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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.


Starting Plants from Kitchen Discards ? Seeds

 
Keep your green thumbs busy starting new plants from kitchen scraps. 
 
Kitchen scrap gardening is about the fun and challenge of starting new plants from dinner discards.  It is not about growing the most productive plants.  Anytime we collect seeds from hybrids the offspring will usually look and taste different than the parent.

I always look at climate where the original plant grew when deciding how to sprout its seeds. If the plants are native to cold climates, the seed probably needed a cold treatment to sprout. Plants native to tropical areas do not.
 
You may want to start with seeds from apples, pears or cherries.  Collect and clean the seed. Place in moist vermiculite or damp peat moss inside a plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 to 3 months. Or plant the seeds directly outdoors in fall. Chilled seeds can be started indoors in spring and transplants moved outdoors once the danger of frost has passed.
 
A bit more information:  Or go topical and try seeds from avocado, oranges, lemons and other fruit native to warmer parts of the world. Skip the chill and plant in a moist well-drained potting mix.  Or try growing potatoes that sprouted in the pantry or the tops of sweet potatoes.  Check out my other related tips at:
http://www.melindamyers.com/Radio-Growing-Vegetables-and-Fruits/growing-vegetables-and-fruits/kitchen-scrap-gardening.html
 
http://www.melindamyers.com/Radio-Growing-Vegetables-and-Fruits/growing-vegetables-and-fruits/growing-new-plants-from-kitchen-scraps.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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04/17/2013 12:20PM
Starting Plants from Kitchen Discards – Seeds
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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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