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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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Bye Bye Clydesdales?
Schlitz may have been the beer that made Milwaukee famous - for better or worse - but Budweiser is the beer that made Clydesdales famous. When you think of the giant draught horses, don't you instantly think of them pulling a Budweiser beer wagon? If you're between the ages of 21 and 27, maybe not. And you're the target market that Budweiser's after, in an attempt to regain its market share, which has been slipped steadily for the past ten years. And the folks who market Budweiser don't think that the majestic Clydesdale is the best way to reach that demographic. I'm not a Bud guy, but I have to admit, I'm tempted to give it another try every time I see an ad like this. How about you?  
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The Force Awakens Slowly
We've still got to wait another 13 months for the arrival on the big screen of Star Wars: The Force Awakens - aka, Star Wars Episode 7. But the team at LucasFilm is already putting out trailers to pique our interest. Two hit the internet this week. So check them out. Will you wait to pass judgment? Or are you currently salivating like a Wookie?    
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"I See a Darkness in You"
The debut of Season 5 of Game of Thrones is still months away, but the folks on the production team don't want us to forget about them. So why not tease us with a 10-second glimpse into what's to be? This one's all about Arya, the headstrong and fiercely independent youngest daughter of the House of Stark. Don't blink - you don't want to miss anything. And if you sign up with the website - ThreeEyedRaven.com - you'll be able to receive further updates via Twitter as they come along. What GOT fan wouldn't want something like that?   Follow the Three Eyed Raven. Gain the power of #TheSight: http://t.co/9fNrrJIGHG https://t.co/4RhAiTR9tw — Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) November 25, 2014
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Um, Bette, Say What?
Criticism of Ariana Grande came out of left field last week, when Bette Midler had some nasty things to say about one of the world's hottest pop singers. Bette said that Ariana's act was too sexual, and said, "You don't have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead..." The folks at TMZ have more on that...   But it looks like things have been patched up, with an apology from Bette... About my screed on @ArianaGrande , all I can say is, "Spoken like a reformed old whore! She does have a beautiful voice, on a couch or off." — Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 26, 2014 Even money says the two of them get together for a Tony Bennett/ Lady Gaga-style duet before Christmas.  
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No Thanksgiving for You!
Did you know that some people don't celebrate Thanksgiving? Yes, it's true. Take Seth Rogen, for instance. Until recently, the ubiquitous movie star believed he wasn't allowed to celebrate Thanksgiving - because of his heritage. Here. Let Seth tell you himself...   Seth Rogen's Jewish-Canadian-American Thanksgiving from Funny Or Die
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Things You Didn't Know About Yesterday
The folks at Time magazine put together a little video to remind us all about the things we may not know about Thanksgiving. Whom do we have to thank for the idea of feasting on the fourth Thursday of November? When did we decide that Thanksgiving would fall on the fourth Thursday of November? What president called Thanksgiving the most ridiculous idea ever conceived? When did football become part of the Thanksgiving tradition? Three of those four questions are answered here - plus some others too. Study up. There will be a quiz - in another 364 days.  
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Insensitive or Sincere?
Some are calling this tweet from the Washington Redskins one of the more insensitive tweets of the year - maybe ever. The team is still embroiled in controversy over its name. Native Americans find it offensive, and there's been a major push - this year, especially - to have it changed. It's a hot topic. So maybe this tweet they sent out yesterday might not have been the best idea, given the history Native Americans experienced with our forefathers after the first Thanksgiving.   From our family to yours, have a very safe and Happy #Thanksgiving. #HappyThanksgiving #HTTR pic.twitter.com/TZ0fBzbEm2 — Washington Redskins (@Redskins) November 27, 2014 Not so much the message - it's the graphic that some are questioning. What do you think? Sincere? Maybe just a little insensitive? Or completely over the top insensitive?  
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Robin Williams, Back on the Silver Screen
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How Much for That Lion in the Window?
On Monday, the costume that Bert Lahr wore as the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz, went up for auction. It was part of a group of memorabilia offered for sale at Bonhams auction house - "TCM Presents: There's No Place Like Hollywood." Other items up for sale included Sam's piano from Casablanca, a gown worn by Marilyn Monroe, and Clark Gable's jacket from Gone With the Wind. As you sit and maybe watch The Wizard of Oz over the holidays, think about this. That outfit worn by the King of the Forest just sold for $3 million.
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Barack & Meryl, Sitting in a Tree?
On Monday afternoon, President Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the nation's highest civilian honor to singer Stevie Wonder, TV journalist Tom Brokaw, and Ethel Kennedy, wife of the late Robert F. Kennedy. Oh, and he gave one to his girlfriend too. That would be Meryl Streep, the actress. “I love Meryl Streep,” the president said in front of all assembled "Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There's nothing either of them can do about it.” No real scandal there. Just a nice bit of affection. Oh, and he poked a little fun at his love too - pointing out that she sang Abba - "which, you know, that's something."  
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Vader Versus Batman - Who Wins?
Stumbled on this one while doing a little surfing today. What happens when you pit the Dark Knight against the Dark Sith Lord? An epic battle, for sure. Check out this very well-done bit of fantasy lore, pitting Robin's best bud, Batman, against Luke and Leia's papa, Dark Vader.  
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Sew Watt, Its Juss a Tipo!
Maybe it's time for the signmakers in Los Angeles to invest in SpellCheck - or maybe just a proofreader. Earlier this month, a sign sub-contractor installed a new highway marker on the northbound side of the 710 Freeway. The sign marked the exit for Olympic Boulevard. Except it said "Olimpic" Boulevard instead. It took someone at CalTrans a full day to recognize the problem. A few days later, it was covered up with a black tarpaulin. And it will be replaced by the sub-contractor at no charge to the city. Except for the cost of the embarrassment of having hung in there in the first place.   OOPS: Exit sign on 710 Freeway misspells Olympic Blvd as 'Olimpic' http://t.co/SjXYEUjVgU Pic by @shelbygrad pic.twitter.com/koDffd2usV — Kimi Yoshino (@kyoshino) November 25, 2014
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"Something Chases You, Run!"
It's the first "genetically-modified hybrid." With those ominous words, we welcome you to Jurassic World. It's 23 years later, and the interactive park envisioned by Richard Attenborough's character in the original Jurassic Park movies is up and running. It's a hybrid between Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens, featuring real live dinosaurs - plus a new concoction, cooked up by the scientists. That would be the "genetically-modified hybrid," and of course, it will run amok. Check out the trailer for the film - the film will be released in June of 2015. What do you think? Exciting and new - or just a rehash of the originals?  
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Hit the Mark, or Miss By a Mile?
Critics are saying this skit from last weekend's Saturday Night Live marks a return of the show's political comedy chops. They resurrected the old ABC show, Schoolhouse Rock, and tossed in President Obama's recent executive order concerning immigration, and presented a tutorial on how things work on Capitol Hill. What do you think: does it Hit the Mark, or Miss By a Mile. (I fall in the latter category, but I'm interested to see what other people think.)   Oh, and by the way - if you want to read how the skit is entirely wrong on the fact side anyway, check out this article by ThinkProgress.  
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Black Sea Devil Captured
Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute announced a fascinating find over the weekend - a video of the rare deep-sea anglerfish, also known as the Black Sea Devil. The film was shot off the coast of Monterey, California, about 1900 feet below the surface. The scientists were very excited, as they believe it's the first video of this species, "alive and at depth." The narration is a little dry, and the fish is not pretty. Still, it is fascinating...   Want some chuckles, though? Check out this little video, called "True Facts About the Angler Fish," produced by the same institute.  
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Forget the Hail Mary - This One's the Rosary!
Okay, sportscasters are given to hyperbole. That I'll grant you. But they may be on to something with the touchdown catch Odell Beckham Jr made on Sunday for the New York Giants against the Dallas Cowboys. One sportcaster calls it, "Impossible!" And watching it in slow-mo, he and everyone else might just be right. And the more amazing part, after the game, Odell told Bob Costas that he and some of his teammates practice catches like that all the time.  Your browser does not support iframes.
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Did She Diss Em or Not?
Some writers are saying that Iggy Azalea dissed Eminem on Sunday at the American Music Awards. She picked up the award both for best rap artist and for best rap/hip-hop album for The New Classic, her debut album. In her acceptance speech, she said, "It means so much that I can stand here against Eminem and Drake and come out with this. It's amazing." Watch and listen...   Some believe that was a shot at Eminem, who definitely took a shot at Iggy in his new song, Vegas, with a lyric that said, "Put that sh*t away, Iggy." But she responded on Twitter after the song was released. And it really does sound like she's just letting sleeping dogs and Eminems lie...   im bored of the old men threatening young women as entertainment trend and much more interested in the young women getting $ trend. zzzz — IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) November 20, 2014
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Cuddle Up to Me - Professionally, Of Course
Some would call Samantha Hess's business an overnight success - but you can't stay overnight. Samantha runs a shop in Portland, Oregon called Cuddle Up to Me - and it's a professional cuddle shop. Stay with me now. For $60, a customer can get sixty minutes of hugging, or as it's been described, "the level of human contact that we want or need in order to be our optimal selves." Sure, it sounds like a front for something, but Samantha says it's a great idea, one that came to her when she really needed a hug. "I was at a place where I thought paying someone to hug me and not have ulterior motives sounded like a great idea," she told an interviewer from The Independent. "I decided why can't this be a thing that we can easily and safely reach for?" It's all on the up-and-up. Everyone stays dressed, hugs and hand-holding are the only items on the menu, and the show is open Monday through Saturday. By the way, Samantha's been at it for a year or so. But all of a sudden, the media are getting hold of the story, and it's gone viral.   What's going on here? If you said professional cuddling… then you are correct. Only on the #RidicuList pic.twitter.com/F2Yq6LPHUB — Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) November 18, 2014
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The Newest Shirt Style - Graffiti!
Frankie J. Grande, the half-brother of Ariana Grande, showed up at last night's American Music Awards in a rather interesting outfit. Skin-tight baby pink skinny jeans - check! Black high tops - check! Puff of pink in his hair - check! And a stop at the local Sherwin Williams to have his shirt and bow tie painted on - check, check and check! After the show, he jumped into a Maytag washing machine and was cleaned up in no time.
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Cutest Picture of the Year?
This might not be the cutest picture of the year, but it sure is a contender. Gisele Bundchen posted this one all over social media yesterday afternoon, as her husband, Tom Brady, led the New England Patriots to a 34 - 9 victory over the Detroit Lions. It's Tom and Gisele's daughter, Vivian, wearing one of daddy's jerseys, watching the game. Mega Cute to the 12th power, easily.     Go daddy go!!! #gopats ❤️💙 Vai papai vai! A photo posted by Gisele Bündchen (@giseleofficial) on Nov 11, 2014 at 10:57am PST
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Celebrity Mean Tweets Are Back!
Jimmy Kimmel's Mean Tweets series just keeps getting better and better. Sure, it's sad that there are so many haters out there, and there's probably something sub-conscious here that encourages the haters to hate more, but... The reactions of some of these celebrities to the nasty things tweeted about them is simply classic. Case in point on this newest installment: John Stamos's reaction to a tweet about his "gross" belly button.  
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Katy Razzes Paparazzi
Katy Perry's fed up with paparazzi, especially the guys who were hounding her every step this weekend in Australia. She's in Sydney on her Prismatic World Tour, and all she wanted was a little quiet time on the beach. Not too much to ask, right? Except for the "perverted and disgusting" paparazzi, salivating at the prospect of a shot of Katy in her bikini that could be sold to the highest tabloid bidder. Katy took to Twitter to fire a cannon in their direction.   pic.twitter.com/rm7kL37Bj2 — KATY PERRY (@katyperry) November 22, 2014 She even posted some pictures of the offenders.   THESE ARE A FEW OF THE STALKERS: pic.twitter.com/1JtHSIVuqc — KATY PERRY (@katyperry) November 22, 2014
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Poohphobia Plagues Poland
At first glance, this story reads like something the folks at The Onion would make up. But as you read on and look at the source, it looks like it's a legitimate story. There's a town in Poland called Tuszyn that's looking for a mascot for its new playground. But the town officials categorically rejected Winnie the Pooh.Why? They say the cartoon bear is "inappropriately dressed" and his sexuality is "dubious." You have to read the story. It's laugh out loud funny - and sad, all at the same time. (And if it turns out this ISN'T real - nicely played, whoever pulled this off!)  
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Celebrities Stuck in Traffic
Comedian impressionist Lauren O'Brien posted a video last week of fourteen celebrities stuck in traffic. Of course, she's playing all fourteen, and some of them are pretty good! Decide for yourself - which will be your favorite? For me, it's a toss up between Kristen Stewart and Sofia Vergara....  
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Music Video or Underwear Ad?
Beyonce released a video for her new single, "7/11," over the weekend. They're calling it homemade - it looks like it could have been shot on a cell phone, all around Queen Bey's house, featuring cameos by Baby Blue Ivy and maybe even Hubby Zee. It's energetic, but seems to go out of its way to feature undergarments - on Beyonce and on her dancers. If the Fruit of the Loom people are on the ball, I'm smelling a Super Bowl commercial here...  
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Selection and Care of Christmas Trees
The Force Awakens Slowly
Insensitive or Sincere?
Um, Bette, Say What?
Bye Bye Clydesdales?
No Thanksgiving for You!
Things You Didn't Know About Yesterday
"I See a Darkness in You"
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