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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.


Year of the Watermelon

Year of the Watermelon
 
The National Garden Bureau has declared 2013 the Year of the Watermelon.  Be part of the celebration and consider planting watermelon in this year’s garden.
 

Don’t let the sweet flavor deceive you – these are nutritious as well as delicious.  High in Vitamin C, low in fat and calories - it is a great way to boost your energy.  Plus, all parts are edible.
 
You can pickle the rind, eat the fleshy portion fresh or roast or grind the seeds for flavoring.  In china they stir fry watermelon while the Russians often pickle it before eating.  You may want to try some new ways of enjoying this tasty summer treat.
 
Grow watermelon in full sun and well-drained soils.  Save space by growing these plants on a trellis or decorative obelisk.  Just secure the heavy fruit to the support with a cloth or macramé sling.  Or plant a few seeds in a container and let the vines wander over your balcony or trellis.
 
A bit more information: Try planting one of the large picnic-type watermelons that can weigh 15 to 50 pounds.  These are sure to get everyone in the family excited about growing and eating this, the largest edible fruit in the United States.  Or perhaps you want to try one of the icebox melons that is much smaller at 5 to 15 pounds and easier to squeeze into the fridge. And don’t forget about those with unique colored rinds and flesh and of course those that lack seeds.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com


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05/13/2013 10:50AM
Year of the Watermelon
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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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