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.
Don’t let the black tar-like spots on your maple tree make you fret. Though one of the more noticeable, it is one of the less damaging of the fungal leaf spot diseases.
Tar spot symptoms look as if someone dripped tar on the leaves. A European tar spot that has found its way to North America can also attack Norway and striped Maples. These spots are thinner, less tar-like and surrounded by a yellow halo.
You’ll see more spotting during summers following a wet spring. The disease organism survives the winter on the tar spot infected leaves lying on the ground. Raking and destroying the leaves will help reduce the source of infection but is usually not practical. Everyone in the area must do the same in order for this method of control to be effective.
So be patient and wait for a drier spring and the disease to run its course.
A bit more information: Chemical control is not practical, nor recommended. You must treat before the spots have developed and have complete coverage. This is difficult on large mature maple trees. Proper care is the best defense against this and other diseases. Water properly and mulch trees to keep them healthy.
You can grow garden fresh produce while conserving water and limiting the time spent watering.
Water gardens early in the morning to minimize water lost to evaporation. Always water thoroughly but less frequently to encourage deep more drought tolerant roots. Use a soaker-hose or drip irrigation to slowly place the water directly on the soil where it is needed.
You can create your own slow watering device. Use old gallon milk jugs to apply water where it is needed. Punch several small holes in the bottom of the milk jug. Fill with water and place next to your tomatoes, peppers or other large plants. The water slowly seeps into the soil where it’s needed.
And don't forget to mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic material. Mulching helps keep the soil cool and moist, reduces weeds and adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes over the season.
A bit more information: Most gardens benefit from an inch of water each week. Monitor rainfall with a rain gauge and supplement as needed. Apply needed water in one application to heavy soils. Make two applications of 1/2 to 3/4 an inch of water in sandy soils. Remember to let the weather and plants, not the calendar, be your guide.
Though chokeberry is not an appetizing name, this four season beauty is making a big impact in edible and ornamental gardens.
Include this beauty in your landscape. Hardy in zones 3 to 9 it prefers full sun to part shade and tolerates moist and even wet soils. The white flowers appear in spring and glossy green leaves turn a beautiful crimson or purplish red in fall. The black fruit is edible and high in antioxidants and vitamin C. But nibble on just a berry or two as they are very tart and astringent. Or use the fruit for jams, baked goods and wine.
And if the flavor is a bit much for you, just wait and the birds will eventually feast on the fermented fruit in late winter.
Use these edible beauties as informal hedges, in mixed borders or rain gardens. Viking is a popular cultivar grown for its large black fruit and compact size.
A bit more Information: Chokeberries can be slow to establish, so be patient. The red chokeberry has similar flowers, fall color, but red fruit instead of black. Brilliant is an outstanding cultivar with waxy leaves, more fruit and excellent red fall color. Visit the Midwest Aronia Association’s website for recipes and more.
Looking for a tough as nails houseplant? Consider the cast iron plant.
This unassuming houseplant tolerates low light, temperature extremes and irregular watering. It is also known as saloon plant because it was often found growing in the dark corners of bars.
You may have to do a bit of research to find a local source. Most garden centers only sell the straight species with solid green leaves that grow about 2 to 3 feet tall. The variety ‘Variegata’ has white stripes while ‘Ginga Minor’ has yellow spotted 15 inch long leaves.
Cast iron plants produce one long strappy leaf on each short stem that arises from the soil. Propagate new plants by dividing older clumps into several smaller sections.
Although most people know it as a houseplant you will find cast iron plant used as a groundcover in southern landscapes. And some claim success growing this plant outdoors year round in southern New Jersey.
A bit more information: So consider adding a cast iron plant to your indoor décor. Though the flowers are small, brown and not real showy, you’ll get a little greenery with minimal care. Check on-line sources if you are having trouble finding this or its more decorative cultivars at your local garden center.
If you were born between March 11th and 20th your birth tree is the Lime tree. You are said to be intelligent, hard working, hate fights and stress and can be jealous, but extremely loyal.
Now before you go out and invest in a citrus plant, consider that lime is the common name for Linden in the British Isles. This group of trees is also called basswood and Tilia.
Basswoods grow in zones 3 to 9, generally prefer full sun to part shade and moist soils. They produce fragrant yellow flowers in summer that the bees enjoy. In fact, basswood honey with its floral scent and complex flavor is considered one of the best in the world.
Large linden varieties make great shade trees, while smaller ones have been used as street trees, pruned into hedges or planted along walks and roadways to create allees in the landscape and public spaces.
A bit more information: Lindens also have great fall color. The leaves turn a beautiful yellow in fall. The common name lime is supposedly an altered form of lind. And the word linden originally was used as an adjective meaning “made from lime-wood”.
Add a bit of greenery to your St Patrick’s Day celebration with a green or purple leaf shamrock plant. You’ll find them in garden centers, florists and even grocery stores.
Grow these holiday plants in a bright location to keep them blooming and growing. Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist, but not wet.
Newly purchased plants do not need fertilizing for several months. Use a dilute solution of any flowering houseplant fertilizer if your plants are actively growing and in need of a nutrient boost.
And don’t be alarmed when your plant starts to yellow and dry. It is normal for these plants to go dormant for a short period. Reduce watering frequency as the leaves start to yellow and dry. Place the plant in a cool dark location until new growth begins. Then bring it back into the sunlight, start watering and enjoy the show.
A bit more information: The original shamrock plant was likely a white clover. It symbolizes the arrival of spring, the season of rebirth. St. Patrick is said to have used the Shamrock plant when he spread the word of Christianity in Ireland. He used the three leaves to symbolize the Holy Trinity, the father, the son and the holy spirit.
Grow the best crop of carrots yet with proper selection, timing and care.
Select carrot varieties known for their sweet flavor. Dantes, Little finger, Short ‘n Sweet, Sweetness, and Tendersweet are just a few to consider.
Be sure to plant carrots early in the season for an early summer harvest, midseason for a fall harvest or fall for a winter harvest in milder climates. Carrots grow best and have the highest sugar content, giving them the sweetest flavor in cooler temperatures.
Proper care will also improve the appearance and flavor. Be sure to water carrots and other garden plantings as the top few inches of soil feels moist, but crumbles in your fingers. Thin carrot seedlings to provide space for the remaining plants to grow to full size. Try several different varieties to see which tastes best to you and your family.
Grow short or half longs if you are gardening in heavy or rocky soil. You’ll have fewer misshapen carrots.
A bit more information: Little Finger baby carrots are 5 inches long and ½ inch thick. These golden orange carrots are sweet and crisp and ready to eat in 65 days. Nantes Sweetness is a bit longer and thicker but still sweet and crunchy and matures in 63 days. Tendersweet Imperator is a long carrot with a tapered root. The orange carrot is coreless and sweet and ready to eat in 75 days.
We are all looking for ways to make our dollars go further. And that includes landscaping and gardening projects.
Buy smaller plants and space them properly. You will be amazed how quickly they will grow and fill the available space. Use annuals or perennials to fill the empty spaces. You’ll need fewer annuals each year and the perennials can be transplanted to another garden when the trees and shrubs reach full size.
Start fast growing annuals from seed right in the garden. Marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, nasturtiums, moss rose and sunflowers are a few to try.
Always buy quality plants suited to the growing conditions. They require less effort to grow successfully and live longer.
Use available resources. Shred fallen leaves and use as mulch. Create arbors and wattle fences from tree and shrub trimmings. Use handles from broken tools for a trellis, old grill for a planter and leaky aquarium for a terrarium.
A bit more information: Join forces with friends and neighbors. Share the cost and use of a weekend rental of tillers, chippers and other infrequently used garden equipment. You’ll save money and avoid storage and maintenance issues involved in owning specialized equipment.
A long time favorite in Europe, spruce shoot syrup and beer are gaining popularity in North America. The tender new growth of spruce, pines and firs were also used by Native Americans and early settlers for food and medicine.
For the best flavor, harvest the tender new growth as it emerges in spring. Remove the papery brown covering before eating or processing.
Use them fresh to flavor fish dishes, sauce or salad dressing.
Or try something simple like tea. Just dry the needles and brew into tea. Or create spruce vinegar with brown rice, vinegar and pine or spruce shoots. Just place the shoots in a glass jar, cover with brown rice vinegar, seal and let it age for a month.
Spruce shoots are also used to add the unique flavor to the Canadian martini.
Ask before harvesting spruce shoots from private and public property. And only use shoots from evergreens free of pesticides.
A bit more information: For more tips on harvesting and recipes click here.. And for more on the history of brewing and cooking with evergreen shoots click here. If you want to skip or give them a try before harvesting and preserving your own, you can find them for sale on-line at Forbes Wild Food.
Philodendrons have long been considered one of the easiest to grow – hardest to kill houseplants. But even these robust beauties can suffer from too much love and attention.
Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve killed this supposedly indestructible plant – many gardeners have. The most common complaints are yellow leaves with brown spots.
Leaf spot diseases are usually the culprit and improper watering the cause.
Take a close look at the container and your watering regimen. Make sure the pot has holes in the bottom for drainage. No matter how good a gardener, it is impossible to provide exactly the right amount of moisture every time you water.
Move your plant to a container with drainage holes if needed. For best results water this and most houseplants thoroughly whenever the top couple inches of soil feels like a damp sponge. Pour off any excess water that collects in the saucer. Plants sitting in water are more subject to root rot and leaf spot diseases.
A bit more information: Reduce your work load and improve your plants’ growing environment by placing stones or marbles in the saucer. The excess water can collect in the saucer while the marbles elevate the pot and plant roots above the water. As the water evaporates it increases the humidity around the plant where it is needed.
Is it a Narcissus, daffodil or jonquil? Whatever you call it, it is the birth flower of March and December.
The terms daffodil, narcissus and jonquil are often used interchangeably. Narcissus is the botanical name for daffodils. Daffodil was the common name English speaking people gave to this group of plants. Jonquils are actually a type of daffodil botanically known as Narcissus jonquilla. They usually have 1 to 3 small fragrant flowers per stem. The leaves are more rounded than those of other daffodils.
And as birth flowers go the daffodil stands for devotion, unequaled love and the sun is always shining.
And if you invest in a celebration bouquet – be sure to keep these flowers in a vase all their own. The stems exude a thick sap into the water. The sap plugs the cut end of other flowers, preventing them from absorbing water.
A bit more information: Visit the American Daffodil Society’s website www.daffodilusa.org for sources and more information on the various types of daffodils.
Chris Pratt Crushed by a Noahsaurus
Chris Pratt visited the Ellen show this week and agreed to play a game of "Dino Right, Dino Wrong" against Ellen's little buddy, Noah Ritter.
It was a trivia game about dinosaurs, and given that Chris just wrapped up Jurassic World, you'd expect him to have the edge.
This kid Noah is good. Check out the competition.
How Do You Write "Uh Oh" in Arabic?
On Tuesday, Lindsay Lohan posted an inspirational message to Instagram.
On the bottom line, it read "You're beautiful." Above it were some Arabic characters, which everyone took to mean the same thing as the English phrase.
Not so much, according to experts. Lindsay had actually written, "You're an ass" in Arabic.
Yesterday, she posted this picture of a pocketbook, and referenced the now-deleted message, saying it was an inside joke with a friend.
"So, was already known what it was."
I'm not buying it. How about you?
FYI- The funny thing is-the Arabic photo I posted was an inside joke w/friend to test my Arabic w/out Google translation. So, was already known what it was. Other than this- I love @maisonvalentino
A photo posted by Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) on Apr 23, 2015 at 9:42am PDT
Making FLOTUS's Day
How's this for a nice way for Michelle Obama to start her day?
The First Lady was entertaining some children of White House Staffers as part of Bring Your Daughters & Sons to Work Day.
One young lady asked Mrs. O who old she was, and when she answered, "51," the girl made a face.
Turns out she thought Mrs. O was "too young" to be 51.
Guess who got a big hug?
Have Blacks Abandoned Baseball?
Chris Rock did a guest spot on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, part of the show's 20th anniversary celebration.
His topic: why blacks have abandoned baseball.
He talks about growing up a baseball fan, when 20% of the players in Major League Baseball were black. Now, that number has dwindled, according to Chris, to about 8%.
But it's not about being black, it's about being a baseball fan.
Check out the promo, and if you like what you see, you can watch the whole episode here - it's uncensored, so be careful where you watch it or how loud the audio is...
Don't Push Iron Man!
Robert Downey Jr. was sitting down for a series of interviews about Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Things are okay for the first four minutes, and then they start to go off the track when the reporter starts asking about RDJ's personal life.
You can tell he's very uncomfortable talking about his time in prison and struggling with addiction - "Are we promoting a movie?" RDJ asked.
The reporter refused to pick up on that cue and kept dwelling on the personal aspects.
Finally, RDJ got upset enough to walk out. And watch the reporter. He doesn't get why...
It's Dropping Trou Coming Around the Post...
Things got a little cheeky in the first rate at the Canterbury race track in Sydney, Australia yesterday when jockey Blake Shinn's trouser elastic snapped as he rode Miss Royale toward the finish line.
Even with his backside on full display, he managed to finish second, right in front of a horse named Modesty.
This stuff you can't make up.
And while it was embarrassing, it didn't affect him much. He won the last race of the day on a horse named Eisenhower.
This time, his pants stayed fully on.
Chewing with Chewie
For some reason, people are taking the #TwizzlerChallenge to help raise autism awareness.
I don't see the correlation, but if it helps, who am I to question it.
You take a Twizzler in your mouth, and place the other end of the Twizzler in your partner's mouth, and chew on it like the two dogs chewing on a strand of spaghetti in Lady & the Tramp.
Jimmy Kimmel kicked off Autism Awareness Month at the beginning of April by taking the challenge with Rihanna.
And then he challenged Star Wars: A Force Awakens director JJ Abrams to take the challenge - with the biggest hairiest hero of them all, Chewbacca.
The other night, the pair stepped up. Check out the video - and who they passed the challenge to...
Kanye Don't Play That
The thought that both Kanye West and Kim Kardashian made the list of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2015 is hard to swallow.
Maybe it's because we're only four months in to 2015, and other more influential people won't be stepping up their game until the summer or fall.
The other night, Time held its 100 Gala in New York, and on the red carpet, comedian Amy Schumer - in my eyes, a deserving recipient of the recognition - threw herself to the ground in front of Kimye.
Payback, in some respect, for Kanye's pranks at the Grammys with Taylor Swift a few years ago and Beck a few months ago.
And guess what? Kanye didn't like it one bit. He and Kim both frowned at Amy and moved along, not even bothering to help her up.
Dancing with the Crutches
Derek Hough, one of the professional dancers on Dancing with the Stars, got hurt on Monday night, and probably won't be on DWTS for a while.
Details are vague, but the injury involved stairs and a light according to his Instagram post.
He broke a toe in one foot, and badly sprained the ankle on the opposite leg.
He says he'll do what he can to recuperate quickly, but for now, he'll be off his feet.
Performing 10 shows a week at Radio City while rehearsing with Nastia for DWTS, I've never felt more healthy,strong and fit. But then a fluke accident happened that involved a light and some stairs. Can't believe it, wish I had a cooler story to tell. All that dancing , flipping , jumping and the thing that stops me in my tracks is something as simple as a light and some stairs . I'm doing everything I possibly can to have a quick recovery and I'm determined to come back stronger than ever. I appreciate all the love and support, you guys are the best. And thank you to Mark, BC Jean and Corky Ballas for staying with me at the hospital until 2am. Love you . This is new territory for me , I'm usually able to work through injury but this one has literally floored me. But like I said before I'm determined to come back all guns blazing ... soon!!! #setbackisasetupforacomeback
A photo posted by Derek Hough (@derekhough) on Apr 22, 2015 at 12:21pm PDT
Full House Coming Back
John Stamos made it official this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Netflix has sealed the deal on the return of Full House to television.
So far, according to John, all the original players have signed on - except for the Olsen Twins. But they said in an interview yesterday they'd just heard about it, which means they of course don't have Facebook.
There will be 13 episodes in the original run - a one-hour reunion show, spinning off into Fuller House.
This one will focus on DJ, a recently-widowed mother of three with a fourth on the way.
Sounds fall-down funny already, doesn't it?
But, if you recall the original, Danny Tanner's wife passed away young, leaving Danny and his brother-in-law and wacky comic friend to raise three daughters.
So who knows?
It seems like the world is excited about it, so why not us, right?
Popeye Bye Bye
A shift supervisor at a Popeye's in Texas claims she was fired for refusing to pay back money robbed from the store at gunpoint while she was in charge.
Popeye's says that's not 100% true - she was fired for having too much money in the cash register.
That would be $400 - according to the woman, about an hour's worth of chicken and biscuits on that particular evening.
So let that be a lesson to you: even if you've got 14 customers in line, you tell them all they have to wait, because you've got too darned much money in the register.
Y'all come back now, y'hear?
I'm surprised they didn't get mad at her for letting the guy jump on the counter.
New Instagram Standards?
Over the weekend, a woman in Scotland posted pictures of herself to Instagram, showing what her belly looked like after delivering twins.
Her account was deactivated by Instagram within two minutes, according to most sources, for violating Instagram's decency rules.
She's wearing a fairly modest bra and sweat pants. Her belly is fully exposed, showing her stretch marks.
This is indecent, according to Instagram.
Mostly naked pictures of the Kardashians, on the other hand, are completely okay.
Something ain't right here!
Instagram deletes pregnancy stretch mark pictures for 'breaching decency guidelines': Hannah Moore's account d... http://t.co/0N1o0BACJE
— bas (@hadopiland) April 19, 2015
Reds Coach Goes Blue
Bryan Price, manager of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team, is getting a little fed-up with the reporters who cover his team.
On Monday, he let loose on them - unleashing 77 F-bombs in the 5-minute or so process.
I didn't count them - a reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer did.
He was particularly miffed about a story in The Enquirer that reported a new catcher was on the way to the team that was published - actually, tweeted out - before the old catcher had been informed he was headed for the minors.
Feel free to count the number of beeps - because here's the edited version of the tirade, from SoundCloud.
Traveling Through Time to the Top
The new World Trade Center in New York City has created a very interesting journey on its 102-floor elevator ride to the top.
It shows a three-dimensional time-lapse history of the tip of Manhattan, starting 515 years ago in 1500 and going right up through today on the 47-second ride.
It's a pretty amazing ride. Check it out.
He started the Boston Marathon on Monday at 9 AM.
He finished the Boston Marathon on Tuesday at 5 AM.
Twenty hours, and every minute of it was an inspiration.
Michael Melamed, a 39-year-old professor from Venezuela, has muscular dystrophy.
And he runs marathons for charity, and to educate and inspire Venezuelan youth.
He's inspiring many others as well.
Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston
Novel Way to Catch a Foul Ball
It's the top of the 9th.
The first batter is up.
He swings and tips it foul toward the third-base side.
And a quick-thinking fan raises her cup of beer and makes the catch!
And downs the beer before any more spills.
Suddenly, guys throughout the country have found their dream girl!
Do Not Take the Kylie Jenner Challenge
Tweens and teens are doing it with alarming regularity, and they really need to stop.
Taking the Kylie Jenner Challenge, that is.
Using whatever means possible to try to achieve lips similar to Kylie Jenner's.
No one knows for sure if Kylie's lips are naturally the way they look, but if they're not, she's got plenty of money to get them that way.
Kids, on the other hand, usually don't, so they're relying on other methods - jars, bottles, cups, et cetera - to try to mimic the look.
And it's not going well, causing all sorts of issues, some of which end up with hospital visits.
Don't let this happen to you!
"#kyliejennerchallenge" omfg😂😷 https://t.co/P1E0OcmC4w
— kaitlyn (@kaitlyncrcknell) April 20, 2015
Obi Wan Candelabra
Insiders are reporting that Ewan McGregor is in final negotiations to play Lumiere - the candelabra who sings "Be Our Guest" - in the live action version of Beauty & the Beast.
He'll be joining Emma Watson as Belle and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, among others.
That means B&B will be uniting actors from the Star Wars, Harry Potter and X-Men franchises.
Could this mean a Beauty & the Beast franchise is about to be born?
The Force is New with the Young Ones
We've seen how some grown-ups have reacted to the new trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
What we haven't seen is how non-grown-ups react.
But now, the wait is over.
Check out this absolutely amazing and adorable video of very young kids watching the trailer, and reacting to it.
Miley Pastes Two on for Joan Jett
People wondered why Miley Cyrus was asked to induct Joan Jett into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Sunday night.
Afterwards, they were just wondering what happened to the rest of her top.
In typical outlandish Miley fashion, she wore a top with the breast areas removed - maybe designed to be missing, who knows.
And to cover up her sensitive areas, a pair of pink heart-shaped pasties with a J on them.
J J - for Joan Jett, get it?
Here's a full recap of the Miley Joan moments.
Jay Z's new streaming music service Tidal launched about a month ago.
Last week, they threw the company's chief executive officer overboard - one of 25 people laid off.
After a month.
The official word is that the company is "streamlining resources to ensure talent is maximized to enhance the customer experience."
A "handful of positions" were eliminated, allowing the company to refocus on departments that need support and to "cut redundancies."
Word is that Jay Z and other of the service's top names have been personally calling subscribers to thank them.
That doesn't sound desperate at all...
Tony Romo Continues to Struggle at Home
Bad enough that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo struggles year after year under center for America's Team.
On Sunday, he showed up at the Academy of Country Music Awards show to introduce Dierks Bentley.
But before he got to that, he had to do a little schtick with hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.
Watch the video, and tell me you wish you hadn't.
The crowd loved the ball jokes, deflated and otherwise, which just proves that the beer was flowing in Dallas Sunday night...
Most Excellent Photobomb Surprise
Imagine you're an 8-year-old kid taking an official school photograph.
And imagine the photographer showing you the picture on the screen of his camera.
There's a guy in the shot behind you, and he looks like...
That's exactly what happened to Joshua Bass when his dad returned from a year-long deployment overseas.
Dad photobombed Joshua's picture, and watch what happened...
ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos
Holy Parody, Batman!
You knew it would happen.
Following the less-than-impressive drop of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer over the weekend, you knew that folks would start having their fun with it.
This one happened sooner than I thought it would though.
An enterprising YouTuber took the audio of the real trailer, and mashed it up with video from the original Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve and the old Batman TV series starring Adam West.
And it is funny. Super funny.
Scientists have found a new species of frog in Costa Rica: the Glass Frog.
It's an amazing little amphibian, with a translucent belly that allows one to see its internal organs.
Of course, folks in the mainstream media have to dumb it down, so what does this new frog resemble.
Why Kermit, the Muppet frog, of course.
And leave it to Matt Lauer to put the icing on the dumb-down cake: "How convenient to be able to see all your organs, you know what's missing..."