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.
Tiny plantlets along the edge of the leaves give rise to this plant's common name. Consider adding the Mother of Thousands kalanchoe to your indoor garden.
This succulent has large blue-green leaves that cover the stem from top to bottom. Small plantlets form along the leaves and eventually drop to the ground and form roots. These small plants can be transplanted into a container of their own.
Grow the Mother of Thousands kalanchoe in a brightly lit location in a well-drained potting mix. A terra cotta pot with drainage holes filled with a cacti and succulent potting mix will insure good drainage. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil starts to dry.
Fertilize as needed when plants are actively growing in spring and early summer. Use a dilute solution of houseplant fertilizer.
Move to a cool location and allow the soil to go a bit drier during the winter months.
A bit more information: You may find Mother-of-Thousands listed as Bryophyllum daigremontianum, or Kalanchoe daigremontiana. It may take a bit of effort to locate a plant or two. Start with a visit to your local garden center or succulent nursery. They may sell the plant or know of a local source. Otherwise look on-line for a reputable source.
Cracks on tree trunks and peeling bark may indicate there are problems with your tree's health.
Start by examining the base of the plant. Trees with straight trunks, like a telephone pole, entering the ground are planted too deep. Trees planted too deep and pruned with flush cuts are more subject to frost crack and sunscald.
Deeply planted trees are also more prone to girdling roots. These circling roots place pressure on the expanding trunk and stop the flow of water and nutrients between the roots and leaves. The offending roots can be at the soil surface or several inches below ground. Look for a flattened side of the trunk, smaller leaves and earlier fall color.
Physical injury to the trunk or improper pruning cuts can also lead to frost cracks.
Contact a certified arborist in your area to make sure your tree is sound and does not create a hazard in your landscape.
A bit more information: Proper care is the best way to care for stressed trees. Make sure they are watered thoroughly as needed. Mulch the soil to suppress weeds, conserve moisture and improve the soil. Consult a certified tree care professional to evaluate the condition, and possible treatment or removal of struggling and potentially hazardous trees. Visit www.treesaregood.com for a list of certified arborist in your area.
Pretty to look at, safe to eat, but not real tasty! This describes the ornamental sweet potato vine. You may know it as Marguerite, Sweet Caroline, Blackie or one of the other popular cultivars of this plant.
Garden varieties of the edible sweet potato have been selected for their flavor while the ornamental varieties were selected for their colorful foliage and trailing nature.
Like the edible varieties the ornamental sweet potato vine will produce tuberous roots. The purple tuberous roots are edible but gardeners who have tried them, say they're not tasty.
Some gardeners try saving the tuberous roots overwinter much like dahlias. They store them in a cool dark location. Most gardeners report having limited success and poor growth on the second year plants.
You may want to start new plants from cuttings. Those in cold climates will need to move these in for winter and grow them as houseplants in a sunny window.
A bit more information: Start new plants from 4 to 6 inch cuttings. Remove the lowest leaf and stick the cut end in a container filled with vermiculite or moist well-drained soil. Keep the rooting medium moist. Or just buy new plants each year.
Our gardens are filled with surprises; a yellow flowering perennial that suddenly produces purple blooms, a variegated branch that suddenly appears on a green leafed shrub or different shaped squash growing in your compost pile. The science behind these transformations has allowed plant breeders to propagate and develop many of the flowers, fruit, and vegetables we grow in our landscapes today.
Man-made or nature's hybrids occur when two plants with distinct characteristics share some of these features through cross pollination. Saving and planting the seed from a hybrid's offspring usually results in plants that look much different than their parent.
Mutations occur when there is a change in the genetic makeup of the plant. This can happen naturally or be induced by breeders.
Viruses can also impact a plant's appearance. Tulip break virus causes streaking in the flower petals that led to Tulip mania.
A bit more information: Tulip mania (Tulipomania) was at its peak in the 1630s. Investors spent as much as ten times a skilled craftman's annual wage for one bulb. Those with streaked petals caused increased activity in the bulb trading market.
When you think of flowers that honor veterans you probably picture the red poppy featured in the poem "In Flanders Fields." But other plants, including the Veteran's Day rose have been introduced to honor our veterans.
This hybrid tea rose has bright red flowers with a light fruity fragrance. It blooms early in the season and sporadically until frost.
Veteran's Honor rose is hardy in zones 5 to 9 and grows 5 feet tall. Grow this hybrid tea like others in full sun with moist well-drained soils. Leave plenty of space for air circulation that encourages vigorous growth and discourages disease problems. Proper siting and care will help minimize insect and disease problems common to hybrid tea roses.
Use this as a specimen plant, informal hedge, in a memorial garden or near your house. Place it in an area where you can enjoy the flowers and the butterflies that come to visit.
Purple needles turning brown and branches dying on spruce may mean the tree is infected with needle cast fungal disease.
This disease is usually not deadly, but it certainly ruins the beauty and the screening value the trees provide. Contact a certified arborist or your local extension service for a definitive diagnosis before treating. Several diseases can cause these same symptoms.
Make sure your trees receive sufficient water during dry periods, mulch the soil and give them plenty of room for light and air to reach all parts of the plant.
Promptly remove and destroy infected branches to help slow the spread of this disease. Disinfect your tools with a one part bleach and nine parts water solution or 70% alcohol between cuts.
Organic fungicides labeled for controlling this disease can be applied when new needles are about half expanded and again 3 weeks later.
A bit more information: Use needlecast resistant evergreens like arborvitae, junipers and pines to replace any diseased spruce you decide to remove. Provide sufficient space for these plants to grow to full size. Temporarily fill in voids with ornamental grasses and perennials. Remove these as the maturing evergreens need more space.
No flowers on your pink or blue hydrangea? The key to consistent flowering is proper selection, pruning and care.
The bigleaf or mop head hydrangeas, those with pink or blue flowers, only produce blooms on the previous season's growth.
Severe pruning at the wrong time and cold winters that kill the stems back to the ground can reduce or eliminate bloom. Only prune dead and damaged stems to the ground in early spring. Wait and prune flowering stems back to a set of healthy buds right after flowering.
Endless Summer and other repeat blooming bigleaf hydrangeas are supposed to bloom on new and old growth. Moisture and proper fertilization are keys to success with these.
Or try one of the Annabelle cultivars, like Invincibelle Spirit or Bella Anna, that are hardier and produce pink flowers on new growth.
A bit more information: Make sure the soil is moist, not wet from spring through summer to encourage flowering on the repeat blooming hydrangeas. Apply an organic fertilizer, like Milorganiteonce in spring. Research found that when the microorganisms work on releasing the nutrients from Milorganite, they also make some of the soil bound phosphorous available to the plants. This helps promote flowering.
Add some airy texture and fall color to the landscape with a bald cypress. The ferny leaves turn a beautiful coppery bronze before dropping to the ground in fall.
Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), larches including tamarack and dawn redwoods are all deciduous conifers. This means they produce cones like pines and spruces, but lose their needles each fall. New needles will appear in spring.
Fall color and needle drop at other times can be caused by transplant shock, extended drought and other environmental stressors.
Proper watering, mulching and care especially in the first few years will improve the health and longevity of all your trees.
Bald cypress grows best in moist sandy loam soil, but I have seen them grown successfully in clay soils and as street trees. The trees may suffer chlorosis, yellowing of needles, in high pH soils.
A bit more information: Don't worry about knees popping up in the lawn. These oxygen fixing knobby root growths that we call knees appear when a tree is grown in water.
Paper silhouettes of bats mounted on the wall, carved into pumpkins or hanging from the ceiling are a common sight around Halloween. But they really should be considered a good friend to gardeners.
Most North American bats only eat insects. As night feeders their diet consists mainly of moths and mosquitoes. But they also eat gnats and larger beetles. A colony of bats can eat as much as 100 tons of insects in a season.
Invite bats into your landscape by supplementing their food source, insects, with water and shelter.
A pond with an opening for the bat’s to swoop down for a drink or an elevated bird bath can provide a good source of water.
Consider buying or building a bat house for your yard. Visit the Bat Conservation International website at www.batcon.org for plans. Fasten the house on the south side of a pole about 12 to 18 feet above the ground.
A bit more information: Some bat species eat fruit and nectar. They help in pollination and seed dispersal of some of our native plants. For more information on creating a healthy yard for bats, bees, birds and butterflies click here.
Add sea lavender to your list of must-have cut flowers. The light airy flowers blend nicely in any garden and the flowers are great for fresh and dried arrangements as well as craft projects.
Sea-lavender, also known as statice and wide-leaf sea-lavender is heat, drought and salt tolerant. It is hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grows best in full sun with well-drained soil. It can flop and need staking when grown in heavier clay soil.
Plant it in the proper growing conditions right from the start, as it does not like to be moved.
The wide green leaves form a low mound. The light blue flowers are held high above the leaves, creating a misty look and feel in the garden.
Harvest a few stems to use in dried flower arrangements and crafts. Cut the flower stems just before the flowers are fully open. Hang upside down in a shaded airy location to dry.
A bit more information: Statice (Limonium sinuatum) has bolder flowers of rose, red, apricot, yellow, lavender and white. It grows best in full sun and is also heat and drought tolerant. Most gardeners grow it as an annual unless gardening in zones 8 to 10.
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
"Have Courage... and Be Kind"
Looks like Disney's doing it again, but in reverse.
Everyone recalls the classic Disney animated feature, Cinderella.
In March, Disney releases the live action version - with a few updates and some computer-generated tweaks - that looks pretty darn good.
There is magic in this one...
Check out the trailer, and mark your calendar!
#TBT: The Carlton Dance, & More
This one's an oldie but goodie - I missed it last year, so maybe you did too.
Even if you saw it, it's fun to watch again.
Will Smith and his son Jaden visited the BBC's Graham Norton Show and got a little musical.
Jaden did a little rap while his dad did some beats in the background.
Then Will brought out DJ Jazzy Jeff and the three of them performed the rap theme song from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
And then, a little frosting on the cake as DJ Jazzy Jeff cranked up Tom Jone's "It's Not Unusual." Alfonso Ribeiro joined them, and everybody did The Carlton.
Check it out. It's a lot of fun.
Seven Feet & Counting
Parts of Buffalo and upstate New York were positively buried in a storm some are calling Snovember early this week.
But that doesn't stop the train that is professional sport from rolling, does it?
On Tuesday, the night of the storm, 6200 fans made it out to see the Buffalo Sabres in action.
And now, the Buffalo Bills and the NFL are looking for some help, digging Ralph Wilson Stadium out from under the snow in time for the Bills to play the New York Jets over the weekend.
Want to work in the NFL? The Bills are hiring snow shovelers http://t.co/qibRAADFm4 pic.twitter.com/NfC1lM56Qe
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) November 19, 2014
If you do well, they could pick up your option for future storms and years. Who knows? You could be a Hall of Fame Shoveler at some point in your future.
Meanwhile, if you want to get a sense of what it's like to be in the middle of something like that, check out this drone's-eye view of the event...
Million Dollar Baby
This could be one of the most insane stories you've ever heard.
A pregnant woman from Saskatchewan, Jennifer Huculak, was vacationing in Hawaii when her water broke, and she delivered her daughter nine weeks early.
Mom and daughter spent about six weeks in the hospital in Hawaii, and then headed home.
Mom had Blue Cross coverage, but the insurance company denied her claim, leaving her with a $950,000 bill to pay.
So now, the family is left with three options: continue to fight Blue Cross; declare bankruptcy; or just sit things out to see what happens next.
They could of course hit the lottery. That could help.
She's Too Young For the Club, and By the Way...
"Hello, Tyga? There's a reality check waiting to be picked up at the front desk."
Here's one straight out of the pages of Yeah, I Know It's a Law But Not For Me, RIght?
Tyga, the 25-year-old musician, was supposed to play at a club called Greystone Manor in West Hollywood. He begged the club management to allow his 17-year-old girlfriend, Kylie Jenner - one of the offspring of Mamadashian - to attend the show.
The management refused, because it's a 21+ establishment.
So Tyga pull a no-show, managing to tick off a sponsor big time.
Maybe it's a math problem. Who needs to figure out that Kylie has to wait another four years to get into the club because of the laws that govern places that sell booze.
And while we're at it, memo to Kris and Bruce Jenner: a 25-year-old rapper is dating your 17-year-old daughter.
Look for those Parents of the Year trophies, mailed to your separate homes in the next six to eight weeks.
Baby, It's Not Frozen Outside
Put Idina Menzel together in a duet with Michael Buble? Good idea.
Have them sing a classic tune like "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Yeah, that works.
When you make the video? Cast a bunch of kids in big person outfits and settings.
And you might just have the cutest darn video ever. Well, of the year, anyway.
The singing's great - the kids are great too.
And don't worry - Idina and Michael make a quick cameo appearance. Don't blink!
These 6 best buds took a fun picture almost 20 years ago in Los Angeles, CA. They were only 10 years old. From left to right: Matt Gruber, Joel Atia, Mykil Bachoian, Kevin Opos, Ben Danon & Aviv Edelstein is in the front.
When they turned 17, before leaving for college, they thought it would be fun to recreate the same pose as a joke.
And, just a few weeks ago, they did it again to celebrate Kevin's 29th birthday. Almost 20 years late. Can't wait to see the next pose boys!
"Best Buddies at 10, 17 and 29 years old," Kevin Opos (second from the right in the back row).
Don't Be Thor, Bro
It’s official. People magazine has announced its Sexiest Man Alive for 2014. The envelope, please?
It’s Chris Hemsworth, perhaps best-known for playing Thor in the movies based on the Marvel comics superheroes. He was also the Huntsman in Snow White & the Huntsman, and should not be confused with his brothers, Liam Hemsworth (center), of Hunger Games fame or Luke (left), although that’s bound to happen.
They’re all big and hunky, and arguably Australia’s best recent exports. But, when it comes to this award, it looks like the brother with the bigger hammer wins.
Sure, This Will Get You Another Kiss
Liam Hemsworth was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon the other night, and fielded some questions from the Twitterverse.
Some of the answers were telling: favorite movie is Titanic; teenage crush was Alyssa Milano; and his high school photo was pretty geeky.
But the best answer: what he really thought about kissing his castmate in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence.
Watch it for yourself - why should I spoil the fun?
Best/Worst Family Feud Responses
One of the best ways to watch Family Feud these days is to wait for the silliest clips to make their way to YouTube.
Steve Harvey was on Late Night with Seth Myers this week, and Seth got him to talk about some of his favorite worst answers on the show.
Steve confirms something I've always thought - there's a lot more happening on those shows that we don't see.
I'd much rather see an unedited version of the show - are you listening, HBO? Showtime? Maybe Netflix?
Best Butt Joke Yet!
Since Kim Kardashian's attempt to break the internet failed last week with the photo of her giant gleaming butt on the cover of Paper magazine, there's been all sorts of fun poked at her backside.
Memes choked most Facebook feeds. Until today, my favorite was the one that put Kim's body on the backside of a horse - sort of a talentless minotaur.
But that was then.
This is now.
An artist named Olga Andriyenko has created a masterful parody of Kim's photo - drawing Ursula the Sea Witch in a similar pose on the cover of Water magazine, with the caption that reads "Break the Ocean."
Simply hilarious. Check it out here. And while it's a cartoon, I wouldn't call it safe for work - you are warned!
Taylor's Paradise Smoothies?
The internet can be a wonderful thing, or an instrument of evil - depends on how you look at it.
Take, for instance, this video that just surfaced from 2008 featuring a 14-year-old Taylor Swift participating in an ad as part of an 8th grade class project.
Taylor doesn't get to do much but say one line about the fake product - Paco's Paradise Smoothies - and then do her best Vanna White impression.
What do you think? Star is born, or star needing a little more gestation?
These Nuptials Made Possible by Benadryl
Queen Bey's sister got married over the weekend. That's old news.
What is news is that Solange Knowles had an outbreak of the hives on her weddding day.
How did that happen? Follow along on Twitter, why don't you, followed up by a little Instagram... Turns out, Benadryl saved the day!
Got em from turning up x100 during our second line.I was hot,wearing a cape,& happy as hell:)“@ImLovinMe4me: how did you get hives though??”
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) November 18, 2014
Last but not least....:) Shout out to Benadryl yo, lol. NOTHING was gonna stop me from having my mother and son dance with Julez. My baby killed it and will forever remain my favorite dance parter of all time. My heart will forever smile reliving the feeling our lil happy feet together.
A video posted by S A I N T R E C O R D S (@saintrecords) on Nov 11, 2014 at 7:57pm PST
All About That Baste
You knew it was going to happen, right?
"All About the Base" has been the number one song in the land, and next to "Let It Go," probably the year's most parodized song.
And with Thanksgiving knocking on the door, this one seems as natural as a Butterball.
The Holderness Family put this one together from scratch - the perfect recipe for holiday humor.
If you're having trouble on the dating scene, this story is going to make things even worse... You've been warned!
Several sources have confirmed that a marriage license has been issued in Kings County, California for Charles Manson and his 26-year-old fiancee.
You remember Manson. the 80-year-old is a permanent guest of the California Corrections Department, convicted of several gruesome murders in 1969.
His fiancee, who's described as a "frequent visitor" who moved from the Midwest seven years ago to be closer to Manson's prison, says they will tie the knot next month.
Because he's a lifer, conjugal visits are not allowed. And he's certainly not getting out of prison, ever.
They're allowed to bring in an officiant from outside the prison, and to invite ten guests.
Keep an eye on your mailbox, everybody! I wonder where they're registered?
Good Grief on the Way!
Watch out, Peanuts fans.
There's a brand-new movie headed your way, featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire game.
It's due on about a year from now, directed by the guy who brought us Ice Age: Continental Drift.
From all reports, it's staying true to the Peanuts gang from the comic strip and the TV specials so many of us grew up on.
This trailer's a couple of months old, but it looks and sounds pretty familiar - maybe the graphics are better than we remember.
And there's a new trailer due out in ten days or so - so stay tuned!
It's Busy Up There
On an average day, depending on where you live, you can look into the sky and see the contrail of a jet far overhead.
Sometimes one, sometimes a few, sometimes a bunch.
But have you ever given much thought to what the air traffic patterns look like in lapsed time?
An air traffic management company called NATS recently posted a video to show what air traffic looks like on a regular basis over England.
It's fascinating to watch. Be sure to follow along with the captions too.
UK 24 from NATS on Vimeo.
Thar's Gold in That Thar Landfill!
This is one of the strangest bits of nostalgia news ever.
The city of Alamogordo, New Mexico launched an auction on eBay, selling a bunch of Atari video games that had been buried in the city’s landfill for about 30 years.
Here’s the deal.
There have been rumors that truckloads of Atari games were buried in the landfill. The rumors have been considered urban legend.
So a documentary film crew decided to find out for real. So it spent about $50,000 to dig up the landfill, and sure enough, hit the mother lode.
Because the landfill belongs to the city, so do the video games, and the city earned about $37,000 from the online sales.
One game cartridge for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” fetched $1537.
Which is ironic, since that’s the poor-selling game that many blame for Atari’s ultimate demise.
You know what they say. One man’s trash is another man’s buried treasure.
Muscle Mustangs Are Back!
Gas prices are getting cheaper, so why not make your next car a muscle car?
That's what the folks at Ford are hoping you'll do.
Check out the brand-new 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang. Ford is unveiling it on Monday in advance of the LA Auto Show.
But you can check it out even earlier than that, thanks to the folks at Edmunds.com...
What do you think - got some muscle in your future?
"Please Remember This December to Fully Charge Your Phone"
Okay, it's early for Christmas music - we all agree.
But, here's one to hang onto when you're finally caught up by the holiday spirit.
Kristen Bell joined the boys from Straight No Chaser to deliver on "Text Me Merry Christmas."
The song is catchy and funny - and the fact that you can see it all texted in this video makes it that much better.
But Wait, There's More!
The new season of Saturday Night Live is a real hodgepodge - some moments are incredibly hard to watch, but there are moments of brilliance.
I've got to put this one in the brilliant column.
SNL pokes some fun at the new album that pairs Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, with a compilation album featuring more "Young Tarts & Old Farts."
Some of these impressions are dead on - look for Woody Harrelson as James Taylor.
It starts out slow, but ends nice and strong.
Another Elevator Incident in their Future?
Over the weekend, Queen Bey's sister, Solange Knowles, got married in New Orleans.
She and her hubby, music video producer Alan Ferguson, wore matching outfits.
Well, sort of... They both wore white outfits, and his facial hair offset her wild hairdo perfectly.
A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Nov 11, 2014 at 7:21pm PST
The entire family was reportedly in attendance - including her brother-in-law Jay Z, who she famously slapped in an elevator several months ago.
No reported elevator incidents. Well, not yet, anyway.
It usually takes a couple of days for the security videos to surface on TMZ. Stay tuned...
Hunger Games = Munchies?
It's been 25 years since Woody Harrelson hosted Saturday Night Live.
Last time he stepped on that stage was 1989, which happens to be the title of Taylor Swift's new album.
So it was natural - stay with this - that Woody would want to do a parody song about 1989.
But wait - he got interrupted.
By his castmates from The Hunger Games. First, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth stepped out, and then Jennifer Lawrence joined them.
The crowd went understandly wild.
There were some interesting flubs that turned into something genuinely funny...
Some of them may have been herb-induced, but you be the judge.
Maybe She Shook It Off
There's a DJ out there named Diplo - he may or may not be the boyfriend of Katy Perry, who may or may not be the mortal enemy of Taylor Swift.
Last week, Diplo tweeted that somebody should start a Kickstarter campaign to "get Taylor Swift a booty."
I guess you could say he considers Taylor the anti-Kim Kardashian.
Later that day, he shared a link to a Fundly campaign to Get Taylor Swift a Booty.
At this writing, 130 supporters had offered up a grand total of $85.
Looks like Taylor's going to have to make do with the butt she's got.
Meanwhile, Taylor's friend Lorde aimed a Tweet at Diplo, suggesting maybe someone should start a fundraiser to help with his small manparts.
This could get interesting...
Amanda Out of Control Again
Amanda Bynes is back in the news - the overwhelming question is why.
But that aside, her latest episodes really make a person scratch his head and wonder why she's not getting the help she obviously needs.
This past week, audio tapes were released that showcased Amanda's threats to harm her family.
About her father: "He literally is the worst person. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than slitting his throat. That is what I would love to do."
About her mother: "So I'm not gonna like ever do such a thing, but I call my mom and I threaten to kill her, and I threaten to slit her wrist, and I threaten to burn down her house..."
The tapes were allegedly released by her family, who hopes that someone will hear them and force her to get help.
Amanda took to Twitter to defend herself... Check it out.
By the way - i was obviously joking about hurting my family - i straight up don't believe in harming a soul
— amanda bynes (@amandabynes) November 16, 2014
Well, as long as she straight up doesn't believe in hurting a soul, clearly no one has anything to worry about, right?