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.
Nothing beats fresh from the garden corn on the cob. But this is one vegetable that takes up a lot of space for a small harvest. Each plant usually produces just one ear of corn. A healthy pest free plant may produce two. So get the most out of your harvest with proper planting and care.
Plant one of the newer cultivars that has sweeter longer-lasting flavor. Then plant the corn in blocks. This will improve the wind pollination and that means a bigger harvest.
Plant the seeds in rows an inch deep and 9 to 12 inches apart. You can maximize your planting with wide rows. Just leave 12 inches between plants and make sure you can reach all the plants within the wide row. Protect seeds from birds and speed germination by covering with floating row covers.
And before you know it you will be boiling that pot of water or stoking up the grill to cook your first ear of corn.
A bit more information: Poor germination or weak misshapen seedlings are usually the result of corn root maggot. Prevent the problem by planting at the proper time. Planting seed in cold wet soil slows germination and increases the risk of damage. Replant as needed.
No space for a garden? Don't worry you can add fruits to your patio, balcony or other small space landscape.
Try growing strawberries as a groundcover. The white flowers, edible red fruit and brilliant red fall color add sparkle to your landscape. Or grow them in a pot on your balcony or deck. They’ll be close at hand and easy to harvest a few for your breakfast cereal or afternoon snack.
And plant breeders are adding lots of new compact fruit varieties for small and large space gardeners to grow.
Raspberry shortcake is a small 2 to 3 feet tall and wide thornless plant perfect for small space gardeners and containers. You’ll be picking fresh tasty raspberries for most of the summer.
The new compact blueberries add pretty flowers, edible fruit and great fall color to your container and in-ground plantings. And the narrow upright Urban apple trees make managing and harvesting apples a breeze.
A bit more information: Expand your fruit garden by growing citrus in pots. The fragrant flowers and tasty fruit make a nice addition to the garden and your favorite beverage. Those in colder climates will need to move the plants indoors for the winter.
You can conserve energy and still grow healthy houseplants.
Light, water and nutrients are the keys to growing healthy plants. Many energy conscious indoor gardeners are concerned when considering replacing their windows with Low-E glass. Fortunately it only reduces the visible light needed by our plants by an additional 5 to 10%.
A side benefit to your plants is the Low-E glass moderates temperatures indoors keeping plants, especially those growing near windows, warmer at night and cooler during the day.
And no matter what type of glass is in the windows – keep them clean to maximize the amount of light reaching your plants.
Adjust your watering and fertilization practices to match the indoor growing conditions. Less light, lower humidity and the type of potting mix and containers used all impact the watering frequency and fertilizer needs.
A bit more information: Plants need a variety of light (color/wavelength) for proper growth and flowering. Blue light promotes leaf and stem growth, while red combined with blue promotes flowering and bud development.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
So you’ve found a plant that blooms all season, tolerates a wide range of growing conditions and needs little maintenance. Sound too good to be true? It probably is.
Lots of fast growing easy care plants are overly aggressive. They crowd out their more timid neighbors and often need concrete barriers or regular weeding to keep them in check.
Invasive plants go one step further. These plants leave the bounds of our landscape and invade our natural areas. They crowd out native plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife. These should be eliminated from gardens in regions where they are a threat.
And beware of bargain backyard plant sales. These are often filled with aggressive plants that have overrun the seller’s garden. Ask the seller about the aggressive nature of the plant before purchasing. Years of weeding is not worth the money saved on bargain plants.
A bit more information: A good example is common yarrow (Achillea millefolium). This perennial flower can be found in both weed and perennial books. It tolerates hot dry conditions and readily reseeds and spreads. Select less aggressive species and cultivars that do not reseed.
Celebrate National Frog Month by inviting insect and slug-eating toads and frogs into your garden.
Start by providing water. A pond at least 20 inches deep with gently sloping sides will work. Include water plants that provide oxygen, shelter from predators and weather and breeding sites.
Include a few rocks or logs in the pond for basking and a few alongside the water for shelter.
Build a rock pile in the garden. Select a location that receives sun and shade each day. Position the rock pile in more sun if your summers are cool and more shade if your summers are hot.
Line the bottom with stones for added protection from winter cold and leave cavities between some of the bottom rocks for nesting, shelter and hibernation. Use a pipe 1 to 2 inches in diameter and less than 2 feet to create an entryway.
A bit more information: Look, but do not touch the frogs and toads you attract to your landscape. Bug repellent, lotions and oils on your skin can harm these creatures. For more information see Oregon State University Extension’s publication Attract Reptiles and Amphibians to Your Yard.
What is white, red or yellow, can be eaten fresh, fried or even raw and is one of the most important staples of the human diet? If you guessed potato, you are right.
Grow your own in the garden, planting bag or containers. You can plant small potatoes or pieces of larger potatoes to start new plants. These contain "eyes" that grow into potato plants. You may have seen this happen on potatoes stored in the pantry. Buy certified seed potatoes at garden centers or from garden catalogues.
Cut whole or large seed potatoes into smaller pieces containing at least one good "eye". Plant them in a 2-3 inch deep furrow, 10 to 12 inches apart, leaving 24 to 36 inches between the plants. As the plants begin to grow, mound the nearby soil over the tubers until the rows are 4 to 6 inches high. Keep the planting weeded and wait for the harvest.
A bit more information: Save space and have some fun by growing your potatoes in a planting bag. Fill the bottom few inches of the bag with potting mix. Set the potato pieces on the mix. Cover with several inches of soil. As the potatoes grow, continue adding a couple of inches of soil at a time until the bag is full. Harvest by dumping the bag and lifting out your potatoes.
A walk through your garden this spring may reveal browning on both needled and broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs.
Winter winds and sun, exposure to deicing salt and record low temperatures are likely the cause. Evergreens continue to lose moisture through their leaves and needles throughout the winter. The winter sun and wind increase moisture loss. Those gardening in areas with frozen soil are likely to see the most damage.
But even those in warmer regions may see winter scorch on newly planted or exposed evergreen plants.
We can’t turn the needles and leaves green, but we can provide proper care to speed recovery. If the branches are pliable and buds plump you should see new growth this spring. Broadleaf evergreens will replace the brown leaves with fresh new growth. Brown needles will eventually drop and the new growth this spring may mask the damage.
Wait for warmer weather to see what if any new growth appears.
A bit more information: Once plants have started to show signs of new growth, you have a decision to make. Is the plant healthy and attractive enough to nurture and keep? Or, would you be better off starting with a new plant and one better suited to the growing conditions. A difficult decision, but one that can save you time, money and frustration in the long run.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus).
This slow growing small-scale tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. The slightly fragrant white flowers cover the plant in spring. The male plants produce slightly larger and showier flowers, but the female plants produce an abundance of blue fruit in late summer. Though the fruit is somewhat hidden by the leaves, the birds seem to have no problem finding and devouring it. But don’t worry however as they won’t leave behind a mess.
The fall color can vary from a good yellow to a yellowish green. And the smooth gray bark become ridged and furrowed with age.
Fringetree is hardy in zones 4 to 9, grows well in full sun to part shade and though it prefers moist fertile soil, it is adaptable to a much wider range of conditions. It can be found in nature growing along stream banks and the woodland edge.
A bit more information: Use fringetree as a small tree or large shrub, as a specimen plant, near buildings, or in mixed borders as an understory. And be patient in spring as it is late to leaf out.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
Celebrate April birthdays with a bouquet of daisies. This April birth flower symbolizes childhood innocence or according to the Farmer’s Almanac they were given between friends to keep a secret.
Many flowers share the common name daisy. It comes from the English name “days eye” referring to the fact many daisy flowers open during the day and close as the sun sets.
Bellis perennis, known as English daisy, is most often designated as the April birth flower. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8, grows about 6 inches tall and flowers from spring through mid summer.
You will find this plant listed as an attractive perennial or nasty weed. In the south the plants often burn out after flowering during the heat of summer. In cooler climates they are often dug after flowering to maximize enjoyment and minimize spread.
The young leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked.
A bit more information: Sweet peas are also considered the April birth flower. This is especially true in April. This flower represents modesty and simplicity.
Avoid sore and strained muscles that often arise after a long day in the garden. A few simple changes in your gardening habits can keep you gardening longer and with fewer aches, pains and strains.
Use long-handled tools to extend your reach and minimize bending and stooping. And if you need to get a bit closer to the ground, try placing only one knee on the ground or using a stool and keep your back straight.
Keep your tools handy by wearing a carpenter’s apron with lots of pockets or using a tool caddy. An old wagon, wheeled golf bag or trash can make moving long-handled tools a breeze.
Use foam or wrap your tool handles with tape to enlarge the grip and reduce hand fatigue. Or better yet, invest in ergonomically designed tools with larger cushioned grips. They are designed to position your body in a less stressful position, allowing you to work longer.
A bit more information: Further extend your energy by taking frequent breaks. Use sunscreen, wear a hat and drink lots of water. For more ideas, check out my 10 Pain-free Gardening tips.
Stop, don’t pull those pesky yellow flowered dandelions popping up in the lawn and garden. These beautiful flowers have not only been used as bouquets for mom and crowns for children, but have a long medicinal and edible history.
On April 5th, Dandelion Day, celebrate the benefits and beauty of this perennial plant many consider a weed. You’ll find this adaptable plant growing in a wide variety of locations.
The name dandelion comes from the French “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth. This refers to the leaves with their jagged tooth-like edges.
Dandelions are high in Vitamins A, B, C and D and were used by Native Americans for kidney disease, swelling and skin problems.
Harvest the young leaves in spring and add them to a salad or sauté with onions. Brighten up a salad with just the yellow portion of the flowers or ferment them into wine.
A bit more information: Dandelions are also known as 'wet-the-bed'. This refers to the old belief that just touching a dandelion can cause bed-wetting. This may be tied to the fact that dandelions have been used as a diuretic.
Celery, an unassuming vegetable has long been used as a flavorful ingredient in soups, stews and casseroles. You’ll also find it fresh on a relish tray or as a crunchy low calorie snack. Its value is being recognized and celebrated during April, National Celery Month.
This long season vegetable is difficult to grow in many areas. The plants are slow to germinate and the young transplants will bolt if subject to cool periods.
Grow celery in full sun with moist organic soil. Provide ample moisture and mulch to keep the soil moist throughout the season. Wrap or cover the stalks two weeks before harvest to blanch the stems for a milder flavor.
Or have a bit of fun and grow some celery from kitchen discards. Next time you chop up a bunch of celery for soup or stew, save the base and grow a new plant.
A bit more information: It’s easy to grow your own celery from kitchen discards. Save the base of the celery in a shallow dish of water or bury the bottom half in a well-drained potting mix to root. Set in a bright location. Keep water in the saucer or the soil mix moist until new growth appears. Pot up and move to a sunny location.
Ellen vs. Matt Escalates
We're at war, people.
Well, it's an early morning versus daytime war, between Matt Lauer and Ellen DeGeneres.
The most recent salvo is Matt's.
This comes after Ellen started jazzing up Matt's mornings with some racy Photoshopped clips.
Matt retaliated by filling Ellen's car with 20,000 ping pong balls.
Ellen sent her viewers to Rockefeller Plaza to test for Matt's tickle points.
And now, Matt paid to have billboards erected around Los Angeles, showing Ellen as a plumber, butt-crack and all.
Funny stuff. Even Ellen thinks so.
No telling what will be next though...
Look what I saw on my way to work today. Good one, @MLauer. #MattsRevenge pic.twitter.com/8QCUw5wqJM
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 16, 2015
Referee Trip & Fall Makes Highlight Reel
It's always funny to see someone take a fall - as long as the only thing hurt is a guy's ego, right?
The other night, NBA referee Joey Crawford took a center-court face-plant during the Toronto Raptors home game against the Charlotte Hornets.
It's tough to tell what he did - probably tripped over his own feet - but he did make a nice headfirst slide.
What better way to watch than with a continuous Vine, right?
Scary Road to the CMAs
Lady Antebellum's singer Hillary Scott was on her tour bus, heading to Dallas for a week of shows culminating in the Country Music Awards this Sunday night.
On Interstate 30 in Garland, a tire blew out and caused a fire.
Everyone got out safely, but Hillary lost many of her personal belongings.
Scary moments indeed. Glad to hear everyone's okay though.
50 Shades of... Wait! What Did You Do to Your Hair?
Dakota Johnson is between films right now.
She completed 50 Shades of Grey and was just about everywhere on the promotional tour.
And the word in the industry is that the sequel will start shooting fairly soon.
So what's up with the new haircut?
What has become her trademark Anastasia Steele long brown hair is now a bob.
Boom. Let's hope she had permission.
Check out the report from MM1 News. The read by the robotic and accented voice makes it almost hilarious.
The Force Continues to Awake...
Another official trailer is out for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, coming to theaters in December.
In this one, Luke narrates over a variety of images - "The force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too."
No one's saying who that you is - but I guess that's why they call this a teaser.
It's great to see Han and Chewbacca ever so briefly at the end.
I'm ready. How about you?
What's Going On at ESPN?
Seems like the folks who work at ESPN need to learn to keep their thoughts to themselves.
You'll remember Keith Olberman got in some trouble not too long ago for tweets he made about Penn State and a fundraising effort there.
Now ESPN reporter Britt McHenry got herself suspended for launching a tirade against a tow company's employee.
It's pretty nasty - if you want to watch it, you'll have to go to this link - but don't do it at work.
Britt apologized, but too little too late. She'll be off the air for a week.
Others are calling for her to be let go entirely. What do you think?
In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and (cont) http://t.co/Wx37XF2QtM
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) April 16, 2015
The Newest Avenger
Ellen DeGeneres breaks another Hollywood secret.
This time, it's all about the newest Avenger - the Honker.
Okay, it's Ellen, inserting herself into the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron as a joke-telling horn-honking superhero standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk and the rest of the gang.
This could make the movie even more interesting, don't you think?
Hard Enough to Play Real Drums...
It takes years to learn to play the drums. Even longer if you want to play them well.
Imagine how much more difficult it must be to play the drums well if you're a marionette.
Well, if you're the puppeteer manipulating the marionette, and the marionette is playing a drum set made of tin cans.
And the marionette has to keep up with Rush's classic "Tom Sawyer."
Impossible, you say? Think again and witness... It's pretty cool what's happening in this video.
Ah, Yes, the Buckingham Banana Peel!
The royal guards stationed outside Buckingham Palace in London are famous for their crisp movements and fierce focus.
Tourists try all the time to get them to laugh - even just to crack a smile - to no avail.
Which makes what happened on Tuesday even funnier.
During a routine changing of the guard, one soldier somehow managed to slip and fall while shifting to one side.
He got up quickly, but he was smiling a bit.
He stopped very quickly, but it was caught on someone's cell phone - of course - and now it's gone viral.
Have a look...
Carpool Karaoke, the Latest Craze
James Corden is starting off strong in his new gig on CBS's Late Late Show.
Strong guests, strong performances, and strong skits.
Like this one, where he's carpooling with Jennifer Hudson.
When songs come on the radio, they have no choice but to sing along, now do they?
And when they pull in to a drive-through, why not let Jennifer Hudson sing the order for you?
All that and more. Funny stuff.
Josh & Kelly Team Up for Phantom Duet
If you're a fan of musical theater, you're of course familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera and one of its more beautiful tunes, "All I Ask of You."
It's a haunting tune, really, and somewhat operatic.
Enter Josh Groban and his new album, "Stages" - his salute to musical theater.
He tackles the role of Raoul, opposite Kelly Clarkson's Christine.
This is not your typical Phantom, and there's not a thing wrong with that.
Give a listen.
The Epitome of TMI
Okay, maybe E! is starting to reach on its reality shows.
Their show, Botched, features plastic surgery nightmares.
And last night's season premiere focused on Tiffany Pollard, the self-professed queen of reality TV.
The star of VH1's Flavor of Love decided to get breast augmentation surgery when she hit the big time - no pun intended - inspired by Dolly Parton.
She's none too happy about the outcome, and of course, being the queen of reality TV, she doesn't mind sharing her story.
I'm sort of wishing she hadn't...
Hail to You, Robin Williams
Jamie Costa is a comic/ actor from South Carolina.
He's making a name for himself with celebrity impressions.
And this week, he released a reel of impressions of Robin Williams in a variety of roles.
Twenty of them, to be precise - from Mork to Teddy Roosevelt and many others in between.
He calls it his "tribute to the man whose spark ignited my passion."
Pretty good work, if I do get to pass judgment...
Oh No Pokemon Didn't...
File this one under Seriously?
A number of websites are reporting that the Creflo Dollar Ministries - that's a guy's name, by the way - has conducted a study that determined that Pokemon, the cartoon of the 80s and 90s, pointed children who were teenagers in that era toward homosexuality.
The quote most often seen: teens ”had their sexuality warped by Ash and his fruity friends.”
How about that?
And here I thought it was Tinky Winky the Purple Teletubby who was responsible for turning kids gay...
Milk Milk Lemonade
Amy Schumer's the hottest thing in comedy these days.
Her concerts sell-out. She was a hit hosting the MTV Movie Awards over the weekend.
She wrote and starred in Trainwreck.
And her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, starts a new season.
They're calling her the new Queen of Shocking TV Comedy.
And here's the promo for her show - "Milk Milk Lemonade" - sort of a very grown-up version of "All About That Bass."
Think twice before opening this one up at work...
Inside Amy Schumer
Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Jake Caputo's a man with an idea.
He tweeted out a message to the world asking people what they'd pay for a standalone HBO streaming service.
He even set up a website in 2012 called takemymoneyhbo.com.
And it looks like HBO was listening. And now they're ready to talk seriously with Jake - and take his money.
Who better to collect, than Paulie Walnuts and Big Pussy from The Sopranos, am I right?
Check out this promo!
Game of the Holy Grail
Game of Thrones is back, and all is well with the world.
Well, unless you live in Westeros. Or on The Wall.
But it's Game of Thrones.
In honor of that, here's a little Throwback Thursday fun.
What if Monty Python & The Holy Grail were a real fantasy film, instead of a comedy fantasy film produced by the coolest comedy troupe of all time?
Would it look something like this? Why yes, I think it would...
Cookie Meets Cookie
When Taraji P. Henson hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, some writer had a stroke of genius.
Insert her character from Empire - Cookie Lyon - into a show that already had a character named Cookie - Sesame Street.
The result is pretty brilliant, with a new Cookie Monster shaking thinkgs up on the street we all know and love.
Them's Fightin' Words
It didn't take long for Hillary Clinton's potential Republican opponents to come out swinging after her Sunday announcement that she'll be running for President on the Democratic side.
Rand Paul published a slickly-done apocalyptic message, warning about what would happen if Hillary weren't defeated.
Very Orwellian, or Hunger Games, or something like that.
Check out the picture they use of Hillary at about the 10-second mark.
Does she remind you a bit of Auntie Em from The Wizard of Oz?
How Yucky Was It?
Coachella's known for having some weird things happen.
Could be the weirdest thing happened this weekend, when Madonna shared the stage - and more - with Drake.
In the middle of a song, Madonna grabbed the seated Drake's head, tilted it back and locked lips big time.
We're not talking a peck here, or a friendly little kiss.
No, it was more like mouth-to-mouth.
And when it was done, Drake doesn't look any too happy.
Check out the video... and be sure to listen for Drake's heavily-bleeped response...
The Kardashian Invasion Continues
Kim and Khloe Kardashian continued their whirlwind tour of Mother Armenia - that's what they're calling it.
They met with the Prime Minister of Armenia, because, as you know, they are quite important Armenian American dignitaries.
At some point, Kim spotted an elderly woman in the crowd. According to the story, the woman had been waiting for 12 hours to meet the Kardashians, leaning on her cane the whole while.
No word from the woman if she thought Kim's hug was worth the wait.
It was an honor to meet the Prime Minister of Armenia, Hovik Abrahamyan who expressed how proud they are that we are proud Armenians and we have not forgotten our roots! #NeverForget
A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Apr 9, 2015 at 9:33pm PDT
Something Bugging You?
Seems like Hollywood is cranking out every Marvel comic character in the library.
Next up: Ant Man, starring Paul Rudd.
Paul plays a thief turned hero who's able to shrink in size and increase in strength and speed.
And of course, he has to save the world.
Otherwise, what's the point?
And having Michael Douglas on board as the scientist who makes Ant Man possible - that's just a bonus.
Pink Puts the Haters in Their Place
People think it's okay to take shots at anyone for anything.
On Saturday night, Pink went to a benefit to celebrate a friend's recognition "for her tireless efforts and stellar contributions to the eradication of cancer."
But all people could tweet about was Pink and her black dress and how she looked fat.
Pink took it in stride and issued the most polite "shut up" in history.
"While I admit that that dress didn't photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful. So, my good and concerned peoples, please don't worry about me. I'm not worried about me. And I'm not worried about you either:)… I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern. Love, cheesecake."
And then a little frosting on the cake...
and my hubby says "it's just more to love baby" (and then I smack his hand off my booty cause we're in a supermarket) pic.twitter.com/Mnd6PIoKhK
— P!nk (@Pink) April 13, 2015
"I've Been Trying to Teach Him to Blend In"
I've got to admit it. When I heard they were making a new Terminator movie that included Arnold Schwarzenegger, I wasn't expecting much.
I mean, the guy's 67, and the original Terminator came out over 30 years ago.
But watching this trailer for Terminator: Genisys, I might have to change my mind.
Some mind-boggling time-travel sci fi here, but the moment when now-Schwarzenegger goes toe-to-toe with then-Schwarzenegger could be worth the price of admission.
Who's with me?
Watching It Live Takes the Glamor Away
Every time you see a glamorous photo, don't you think how cool it must be to be a celebrity on the red carpet of some posh event?
Look at the photo of Jennifer Lopez that's part of this blog.
It was taken on the runway of last night's MTV Movie Awards. Breezy, serious, all-business but stylish too.
Now watch the footage of her as that shot and a whole bunch of others are snapped.
Poor woman must need a break by the end of it all. And she still has a whole awards show to sit through...
Jennifer Lopez 2015 MTV Movie Awards by maximotv