Bonus Top Tips From 2019 From 2019-A Way To Garden With Margaret Roach (BONUS PODCAST)
From away to Jordan Dot Com and Robin Hood. RADIO DOT COM. This is a way to garden with Margaret Roach. Your weekly invitation to dig in and grow another garden. Season is complete. And we're nearing the end of another year of the radio show and podcast caste to which I create each to share with you of course but there's also a selfish factor at work because I get to ask experts. I admire the questions since I need the answers to. That's Today's topic that top tips. I got from two thousand nine hundred dollars. Most popular interviews like whether to use black or clear plastic it to smother weeds or how to diagnose the presence of dreaded invasive Asian jumping worms and on a brighter note when exactly to cut those peonies to have the longest lasting blooms in a vase and how to get maximum performance out of our familiar annual flowers. Before we get to those and other Hawes. I this message. Providing support from timber. Press your go-to resource for books and gardening and nature. Whether you're new gardner a professional at the top of your field or reader interested in the wonders of the natural world. Their books are there to help you. GROW TIMBER PRESS DOT COM. They mentioned a minute ago. The weekly show all these years is partly selfish undertaking. Because I get to learn from my guests but this time of year is about being generous and so I want to give a grateful. Shout out to the team at robinhood radio in Sharon Connecticut the smallest NPR station in the nation. Where my friends friends and neighbors Marshall Miles and chill Goodman make this program? I hope you'll consider supporting nonprofit. Robin Hood Radio at Robin Hood. RADIO DOT COM slash. Donate until the Margaret sent you. Thanks so now on to the tips. Speaking of neighbors from an organic flour farmer florist neighbor of mine in two thousand nineteen I got insights about coaxing maximum results from familiar. annuals like Zinnias. celosias cosmos. Gomphrena Rebecca's marigolds. The gold. The ones that you can pretty much easily. Start from seed Yourself Jenny. Elliot of tiny hearts farm in Copay New York is a farmer. Florist who grows flowers organically weekly both for the wholesale market for subscribers to her weekly flower. CSA and also for events including weddings that she designs her flower. Farm is like a giant cutting garden but since she's operating a business she has to have inventory of each crop over the longest possible season meaning. She doesn't just so once. In spring it turns out she makes successions listening to key parts of our early spring conversation now and with transcript of today's show over on a way to guard dot com. You can. Here's the whole archived program with Jenny. And you know in your quote cutting garden twenty five acres of it. You've got to have stuff a succession of things. So I'm assuming that if just because you're starting some of these things now are soon ish to plant out in May in our zone five B. He doesn't mean you expect those same seedlings to be perfect and still producing flowers in August and September. Are you like doing St- succession plantings of these things. Or what. Yeah reject successions of well. Yeah it depends pens on the plant right so so we do for successions a year of Zinnias. Wow Yeah Cilicia I think Cosmos gets five. Flou- yeah you know just 'cause 'cause when it's a cutting garden you want it you want top quality flowers every time you cut right. So we'll just ditch an old planting just because it's not so good anymore And move on to the fresh planting like even no it might still be producing flowers. They're not that great anymore So so keeping keep having fresh plantings and you keep getting really really nice flowers all season as long. And then there's other things like sunflowers we plant every two weeks And then there's a few things that we only have to do twice a year so I do an early spring spring planting of gun-free INA and then we'll plant out more in July and that gets us through the fall with like a nice fresh crop of that straw flower the Road Becky as we do twice a year Gabby owes Yeah a lot of things and then there's some things right that you could succession plant all year long and But I kind of get bored of that or or things. I don't WanNa see you again until the fall. Right right right I mean Colangelo is one that like yeah we could grow all year. But it's you know the oranges and yellows I kind of want to see that yellow in the spring and then they'll orange and yellow again in the fall. I have enough other orange and yellow in the summer that I don't want it listening to Jenny. I finally got it. That sewing annual flowers once for spring planting isn't going to get you through the entire possible astles season of maximum blooms bouquets spring to fall any more than sewing lettuce once does and I got another big tip from her about the steps. Yep We all too often skip when growing from seed pinching. Here's what we discussed with some of the ones that we've talked about do. Do they require any other treatment. Like pinching or anything or are these all things that just sort of got you. Let go to their natural inclination Oh Gosh I'm I'm trying to think of anything I don't pinch. Oh good okay so explain that to us because of course a lot of us mere gardeners over here back to that we set them out and we know what I mean so tell us I mean. Don't get me wrong. I I start every year with the intention to pinch everything thing and of course I don't get to everything and they do fine right but But Yeah we pinched everything. When it's I mean general rule I would I'd say when it's about four inches high? We pinch it down to about three sets of leaves so all those India's I guess I don't certain Celo he says I don't pinch like the brain celosias. They won't form that big center flower. You Pinch them right 'cause most as much better pinched Gosh just about everything. Yeah so you pinch it down and it seems really harsh and scary and like you're killing your plants and in all that it does is less you get more taller flowers. How you're really doing a good thing? So got that everybody successions. Lots of them and Pinch Pinch Pinch. Now let's move on to a less appealing topic so called crazy Z.. Worms or Asian jumping worms several invasive earthworm species that are spreading alarmingly and degrading soil and natural habitats. Many of you have asked specifically how can I stop them and unfortunately researchers do not yet have an answer for an update on directions in research. I called Brad Herrick. Eric University of Wisconsin Madison with the staff. I noticed the destructive effects of Asian jumping worms in two thousand thirteen and has been studying them since I asked Brad how to tell if you have the worms which are increasingly widening their territory in the eastern. US The midwest and have even been identified lied in Oregon. What are the telltale signs of these worms versus familiar earthworms who do not degrade the sausage so dangerously? Listen into our July conversation. Asian around the time these invasive species reach maturity now that you've been setting them since two thousand thirteen if people ask you you know other than doing DNA analysis or whatever what do you say the telltale signs of of these worms versus the other earthworms that we talked about so a couple of things And it somewhat depends on what time of year you're you're looking for them but The first thing that you can see any time of year is is this Specific soil signature And that is these Asian or produce a very coffee like a coffee ground like ensuring during the soil loose granular soil That's actually made A. They're they're casting their their excrement And so they've do they create this layer of really loose soil really granular soil which you know all earthworms produce cast but most earthworms produce little kind of Little Casting Hills little Kind of sporadic landscape where dumping worms is kind of homogenized uniform. Look look to it. That's one thing that you can see in the winter. If you're GonNa Snow Melt you can that that are far if you know that the permanent change to the soil so that's one thing and then As they mature so in in Wisconsin they're almost be mature adults though MEMPHIS or jumping worms. Generally if you look if you if you if you have one and you look towards the head even if you can't figure out what end is is up. There's a white ring around one of the end. It goes all the way around the body and that's called the talent and that's where they produce cocoons. That are the new offspring kind outta the reproductive center of the earthworm and have one but most earthworms There is kind of the same color as the rest of the body and it's it's raised And it doesn't go all the way around if you turn it over. It's kind of like a saddle where it doesn't not a ban right right right. Jumping worms have a ban and have a milky white and when they're when they're fully Mature adults that's a telltale signs And there's no other earthworm. That isn't a jumping worm that has has kind of structure And lastly just their behavior They're called called snake. Were jumping where they can be very erratic very they're aggressive. They just don't like being handled and they will flop around and no L. Wiggle away. They'll even try and drop part of their tail The last several segments to escape Being handled roughly or other earthworms. Are you know kind of Wigley. But they're not they're not actively flopping around trying to get away from you so And I guess maybe one more thing to mention is that Early in the spring April a if you're seeing fully formed earthworms log earthworms those those won't be likely won't be jumping worms. Because wormed our annual species and so under normal chronic conditions. They're going to be hatching from cocoons. It'd be really tiny in the in the spring won't be full-sized until the middle of the summer right end of the summer even so any larger swimmer. Seeing in April may in some other species that is not a dumping were with the transcript of today's program. You can listen into the rest of my talk with Brad who also gives a recipe for what's called a mustard poor. They used as a test on a small area soil during the worms. Active season. Confirm their presence along with lots of links for more information from unwanted worms to unwanted weeds and specifically non on toxic tactics for their control. I called Dr Sonia Birth Acelle who completed her PhD at the University of Maine in late two thousand eighteen and focused her research there on helping farmers by studying practical solutions for issues posed by climate change weed management and more then included the subject of soil soil solarization- that many of gardeners use to in the name of weed suppression. She shared insights from research. That we can all benefit from including the subject of the effects of clear versus black plastic in how using black material isn't really sola rising but something slightly different so soil solar ization as the practice of covering moisten soil with clear plastic for a period of weeks And this creates a local greenhouse effect so solar energy heats up the water molecules in the soil. That heat stays trapped under the plastic and If conditions are suitable you get temperatures pitcher hot enough to kill pests including plant pathogens and weeds. And so this has been used most extensively in parts of the world that are much hotter and Sunnier than main so Israel and southern California There's been some work on this a stunning Georgia but But not in in Maine as much okay and You said a couple of things in that short description description moistened soils you said and who said clear plastic. So let's dig into those a little bit moist soil because the sun will heat up the water molecules so this isn't so good on dry soil Yeah so the the moisture does a couple of things Moisture helps conduct the heat in the soil profile. So if your soil is is moist so around field capacity not not super waterlogged that will allow that solar energy traveled to deeper layers of the soil. So you'll get more benefit from the practice at home or deaths That's kind of the biggest physics reason and then also thinking about this for weed management It can also help be putting seeds into a more active life as so maybe encouraging them to germinate. And then if you germinate under that plastic or start to Germany and it's unsuitably suitably hot actually well then that that seedling is is toast so It can improve weed management and right. And that's etling we're talking me about is in the seedbed of the underlying soil on wanted things not the precious seed we just planted as farmers nurse. Hopefully our our garden weeds. Yes ask right and the other thing you said a little bit earlier use. You said clear plastic so I was especially fascinated. I've been gardening a very long time writing about a very long time and and I thought it was a you know an advanced intermediate not a super expert but an advanced intermediate interviewed a lot of super experts over over the years. And no one had ever really said to me that using black plastic or a blackout kind of A cloth the fabric is not technically solarization- that it's called something else entirely so tell us about you know clear plastic versus some mother ser Substance sure so Clear plastic does actually get hotter Underneath than black plastic plastic and both of these practices back in the seventies and eighties were considered solar ization but since then the terminology has changed. So now we call solarization- clear plastic we call clear plastic solarization- and then using black plastic for similar purposes. is called either typing or uncle. Tation those are the two words I hear most often are called. Like the occult AC- not exactly. Yeah for the occult comes from the word for black so awful time love it using black material. Yes oh I'm GonNa feel so sophisticated now knowing that thank you you were already very sophisticated. But there's just just one more tool for for your toolbox there. Yeah I love that. So when you say hotter under the clear how much hotter I mean I know you can't give me an exact. Probably but SYRUP SORTA rough range well I I probably have. Some exact number is somewhere near at hand but at least Five degrees Fahrenheit light hotter is what I was measuring in my experiment. Okay you're in Maine and that temperature difference can depend on where you are in the world more particulars particulars of how and when to Solo rise or tarp the reminder to irrigate the bed. I and how long it will take to get results or in the archived original show with Sonia that all linked to in the transcript of this round up over on away to garden dot com. Now no recap show of any recent year of the program would be complete without the voice of my friend Kangaroos who visits about once each month to talk and laugh and help answer your urgent garden questions. One such inquiry addressed to us by a listener named Kyle L. asked advice for planning garden from the very beginning. When Ken and I began discussing possible answers the subject quickly? Mutated to the things we wish we'd included -cluded in our places right from the start and that every gardener should make room for whatever stage his or her garden is at. And this means you so must have elements like lots of well-placed outdoor faucets and electrical outlets views from indoors whether to accentuate the positive or a radical the negative and more including one thing can did first of all make a nursery bed in here is more on that well when we first came here the first first thing we did in a in the sunniest partners not very sunny here was make a nursery bed so we could buy plants for what we could afford award often small trees even and plant them and then figure out where he wanted them by the time. We had figured some of that stuff out we could shop in her own nursery bed. 'cause you could move almost anything and the things we're not tiny anymore Things like roses had become or climbing. Roses have become plants and trees. We're we're flowering so I would start an a nursery ours is long gone that nursery bed but I still have what I call splinter nurseries around the property. Not where I have just. They're pretty a couple of plants that I intend to use somewhere. If I can figure it out but I I WANNA get some meat on them. You know especially when you buy a seven inch tree which we did a lot. When we were young we were young ones can we? What seven inch trees? We believe like that. Yeah but but you're absolutely right that And this gets back to sort of. Kyle's question about that. I loved the punchline of his of his question was about what to budget shit on and where to splurge what to budget and what to splurge on So there's a big difference between a a a a small woody plant especially and then a landscape size quote unquote. You know feel Doug Bull and burlap whatever whatever it may be only a few years of difference in the things life but the price difference is phenomenal So you can have the very very special things if maybe you grew on yourself you're saying in this little nursery well. The time is money and there. There might be something you've dreamed. Think about certainly for me. There is something I've always wanted to grow X. or I'm GonNa this is GonNa be the big ticket item One special tree. That's going to be a specimen and even though people should have patience and plant. Don't ever think it's too late but you know. Oh maybe you WanNa buy a twenty year old tree in that first. Nursery bid the tallest plants. The trees went on the north end of the bed. It was just a rectangular hitter bed. Probably Twenty five by thirty or forty feet and it was just rose and the trees went on the north so they wouldn't shave the other plants but also I I don't think I had a shade nursery in the beginning but later on I did So maybe maybe a nursery bed in the sun and another nurse bed in the shade. Sounds it sounds ridiculous but it was wonderful and then for three or four years later they were empty. Well another thing you can do with it is when you have certain types of plants that self so And give you baby plants. But they do it often in the crack in the driveway or inbetween between paving stones. Or places you don't want them rather than discarding them you can accumulate them for use later when you start the next bat or whatever so I like to do that as well and frankly I don't I never made. I wasn't smart enough to make separate bed but I do use A bad in my race bad vegetable garden is sort of Mike quote nursery so you can activate one of your vegetable garden beds for this purpose so go ahead find a spot even a small spot and start a nursery. Okay okay time for one last tip to get US dreaming about next spring and Peony Time Jeff. Jabko of Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania is Peony Mad and he's an officer of the mid Atlantic Peony Society in June conversation. He gave me growing advice. And also this when to cut flowers and prepare them to be longest lasting in Avaz and answer. That surprised me. And here's that clip. It's I I wanted to ask you about if if we go back to the the the floral kinds or the electric floor about if we want to use them as cut flowers say we have a few that we want to put in a cutting garden area. What's the best time in way to cut them? That makes them last. What's the problem of Great topic actually Our local Peony Society the mid Atlantic Penny Society just had our our last official spring Gathering the other night members garden tour and we had a peony judging. So because we're at the end of the season we were telling people if you want to enter some flowers into the judging. What you do is when when the The Flower Bud starts to show color. So you're gonNA see the pedals there but it's not open yet just lightly squeeze it. You know with your two fingers angers and if it feels like a marshmallow you know the large campfire and marshmallows. You make some more than others if it feels like that. That is the stage where you cut the stem. Okay so you cut it off at the length that you would want and then you wrap it up in newspaper. You're just roll it up a newspaper and put it in the refrigerator. Just dried like that. Chinese Pan Dan Dry newspaper. Yep wouldn't refrigerator and then You can leave it in there for days. You can leave it in there for or a couple of weeks and then you take it out re cut the stem just a little bit from the bottom. You know. Cut An inch or two from the bottom. Put it in water and then within one onto two days it will be open fully for you. This is the trick that the cut flower growers because they can't afford for their whole crop to suddenly only if ninety degrees or coming right or you know they can't afford to to have a wholesale loss so this is what they do peonies by mail. That's what what they're doing. They're cutting them at that stage and shipping them to you telling you when you got them just cut the stem and Just put it in water and a day to day or two they'll be blooming or to have all these. PNA's CNA's for June weddings You know not everyone's growing these in the far north so They pick them earlier. They keep them wrapped him up. Keep them in their coolers and then then they they just take him out a couple of days before and they're all set. Thanks for joining me today for a look back at a year of learning and going forward. Don't miss an episode. You can subscribe scribe free to the podcast version of the show on stitcher or I tunes And you can find me anytime at away to garden dot com or on facebook or instagram. As I added a garden and happy gardening meantime and happy New Year again. Wait a garden with Margaret Roach is a joint production avoid garden dot com and the smallest. NPR Station in the nation robinhood radio.