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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.
Posts from July 2013


Tree Problems
Cracks in tree trunks, stunted leaf growth and thin canopies are all signs your tree is struggling. Diagnosing the cause of the symptoms is the first step in improving your tree’s health.

Several factors can cause bark on trees to crack and peel. Trees planted too deep and pruned with flush cuts are more subject to frost crack and sunscald. 
 
Girdling roots can also result in stunted growth and dieback on trees.  These circling roots place pressure on the expanding trunk and stop the flow of water and nutrients between the roots and leaves. It is usually a flattened trunk, decline or other above ground symptom that indicates there is a problem below ground.
 
Physical injury to the trunk or improper pruning can also result in poor wound closure.  Proper care is about the only option at this point.   Make sure the tree is properly watered and mulched to reduce further stress. 
 
A bit more information: Consider contacting a certified arborist when these types of problems arise.  These tree care professionals inspect the tree, evaluate its condition and recommend possible treatment options, including the removal of a hazardous tree. Visit www.treesaregood.com for a list of certified arborists in your area. 
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Holes in Leaves of Morning Glory and Sweet Potato Vines
Holes in the leaves of morning glory and sweet potato vine may be the first clue your plants are infested with goldbug.


This 5 to 7 mm long bright gold beetle is also known as the golden tortoise beetle.  Both the adult and larvae feed on the leaves of all members of the morning glory family. Their feeding creates numerous small holes that often create a lacy look to the leaves. 
 
Fortunately, their damage usually does not warrant treatment.  Natural predators, like parasitic wasps and damsel bugs, will feed on the golden tortoise beetles, keeping their populations under control.  Plus, the morning glory and sweet potato vines produce enough leaves to mask the damage.
 
If you feel you must control these pests, try hand picking the beetles off the plant and dropping them into a can of soapy water. Or use one of the eco-friendly insecticides, like Neem, labeled for controlling this beetle.
 
A bit more information:  Aphids may also be a problem, especially in hot dry weather. They suck plant juices, causing leaves to curl, wilt or discolor. A strong blast of water will dislodge and control small populations. Insecticidal soap and horticulture oils can be used if needed.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Propagating New Plants from Root Cuttings
Expand your oriental poppy planting this summer. These poppies, butterfly weed, gas plants and other fleshy rooted perennials can be started from just a piece of the root.
 
Wait until the leaves have turned brown and the oriental poppy is fully dormant to start this process.  Then rake the soil away from the crown of the plant to expose the fleshy roots. Use sharp pruners or a knife to cut just a few pencil size roots.  Rake the soil back over to cover the remaining roots.
 
Cut each harvested root into 2 to 3 inch sections. Plant the root sections horizontally in a flat of moist peat moss and sand. Cover the flat with plastic to keep the mix moist and place in shaded location.
 
Shoots will eventually appear. Move to a larger container and water thoroughly. Grow in a protected site until plants are well rooted. Harden off and plant in their permanent location in the garden.
 
A bit more information: Try this technique on other fleshy root perennials. Bear’s Breeches, Butterfly weed, Japanese anemone, sea holly and pasque flower are just a few. See the University of Washington’s publication on various ways to propagate specific perennials.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Eco-friendly Control of Squash Bugs
Don’t let squash bugs ruin your harvest. Incorporate an integrated and eco-friendly strategy to keep their damage to a minimum.

These slightly oval coppery gray bugs feed on pumpkins and squash. They suck plant juices and can transmit the deadly Cucurbit yellow vine disease. Start by keeping your plants healthy.
 
Remove weeds and other debris that provide great habitat for these pests. A thorough fall cleanup along with crop rotation will help reduce future problems.
 
Control small populations of the adult and immature squash bugs by knocking them into a can of soapy water.  Be sure to check under the leaves and along the stems. Crush the small (1/16th inch) yellowish-bronze eggs found on the underside of the leaves and stems. 
 
And trap the adults with wet newspaper, boards or shingles laid on the soil around the plants.  The squash bugs will gather under these. Then collect and destroy and them. 
 
A bit more information:  Exclusion is another control option. Cover squash at the time of planting with a floating row cover such as ReeMay or Harvest Guard. Secure the base to insure the squash bugs are unable to lay their eggs on your squash plants. Remove the covering as soon as the plants begin to flower, so pollination can occur.  This delays the attack and is often enough to manage the damage.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Deadheading Leggy Annuals and Perennials
Add new life to your summer landscape with a bit of deadheading, pinching and planting. 
 
Some annuals stretch out during the warm summer months. Cut leggy annuals back half way, just above a set of leaves. In a week or two you will see new growth that will soon be covered with fresh blooms.
 
Early blooming perennials will also benefit from a little mid-summer care.  Prune back the plants after their last blooms fade.  Sprinkle a little low nitrogen slow release fertilizer around the base of the plants.  Water as needed and watch the plants recover.  Some will put on a second floral display – a great reward for such little effort.
 
Replace faded annuals or poorly performing perennials with fresh new plants. Many garden centers sell larger size annuals that can be popped into these voids. Or move a thriving container into the garden. It is a great way to add height and vertical interest to a bed.
 
A bit more information:  Next year avoid the mid-summer slump with regular grooming throughout the growing season. Pinching and deadheading encourage full compact growth and more flowers.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Spittlebug
No, the neighborhood kids have not been spitting in your garden. The spittlebug, also known as the froghopper, is the culprit. 

These insects suck plant juices and secrete the excess as a clear substance. As it does this, the spittlebug uses its hind legs as a bellows to cause the secretion to form a bubbly mass that looks like spit. This helps prevent desiccation and hides the insects from predators. Spittlebugs are usually found in the leaf axil near the stem.
 
They are usually small in number so control is not needed. Some types of spittlebugs serve as a vector carrying disease from sick to healthy plants. But even this does not usually warrant control.
 
You can use a strong blast of water to dislodge these insects from the plants. Or remove the infected branch. The next step is insecticidal soap. Use natural products to avoid killing the natural predators and parasites that help control these pests.
 
A bit more information: Gather the kids and do a little detective work. Remove the bubbly mass from the plant and look for the insect below. With the help of a hand lens you will easily see the source.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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A Realistically Proportioned Fashion Doll
There's been a lot of pushback recently against the unrealistic proportions of Barbie dolls. Except for those women who slave away to look like human Barbies, real women simply don't look like that. So how would a "realistically proportioned fashion doll" fare in today's toy market? Toy designer Nikolay Lamm aims to find out, with Lammily, a doll based on the proportions of the average 19-year-old woman. To add to the realism, Lammily comes with stick-on tattoos, cellulite, stretch marks, scars and more. Check out the video of a bunch of school kids getting to meet Lammily and compare her to a normal Barbie doll. It's pretty interesting...  
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One Winner Means Lots of Losers
On Jimmy Kimmel Live the other night, Jimmy got to break the news that Chris Hemsworth is People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in 2014. So, he's the winner. Which means, every other man on the planet is the loser. Like Jason Bateman, who thought he'd been invited to appear on Kimmel's show because he was going to get the award. To make him feel better, Jimmy let Jason read his acceptance speech, which he'd prepared in anticipation of winning the award. (For the record, Jason's an underrated comic actor...)  
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Spielberg? Or Squirrel?
This one's a commercial just waiting to happen. Someone left his GoPro camera on the ground near a tree. A curious squirrel approached and decided he must have the GoPro - or, he mistook it for a shiny nut. Either way, the squirrel nabbed the camera and scooted up a tree with it. The footage is pretty amazing, even when the squirrel drops it to the ground. Could be the rodent version of Stephen Spielberg here...  
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Even Worse Than Misfit, These Toys Are Bad
A consumer advocacy group called WATCH - World Against Toys Causing Harm - this week issued its list of the Ten Worst Toys of 2014. The worst, according to WATCH, is the Air Storm Firetek Bow, which can shoot arrows up to 145 feet. There's also the Catapencil, an actual pencil with a slingshot at the top - surefire classroom fun right there. A Battle Hammer designed for three-year-olds - the ones who think they're Thor, I guess. The SWAT Electric Machine Gun was in the middle of the list. Surprising, really, when you consider the manufacturer's warning that it could be mistaken for the real thing by law enforcement personnel. You can check out the full list in this article in The Daily Mail. And check out the video of the press conference...  
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"America Loves You"
Give Jay Leno a hand. He recently visited Afghanistan, performing for the troops in a USO show. He came home wanting to do more. So he and the folks at The Today Show selected an active service member who was also a wounded warrior, and gave him a joy ride to remember. Check out the video as Jay drove Corporal Ethan Laberge on the back roads around Fort Campbell, Kentucky in a brand-new 2015 Dodge HRT Hellcat - the muscle car of muscle cars. And at the end of the ride... You just have to watch it for yourself. And grab a hankie.   Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
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Fearsome Foursome
I just stumbled on this video - it's been floating around cyberspace for a few months - but it's mesmerizing. The quartet is called Salut Salon - based in Hamburg, Germany, they mix classical music with some comedic stylings. Playing another's instrument with her own bow, playing the piano upside down, playing their stringed instruments inverted... They never miss a step or skip a note. Watch it once, and tell me that's enough!  
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"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!  
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#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.  
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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...  
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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.  
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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.
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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!  
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Best Buddies
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).
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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.
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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?  
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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?  
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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!
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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?  
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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
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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.  
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Abandon Hope?
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?  
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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!  
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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.
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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.  
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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?  
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