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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.


Sealed Lid Seed Sprouting


Increase seed starting success and fun with the sealed lid method my friend and horticulturist Bob Polomski learned from his father. 
 
Gather a few translucent containers, like a margarine, whipped or sour cream container headed for recycling.  Cut small pieces of paper towels into squares the size of postage stamps.  Place them on the lid.  This will be the bottom of your sprouter.
 
Wet each square of paper towel with a few drops of water.  Place one seed on each moistened square.  Set the container on top of the lid to form a mini greenhouse.  Place in a warm location and wait for the seeds to sprout.
 
Once the seed root appears, use a tweezers to plant the seedling into a small container filled with a well-drained potting mix. Gently tamp in place and moisten.
 
You’ll save time, money, and growing space by only planting and growing the number of seedlings you need.
 
A bit more information:  Put other recycled items to work when starting plants from seeds.  Fast food salad containers are great for starting seeds in potting mix.  Just fill the container with a seed starting mix or moist well-drained soil. Plant seeds as directed, moisten, and cover with the lid to create a miniature greenhouse.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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12/10/2012 1:42PM
Sealed Lid Seed Sprouting
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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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