The dandy dandelion


Tue. Apr. 29, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  The dandy dandelion

One gardener’s weed is another’s lunch!

Dandelions
Dandelions

From the roots to the flowers, from culinary to medicinal, all parts are edible!  From soup to egg salad to coffee and wine.  Allrecipes.com

Remember to NEVER eat anything that’s been treated with a pesticide…  pick only clean greens.  One of my favorite magazines has an article about dandelions along with some recipes:  Mother Earth News

April composting brings October black gold


Mon. Apr. 28, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  April composting brings October black gold

WHY do we compost?  To fluff our soil, give it some minor nutrients and to recycle…

Your compost pile should be 36 to 44 inches tall so that it will heat up to a proper temperature so those little organisms do their thing!  If your pile is a little smaller or a little larger, don’t panic, this is just a guideline.  ;-)

easy compost bin

finished compost aka black gold
finished compost aka black gold

Compost needs air, water and plant material  … [Continue reading]

Arbor Day


Fri. Apr. 25, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Arbor Day history

Today is Arbor Day.  I told you during my radio show, and above podcast, how Arbor Day started.  It’s also a good reminder of how to plant trees.

When trees are planted improperly (and sometimes, even if they are) the roots can start to grow around themselves.  This girdling will eventually kill the tree.  It’s unable to take up water and nutrients it needs.

When planting container grown trees we used to say to plant the  … [Continue reading]

The poop on manure


Thu. Apr. 24, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:

Manure happens!  And in abundance but fresh manure should never be put on a veggie garden!  You can buy composted manure at most garden centers.

Creekside compost with manure

Temperatures in a compost pile should reach 130 to 140 degrees to kill weed seeds and pathogens.  It should stay at that temp for at least 5 days.  Most folks stay away from pig manure.  It’s best to stick with dairy, sheep, horse or poultry manure.

Never use dog or cat manure.  It’s just  … [Continue reading]

Shrubs for Color


Wed. Apr. 23, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Shrubs for Color

Tiger lily 1

Tiger Lily with bulbets

Yes, Tiger Lilies are pretty but they lined 25 feet of my garage and were not looking that lovely anymore.  They had become overgrown and leaned out as if on their last gasp.  So, I put them out of their misery and ripped ’em out. Now what? Shrubs for Color of course!  First thing to consider is the mature size of the shrub(s) you’re considering.  When planting near a foundation, you need to give them room  … [Continue reading]

Earth Day and organic wet waste


Tue. Apr. 22, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Earth Day and organic wet waste

Time to celebrate!

Organic or wet waste composting is becoming a necessity as our landfills fill to capacity.  Some Cities around the country are already requiring homeowners use separate bins for their garbage, sorting out their wet waste, which includes food soiled paper napkins and pizza boxes, from their recyclables.  It can get confusing.  Check out this comprehensive list of acceptable organic waste via the city of St. Louis Park, MN.

The City  … [Continue reading]

Easter Lily care


Mon. Apr. 21, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Easter Lily care

If your plant came with a foil wrapping like the above photo, be sure to poke a couple of holes in the foil and place on a saucer.  When you water it, you want the excess water to drain out the bottom, then empty the saucer.  Water when the soil surface is dry.

Keep in bright indirect light.  Cut the anthers (those yellow stems inside the flower) before the pollen starts to shed.  This will prevent  … [Continue reading]

Rain barrels and compost bins


Fri. Apr. 18, 2014

Click below to listen to my GardenBite radio show:  Rain barrels and compost bins

April Showers bring May flowers.  At least that’s the hope and that moisture isn’t in the solid form of snow!

May snowfall
May snowfall 2013

EEK!  I’m really hopeful that will NOT be this year!  I think the 2013/14 winter season was brutal enough.  In fact, climatologists are saying this MAY be a drier/hotter season.  We’ll see…

In the meantime, rain barrels are always a good idea for several reasons.  Rainwater is the best kind of water  … [Continue reading]

Sun/shade terms


Thu. Apr. 17, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Sun/Shade terms

What the heck is dappled sun?  Do you get confused by some of those sun/shade terms on plant tags?

Here’s an explanation:

  • Full sun is at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.  8 hours is best for tomatoes, peppers, melons.
  • Dappled sun is the lightest shade.  It’s full sun filtered through open-branched trees such as honey locust, aspen and birch.
  • Light shade/partial sun are interchangeable.  These plants need 3 to 6 hours of direct sunlight, usually in
 … [Continue reading]

What to plant outside right now


Wed. Apr. 16, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  What to plant outside right now

Much of Minnesota is now Zone 4 while we still have some areas of zone 3 to the north and zone 5 to the south.  Click on the map to your right to find out where you are.

So long as your soil is workable (NOT wet), you can start planting seeds of beets, peas, lettuce and onion sets right now!  You can also plant transplants of broccoli, brussel sprouts and rhubarb.  Potato  … [Continue reading]