Year of the Calibrachoa


Fri. Jun. 22, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Year of the Calibrachoa

Holy Calibrachoa!  I can’t think of a prettier little annual to add to every container, well, most every container, than the calibrachoa, the little sister of the Petunia.  

Calibrachoa ‘Candy Bouquet’ with marigolds

The National Garden Bureau has designated 2018, the Year of the Calibrachoa! Over the course of the last 20-30 years, Calibrachoa came from Brazil to Japan, to Europe and America, and then into your garden.  

It’s definitely the  … [Continue reading]

Summer solstice


Thu. Jun. 21, 2018

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

It is officially the first day of Summer!  The summer solstice took place at 5:07 this morning!   Of course it felt like we were in the tropics last week!  ARG….  Still, happy to celebrate!

This is the longest day of the year, for some it means the middle of summer, but I would say for most of us in colder climates, it’s more like the beginning of summer!  I’m cool with that!

Cultures have celebrated  … [Continue reading]

Diagnosing plant decline


Wed. Jun. 20, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Diagnosing plant decline

I think the toughest part of gardening is trying to figure out why a plant isn’t thriving!

Is it an insect, is it a disease, are my plants getting the nutrients they need.  Enough water, too much water? Maybe this particular plant doesn’t like afternoon sun or one day you’re looking down on something that makes you go “eeewww, what’s that?”

Here are some questions that a Master Gardener might ask of you to  … [Continue reading]

Gypsy Moths


Tue. Jun. 19, 2018

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

The Gypsy moth is an invasive, leaf-eating insect that feeds on about 300 types of trees and shrubs in North America.

Gypsy Moths
female on the left male on the right

When their populations are high, gypsy moth caterpillars can strip an entire neighborhood or forest of leaves in May and June.

Gypsy moth caterpillar by Washington State Dept. of Ag

Repeated defoliations may weaken trees and leave them susceptible to other insects and diseases.  … [Continue reading]

Strawberry fields forever…


Mon. Jun. 18, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min Garden Bite radio show:  Strawberry fields forever

Oh boy berry picking!  The season is upon us.  Hello Wisconsin!  (yes, a That ’70’s Show reference)  also Minnesota and the Dakotas.  Hang on northern Minnesota, you might be a week behind but soon it’s Strawberry Fields forever… or until July.

Strawberry farm courtesy MN Grown

The typical strawberry season is two-three weeks long but the length of harvest varies from farm to farm depending on varieties planted, weather, and soil type.

Mild temperatures  … [Continue reading]

Perennial planting tips


Fri. Jun. 15, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min Garden Bite radio show:  Perennial planting tips

Yes, there is a pun in the title…

Sometimes we forget that not everyone knows how to do things we’ve done for years.  In that spirit, today is about perennial planting tips.

When planting containers:

  • Right Plant, Right Place (I know we talked about this but always a good thing to reinforce)
  • In container planting, mix perlite with your potting soil to lighten it and allow better drainage
  • plant your purchase at the level
 … [Continue reading]

Transporting your plant purchases


Thu. Jun. 14, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Transporting your plant purchases

There’s nothing like wind to whip the moisture out of plants leaves!  Motorcyclists and dogs may love it the wind in their hair/fur, but plants… not quite so much!

I laid these plants all down in my CRV. In an open truck they’d have been beaten!

While a plant loves a new home out of a pot, it takes them time to adjust (just like most humans!).  So they’re already a bit weakened,  … [Continue reading]

Plant sale mania


Wed. Jun. 13, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Plant sale mania

It’s plant sale time at many area garden centers.  Oh, those glorious buys you can get!  Just remember, they’re only a deal if they grow.  Make sure you’re getting healthy stock.  If possible, loosen the plant and hold it by the stem very close to the soil line, pull it out of the pot and look at the roots.  Check that they’re not yellow or mushy.  The last thing you want is root  … [Continue reading]

Controlling late blight on tomatoes


Tue. Jun. 12, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Controlling late blight on tomatoes

Last year many folks lost much of their homegrown tomatoes due to a nasty disease called Late Blight.  Will last year’s disease affect this year? Not likely, the pathogen doesn’t survive our winter. It’s generally brought in from elsewhere.  It can only survive on potato culls or tomato fruit that are sheltered in soil or a warm compost pile.

Late blight is caused by a water mold and needs high levels  … [Continue reading]

June vegetable garden tips


Mon. Jun. 11, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 minute Garden Bite radio show:  June vegetable garden tips

June is an exciting month for vegetable gardeners!  We’ve got our warm season plants in the ground and we’ve already been munching on salad greens!  

I come home each day for lunch!

You still have a week to get those tomatoes, peppers and herbs in the ground. And start successive plantings of beets, peas and shorter season crops.  

Also fans of broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts can plant them in June for  … [Continue reading]