Garden Apps


Thu. Feb. 21, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Garden Apps

I admit, my phone is smarter than me.  Although it doesn’t have the same staying power in the cold that I do!  Well, at least the battery doesn’t.

Anyway, I don’t normally “do” apps, however, there are some worthwhile applications for those of you that are smarter than your smart phone!  One app I use quite often is called PlantNet.  I use to identify plants I’m unfamiliar with. I’ve used in Mexico and it’s pretty  … [Continue reading]

Behold the Burl


Wed. Feb. 20, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Behold the Burl

Behold the burl!   

Let’s establish what a burl is first. A burl is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed way.

It’s commonly found in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds. A burl results from a tree undergoing some form of stress. It may be caused by an injury, virus or fungus.

While some of  … [Continue reading]

Pruning in Winter – prepping your pruners


Tue. Feb. 19, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Pruning in Winter – prepping your pruners

We’re in late winter now, heading into the Spring home stretch.  Gardeners! Prepare your pruners! That is if you can get to those trees and shrubs through the piles of snow!  Cold temperatures provide the best time to prune because the plants are dormant, their sap flowing less freely and the insects are not a bother.

Timing is everything! Do NOT prune any spring blooming shrubs now, however, it IS a  … [Continue reading]

How will the Polar Vortex affect our fruits


Mon. Feb. 18, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  How will the Polar Vortex affect our fruits

It was so cold… how cold was it?  They closed schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin for days!  THAT’S cold, thanks to the polar vortex! What might that record cold do to our apples and grapes?  

APPLES:   University of Minnesota Professor of Fruit Breeding, Jim Luby, says, as far as apple cultivars go, those rated as “very good” or “excellent” cold hardiness such as Frostbite and Sweet Sixteen should not  … [Continue reading]

Size does matter


Fri. Feb. 15, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Size does Matter

Vegetable garden size, that is!  It’s very easy to get excited about all the veggies and herbs you want to plant but it’s best to ask yourself some questions FIRST.

The nasturtiums went CRAZY from seed.  I planted too much and, although I did several things right, there’s always that last question you might forget to ask yourself!  Such as, in this instance, HOW much can I eat?!?

Keep these things in mind:

  • you need
 … [Continue reading]

Valentine’s Day history


Thu. Feb. 14, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Valentine’s Day history

Uh… today is Valentine’s Day!  Just a reminder in case you would like to make an impression on a loved one… today would be a good day for that!

So when and where did this tradition start?  It’s actually a bit convoluted and somewhat mysterious.  There are a LOT of versions! 

There were 3 Christian martyrs all named Valentine and in 500 AD, Pope Gelasius created St. Valentines Day to commemorate the martyrs.  At that  … [Continue reading]

The message of Roses and more


Wed. Feb. 13, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  The message of Roses and more

Roses are the most popular flower to give on Valentine’s Day… just a heads up, that’s tomorrow!  😉

But what message would you like to send?  Love?  Infatuation?  Intrigue?  Enchantment?  Jealousy… WHAT?  How did THAT get in there?  What does the COLOR of the rose mean?

  • Red, the most popular, means love
  • Coral represents desire
  • Lavender means enchantment.  This is a good choice for a newer relationship or love at first
 … [Continue reading]

Foliage plants that sparkle


Tue. Feb. 12, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Foliage plants that sparkle

Under layers of winter, I’m thinking of my gardens.  

As I do, I ask you, have you ever looked out at your garden in the waning days between Spring and Summer, Summer and Fall and thought, man, my garden looks pooped?

Sparkle it up with foliage plants.  I’ve talked about this before, but as we start planning our gardens, it’s a good time to bring it up! 

These foliage plants are workhorses of a  … [Continue reading]

What’s that blue stuff in the snow?


Mon. Feb. 11, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  What’s that blue stuff in the snow?

In 2008, I lived on 5 acres in Lakeville, MN.  While wandering through our woods, I discovered smurf blue stains in the snow!

Since the property had been deigned a “farm dump”, we lovingly cleaned it up.

But after spotting that blue stain, we thought “oh no, there’s a bubblin’ crude but it ain’t oil!  What the heck is it?”. It’s not like we went out there to spit out our  … [Continue reading]

Companion planting


Fri. Feb. 8, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Companion planting

Gazing out at a winter wonderland, I’m making soup using herbs from last year, specifically oregano!  They are a wonderful family of plants.

They offer fragrance, taste, medicinal properties and they repel some pests.  While not always substantiated by University based information, there are a number of books and articles, as well as old gardeners around that swear by the use of herbs and companion planting.  

So this isn’t “necessarily” scientific, however, I know plenty of  … [Continue reading]