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.
Holes in the leaves of bean plants mean insects have moved in to share the harvest. Don’t fret there are some easy ways to manage these pests.
Several insects can feed on bean plants and their pods. The bean leaf beetle, Mexican bean beetle and spotted cucumber beetle are the most common.
The bean beetle is ¼ inch long, yellow-green to red with four black dots on its back. High populations can devastate a planting. Cover plantings with floating row covers to keep the insects off. Firmly secure the edges to prevent the beetles from crawling underneath.
The Mexican bean beetle is a bit larger and can be yellow or coppery brown with 16 black dots. The immature stage, larvae, is orange or yellow, fuzzy and rather hump-backed. Remove and destroy any of the insects and their bright yellow eggs that you find.
A thorough clean up in the fall will reduce future problems. A bit more information: The spotted cucumber beetle can also be found nibbling on your bean plants. It is long and narrow, yellowish green with black spots. Remove insects as found or use one of the more eco-friendly products like Neem, if needed.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
Expand your perennial plant collection or share a family heirloom with friends and family. Root cuttings of butterfly weed, bleeding heart and oriental poppies to start new plants to share.
Take root cuttings of most fleshy rooted perennials in late winter or early spring before growth begins. Wait until after the bleeding heart has stopped flowering and oriental poppies go dormant to make these root cuttings.
Start by raking the soil away from the base of the plant so that several roots are exposed.
Use a sharp knife to remove several roots. Cover the remaining roots and water the plant.
Cut the roots into 2 to 3 inch segments. Lay them on a well-drained potting mix, moist sand or other rooting media. Cover the roots and keep the rooting media moist but not wet.
New growth should appear in several weeks. Young plants can be moved into the garden or container in a sheltered location.
A bit more information: Division is the easiest way to start new plants. Simply use a sharp spade to dig the plant and lift it out of the ground. Use a sharp linoleum knife, drywall saw or two garden forks to cut the original plant into several small pieces.
Add a bit of the tropics to your patio or indoor garden with a Medinilla Plant.
This Philippine native is a relative newcomer to the North American garden scene. It produces exotic pink flowers several times a year. The colorful buds slowly open and expand into a spike covered with pink flowers and bracts.
Grow your plant in bright light indoors or indirect sunlight outside. Water thoroughly whenever the soil just starts to dry. You’ll water less often in the winter.
Pour off any excess water that collects in the saucer or use a gravel tray to elevate the pot above the water. This will save you time and improve the growing conditions by adding humidity around your plant.
Only fertilize actively growing Medinilla plants. Use a dilute solution of a flowering plant fertilizer whenever your plant needs a nutrient boost.
Keep plants indoors when outside temperatures are below 54 degrees F (12 degrees C).
A bit more information: Remove faded flowers as your Medinilla finishes blooming. Fertilize regularly as the plant produces new growth. Once stems are at least 10 inches long you can start the reblooming process. Move your plant to a cooler location with temperatures about 64 degrees F (17 degrees C). Continue to provide bright light throughout the reblooming process. Move back to its original location once the buds are at least 1 inch long. For more information visit http://www.medinilla.ca/plant-care.html
You wait all winter for your asparagus harvest and so do the common and spotted asparagus beetles.
These common pests of asparagus feed on the emerging stems causing browning, scarring and crooking of the stems. Later in the season the larvae of the common asparagus beetle feed on the foliage. Severe defoliation can weaken the plants.
Both beetles are about ¼ inch long and oval in shape. The common asparagus beetle is bluish black with cream-colored spots while the spotted asparagus beetle is reddish orange with black spots.
Start watching for these pests as soon as the asparagus peeks through the ground. Remove and drop the beetles and their worm-like larvae into a container of soapy water. Smash any of the eggs as soon as they are discovered.
Avoid chemicals as these also kill the parasitic wasp that helps control these pests. A little time controlling these insects means a bigger and better tasting harvest.
A bit more information: Control the weeds and you will also increase your harvest. Regular removal and mulching will keep annual weeds under control. Quackgrass and other perennial weeds require more persistence to remove these from the garden.
Cilantro by Melinda Myers,posted Jun 20 2014 4:24PM
Add some flavor and potassium to your family meals with a bit of homegrown cilantro.
Plant transplants or sow seeds directly in the garden after the danger of frost has passed. Cilantro grows best in full sun, cool temperatures and well-drained soil. Gardeners in cooler climates can sow seeds every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the summer for continual harvest. Those with hotter summers will have the best results growing cilantro in the cooler temperatures of spring, fall and even winter in some areas.
Harvest the leaves back to the ground when they are at least 4 to 6 inches long. Only harvest a third of the plant to allow it to keep producing. After several harvests or as temperatures warm the plant will set seed. After the white flowers fade, green seeds appear and eventually turn brown. Harvest and use the seeds, they are the herb known as coriander, or allow them to drop to the ground and sprout new plants.
A bit more information: The 2006 All American Selection Award Winner Delfino Cilantro has fine ferny foliage. It branches freely, producing more leaves to harvest and enjoy. Plus, it tends to form flowers and seeds later than other varieties.
Put down the weeder and break out the harvest basket. The weed you are trying to kill may be a tasty addition to your salads and sandwiches.
Purslane is an aggressive annual weed that can be found anywhere from cultivated gardens to vacant patches of earth. It grows flat on the ground with thick succulent leaves similar to a jade plant. It spreads by stem pieces and seeds that can last for up to 40 years in the soil. You’ll see more of this weed during hot dry summers.
Harvest young plants and use the leaves fresh in salads and on sandwiches. Stir-fry, puree or steam the leaves and use it as a spinach substitute. Just don’t overcook as it gets a bit slimy.
Be sure to wash the plants before eating and only harvest plants growing in areas where pesticides, including weed killers, have not been used.
If you become a fan of purslane, consider purchasing the seed of varieties bred for better flavor.
A bit more information: If you decide to control this weed, pull the plant before it goes to seed. Then mulch the soil with a one to two inch layer of shredded leaves or evergreen needles to help prevent the seeds from sprouting.
Celebrate National Pollinator week June 16th to 23rd by adding a few new bee-friendly plants to your garden. Both our native bees and the honeybees are important to our gardens and food supply.
Borage is an annual herb that grows 24 to 36 inches tall and is topped with beautiful blue flowers. It can be used for seasoning meat, the flowers can be candied and the leaves are steeped to make tea.
Calendula also known as pot marigold thrives in full sun and cooler temperatures. The bees will enjoy the nectar and you can harvest the white, yellow or orange flowers for cooking in soups and stews.
Goldenrod is not the cause of hayfever, but is a favorite of bees and other beneficial insects. The bright yellow flowers combine nicely with asters for a beautiful fall display.
And put away the pesticides. These products can kill the good insects as effectively as the bad guys.
A bit more information: Further help the bees by providing the raw materials they need for nesting. Leave a few small brush piles, dried grasses, reeds and deadwood for the wild bees. Or invest in one of the bee houses or beneficial nesting boxes like those available at Gardener’s Supply.
Looking for the perfect gift for dad? Consider the gift of time.
Help him enjoy gardening more or reduce time spent gardening, so he has more time to fish, golf or just relax under a shade tree.
Look for tools that make dad’s job easier and fun. Convert an old snow sled into a nifty plant sled. Add a longer secure rope so he can drag heavy items across the lawn. Or maybe that old wagon can be painted and find a second life as a means of moving watering cans and bags of mulch around the landscape.
Buy a stand-alone tool caddy or one that wraps around a five gallon bucket. Fill it with a hand pruner, Dee Weeder, pair of gloves or any of those small gardening tools that seem to disappear when needed.
And add a garden journal where he can not only record his garden successes, but also his secrets to share.
And don’t forget to offer your time to help him with weeding, mowing or whatever garden chore he least enjoys.
A bit more information: Here are a few other projects that will help dad be organized and save time in the garden. Purchase a plastic container with a lid for all of his seeds. Organize seeds alphabetically, label with dividers and take inventory. This way he can store seeds in the fridge to maintain their viability, quickly find seeds he needs and reference the inventory when seed shopping at the garden center or from a catalogue.
Looking for an easy indoor flowering plant? Try adding bromeliads to your collection.
These long blooming beauties require minimal care. Many bromeliads are epiphytes, naturally growing on trees and gathering nutrients and water from the environment, not by parasitizing the plants they live upon. You will find bromeliads at garden centers and florists mounted on boards, rocks or growing in well-drained potting or orchid mix.
Water the plants often enough to prevent the roots from drying out. Those bromeliads with a rosette of leaves that form a vase or tank absorb the water more efficiently through their leaves. So be sure to keep water in the leaf “tank” to keep these thriving.
Fertilize actively growing plants during the growing season with a dilute solution of flowering houseplant fertilizer. Once the flowers fade, the parent plant begins to decline. Don’t worry - new plants will soon appear.
A bit more information: Divide and repot the young plants that form as the parent plant declines. Once these plants reach maturity they can be forced to flower. Place a piece of an apple and the plant in a sealed plastic bag for three days. Remove and wait for flowers to form.
Is your garden looking a bit drab? It’s time to liven things up with a few new plant combinations.
Pair plants with opposite features to create a focal point and add a bit of pizazz to the landscape.
Start with color. Pairing plants with colors on the opposite side of the color wheel is sure to grab your attention. Blue salvia and yellow coreopsis, purple heliotrope and orange blackberry lily are just a few examples.
Look for opportunities to add some interesting textures. The fine leaves of ornamental grass are great against the bolder leaves of Canna. Or, mix Russian sage with your coneflowers.
And look for interesting and contrasting forms. Plant tall spiky speedwells next to round flowered zinnias or set a squatty round birdbath in front of a stand of tall hollyhocks. These contrasting combinations emphasize each partner’s unique features.
A bit more information: The same design strategy works in the shade. Combine the yellow daisy flowers of Leopard’s bane with the spiky blue flowers of Camassia. Or try mixing Japanese Forest grass (Hakonechloa) in front of a big blue leafed hosta
For more ideas on design strategies, click here.
It’s National Gardening Exercise Day, so get out and workout in your garden today!
Whether you have a large landscape, small city lot or garden in containers, indoors or out, you will burn calories, lower your blood pressure and improve your mood through gardening.
Plus, you will be nurturing beautiful flowers for bouquets and fresh fruits and vegetables for your dinner table.
No garden? Then plant one. Consider planting a pot of your favorite grilling herbs to grow right next to the grill. Or plant a pot or patch of black and blue salvia, cuphea, also known as cigar plant, and fuchsias to bring hummingbirds to your garden. And don’t overlook the benefit of growing tomatoes and peppers in a garden or container. They provide lots of vitamins and antioxidants – a perfect complement to your garden workout.
Make sure to follow a sensible routine, just like your workout at the gym.
A bit more information: Warm up with slow gentle motions. Then ramp up your garden workout with a few lunges as you weed. And be sure to finish gardening with some gentle stretches and slower movement.
Add some chocolate to your diet and garden without adding all those calories.
Chocolate mint is an easy to grow plant with a strong minty fragrance and flavor topped off with a hint of chocolate. It makes the perfect garnish for desserts and as an ingredient in tea, ice cream, mojitos and anything chocolate.
Like most mints this is an aggressive plant. Grow it in a pot on your patio, deck or porch to keep it accessible and contained. Place your pot of mint in full sun or partial shade. It prefers cool moist soils, but as most gardeners have discovered, it tolerates a variety of conditions.
Harvest leaves and sprigs of your chocolate mint as needed throughout the season. Don’t be timid - the more you harvest the more new stems and leaves will be produced. This fresh new growth has the best flavor.
Store sprigs of fresh mint in a glass of water or dry and wrap in plastic in the refrigerator.
A bit more information: Make larger harvests for drying and freezing just as the flowers begin to appear. You’ll get the greatest concentration of flavor. Larger harvests will not weaken the plant. Watch for fresh new growth and continue to harvest as needed.
The from-the-garden-to-the-table movement is not just about fruits and vegetables. Edible flowers like roses can provide beauty in a vase or on your dinner plate.
Rose petals are edible fresh in a salad, seeped in tea or cooked into jam and bakery. The flavor varies with the variety and weather conditions, but you may taste a hint of strawberries or green apples when munching on a rose petal.
Harvest petals from recently opened flowers. Remove the individual petals and cut out the often bitter portion at the base. Spritz the petals with water to wash off bugs and dust. Pat dry then use fresh or dry for future use.
Make sure no pesticides have been applied to or near the plants and that they have not been exposed to roadside pollutants.
Leave some flowers on the plant to enjoy and develop into fruit that is decorative, edible and high in Vitamin C.
A bit more information: Harvest rose hips when they are fully colored, and better yet, after a light frost when they are sweetest. Use to make tea, candy, sauce, jams and jellies.
But Can She Sing Country?
The Academy of Country Music Awards were presented in Dallas last night at the AT&T Stadium.
So many great performances.
But this one had me shaking my head a little.
Country legends Rascal Flatts teamed up with pop star Christina Aguilera.
Both wonderful acts in their own rights.
But together? I don't know. Something doesn't seem quite right.
What do you think?
Amazing Baseball Improvisation
Here's something you don't see every day.
Better yet, here's something you hardly ever see.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester fielded a line drive back to him, and the ball got caught in the webbing of his glove.
Rather than fight with it, he took the glove off and tossed it and the ball to the first baseman.
The first baseman dropped his own mitt, caught Lester's, never dropped the ball, and the runner was out.
Check it out.
Let It Go, Senator!
This is sort of cool - pun unintended.
Senator Pat Roberts was questioning a witness at a Senate hearing on Thursday, and in the middle of the testimony, his cell phone rang.
His ringtone? "Let It Go," from Disney's Frozen.
The senator earned a few chuckles as he turned off the phone and told the witness to just "let it go."
Funny stuff... Check out the video, and the senator's follow-up tweet.
Somebody had to tell the Obama Administration to "Let it go." #forthegrandkids
— Pat Roberts (@SenPatRoberts) April 16, 2015
There's been a lot of buzz about the Batman v Superman movie, especially centered on Ben Affleck's casting as the Dark Knight.
But if the recently leaked and then released trailer for the movie is any indication, maybe Ben Affleck's not a problem.
I've watched the trailer a half-dozen times, hoping to get as excited about it as with others released recently for other films.
But I can't. It looks dark and disturbing.
Isn't the job of a trailer to help make the film look the best it possibly can?
The movie's not coming out for another year or so, so maybe they'll have the chance to fix things up...
What's This Ad For Again?
Okay, I get it.
It's an ad for a woman's personal grooming project.
But it takes a couple of times to figure it out.
And upon reflection, is that the best area to introduce to a power tool?
Meanwhile, I might get one to handle my unruly Bonsai bushes...
Where Did I Put Those Beanie Babies?
You're walking through a yard sale and you spot a purple Beanie Baby.
Remember those little stuffed animals from the 90s that were all the rage? People collected them in the hopes that some day, they'd be worth much more than the face value.
That didn't pan out, so they ended up in bins and bags in basements all around the world.
Lots of them pop up in yard sales.
So a couple in Cornwall, England spotted a purple one, and recognized it as a fairly rare one - a Princess Di Beanie Baby.
He grabbed it up, paying about $15 for it. And when he researched it, he found it was one of only 100 made, and could be worth up to $93,000.
Now where did I put those Beanie Babies?
The All-Right is Strong with this One!
This is just too good not to share.
The internet is going nuts with everyone's reaction to the latest trailer for the new Star Wars film.
And then comes this mash-up, putting a scene from Interstellar together with the trailer, making it look like Matthew McConaughey is watching and reacting to it.
And it's amazing.
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.