Wasp nests


Thu. Jul. 19, 2018

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

Yellow Jacket Wasp photo courtesy of Sciencing

Now’s a good time to inspect your home for wasp nests that are being constructed.

It’s easy to overlook nests when they’re small and there are only a few wasps hanging around. However, that’s the best time to treat them when you can find them. Some wasp nests are built out in the open, like under eaves, and are the easiest to find and control.

Jeffrey Hahn … [Continue reading]

Organic “Muscle” mulch


Wed. Jul. 18, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Organic “Muscle” mulch

I believe I made myself clear yesterday about my feelings on rock mulch!  So what would I use?

natural wood chips – front of house 2018

In a former home, I used colored mulch.  This was 11 years ago, then I used landscape fabric.  I don’t do that anymore!

If I had to do it again, I would just cultivate and lay down the wood chips right on the ground.  The weeds find a  … [Continue reading]

Inorganic “Trophy” mulch


Tue. Jul. 17, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Inorganic “Trophy” mulch

We know it’s a good idea but what KIND of mulch should you get.  Organic vs Inorganic.  The first question to ask yourself is what do I want my mulch to do?  Do I want it to just sit and look pretty or do I want it to work for the money I put into it?   There are good reasons for both options.  Today we’ll focus on inorganic mulch or Trophy mulch as I  … [Continue reading]

Water conservation tips


Mon. Jul. 16, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Water conservation tips

My area just had another inch and a half of rain, the rain barrel is full and my grass/weed lawn is actually still mostly green!

However, we are headed into the time of year where our yards and gardens can get crispy…  So here are some tips from the University of Minnesota on water conservation:

  • Water your garden in the morning, before temperatures rise
  • However, water your containers in the afternoon…  yup.  Research shows
 … [Continue reading]

Attracting butterflies includes larval hosts


Fri. Jul. 13, 2018

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

As Milkweed are host to the Monarch butterfly larvae, I don’t want to use any chemical to rid the plant of those bugs!

Milkweed – our garden

If you like having butterflies of any sort in your landscape, then consider other larval host plants.  Rhonda Fleming Hayes writes a great article in Northern Gardener magazine.  I’ll share some of her thoughts and link you to her new book, “Pollinator Friendly Gardens”.

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Rhonda  … [Continue reading]

My Butterfly Garden (year 2)


Thu. Jul. 12, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  My Butterfly Garden (year 2)

I planted a butterfly garden last year (2017).  It really started coming up but had some issues with rabbits and disease.  I lost a few plants due to our wickedly cold and long winter, however, it’s looking quite lovely.  

Butterfly garden June 2018

And more blooms will take place later this year.

Pollination!

I also wanted to share some other amazing native options for the Upper Midwest.  First up, Purple Lovegrass.   … [Continue reading]

July pest control for the vegetable garden


Wed. Jul. 11, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  July pest control for the vegetable garden

As I mentioned on my Garden Bite facebook page, I’ve had some real issues with Japanese beetles in southeastern MN in particular.  

July pest control in the veggie garden has been, fingers crossed, so far so good. However, it’s important to scout for pests daily, if possible.  Look closely at the leaves, stem, and fruit of the plants.  Check out this list from Planet Natural

Cucumber beetle striped

Look for  … [Continue reading]

Good bug – Bad A#$ bug


Tue. Jul. 10, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Good bug – Bad A#$ bug

When you think of crickets, you likely think of hot summers.  Likely not, that they’re detritivores and more.  They eat decaying plant matter, among other things.  For a gardeners purpose, that’s okay.  It also means they excrete it back to your soil.  Sounds gross but it’s not a bad thing!


Okay, I had no idea but apparently you can buy crickets, keep them in an aquarium type container, feed them, water

 … [Continue reading]

Japanese Beetles and the lost vine


Mon. Jul. 9, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Japanese Beetles and the lost vine

I’ve shared on my Garden Bite facebook page about how the Japanese beetles have invaded my garden.  Last week I had to rip out my beautiful Virginia Creeper ‘Red Wall’. A hardy, healthy hybrid meant to be a lovely living fence.  

Virginia Creeper ‘Red Wall’ 6-18

Up until JB struck, it’s 2nd year was on record to be stunning. Unfortunately that nasty bug absolutely LOVES ‘Red Wall’. And it annihilated the  … [Continue reading]

WNS and bats


Fri. Jul. 6, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  WNS and bats

Garden Bite WNS and bats 7-6-18

Bats are being threatened and not just by tennis rackets or pots and pans from a freaked out homeowner who catches them indoors!  

Is this you????

I talked about this subject a couple of years ago as a disease called White Nose Syndrome, or WNS, made it’s way west to southern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.

Little Brown Bat

The fungal disease has killed millions of bats as it’s moved  … [Continue reading]