Bees and beekeeping

Mon. Jul. 8, 2013

Radio Show: Bees and beekeeping
Bees are our survival!



They pollinate our fruits, vegetables and nuts as well as flowers to continue to bring beauty  into our environment.  And, of course, they have one of the two best natural foods in the world, honey!  the other I’m thinking of is maple syrup.  Bees pollinate approximately 70% of the world’s crops!

I had the chance to interview Victoria Ranua, a beekeeper at Wozupi, part of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.  She said the most important thing for those  … [Continue reading]

Unusually colorful vegetables

Fri. Apr. 19, 2013

Radio Show: Unusually colorful vegetables
I was recently perusing my Organic Gardening magazine (my 2nd favorite behind Northern Gardener!) and came across an article featuring some easy grow vegetables with unique colors!  I love kale – it’s loaded with what’s good for you and fantastic in soups.  A Portuguese kale is supposed to be sweeter, crisper with flatter leaves.

Portuguese kale from Renee's Garden

You can see the leaves are much different, the color is lighter.  Portuguese kale is also more heat tolerant.  I found seed for this kale at Renee’s Garden.  The above  … [Continue reading]

The Mulch store

Mon. Mar. 18, 2013

Radio Show: The Mulch Store and more
I toured The Mulch Store in Empire township last week and felt like a kid in a candy store!  They recycle organic food waste, yard waste, sod/soil and wood waste.  They sell compost, soil blends, landscape mulches and landscape supplies.  They get food waste from restaurants and college campuses to create some really good stuff!

I sought them out as I am looking to add good compost to my new vegetable bed before planting.  As we’ve talked about before, the best thing you  … [Continue reading]

Protecting young fruit trees

Tue. Oct. 2, 2012

Radio Show: Protecting young trees
Harvesting ‘Honeycrisp’ apples from your backyard is a slice of heaven here on Earth!  But the bunnies love their bark.  Young fruit trees are especially vulnerable to rabbits.

Protect those trees this winter with a simple solution.  The plastic white spiral guard.

white spiral tree guard

Sink this guard into the ground about 2 inches.  Make sure there’s air circulation around the trunk, you don’t want this too tight.  Not only does this tree guard protect from critters but also from the winter sun.  Listen  … [Continue reading]

Boxelder bugmania

Mon. Oct. 1, 2012

Radio Show: Boxelder bugmania
Boxelder bugs may be benign but it sure doesn’t feel that way when they fly in your hair!  EW, it’s like a scene from a horror movie as I approach my garage and have to bat away the bugs.  I’d scream but I don’t want to open my mouth – what if they fly in?!?  Egad.

Boxelder bugs on Boxelder tree!

Use caulk, expandable foam, fine mesh screens or steel wool to secure all your windows and doors.  Even those areas you don’t think they can  … [Continue reading]

Rubbing alcohol vs bleach

Fri. Sep. 28, 2012

Radio Show: rubbing alcohol vs bleach
This isn’t the most exciting garden bite, but as we move into Fall, there are chores to do.  One of them is cleaning up containers and pruning dead or diseased branches.  I repeat, the pruning should ONLY be on dead or diseased wood.  The ideal time to prune for anything else is in late winter or early spring.

I’ve used a 10% bleach solution to disinfect tools and clean pots but rubbing alcohol comes cheap and is less corrosive.  Should you use bleach, be  … [Continue reading]

Yard garbage becomes potting gold

Thu. Sep. 27, 2012

Radio Show: Yard garbage becomes potting gold
Turning yard garbage into potting gold is easy and a great way to get the kids involved. They can actually think they’re having fun cleaning up the yard as they hunt for treasures to create a piece of potting gold!   😉

Pot of Yard Gold

Those fuzzy things on the left of the pot are clematis seedheads, there’s also sliced pieces of a boxelder branch.   Start by dividing your pot in thirds or fourths depending on how large your pot is.  Use twigs  … [Continue reading]

Dairy ants

Tue. Jul. 31, 2012

Radio Show: Dairy ants – seriously
Dairy Ants herd aphids and milk them for a tasty treat.  They keep them all winter, protect them from predators (except from me!) and stroke the aphids with their antennae which makes the aphids secrete a milky substance which the ants eat.  Mutual admiration society!

Black aphids

Dairy ants

I just had to share a photo of my lemon yellow lilium!

Asiatic Lily ‘Lemon Yellow’

While I really love the look of Ninebark, I’m not a fan of the powdery mildew that seemed to

 … [Continue reading]

White-lined sphinx hummingbird moth

Fri. Jun. 1, 2012

Show Date: 1 Jun 12
As I sat on my patio eying the lovely Honeysuckle vines, I was struck by a tiny creature that I would’ve swore was a hummingbird!  It’s amazing wings were in constant motion as it flitted from flower to flower dipping it’s tongue inside to get nectar.  Wait a minute!  Tongue?  Hey, I think I see antennae!

What the heck IS that!?!  Turns out this little beauty is tough to capture so I feel rather privileged that I was able to snap a photo.

Although they  … [Continue reading]

Sewage sludge

Tue. May. 29, 2012

Show Date: 29 May 12
Hmmm, there’s a new compost mix in town.  Well, it’s not THAT new but a local company in Minnesota wants to use sewage sludge, or if you prefer the sanitized moniker, biosolids, as compost.

The sludge is what remains of household sewage after contaminants have been removed at a wastewater treatment facility.   There’s issue as to whether all the contaminants can actually be removed.

I found a 2009 article in Mother Jones called “Sludge Happens” – they question the usage and, although I don’t really  … [Continue reading]