Facebook Twitter Text iPhone Android Blackberry
Mike Mason

The Garden Mix




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.


Learn More & Celebrate Daisy Flower Month

Brighten up your day and celebrate Daisy Flower Month with a visit to your favorite florist.

Daisies are members of the largest plant family known as Asteraceae (formerly Compositae).

Though we call the perky white bloom with the yellow center a flower, it is really a collection of flowers. The center of the daisy is a collection of tubular flowers known as disk florets. These are the less showy, but fertile, reproductive parts of the flower that can produce seeds. The showy parts we call petals are really ray florets. Together they make up the inflorescence known as a head or capitulum.

Now that you know what you are looking at, you may also be interested in knowing that daisy flowers stand for innocence and purity as well as new beginnings.

So go out and buy a bouquet of daisies. Be sure to pick up a few extra flowers, so you and the youngsters in your life can make a few daisy chain necklaces and crowns.

A bit more information: Mums and asters are other popular members of the Asteracea family, formerly known as the Compositae. This plant family has over 23,600 species of herbaceous plants (flowers, herbs, vegetables), shrubs and trees.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest
Social :


Share This: | More


 

Native Steeplebush Adds Beauty and Attracts Butterflies

It’s not your common spirea found in many commercial and home landscapes; but rather it’s less utilized relative and North American native shrub known as steeplebush or hardhack (Spiraea tomentosa).

This adaptable shrub is hardy in zones 3 to 8.  It prefers full sun, acidic sandy soils with wet to moist conditions, but it will tolerate light shade and a wide range of soils.
 
Steeplebush grows 2 to 4 feet tall and much wider as its suckering nature allows it to form colonies. This makes it a great choice for pond side plantings, hedges, natural areas, rain gardens and bank stabilization.
 
The spires of pink flowers appear from mid-summer into fall. Light deadheading will encourage more bloom. The attractive flowers help attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It’s a nectar source for the rare Karner Blue butterfly and the leaves are a favorite food for several caterpillars and moths.
 
A bit more information: Another native spirea, Meadowseet (Spiraea alba), produces spires of white flowers and is hardy in zones 3 to 7. It makes a great cut flower and is a butterfly favorite.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments
Share This: | More


 

Managing Invasive Plants



Buckthorn, honeysuckle and Tree of Heaven are just a few of the landscape plants that have left the garden and invaded our natural spaces.
These aggressive plants outcompete and crowd out our native plants, destroying the food and habitat needed by wildlife. They also invade our gardens, crowding out desirable plants.

Many gardeners are reluctant to remove them as they provide privacy or screen a bad view. Plant a garden or hedge to take its place and get busy removing these invaders.

Pull or dig small seedlings as soon as they appear. Or remove a 6 inch strip of bark around the base of the plant.
You can also cut the plant to the ground in fall and treat the stump with a brush killer recommended for this purpose. Or paint the bottom 12 inches of the trunk with a brush killer. This prevents the roots from re-sprouting.
As always read and follow label directions carefully.

A bit more information:  Aggressive plants, unlike invasive plants, crowd out their neighboring plants, but do not leave the bounds of the landscape.  Avoid aggressive plants, if space and time are limited. Or limit aggressive plants spread by growing them in small contained beds or containers. And do not plant invasive plants that will take you years to eliminate in your yard and nearby natural areas.  For a list of the more common invasive plants, click here.  
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 (0) Comments


Share This: | More


 

Mexican Mint or Cuban Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus)

Add some fragrance to your indoor and outdoor gardens with Mexican mint also known as menthol plant or Cuban oregano.

This fast grower quickly reaches a height of 6 to 18 inches and a width of three feet. Grow it in containers, as a groundcover or in the herb or flower garden.
 
This member of the mint family thrives indoors in bright light with a bit of afternoon shade in hot sunny windows. Outdoors grow it in dappled shade with fertile well-drained soil.
 
The aromatic foliage provides a nice backdrop for the lilac-pink, mauve or white flowers that appear in summer.
 
Start new plants by dividing mature plants into smaller pieces or from stem cuttings. This is a great way to enjoy the plant indoors and out. Start cuttings several weeks before its time to move them outdoors. This plant is hardy in zones 9 to 11 and thrives in warm air and soil.
 
A bit more information: The fragrant menthol mint plant is a cousin to the long time favorite Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis). This trailing houseplant is grown for its foliage. It also makes an attractive spiller (trailing plant) in container gardens.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments


Share This: | More


 

Mexican Mint or Cuban Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus)

Add some fragrance to your indoor and outdoor gardens with Mexican mint also known as menthol plant or Cuban oregano.

This fast grower quickly reaches a height of 6 to 18 inches and a width of three feet. Grow it in containers, as a groundcover or in the herb or flower garden.
 
This member of the mint family thrives indoors in bright light with a bit of afternoon shade in hot sunny windows. Outdoors grow it in dappled shade with fertile well-drained soil.
 
The aromatic foliage provides a nice backdrop for the lilac-pink, mauve or white flowers that appear in summer.
 
Start new plants by dividing mature plants into smaller pieces or from stem cuttings. This is a great way to enjoy the plant indoors and out. Start cuttings several weeks before its time to move them outdoors. This plant is hardy in zones 9 to 11 and thrives in warm air and soil.
 
A bit more information: The fragrant menthol mint plant is a cousin to the long time favorite Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis). This trailing houseplant is grown for its foliage. It also makes an attractive spiller (trailing plant) in container gardens.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments


Share This: | More


 

Attract Beneficial Insects with Spotted Bee Balm (Monarda punctata)

Many gardeners know and grow bee balm (Monarda dydima), but its beautiful mildew resistant cousin spotted bee balm is often overlooked.

You’ll know it’s a bee balm by its unique, almost Dr. Seuss-like flowers.  The small creamy yellow flowers appear between layers of white to lavender leaf bracts.  The flowers appear throughout the summer and even longer with a bit of deadheading.
 
You’ll also find various bees, butterflies and beneficial insects visiting this native plant. The beneficial insects feed on or parasitize aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs helping to minimize the damage done by these garden pests.
 
Grow spotted bee balm in full sun or partial shade and well- drained soil. It is drought tolerant once established, resistant to powdery mildew and the deer tend to leave it be.
 
Use this zone 3 to 8 hardy perennial in wildflower or perennial gardens or to naturalize a sunny, fast draining slope.
 
A bit more information: Reduce mildew problems on Monarda dydima with proper siting and care. Grow it in full sun with good air circulation. Thin the plantings in spring to increase light and air penetration. Then mask infested leaves with slightly shorter nearby plantings.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest
Social :


Share This: | More


 

Dry Bottle Garden (Plant Cacti and Succulents in a Wine Bottle)

Put those empty wine bottles to work as containers for cacti and succulents.
 
All you need is an empty bottle, a well-drained potting mix and a few small succulents.  Cut an opening into the side of the bottle or purchase a precut bottle.

Place gravel on the bottom for added interest. Keep in mind that once excess water fills the gravel base the soil can become water logged and lead to root rot.  So water carefully.
 
Fill with a well drained potting or cacti and succulent mix. My friends and authors of Planting Designs for Cactus and Succulents recommend mixing dark horticulture sand for drainage into a potting mix without perlite. You’ll have a more aesthetically pleasing display. 
 
Plant your wine bottle garden and place on a support to prevent your garden from rolling off the table.  One simple method uses two corks and strong wire to create a cradle for your bottle garden.
 
A bit more information: For more ideas on displaying cacti and succulents see Planting Designs for Cactus and Succulents by Sharon Asakawa and John Bagnasco with Shaun Buchanan and Robyn Foreman.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments


Share This: | More


 

Gardener’s Tool Kit; Pruning Tools

Before you head out to the garden to do a bit of pruning, make sure you have the right tool for the job.
 
Use a bypass hand pruner for deadheading and pruning woody stems up to ¾ of an inch in diameter. These pruners have two sharp blades like scissors, resulting in a clean cut that closes quickly. Look for a quality pruner with replaceable blades.
Employ a bypass lopper to extend your reach when pruning small trees, shrubs and roses. Most loppers cut branches up to 2 inches in diameter. Those with longer handles give you greater leverage. And some have ratcheting devices to increase the cutting power with less effort on your part.
Invest in a small pruning saw for larger stems and branches. Foldable pruning saws have short blades to reach into tight places. The blade tucks into the handle for safekeeping and to reduce storage space.
A bit more information:  A cordless reciprocating saw with the thin pruning blade allows great access and increased power. This is helpful when pruning suckering shrubs and other narrowly spaced stems and branches.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments
Tags :  
Topics : Human Interest
Social :


Share This: | More


 

Burgundy Shamrock for St Patrick’s Day & Beyond



Add a little purple to your green this St Patrick’s Day by planting a burgundy shamrock plant, botanically known as Oxalis 'Triangularis’.
This beauty makes a great indoor plant or addition to the woodland garden, container plantings and flower border outdoors.  Burgundy shamrock plant grows 6 to 12 inches tall and wide. The burgundy leaves are topped by dainty pale pink flowers, adding to its ornamental appeal.
 
Grow it indoors in a cool brightly lit location. Keep the soil slightly moist. As the leaves begin to wither and die, stop watering and allow the plant to go dormant. Begin watering and fertilizing once new growth appears in about 2 to 4 weeks.
 
Outdoors grow it in full sun for best color and bloom or partial shade with moist but well-drained soil. It’s hardy outdoors in zones 6 to 12 and can be grown as an annual in other areas.
 
A bit more information: Nastic movements in plants are a response to some environmental stimulus. Oxalis is a photonastic response plant. This means the leaves open when light is present during the day and close at night.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments


Share This: | More


 

Preparing Dormant Annuals for the Growing Season

Clear a spot on the windowsill and make room for geraniums, fuchsias, lantanas and any other plants that were stored in a cool dark location indoors for winter.

Plant any bareroot plants in a container large enough to accommodate the roots.  Move potbound plants into a slightly larger container as needed. Use a quality well-drained potting mix and set the plants at the same depth they were growing before.
 
Prune stems back to 4 to 6 inches above the soil surface.  Only prune the upper branches on tree forms of these plants. This encourages thicker stems and more compact growth.
 
Move the plants to a sunny window or under artificial light and begin watering. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist.
 
Once the plants start to grow, you can fertilize with a dilute solution of any flowering houseplant fertilizer.
 
A bit more information: Geraniums and other annuals grown as houseplants for winter will also benefit from a spring trim. Pruning plants back to 4-6 inches will encourage thicker more compact growth. Fertilize these plants once the new growth begins. Your plants will be full and ready to bloom in time for the growing season.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com

 
 (0) Comments


Share This: | More


 
advertise with us
on our blogs
This Land is Your Land, This Land is Lego
Jeff Fieren's a photographer from Nova Scotia who's been known to dabble in dioramas using only Lego building blocks and other lego items. Seems like maybe he's got some spare time on his hands - maybe a lot of it. Check out his website. He's built dioramas of each of the 50 United States. Some are dead on: dancing girls in Nevada; folks attending a big football game in Alabama; and the Wright Brothers in North Carolina. But others will have you scratching your head: a merry-go-round and funnel cake stand for New Jersey; two guys on swings for Ohio; and a roadway sign saying "Welcome to Delaware" immediately followed by one saying "Thanks for visiting." Come on, guys. We all know that's a Rhode Island joke.
read more
Ed Sheeran, Wedding Singer
Did you catch this one? A radio station in Sydney, Australia had already arranged an $80,000 dream wedding for a local couple after the unemployed groom wrote to talk about their need to postpone their wedding due to personal and financial hardship. Everything taken care of, down to the last detail. So when a somewhat familiar wedding singer showed up, no one should have been surprised, right? Surprised they were when Ed Sheeran walked in, strapped on his guitar and played "Thinking Out Loud," the song the couple had chosen for their first dance. Nicely done. And it's good to know Ed's got something to fall back on in case this recording thing falls through...     Just surprised this lovely couples first dance. Available for weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvah's, contact your local super market for details A photo posted by @teddysphotos on Mar 25, 2015 at 7:44pm PDT
read more
Kourtney K, Trail Blazer
The Kardashians are frequently known for taking what others do and trying to top it. This newest one has me scratching my head though. You've heard of breastfeeding selfies, right? Giselle Bunchchen started the trend, posting pictures of herself feeding her children. And Alyssa Milano has kept the trend alive. They're called "brelfies." Now, Kourtney is posting pictures of her using breast pumps to express her breast milk to feed her child later. So what do we call these types of pictures? Pumpies?   After the show it's the after party. A photo posted by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on Mar 21, 2015 at 6:39pm PDT
read more
That's Some Expensive Texting
The general manager of the NFL's Cleveland Browns has been suspended for four games without pay and fined $250,000. Why? For texting to on-field personnel during games. That's a serious wrist slap right there. A lot tougher than the NFL's former "Give Me That Phone You'll Get It Back At The End of The Game" policy...  
read more
Available at No Stores Anywhere
James Corden's been in the late slot after Letterman for about a week now. And he's making a bit of a splash. This week, he had soccer star David Beckham as a guest on The Late Late Show, and they took the opportunity to debut a new clothing line. A new underclothing line, to be precise. You'd think more people would be taking shots at The Biebs and his Calvin Klein ads...  
read more
Stephen King on Indiana
Despite being a guy who chooses to write books that are over 1000 pages long, Stephen King can be short, sweet and to the point at times. Take for instance his reaction to Indiana's controversial new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He's not a fan, and he puts it in a very simple light. No novel, no novella, not even a short story needed here. Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration act is gay discrimination, pure and simple. You can frost a dog turd, but it's still a dog turd. — Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 31, 2015
read more
Bieber's Roast Airs
It seems like the roast that would never end, but the Comedy Central roast of Justin Bieber finally aired last night. The folks at ABC News provide a two-minute summary on this morning's "The Skinny." Check it out for a clean breakdown of the show. If you believe the clips, it looks like the Biebs had some of the best lines of the night.  
read more
Meet the New Daily Show Host
Comedy Central announced yesterday the replacement for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. Just as everyone expected, the new host is... Trevor Noah? Um, sorry, who? Trevor's relatively new to The Daily Show. Heck, he's relatively new to the US, having arrived at both spots back in December - four months ago - from his native South Africa. In fact, back then, he made his debut appearance on The Daily Show as a correspondent. Now, suddenly, he's the new host. As others scramble to find out more about him, why not just sit back and watch that debut..  
read more
Oh No He Didn't...
Justin Bieber took the stage as a back-up singer with Ariana Grande in Miami over the weekend. His job: help her with "Love Me Harder." And he couldn't do it. He flubbed the lines, then gave up and started dancing on stage and greeting fans to cover for his failed memory. He apologized repeatedly to Ariana on stage.. And he did so on Instagram afterwards as well. Accepted or not, I'll bet it's the last time he's invited to be Ariana's back-up...     Had fun with u Ariana, even tho I forgot all the words haha A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on Mar 28, 2015 at 8:46pm PDT
read more
The Beginning of The New World
Jay Z enlisted some top-level friends to help him announce his new streaming music service, Tidal. Beyonce was there, of course, and Kanye. But so was Madonna, and Nicki Minaj, and Jason Aldean, and Chris Martin, and more. Dozens of artists, in the room and on-line, to hear about and lend support to Jay Z's game changing idea. His plan is to get consumers to pay for music they're used to streaming for free. You laugh, but it worked for Netflix. The man could really be on to something big here...  
read more
most recent audio
Recent Blog Posts
Categories
Archives