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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.
Posts from January 2014


Garden Apps – National Garden Bureau
Paging through garden catalogues, looking at new varieties and old favorites while dreaming of the season ahead is a long-standing tradition with gardeners. And all the new garden planning websites and apps can help us turn these beautiful visions into reality.
 
Do an internet search before starting this year’s garden plan. Try searches like Garden Planner, Vegetable Garden Planner or Garden Planning software. You will be amazed by the many free options from very basic to a bit more complex.
 
Once your plan is in place you’ll be ready to head to the garden center. But this can be overwhelming, even for seasoned gardeners. Use one or more of the gardening apps to help with your plant selection.
 
And the on-line help doesn’t end there. Many Universities, publications and plant companies have mobile apps to help you keep your garden healthy and productive. Visit the National Garden Bureau’s website for a list of gardening apps, information on plants and gardening resources.
 
A bit more information: Having trouble finding the National Garden Bureau articles on garden apps?
Click here for their archive section as well as here for part 2.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Eggshells as Fertilizer
Don’t throw out those eggshells. Wash and add to your worm composter or use them with your houseplants or in the garden as a fertilizer supplement.
 
Egg shells will add small amounts of calcium, potassium, a bit of sodium, but not enough to harm the plants, phosphorous and magnesium. They don’t provide all the nutrients a plant needs but could be used as a supplement to your regular fertilizing regime.
 
Jeff Gillman, Professor and author of several books including The Truth about Garden Remedies suggests using shells from 4 to 5 eggs per plant. Mix them in the garden soil or potting mix prior to planting.
 
The water used to boil eggs could also be used as a liquid fertilizer for plants. Just let it cool and apply about 2 cups per plant.
 
Though only providing small amounts of nutrients, both methods keep the egg shells out of the garbage.
 
A bit more information: Check out all of Jeff Gillman’s books for insight into garden remedies and organic practices that work and why at http://www.jeffgillman.net.  His other titles include The Truth about Organic Gardening, Decoding Gardening Advice, How Trees Die and How the Government Got into Your Backyard.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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The Rowan/ Mountainash • Jan. 21 – Feb. 17 Birth Tree
If your birthday falls between January 21 and February 17 your birth tree is the Rowan, also known as mountainash.  You’re said to be artistic and spiritual, a visionary, a progressive thinker and humanitarian.
 
These trees are also known as “the Lady of the Mountains” and were planted near entryways to ward off evil spirits. In the landscape use these four season trees for their beauty and bird appeal.
 
They grow 20 to 40 feet tall and up to 25 feet wide. They are hardy in zones 3 to 7 depending on the species. These beauties prefer cool moist conditions and when stressed are plagued by fireblight, borers and a variety of other insects. But when properly sited and managed it can be a beautiful addition to the landscape. And when a flock of cedar waxwings visit to feed on the fruit, it’s a site to behold.
 
A bit more information: The mountainash (Sorbus) is not the ash (Fraxinus) being attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer.  The European mountainash (Sorbus aucuparia) is most popular with white spring blooms, orange-red berry-like fruit and yellow to purple fall color. Aucuparia is from Latin for capturing birds, referring to the fruit that helps attract birds to the landscape.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Caring for and Reblooming African Violets
Brighten up your winter with an African violet.
 
This long time favorite is relatively easy to grow but can be challenging to rebloom. Grow African violets in bright light and moist well-drained soil.  Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist. Their fuzzy leaves are sensitive to cold water so use room temperature water or water the plants from below.
 
Use an African violet or other indoor flowering plant fertilizer spring through fall when the plants are actively growing.  Scrape off any white crusty substance that may form on the lip of the container.  This is a salt buildup that can damage your plant. 
 
Many African violet growers use artificial lights to supplement natural light and encourage the plants to flower. Natural light, a grow light or mix of warm and cool fluorescent lights will provide the full spectrum of light needed for flowering.
 
A bit more information: Prevent or eliminate salt build up with regular leaching of the soil. Water the plant thoroughly with warm water several times at 20 minute intervals. Repeat every few months or as needed to leach the salts out of the soil.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Rose Flower Proliferation
Plants are amazing. They often produce unusual growths, unexpected flower and leaf colors and other surprises. Sometimes these changes lead to the introduction of a new variety while other times it leaves gardeners perplexed. The latter is the case with rose flower proliferation.
 
Occasionally gardeners find individual rose blossoms sprouting flower buds that develop into another layer of bloom. This proliferation of flower buds is due to a physiological disorder called rose flower proliferation.  Basically, for some unknown reason, the cells continue to divide even after the flower forms.  This results in a cluster of new buds forming in the center of the blossom.  This growth disorder usually occurs in spring and though it can occur on any rose, certain varieties seem to be effected yearly. It is not harmful to the plant just annoying to the gardener. 
 
A bit more information: Proliferation can affect other flowers such as clovers, opium poppy and members of the daisy family. Bellis perennis ‘Prolifera’ produces smaller flowers beside the main bloom. This led to its common name Hens and Chicken daisy. 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Snowdrops – A January Birth Flower
Celebrate a January birthday with one of the two January flowers. One, snowdrops were often found growing in graveyards and were considered bad luck. Now they represent hope and beauty.

The snowdrops bloom in early spring. Drooping white flowers top the 6 inch plants that thrive in part to full shade. These spring blooming beauties are hardy in zones 3 to 7 and prefer cool moist well-drained soils. Warm region gardeners will have to buy pre-cooled bulbs or give them a 15 week chill in the fridge before planting them in the garden.
 
It may be too early or late to give a gift of blooming snowdrops this January. But plan ahead for next year. Buy bulbs next fall, plant in a container, water and set in the fridge for at least 15 weeks.  Then surprise your January birthdays with a pot of their birth flower to grow and nourish.
 
A bit more information: You may need to buy a picture, give a gift certificate for bulbs or find another creative way to include this early spring blooming flower in your birthday celebration.  The other January birth flower is the carnation.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Attract Insect Eating Toads to the Garden
Toads make great gardening partners. They eat insects, slugs and snails and ask for very little in return. Help attract these natural predators to your garden with just a few changes in your gardening habits. 

Create an inviting habit for these critters. Leave some leaf litter under trees and shrubs and in the garden. Use groundcovers, preferably native ones, in place of lawn whenever possible.
 
Include a shallow pond or water feature. Even a shallow saucer filled with chlorine-free water is effective. Use rocks in and around the water for added toad appeal.
 
Reduce or better yet eliminate the use of pesticides. These can be harmful to the toads and kill the insects they like to eat.
 
Build a toad abode from a ceramic or clay pot. Place it directly on the soil so the toad can dig. Elevate one side with stones or use a cracked or broken pot that provides an entryway for the toad.
 
A bit more information: Place your above ground toad abode in a shady spot near water. For more details on creating a toad abode click here. Or go underground. Dig a shallow depression in the soil. Create sides and a roof with stones so the house is 6 to 8 inches tall. Be sure to leave an entryway for the toad to have easy access. For more details, click here.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 All-America Selections (AAS) Flower Winners
As you plan your gardens for 2014, be sure to include a few or all of the All America Selection Flower Winners. They are tested throughout the U.S. and Canada and selected for their unique qualities and suitability for the home garden.
 
Gaura is a wonderful long blooming perennial that is often grown as an annual.  The delicate flowers float above the foliage.  Sparkle White is an early flowering gaura with a more controlled growth habit.
 
Petunia ‘African Sunset’ has eye-catching flowers in shades of orange. Uniform growth habit and long season of bloom made this a judges’ favorite.
 
The naturally dwarf Suntastic Yellow with Black Center sunflower is the smallest sunflower currently on the market; great for small spaces, containers and even window boxes. It produces up to 20 5 to 6 inch flowers per stem in three successive bloom periods.
 
A bit more information: 2014 marks the first year All American Selections Winners are including regional flowers and vegetables. The plants were trialed and selected as outstanding performers for the specific areas of the country.  For more information, check out their website at http://www.aaswinners.com/winners/.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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January 12 – 24 Birth Tree is the Elm
If your birthday falls between January 12th and 24th your birth tree is the Elm. You are said to be cheerful, noble minded, have a good sense of humor and are practical.

The elm has a long history in native and urban landscapes. Many remember the American elm lined streets of the past. Unfortunately, Dutch elm disease wiped out most of these trees.
 
Use a Dutch Elm resistant cultivar like Valley Forge, New Harmony, Princeton and Delaware #2 if you plan on gifting or planting an American elm in your landscape. They have the characteristic vase shape, but have exhibited good Dutch elm disease resistance. 
 
Better yet, consider the Chinese elm also know as lacebark elm. The smaller leaves and exfoliating bark add to its ornamental appeal. It is a tough and durable tree and can be found throughout the grounds of Disney World in Orlando FL.
 
A bit more information:  Don’t mistake the beautiful lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia) with the much inferior Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila) that is often mistakenly called Chinese elm. For a unique look consider a Camperdown, Pendula or Horizontalis cultivar of the Scotch elm. They add interesting form and texture to the landscape.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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2014 All-America Selections (AAS) Vegetable Winners
As you scour this year’s catalogues be sure to watch for the 2014 All America Selections Vegetable Winners.

Mama Mia Giallo (jowllo) is a sweet yellow pepper. It was selected for its compact habit, large yield, uniform shape and yellow/gold color when mature. Enjoy its sweet flavor fresh or grilled.
 
Grow the small scale Mascotte bean in the garden or container. The white flowers and long straight pods add to its ornamental appeal. The crisp stringless fruit make it a nice addition to any meal.
 
Chef’s Choice Orange is an indeterminate tomato with deep orange beefsteak shaped fruit. The white flesh is firm, sweet and mild flavored.
 
The determinate bush Fantastico tomato produces flavorful grape shaped fruit. This high yielding tomato produces up to 12 pounds per plant.
 
A bit more information: All American Selections Winners are tested at trial gardens throughout the US and Canada. Winners are selected for their unique or improved qualities and suitability to the home garden.  Check out their website, http://www.aaswinners.com/winners/, for current and past winners.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Low Maintenance ZZ Indoor Plant
Looking for an easy to grow houseplant? Try the low maintenance uniquely shaped ZZ plant.

You may have seen this indoor beauty in the mall, office buildings, garden center or friends’ homes.   This easy-care plant is also known as zulu, fat boy and eternity plant.  An East African native it has adapted to periods of rain and drought making it a great houseplant.  It prefers bright light but will tolerate low light and dry soil.  Avoid overwatering that can lead to root rot. 
 
The fleshy rhizomes store water and nutrients helping the plant survive difficult times. Dig and separate the rhizomes to start new plants.  Avoid damaging the rhizome as it can lead to root rot. Patient gardeners can try starting new plants from a single leaf.  Remove a leaf, stick the cut end into a well-drained potting mix.  Keep the soil moist and wait for several months for a new rhizome and eventually a new plant to form.
 
A bit more information: You can find more information about this adaptable plant using its botanical name Zamioculcas zamiifolia.  It is hardy outdoors in zones 9 and warmer. This evergreen plant can eventually grow 3 feet tall and wide.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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January's Birth Flower – Carnation
One of January’s birth flowers is the carnation. Like the rose, the color of the flower is used to represent certain meanings and feeling.
 
Give that someone special a red carnation that means I love you. Pink reflects affection while white stands for pure love. If things are going badly you may choose a striped carnation that represents a love that is not shared or yellow for disappointment or rejection.
 
Or just select the recipient’s favorite color. Carnations are long lasting cut flowers that look great combined with greens or other flowers in a mixed bouquet.
 
In the garden you can also grow annual, biennial and perennial carnations, also known as dianthus. Though specifics may vary a bit, most carnations prefer full sun and cool temperatures. Use as cool season annuals. Or select heat tolerant varieties and provide a bit of afternoon shade to get these beauties through warm seasons.
 
A bit more information: Try some of the new carnations for a little extra garden and cut flower appeal. Green Trick carnation has pompom shaped vivid green flowers the size of tennis balls. Listen to my audio tip for more on this stunning cut flower.  Sweet black cherry (Dianthus barbatus ‘Sweet Black Cherry’) is a dramatic garden annual. The flowers are almost black and these frost and heat tolerant plants grow 18-24” tall x 10-12” wide.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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National Bird Day – Time to Plan a Bird Garden
Bird watching and gardening go hand in hand. Celebrate National Bird Day, January 5th, by taking a moment to stop and observe the birds visiting your garden.
 
As you watch make notes on what plants provide food and shelter. Then look for opportunities to add more to the landscape.
 
Consider evergreens for shelter. Junipers and pines tolerate hot dry conditions. Hemlocks tolerate shade and need shelter from winter winds. Spruces and firs like moist well-drained soil and full sun. And the many dwarf varieties make it possible to add evergreens to even small yards and balcony gardens.
 
Consider trees and shrubs with berries such as dogwood, crabapples, viburnums and hawthorns. These add color to the landscape for our enjoyment and food for the birds. And when possible, use native plants suited to the growing conditions in your backyard.
 
A bit more information: Thorny bushes and trees like hawthorn, pyracantha and raspberries provide songbirds with shelter and protection from predators. Include a birdbath or water feature with a shallow pool or strategically placed stones. A constant water supply will also help attract birds to your landscape.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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National Bloody Mary Day – Ode to Lovage
January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day. As you start the New Year consider growing all the ingredients, including the straw, in this year’s garden. 

You know about growing tomatoes, peppers and the other main ingredients, but you may never have considered adding a bit of lovage to the mix. This easy to grow herb has hollow stems and a celery flavor. Place one or two plants in a sunny corner of the garden or one in a large pot for a vertical accent in moist well-drained soil. This perennial herb can reach 6 feet in height, grow one foot wide and is hardy to zone 4. Harvest sections of the stems, leaves and all, as needed. Use as a straw in your Bloody Mary or tomato juice for a little home-grown celery flavoring.
 
And watch for seedlings you can dig and share with friends.
 
It’s sure to add lots of fun and make your cocktail party or weekend brunch a special event.
 
A bit more information: The leaves begin to yellow as the plant flowers and sets seed. Harvest, grind and use seeds to flavor a variety of dishes. Or cut back the plants to encourage fresh new growth. You’ll miss out on the seeds, but have plenty of fresh green leaves to use throughout the remainder of the season.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.
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Great visit from Mom-Mom!
My Mother-In-Law's been in town for the last 10 days, visiting from Phoenix. There are 2 reasons that Mom-Mom came to visit: to see her Grandchildren and …to see her grandchildren! Seriously! That's perfectly fine, we KNOW she loves us too! Wait, make that 3 reasons…our house is spotless now too…THANKS MOM! I think we've shown Mom a great time during her visit. Sarah and the kids took her to the Milwaukee County Zoo, then a pool day at Cool Waters and the last thing we did was Festa Italiana! THAT was her favorite! Festa Italiana was AMAZING! We went on Friday night and HOLY RICEBALLS! And lasagna sticks! And zucchini sticks! And eggplant sticks! And calamari! And CHOCOLATE CANNOLIS! SOOOO many great foods to eat, music to hear, things and people to see…was a great experience! Can't wait for next year! As always, THANK YOU for reading and for listening to 99.1 The Mix! Hope you have a GREAT week! -Mark Summers
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4th Of July Weekend 2014...AWESOME!
4th Of July Weekend 2014 was one for the ages! LOVED having my daughter and our adopted son Cameron (not really, but kinda) here for the fun! Here's how it went down: Friday: First Summerfest experience for the family and I and it didn't disappoint! Food, FUN, laughs, music and just a great time enjoying a MILWAUKEE SUMMER DAY…it FINALLY showed up! Saturday: Used bumpers and STILL got beat by a 3-year old, two 14-year olds, a 15-year old and my wife Sarah. I'm NOT GOOD at bowling! Sunday: Spent the day in Lake Geneva and ya' know…NO BIG DEAL… just drove a speedboat for the FIRST TIME EVER! WHAT A RUSH! Can't wait to do it again! Kids jumped off the boat and swam around for a bit and we just relaxed for a couple of hours…was PEACEFUL & AMAZING! I hope you and yours had a GREAT holiday weekend as well! As always, thanks so much for reading and THANK YOU for listening to 99.1 The Mix! Have a great week! -Mark Summers
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4th Of July Weekend 2014...AWESOME!
4th Of July Weekend 2014 was one for the ages! LOVED having my daughter Alyssa and our adopted son Cameron (not really, but kinda) here for the fun! Here's how it went down: Friday: First Summerfest experience for the family and I and it didn't disappoint! Food, FUN, laughs, music and just a great time enjoying a MILWAUKEE SUMMER DAY…it FINALLY showed up! Saturday: Used bumpers and STILL got beat by a 3-year old, two 14-year olds, a 15-year old and my wife Sarah. I'm NOT GOOD at bowling! Sunday: Spent the day in Lake Geneva and ya' know…NO BIG DEAL… just drove a speedboat for the FIRST TIME EVER! WHAT A RUSH! Can't wait to do it again! Kids jumped off the boat and swam around for a bit and we just relaxed for a couple of hours…was PEACEFUL & AMAZING! I hope you and yours had a GREAT holiday weekend as well! As always, thanks so much for reading and THANK YOU for listening to 99.1 The Mix! Have a great week! -Mark Summers
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Smart Irrigation Month – Planning a Watersense Irrigation System
Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants' health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first. Look for systems that include EPA approved WaterSense irrigation controllers. These are like thermostats only they're for your irrigation system, adjusting watering schedules based on weather and soil moisture instead of the calendar. Select a system zoned to water plants at different rates. Established trees require less frequent watering than annuals. Use drip irrigation or low volume sprinklers in gardens to apply water slowly and right where it is needed. And consult a certified Irrigation specialist that understands how irrigation works, the local environment and will help you comply with any building codes. A bit more information: Your time invested in research before investing in an irrigation system can reduce water use, repair costs and plant replacement. Experts estimate we could reduce water use by 50% just by eliminating improper watering. If you already have a system, inspect it regularly. Check for and repair any leaks, clear clogs, adjust direction and repair damaged sprinkler heads. For more information visit these web sites: http://www.irrigation.org/Certification/Certification_Splash.aspx http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/products/controltech.html For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Grow Star and Heart Shaped Veggies
Add a little star power to your meals with the help of cookie cutters and veggie molds. Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch thick round slices. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the center of the rounds. Use these in salads, on sandwiches or relish plates. Save the outer ring. Slide two grape or cherry tomatoes onto a toothpick so they resemble a heart. Place them in the center of the outer ring of the cucumber and secure in place. Or grow heart and star shaped fruit. Cover immature fruit with vegetable molds. Use twisty ties to hold the fruit filled mold onto the vine or support. Check the fruit regularly as some may be ready to harvest in as few as 5 to 7 days. Once the fruit has filled the mold and is fully colored, it is ready to harvest. Creating heart and star shaped vegetables will dress up your meals and may encourage everyone to eat more veggies. A bit more information: For more information on vegetable molds visit http://www.veggiemold.com. And watch for postings on my Facebook page as I grow a few star powered vegetables of my own. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape
Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future. Create mowing strips around raised beds and stonewalls to eliminate hand trimming. You can purchase and lay pavers and other edging materials or just remove a narrow strip of grass and cover with mulch. Run one set of your mower wheels on the mowing strip and cut the grass right up to the structure. Connect individual trees and shrubs with mulch beds. The trees will benefit from the mulch and you will spend less time trimming around each plant. Plus the mulch bed protects the plants from weed whips and mowers that injure the plants as we try to cut the grass as close as possible. And if this is too much mulch, try filling the area with perennials and groundcovers for added beauty and seasonal interest. A bit more information: Mulching around trees also eliminates the frustration of surface roots. For more ideas watch Melinda's Garden Moment video Dealing with Surface Roots http://www.melindamyers.com/Pasquesi-Landscape-Care/landscape-care/dealing-with-surface-roots.html For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Taming Floppy, Leggy and Less-Than-Attractive Annuals
Break out the pruners and groom your unsightly annuals back to their original beauty. Some annuals tend to develop long leggy stems with few flowers. Regular deadheading and removing the top few inches of the stem encourages more compact growth and continual flowering. Don't worry if your busy schedule allowed your plants to get out of hand. Just cut back the stems halfway. Try staggering severe pruning to keep your garden looking good throughout the renewal process. Do this by pruning back only one third of the plants in a flowerbed or one third of the stems on individual plants at one time. Repeat each week. By the time you prune the last few stems the first group will be producing new flowers on more compact stems. Reduce your workload next season by selecting annuals bred for long bloom and compact growth. You'll have better-looking plants all season long with less work. A bit more information: Regular grooming can help keep foliage plants like coleus looking their best. Remove the coleus flowers as soon as they form to prevent leggy growth. Prune back leggy plants as described to keep these beauties looking their best. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Grow a Pickle in a Bottle
Add some mystery and fun to this season's harvest by growing a pickle in a bottle. Just like the ship in a bottle, finding a large cucumber in a clear bottle with a small opening will keep friends and relatives guessing. Start by selecting a small immature cucumber. Leave it attached to the plant and slide it into a bottle. Leave your bottled cucumber tucked under plant leaves or create a little shade with cloth or newspaper to prevent it from overheating and rotting in the sun. Check your cucumber regularly and watch it grow. Cut it off the vine just before it fills the bottle. Your cucumber in the bottle will only last a few days, but will provide lots of fun. Preserve it to extend the fun. Boil 2 cups of vinegar mixed with 2 cups of hot water and 3 tablespoons of pickling salt. Cool and pour the mixture over the cucumber and seal the jar shut. A bit more information: Add some more fun to the garden by scratching your name, design or a message into the rind of winter squash. Take a sharp object and lightly scratch your idea into, but not through the rind of an immature winter squash. As it grows, matures and hardens your message will become clearer. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Upcycle Pool Noodles into the Garden
Don't throw away those worn out or forgotten pool noodles. Put them to work in the garden. Make a lengthwise cut halfway into the noodle. Then use it to top a chicken wire or hardware cloth fence or plant cage. It prevents cuts from sharp wires and adds a bit of color and whimsy to the garden. Or bend and insert the noodle into a lawn bag to hold it open. Adding green debris for recycling will be much easier, especially when it's a one person job. Cover ½ inch PVC to create colorful structures in the garden. Stand on end and securely anchor in the ground for a trellis. Or create colorful arches for added interest or fun for the smaller gardeners in the family. Or cut the noodle to the desired length and cover with ribbon, flowers, pine cones or other materials to create a wreath for your front door, garden entrance or shed. A bit more information: Create a raised bed with the help of old window well sections and noodles. Bolt two window wells together. Top with a noodle to protect you from the sharp edges. Set in place, fill with soil and plant. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Plan and Plant Now for a Bountiful Fall Harvest
Now is the time to plan and plant vegetables for a bountiful fall harvest. Start by looking for vacant spaces in the vegetable garden that are left after harvesting lettuce, spinach and other early maturing crops. Expand your search to other plantable areas in flowerbeds and mixed borders. Sow seeds of beans, cucumbers, carrots, beets and other short season vegetables. Simply count the number of days from planting to the date of the average first fall frost in your area. Then check the back of the seed packet for the number of days needed from planting until harvest. As long as you have enough time for the seeds to sprout, grow and produce before frost, they can be added to the garden. Or extend the season with coldframes and floating row covers. Those in frost-free areas can plant longer season crops that benefit from maturing during the cooler months of fall. A bit more information: Wait for the soil to cool before planting lettuce and other vegetable seeds that require cooler temperatures to germinate. Or start the plants indoors and move them into the garden as transplants. Help keep the soil cool by mulching plantings with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic mulch. For more ideas and information on late plantings watch my Melinda's Garden Moment "Still Time to Plant" video or listen to the audio tip on this topic as well as the "Grow a Bountiful Harvest All Season Long" audio tip. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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WHAT A WEEKEND!
If I had to pick JUST ONE WORD to describe this past weekend, it'd be: AMAZACRAZYAWESOME! (I totally just made that word up) Spent the weekend with the family at Key Lime Cove and WE HAD A BLAST! Alyssa, Anthony, Ben and Cameron had the time of their lives on the water slides! Sarah and I LITERALLY DID NOTHING on the lazy river, which I think is the idea when you're on that LOL. Embarassing moment alert: I fell asleep on my tube and some random kid cruisin' down the river decided he'd flip me over (that's HARD to do)...that was a fun way to wake up! It really was a GREAT family getaway…FUN & RELAXING! Highly recommend! As always, thank you for reading and thank you for listening to The Mix! -Mark Summers
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LIFE.IS.GOOD.
WHEW!  Now that the U.S./Germany game is over and the U.S. backed into the KNOCKOUT ROUND of the World Cup, I can write about how AWESOME the last few days have been and HOW MUCH FUN the next 2 weeks are gonna be!   On Tuesday, my daughter Alyssa came to visit for 2 weeks from NJ!  Yesterday, Neon Trees came by before their SUMMERFEST performance…then Jonathan Jackson from the hit show “Nashville” came to the radio station and did his thing for us.  Last night, we sat around the dinner table and played Apples To Apples.  FUN GAME!   This weekend, my son Anthony has a baseball tourney in Crystal Lake, IL and his games are on Saturday & Sunday.  Soooo, what are we gonna do IN BETWEEN?  Glad you asked!   Key Lime Cove for the ENTIRE WEEKEND and just a GREAT TIME as a FAMILY, TOGETHER!  Sorry, CAPS LOCK is broken LOL (not really)   What MORE could I ask for?  That’s right, not much.  I already have what I need…including YOU!  Thanks as always for listening,  thanks for reading this and most importantly, thanks for allowing me to be a part of your daily life!  Means SO much to me!   Have a GREAT WEEKEND! -Mark Summers
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Bike Ride
Bike #selfie 
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