Fireflies or lightening bugs?


Tue. Jul. 9, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Fireflies or lightening bugs?

Depending on what part of the country you come from, they’re either fireflies or lightning bugs.

In the upper midwest, we kinda like both names!  The western half prefers firefly while the southeaster mid section prefers lightning bugs. Whatever you call them, young and old are enchanted by these glowing fliers.

When I was little, a long time ago!, it seemed they were everywhere!  Then, there weren’t… but the last five years or so,  … [Continue reading]

Good bugs, bad A!! bugs


Mon. Jul. 8, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Good bugs, bad A!! bugs

When you hear crickets, what’s your first thought?  The joke bombed, yes, but after that? Loud and fairly ugly bugs? 

Think again. Think nutrient cycling. They eat detritus, the plant parts that have died and fallen off the plant.  They then rid themselves of the plant in their waste which then goes into the soil, enriching it for the other plants.  We can attract them by leaving a layer of leaf litter as  … [Continue reading]

Edamame – the soybean with flair


Fri. Jul. 5, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Edamame – the soybean with flair

Is it all in a name?  Soybeans hardly sound all that delicious, but edamame sounds exotic and unique, although it’s becoming more and more mainstream.  The name means “beans on branches” in Japanese.

Edamame grow pretty much like bush green beans, plant them the same way in rows about 2 1/2 feet apart with about 3 inches between plants. As we talked last week about planting for another harvest, consider Edamame.  It  … [Continue reading]

Baseball, hot dogs and rhubarb pie?


Thu. Jul. 4, 2019

Click below to lsiten to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Baseball, hot dogs and rhubarb pie?

Yah, you betcha!

Happy Independence Day to the greatest country there is!  Yes, I said it. Despite our differences, we are blessed to live here.

On this day, we celebrate with American stuff… baseball!  hot dogs on the grill!  Pie!!!  Lots of pie!

Apple pie or strawberry pie or blueberry pie. Wait, that should be rhubarb pie at this time of year.   Or rhubarb crisp! That’s my personal favorite. Click on my  … [Continue reading]

Pollinators are key to environmental health


Wed. Jul. 3, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Pollinators are key to environmental health

 As I talked about milkweed and other pollinator friendly plants yesterday, I wanted to add more reasons for doing what we can to preserve and/or create some habitat for them in our own backyards. 

As we know, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are needed to pollinate plants that provide food crops such as fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Some of these foods are important for wildlife, too. Black bears, for example, eat raspberries that  … [Continue reading]

Attracting butterflies includes larval host plants


Tue. Jul. 2, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Attracting butterflies includes larval host plants

The milkweed is beginning to flower and the milkweed bugs are taking advantage. The jury is out on  the red long-horned beetles as to whether to kill them, they’re pretty easy to squish this time of year while they’re trying to procreate.

Here’s the scoop, the grubs eat the plant’s roots, on the other hand, it’s not generally enough to kill the plants. 

Milkweed has migrated to my perennial garden, having been  … [Continue reading]

Mosquito eaters aka bats!


Mon. Jul. 1, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Mosquito eaters aka bats!

 I get up very early and am on my way to work at about 4:45 in the morning.  It’s about the same time the bats are flying back to their homes after a grand night of feeding.  Let me introduce you to the Little Brown Bat.

I know, some of you have just turned away or are covering your ears saying La La La… but the little brown bat can munch down 1200 mosquitoes  … [Continue reading]

Diagnosing dilemmas


Fri. Jun. 28, 2019

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

Why do my leaves lay over?  How come they’re yellow? What are those holes in the leaves? My plant just doesn’t look healthy, what’s wrong?  UGH, I think the toughest part of gardening is trying to figure out why a plant isn’t thriving!

The above hosta and some of it’s pals had this, from just THREE days of hot weather! At first I though it might have been chemical damage because the scorch showed up when  … [Continue reading]

Strawberry season


Thu. Jun. 27, 2019

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

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.

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 in the 70s and 80s extend the  … [Continue reading]

Turtle crossing


Wed. Jun. 26, 2019

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

It’s Turtle Time! They’re crossing the road to get to the other side for nesting purposes.

But that means encountering traffic and, in Minnesota, our DNR is asking folks to let them pass! There are 13 species found in Minnesota, (the link on Minnesota shows ALL 13 native species) Wisconsin, (the link on Wisconsin shows all native species) Iowa and North and South Dakota. 

WHY should we care!  Turtles are a crucial member  … [Continue reading]