceptable to launch your presidential candidacy creating rhetoric of hatred and discrimination in calling Mexicans drug traffickers and rapists. It's a shame that such an important institution as #MISSUSA is now in the hands of a clown " See more at http://goo.gl/hdj3cVDonald J. Trump Como latino no puedo trabajar en un evento asociado a su nombre... las declaraciones que hizo contra los mexicanos, contra los inmigrantes, demuestran que es un ignorante. Es inaceptable que se lance a la presidencia creando una retórica de odio y discriminacion al tildar a los mexicanos de narcotraficantes y violadores... Es una pena que una institucion tan importante como MISS USA este hoy en manos de un payaso Posted by Cristian de la Fuente on Thursday, June 25, 2015
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... And He'll Never Do That Again
How's this for justice? A guy in Brazil parked his car illegally in a handicapped spot. So while he was wherever doing whatever, some folks decided that maybe his getting a ticket wouldn't be enough. So they completely covered his car in something blue. The same color blue you'll find in your typical handicapped parking sign. They even managed to put a couple of wheelchair stick figures on the car. It's hard to tell from the video exactly what it was, but they covered every inch of it - tires to roof, hood to trunk, including all the windows. It looks like fondant - that hard, crumbly wedding cake frosting - but it could be some sort of paper too. What do you think? Lesson learned? (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); That's what happens when you park in a handicap spot in BrazilCarBuzz Posted by CarBuzz on Thursday, June 25, 2015
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You Never Know Who Might Be Stowing Away
This could be one of the funniest videos I've seen in a long time. A couple in New Guinea took a glider up for a spin, and everything was going great until they realized that a cat had somehow found its way into the glider's wing. They brought the aircraft back for a landing - it took a minute or two - with the cat hanging on for dear life the whole time. The cat appears in the upper right corner of the screen at about 20 seconds in. And check out its face when the glider finally lands. No animals were hurt in the making of this video, and that's what makes it okay to laugh.  
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Fare Thee Well, John Steed
Patrick Macnee, who played secret agent John Steed in The Avengers and The New Avengers, passed away yesterday at the age of 93. Patrick's character was always dapperly-dressed, in a bowler and a suit, carrying an umbrella - which of course hid a sword in it. His co-star for several years was Diana Rigg, playing Mrs. Peel. Game of Thrones fans know Diana these days as Olenna Tyrell. You'll get a sense of Patrick's acting style from the opening and closing credits of The Avengers. Check out the video,,,  
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And You Thought the Cleansing Part Was Bad...
A colonoscopy patient in Vienna, Virginia accidentally recorded his procedure back in 2013. He had set up the recorder on his phone to capture his doctor's post-procedure instructions, and forgot to turn it off. When he played it back, he realized that the doctor, the anesthesiologist and a medical assistant were talking smack about him the whole time he was sedated. They had some pretty nasty things to say about the poor guy. When he heard them all, he filed a lawsuit for medical malpractice and defamation. When you hear the recording, you'll understand why a jury recently awarded the unnamed patient $500,000.  
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Carnac the Magnificent Goes High Tech
Back when The Tonight Show was piloted by Johnny Carson, he would occasionally perform as Carnac the Magnificent. Billed as a great visitor from the east, Carnac was able to use his mystical powers to divine the answer to a question that was sealed inside an envelope that he held to his forehead. Watch this clip from 1974 for a taste...   On Wednesday night, Jimmy Fallon trotted out a bit he called "Brainstorm" - where he hooked up his brain with Arnold Schwarzenegger's brain, and provided the question to Arnold's answer. Same bit, done differently. And I have to say, I think the original is better. How about you? (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Brainstorm with Arnold Schwarzenegger Jimmy and Arnold Schwarzenegger link their brains for a Tonight Show "Brainstorm." Posted by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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"Listen, You're in My House..."
President Obama got heckled at a White House press conference yesterday afternoon. It's not quite clear what the heckler was yelling, but the crowd turned on the heckler pretty quickly. The President handled the situation well, but the heckler wouldn't stop. So, the heckler was removed, and the press conference went on. It's pretty neat how the President took it all in stride... (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); WATCH: President Obama smacks down heckler at LGBT pride event. http://nbcnews.to/1JjMFeQ "As a general rule, I am just fine with a few hecklers, but not when I'm up in the [White] House. My attitude is, if you're eating the hors d'oeuvres..." Posted by NBC News on Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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Keep Your Eye on the Ball!
We've seen plenty of fans in the stands catch a baseball barehanded, right? And plenty of one-handed barehanded catches, right? How about a one-handed barehanded feeding-the-baby-with-the-other-hand catches? Not so many of those - if any of those But here's one. A fan watching the Chicago Cubs play the Los Angeles Dodgers barehanded a pop-up to the right field side while he was bottle-feeding a baby. And the catch prevented Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers from making the play. Fan interference was called, but really, who cares? Check out the catch!  
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Let's Go to Middle Earth
It's Throwback Thursday Time. This video's about a month old, but it shows a pretty amazing impressionist named Jamie Costa. He's playing Gandalf, recruiting followers to the cause. But he can only muster up Robin Williams (spot-on impression), George W. Bush (a decent impression) and Matthew McConaughey (excellent impression). What's amazing is not only what he can do with his voice, but also with his face. Check it out.  
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