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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.


Lawn Disease: Fairy Ring

A ring of mushrooms or one of dark green grass is a sign fairy ring disease has moved into the lawn.

The fairy rings can vary from a few inches to a few feet in diameter. This fungus feeds on old roots, thatch and stumps not the grass. It can, however, cause droughty patches in the lawn. The thick fungal mass prevents water from reaching the grass roots.
 
Living with the problem is the easiest solution. Water infested areas slowly, thoroughly and often enough to penetrate the fungal mat and combat drought stress. Rake or mow to destroy the mushrooms as they form to improve the appearance and reduce the temptation to kids and pets.
 
Determined gardeners can remove infested soil and replace with fresh disease-free topsoil. Carefully remove the soil 12 inches below and slightly wider than the ring being careful not to drop any infected soil on the lawn.
 
A bit more information: The name fairy ring is the results of many folktales and lore. Some cultures believe the fairy rings mark the spot where fairies danced while others believed there was a connection to witch dances and the devil.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to garden videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com.


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10/04/2013 3:47PM
Lawn Disease: Fairy Ring
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Eco-friendly Control of Thrips
Poorly developed flowers, stunted plants and silvery streaks on leaves are indications thrips may be feeding on your plants. These tiny insects have file-like mouthparts they use to puncture the outer surface of leaves, stems and flowers and suck out plant sap. They are very small and difficult to detect. Hold a white piece of paper under the plant and shake. Or remove the petals of damaged flowers, place in a sealed jar with 70% alcohol and shake the jar to dislodge and detect the pests. Control is difficult and often not needed as the damage is discovered after the thrips have finished feeding. Provide the proper growing conditions and care for your plants. Avoid excess nitrogen that promotes lush succulent growth these pests prefer. And remove spent flowers that tend to harbor the insects. Manage weeds in the garden and keep thrip-susceptible plants away from weedy areas where the pest populations tend to be high. A bit more information: Beneficial insects like predatory thrips, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs and some parasitic wasps feed upon plant damaging thrips. Invite these good bugs into the garden by planting a diversity of plants and avoiding persistent pesticides. Visit the University of California IPM online for more details on this pest. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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