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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.


Weed Control - The Garden Mix

It starts with one little plant.  Next thing you know your garden is overrun with them.  Some start from seeds that have been dormant in the soil for years while others move in on the wind, in soil additives or with garden transplants.

A few good strategies and a little persistence will help tame these unwelcome guests. 
 
Start by removing existing weeds.  Pull, dig, or use a cultivator to remove annual weeds.  Keep cultivators away from good plants to avoid damaging the roots of your good plants. 
 
Don’t compost, but rather dispose of perennial weeds like quackgrass and bindweed and invasive plants that can re-infest your garden.
 
Once the garden is weeded consider reducing future infestations.  Mulching with leaves, non-invasive annual weeds that have not gone to seed, or other organic material will help reduce weeds, while conserving moisture.  As the organic mulch breaks down it also helps improve the soil. 
 
A bit more information:  Research has shown that mulch is just as effective at preventing weeds as pre-emergent weed killers.  So keep mulching away those unwanted plants.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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06/27/2012 4:26PM
Weed Control - The Garden Mix
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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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