Listen for the latest news and guidance on all things horticultural. For budding gardeners and seasoned green thumbs alike. From audio aired on premium podcasts.
Alice Vincent: Rootbound
"Really nice to have you back on the show. You a very early guest as I remember talking about balcony gardening. That was a long time ago. Now it's going to be two years ago but you back on the show to talk about a couple of things but the thing I wanted to talk you out. I is your lovely new book. Rebound rebuilding a life. Which is a super cover half to say props on the cover because it's very lush and leafy and this I think is caught the imagination of lots of people who given the current inserts pandemic cliche phrase here the current situation that we're in the unprecedented situation as caught people's imagination. Just tell me a little bit about the books about and how it all came about well. It certainly wasn't written with a pandemic in well. Nobody wants to log book right now. I guess called select back you know I think if the Incessantly of all the losses of the pandemic book being released in it is definitely not on that list. It came as kind of it wasn't like I wake up one day like I'm going to write a memoir. I in for the UNINITIATED. The book deals with a number of things but it essentially examines how humans go to ground times of traumatic events and Tabula NSS and I examined kind of Autho generations that have kind of discovered plants for themselves in the ways in which they do alongside this narrative of a year of my life my late twenties when the Paul. If I thought my life was taking Off The tracks and kind of turned to dust I guess and when During which discovered gardening as a means of coping really kind as a writer. I started to write about Shit. You knew six eight months a year off to the fats and eventually it kind of appeared that match she. Maybe it could be a book. `and plants for me have always been the the bronx that make themselves interesting to me. The ones that have stories not how I learn. Prompt names blunt facts. Whatever tiny amount booking got from learning the the origins stories of APLOMB and so into we've these narratives of plant stories with of my iron on. It's all about I. Guess the relative therapy. That gardening brightened. Things gave me at time when else much did really now. You are a classified as of menu. I'm not a millennial laughing comparably about the old than you tell me about being a millennial implants because a lot of cliches out there on the interwebs about individuals in their house plums but very positive that generation. How does that kind of Cliche make you feel? And is there a way to bypass that to get to the natural number of truth? About how millennials are interacting with Lance. Such a good question so I've had quite lots of people generously talk to me. About rebound they think. The whole thing about houseplants and I think that might be because of the cover. It's very kind of botanical Indoorsy plenty cover of it but it's not about hospital is about the need for the outdoors in it's about this constant searching the outdoors in nevertheless acknowledges the same many people my age Discovering houseplants was a kind of gateway to gardening widely. And there's nothing wrong with brilliant and I think I think to answer your question about how this cliches help make me feel. I mean I think it's such limited understanding. I definitely think there is a grain of truth. It's a trend and I'm sure as you investigated on your brilliant podcasts. It's a trend that For Lots of reasons is very established on brings a lot of people joy but it's also representative of a wider need to engage with the soil with the ground with growing things with Nietzsche. Because my argument that kind of making the book is the those born after nineteen eighty in grew up in subsequent years. We were the first generation to grow up with the Internet with first generation to grow up to to grow without the the lost generation throughout without the Internet's on my childhood which was one of being outside. It was also very much one of being. Sit Down this is Microsoft Windows Ninety Five. This is your game boy. This is Yoda smartphone. This is Messenger. We learnt launched using really really quickly relearned to cultivate a reliance upon instant gratification. Is it any wonder that we get to adulthood in with desperate to slow down and gardening offers the opportunity to so I think that's very interesting point? I mean I think your your windows. Ninety five was probably my Zanex eighty-one loading games on a tape player. Probably like the only person in. He's he's listening to this inexperience. Remember that experience. But
David Sibley on Being a Bird
"I believe you began the project that became this new book and the full title and subtitle. I should tell people is. What's it like to be a bird from flying to nesting eating to singing what birds are doing? And why believe you began as a project for children at first? So tell us a little about the book. Yeah so the idea. It was a slow evolution of the idea. It started as an idea for a kids book. almost twenty years ago and and that initially the idea was to do a guide to backyard. Birds a guy to familiar birds. Ask a field. Guide simplified for kids. And I want it to be I wanted it to be big and colorful and eyecatching and those are the things that I really remember enjoying about bird books when I was a kid and and also to include a lot of information about what the birds are doing Because kids are I find kids are. They're interested in the names of the birds somewhat but more interested in what sort of what the birds superpowers are in a way. What what are the amazing things that the birds are actually doing and as I started researching those things I learned so much I was. I kept running across information in the literature that I didn't know that I things I thought I knew a lot about birds but a lot of it turned out to be wrong and the truth is even more amazing so I just as I did the research on those that aspect of the book that then became the entire book. I just that was so fascinating and so such a wealth of interesting information that I decided that would be the whole book so a guide to familiar birds. It is in the sense that I've illustrated most of the the most familiar species in North America and written their names next to them. But it's not a guy to identification. It's just Election of exciting facts about birds. Well and that's what made me happy. S Navy about spend time with the book. These recent weeks is despite all your great expertise. You acknowledge that you're still curious and still learning and still asking why. And that's just so important for those of us who are lay people you know relatively speaking You know Burgers to be and so forth you know you're encouraging us to keep asking and learning. I think it was Ken Kaufmann. I think who said to me once in an interview that he hopes the on never goes away and the curiosity never goes away and I think that's so important and that comes through in this book of yours. Yeah I think I mean that's what keeps me excited about studying birds every day. There's always more to learn and come up with new questions all the time and and the this surprising things that I learned in this in the research for this book just I I get so excited about working on the book I would come. Go show up at dinner every night and talk about what I learned today. You won't believe this right right. Ripley's believe it or not from David civil so even to allay. I knows I said such as myself a couple of things about birds that are you know distinctive right off most. Obviously they have feathers and especially that they're capable of flight. But I learned a lot of new things in your book about a bird's body design. That might be so obvious as their wings but nevertheless support their ability to fly so things I didn't know like laying eggs figures into their ability to fly. Tell us some of those things. 'cause that was kind of mind-blowing so yeah there. So a lot of the the adaptations of birds shape in their their anatomy is has developed for flight so their feathers. Obviously but they're very strict aim lined and the best way to to design a flying machine is to have the the center of mass the the most of the weight being very compact and suspended below the wings So and I think I have a line in the book that if you build you make a paper airplane and then try taping penny to that plane in different places the only place you can put a penny and have the plane still fly properly is centered. Yes under the wings And that's the way bird's body is designed. They're all of their muscles are in a very compact mass in the center in their body. Very compact central body mass and the wings are all feathers and slender bones. The legs are just slender bones. The muscles that control those are part of the central body mass and then the head is a lightweight lightweight skull and the the bill. All birds have a bill instead of jaws and teeth because the bill is really lightweight and Getting rid of heavy jaws and teeth and Allows them to move all that or eliminate weight from the extremities of the body so the head is really lightweight and without teeth then they have to have another way to chew their food so they generally swallow their food whole and they have really muscular stomach again in the center of their body and they swallow sand and gravel to act as teeth so when the stomach muscles squeeze it grinds the food up with this gravel and that crushes the food and essentially choose it. But that's all happening in the center of the body instead of teeth way out at the front and so the the female the reason or that she's evolved to bear to lay. Eggs is so that she is able to not be heavy with eggs with these big eggs inside her. During that long time periods each breeding season. She can move about once she puts them in the safety of the NASCAR the hoax for safety of the nest. Yeah Yeah So. That's one of the advantages of eggs. Is that instead of carrying? Young and most birds lay multiple eggs and raise Two or four eight young each in each nesting and so those eggs they take about twenty four hours to develop inside the female's body then she lays the egg in the nest and she's back to her normal weight and Able to fly and gather food and And then she just sits on the eggs to keep them warm for a couple of weeks and they hatch and then it's then lots of food is delivered and hopefully there if they if they're not discovered by a Predator that the young fledge it all takes three weeks or four weeks for most birds.
All About Alocasia 'Polly'
"Plant is allocated Paulie applaud. That certainly poses some challenges for most of us. Mere Mortal House plant growers and Today. I'm joined by Mireya of instagram account. Born gardening to help you pick your way through the minefield that is allocated Eur polly care. Maria is a gardener. In the wonderful city of Baja. Lana did I say that. Well probably not in Spain. And she is a DAB hand at growing this plant. A member of the asteroid Klein with those vein leaves the look so stunning when you buy them and look some terrible as they start to die. So where have we all been going broke? Will his my chat with Mariah so we will find out Mireya. We are here to talk about. Alec as your Paulie which I think might be up there as the number one plant that people find a bit tricky to grow. It's a beautiful beautiful plant though and I can understand why everyone is so captivated by it isn't one of your favorites. Yes is eased one of my favorites for me. It's a plan. I associate with the tropics and just takes me straight to the tropics and with this deep green Arrow shaped way. Wavy edged leaves mesmerizing. I mean I can spend hours looking at A. It's unbelievable really nice and I think that's why a lot of people would have in. The House is Yeah. It does seem very widely available now. I think it must've been being being mass produced and so everyone can get their hands on this blog now but not everyone can keep it happy and the number of times. I see a post from somebody saying my Poli is dead. Wayne Coors is a day polly. How do people kill this particular law? I think the number one issue with this plan is maintaining the high levels of humidity and warmth as well in in the House. You know to recreate this kind of ganguly environment in a house is quite is quite hard. It really likes sort of temperature from sixteen to two seven degrees so that could be a tricky especially in the UK in the winter when the Heaton is on the air. It's way dry. I mean I live in the Mediterranean. So that helps quite a bit because he is quite warm Resolution is very humid. So it's sort of like lifestyle. I know by St Louis talking about high levels of humidity which are to trades in a house about fifteen percent of up. So I think what he what is good. Is to have a humidifier few hours a day if you can if you can have one. I mean I don't have one so what I use is pebble trade. We've so when J.j This humidity around it. And what I really like doing as well. Which mind is in this environment is grouping grouping the plans which claimed his micro and you really works. My one is surrounded by Begonias Theis fans which is they will require high levels of humidity on. I think he's really nice as well. Because you create a little landscape like literally to your landscape of having them scattered around the house so I think this this this works. That's a good point because people often want to display this plot as a specimen plan on its own because it is so gorgeous but as you say it's probably going to be much happier in agree with all the plots where it's it's possibly going to get a bit of a boost not just looking at my little Thermometer slash humidity monitor in here and it's only thirty two percent humidity in here right now which is terrible. I think you know the winter. Obviously I didn't know how you'll heating works here in the UK mainly have radiators. Which are you know hopefuls being piped through and it's makes yes so dry states they have avenue which is even worse so there is a real issue. That as you said humidifier can breed really help. I think it would be excellent. It's it's it's it's the it's the trick the humidifier if you have the heat on he. I live in various choir choir. Small you know by a flag and you really need the heating on winter so we quite lucky without the you polly was getting too little humidity. How would she know? What size does it? Give off that. It's really unhappy is it so the crispy edges to the lease is that it produces this brown tapes and sometimes we see Yellow Halos as well on the leaves then when we when we started saying that it. That's that's what it needs really and sometimes what happens as well then using all my God. You know it's so we can. We get that confusion between humidity on wartime with sometimes is really difficult to handle and restart over watering and then what happens is a leads to grow pot and then with a prominent as well does it. It can it di- back can go into dormancy and winter and lose leaves and then come back in the spring yet. That's what he does actually below twelve degrees. It goes into dormancy. Need to keep in place. But don't worry if you see that growing leaves coming out image just is having FBI arrest during the period and then in the spring will come back. Come back to live so the bright again and you can you can start again with the winter and you have to look at match less obviously and defined with this plot the oftentimes. It needs reporting when you buy it because it's been posited into something that's possibly not suitable in terms of potting mix. Then I think What I do with mine I? I like to try to regularly regret as I can. This sort of Equi jungle me soil which I try to create my own with the potting soil. Potting ORCHID BAR. It is possible the one and then alight and then. I think we're really works as well as could innovate finally In in the mix and because he keeps it gives the soil them. Which is what this plan likes as well. It doesn't like soggy soil like Saddam so spag. Moore's is great doing that so I think he's good if you can get hold of some spinal Moscow. Someone can mixing it with the soil and mix it. Yeah because sometimes comes in when you buy is not is it just you water him water and all the nutrients and unique to to change it a bit and we'd like to this. Hugh applaud. What's the regime there? We don't want it alongside the CACTI and succulents possibly now now. We don't want with in full Sun. Full side is not advisable egg because they will just banned leaves and and the economy comes from San alikes. Brian direct sand. Actually so a really likes my. My one is in east facing window a few a couple of away from the window and get the morning sun. Which is the best son because sign is strong so it's going really well there. Nfc South facing window is especially in the main Rainey's it's you can have it in the UK. Maybe the winter months. It'd be alright but I will keep a few a few feet away. Not South is this applaud the Subject to draw like if he did keep near near window a cold drafts. Presumably won't be good for it either now doesn't like graphs suffer now. So that's why is bad to say a few away from the window because if you if you have a draft in will kill it definitely doesn't at all and if you have a shady area a one maybe one grow so well I would advise as well. It's too late at least once a month so it will improve with capture in lines for the leaves. Because sometimes you get you get the state the best on the leaves in that. What do you use the ducks? Just damp cloth. Yes a damn close and I think is really is really good for the land and every like is like a set of penalty from his long relaxing and connects you with a plan even more so. I think he's a good thing to do. I do with my ray. I tried to do it
Growing Weed in the Garden with Johanna Silver
"Joanna. Silver is a gardener. Writer and editor formerly the Gordon Editor at Sunset magazine. She is a regular contributor to Martha Stewart Living. Better homes and gardens and the San Francisco Chronicle the author of the old dry garden on the garden and legacy of famed California plants woman. Ruth Bancroft this week. Joanna joins us to talk about her newest book growing weed in the garden. A no fuss seed to stash guide to outdoor cannabis cultivation out now from Abrahams press cannabis in California has been legal for medical use since nineteen ninety-six and in November of Two Thousand Sixteen California. Voters approved the adults use of Marijuana Act to legalize the recreational use of cannabis the use sale and possession of cannabis over a certain level of THC remains illegal under federal US law that said according to a recent report on NPR thirty three US states currently allow for some form of sale and consumption of marijuana and of those more than twenty states have designated the cannabis industry as essential during the corona virus outbreak from her shelter in place with her young family in Berkeley California. Joanna joins us today to shine a brighter light on the often confusing. Growing we'd as Gardiner's welcome Joanna. Thank you so nice to be here back with you. The last time we spoke we were speaking primarily about your first book the Bold Dry Garden and this new book is something of a An adventurous kind of Tangent. Or like offshoot from your original. Garden writing work. I want to start though with your current relationship to plants and the garden world both personal and Professional Joanna. What do you do everyday tell listeners? More about who you are and what you're up to. It is so nice to be talking to you again even just anticipating the conversation that I would be having with. You got me just like thinking about life and anyway thank you. Just thank you for having me. Thank you for making all the room to talk to people about about exactly this. Their relationship to plants I am home now as you know. All non-essential workers are and I am doing the very essential work of raising my son who turns three in July and In a non pandemic situation spends most of his day in a share So we gardened some But it was more like gardening light and now that we're home together. I am gardening heavy and doing with him I salt. I was already going to have a vegetable garden this year. I was already scaling back on the. We'd I'm only really growing at this year to continue to write about it It's a it's a really fun plant to grow et Cetera et CETERA. But I really have this urge to grow fruits and vegetables with my son and so even though that was already going to happen I dug up to maybe like eight by eight feet by thirty inch. Beds right in the middle of our meadow grass to with him to create more space. So as I talked to you he's asleep. There's dirt all over my hands and I'm feeling really really connected to the hard honest Labor of garden creation and it feels so good so good and you. You touched on a couple of things already right there. One being the fact that many of us are home as quote unquote non essential and yet in this moment so many people have turned back to activities and connections that are so essential like our own attachment and connection to how you survive how we make our out. We make our lives not just livings. And that is in raising our families and cultivating art pieces of land. So okay I'M GONNA I'M GONNA have a go back just a little bit before we dig into the structure of the book in in some of these levels on which you got intrigued. Many listeners will remember the bull dry garden. But just for those who. Don't give us a little background on you. Where where were the people? And the places and the plants that grew into a person who would wanna be a person that wrote about gardens and gardening with her son as a matter of both principle and practicality so I got my start farming in college after traveling so really interested in food and food security. I had a very meandering path and ended up in the editorial Test Garden at Sunset Magazine. Back in the Menlo Park days through to the Oakland and New Test Garden in Sonoma's county days and went from outdoors at the magazine to indoors. Writing and editing and timber press reached out to me looking for a bay area writer to write this book idea that they had about Ruth Bancroft S- Garden cactus in dry garden in Walnut Creek California and I pitched myself because I was young and ambitious and so I wrote a book about. Ruth's life and Roots Gardens. She just passed away actually also twenty early twenty eighteen late twenty seventeen at the age of one hundred nine And so just a couple of years before that. I wrote this book about her life and her garden. I think the fun one of the fun things for me as a gardener and garden communicator journalist person is seeing so many come back to gardening and recognize it as this essential thing that it is and that you and I and kind of die. Hard gardeners have has always known. And we've been advocating for now. You also indicated in this first question this sort of interesting Almost conflicted feeling about growing weed. And I think it's a perfect segue into the conversation for us on this on this program. People have been telling me that I should do an episode on weed for the longest time. Because as you note in your introduction to the book it's one of the largest crops in California and many many people are interested in it and it has this deep historical ritualistic medicinal blige intimate like wait and Gravitas to it but that is so blurred by the the other baggage that comes with it that I have stayed away from it until now because I was so compelled by yearbook and the way that you handled that year and maybe it was a little bit more of researching documenting and writing about this project. You took on as a as an assignment not necessarily a personal passion but an assignment and So we really kind of want to get into that the I just WanNa say by the way that your documentation of life at home with your To almost three-year-old Garden intern as you call him on. Instagram has been in total pleasure to watch in. Its true sort of honesty. Raw dirty fingered honesty. Thank you. It's been. It's been a massive creative outlet for me. Yeah Yeah Okay so. Tell us about this book. Why this book how did it happen? What made you decide to take on writing a book about growing weed in twenty seventeen? I had a baby and I was headed back to work You know six ish months later back to Sunset Magazine Garden editor where I thought I'd have the job for the rest of my life Kathy Brazil before me held the position for forty years and I was all set to go back. It was the week before. Maternity leave was over and the place was bought by private equity in lost my job I felt desperate to keep writing and working and reached out to everyone. I've ever written for asking for assignments Just to keep going to feel some forward momentum and a former editor in chief of the magazine. Kitty Morgan Worked at the Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle and I reached out to her until I wanted to write for her you know. The chronicle does garden design edible gardening whatever and She said you have a new baby. I bet you don't have time to do lunch But I may be called her bluff and I was like I totally have time to do lunch and met her for lunch and she. It was right before recreational use went legal and including recreational growing in California. And she was like I have this whole other idea for you. I want you to grow wheat in your backyard and documented as a gardener. I think at that time everyone like it was coming but it still felt even more taboo than it does now. We were all sort of figuring out how to talk about how he felt about cannabis being something that we can talk about and And so I told her I didn't know where to get seeds. And she said emphatically. That's your opening line and it was supposed to be for this part the separate website run by the Co Chronicle called Green State Which has since been folded into the magazine or into the newspaper and it actually got got lost its funding for a while but kitty was so dedicated to me that they ran the series in the food and wine section on Sundays and I worked through this ten part series for them on growing lead in my backyard as a gardener starting from knowing nothing to having a big crash course in the plant yet everything about the naming and needing to forge new contacts. I had I was starting from zero other than my years of experience being garden writer And a gardener no for sunset.
Should I Get My Soil Tested?
"If your garden is gorgeous and perfect and you have no problems. Would you need to get a soil test done? I would say it might be good just for your curiosity but I recognize that it does come at a cost. You know it can cost anywhere from around twenty bucks twenty five dollars to have the soil tested so no if your soil kind of goes under the. If it ain't broke don't fix that's exactly. Yeah because I'm in New York. The soil tests were considerably more than twenty or twenty five but it was more like the fifty dollar range so I would always say and this is what I've always done. If if it ain't broke don't fix it if you if you notice. Your plants are not growing the way you think you should. There's some indication that that there's a problem either they're not flowering or the foliage is sickly yellow. Or then. I would do it but I would say soil test before you actually try to do anything to improve your soil because as you mentioned you can't know what the problem is. You're just be a shot in the dark. The one exception that I would say to. If it ain't broke don't fix. It would be annual selling. And that's because yes annuals have short season to do their thing. Most of them are nitrogen hogs they bloom at the end of new growth. And what stimulates new growth nitrogen? So for your annuals you would be better off. Fertilizing regularly or using time release fertilizer or a mix of time release and Inorganic Product. That has a higher rate of nitrogen in it. I I know that all of the horticultural universities who do testing on things like how annuals grow best. They see that they grow better with fertilizer. And that's been my experience as well so and that brings up another question. I agree annuals. Do need that fertilization. Because they have a short amount of time to grow. Produce Flowers set seed. That's it that's their job and they need a lot of nutrition. But what if you have annuals planted in the same containers the same garden bed as perennials? Or as woody's is that a problem people ask me this all the time. Oh interesting well I guess for things like Rooftop Gardens where you might have a shrub or a perennial in a container with annual. Frankly I would fertilize in that case anyway because these plants are in smaller areas. They're growing in a container right. So yeah I would go ahead and fertilize in a container by disagree. That at this only happens in containers. I think people with small gardens like I have here in Santa Fe have no choice but to Inter plant their annuals with their perennials. The vast acreage you have on Cape Cod offers many more growing opportunities. But I didn't mean to imply that it only happened in containers I okay. I meant to imply that in urban gardens it's more likely to happen. In containers that you've got shrubs and annuals or perennials and annuals mixed together. But I absolutely mix in annuals perennial gardens and around trump's and everything and I've fertilize the area where the annuals are going to be planted and does that excite you know give some nutrients to the perennials absolutely but. I do try and target the fertilizer into the area where the annuals are. Yeah so a little bit of that. Fertilizer may extend into the reach of the perennials and the and the shrubs but the focus is on the annuals right. So it's very possible outside of feeding your animals every year that you might not need to fertilize all your other plants. Every year depending on what? The results of that soil test are absolutely and. I think that we should a pause before we routinely feed things like trees for example. Because we don't want to push growth artificially for tree. We want it to grow as nature intended for them to grow and Unless we know that they are not getting the nutrients that they need. I think we need to err on the side of caution personally. I'm afraid to get a soil test done because I think my soil is so awful. I don't want to know I don't want to know because then I'll be obliged to do something about it. So don't panic. You are not a bad gardner. If you don't fertilize your garden. Every year. The important thing is to find out if you need to fertilize. So if you've got problem areas take soil samples send it into your co op extension office or your local Land Grant University. And they'll tell you if you need to fertilize
Ancient Trees: Living on the Edge
"I hadn't research so when I started to do a research program I thought I need to find a place in southern Ontario which is far away for Hudson Bay. I had to find that place that had harsh growing conditions so that I could carry on with Mike curiosity about how plants living environments is exclude most other plants and took up and eventually I found that the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment run basically from northern New York state. All the way through a terrier over to Michigan had not only Lichens mosses and other plans but had these scruffy trees growing on edge of the cliffs. And that's why did you need to the ancient forests of scar. Of course. No one knew that they were ancient time. In fact in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight. When I started the transition for like two trees I phoned. It was indication with the Ministry of Natural Resources asking if they would be interested in sponsoring research all on the ecology of the clips of escarpment and they wrote back and said well they were happy and by wanted to waste my time studying slips because he knew they were there. I have reminded them of that almost decade by decade. Since because Would they were disparaging where those little tiny trees growing the cliffs saying to themselves? Well Hey don't count compared with normal burnt tall forests. A scruffy vegetation on the cliffs didn't count so they could equal sign. Nothing is there and ironically but twenty years later when I was trying to confirm some of the early discoveries planned to do a sabbatical trip to France and I wrote to professor while palliate and asked him if I could come in at the cliffs in France and he said it was almost it was almost He said it was happy to host new but of course all their clips are there and in fact After we did the very cursory survey of the cliffs that he had we found the oldest living plants in France amid came Figaro He became famous because he then started a big research program. Events of living trees that stirred to grow for the Romans had left France shoe and it it freaked him out and everybody else said that he was a retrospectively so happy to have been rob his credit he was happy to say that to their discredit. Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario. Even though they rode the ancient tree hobby-horse for years they never went. Service it oh by the way. We're sorry there was something there after all. Jeez wouldn't interesting trajectory on something that like you just interested. People wrote off and I grew up in that region looking at the Niagara Escarpment. And you see these trees they are small and I'm lucky that I grew up in a time where this was starting to be realized. And when you finally see the ages on some of these things that me. My jaw hit the floor. It's it's incredible to think of something that old in such a tiny package. Because you know you see three is or something like that in someone's yard and they're huge there but they're you know a couple of decades most but what got you interested in this idea of harshness. I know you said it started with Lichens. But to think about plants in harsh landscapes I mean you see them in asphalt you see them in gravel roads. Plants can handle it. But what made you want to study that you know? I think we probably need to have a shrink as part of the because what I've learned forty years during this is your personality. This is probably infected you right now to your personality guide to research ways that you don't even realizing now maybe this may be historical revisionism. But I think when I was a kid growing up I was the tall skinny guy that was always beaten up from school. Felt like I was the underdog in I always loved the idea of supporting anything in fastened with anything that would win by getting out of the way of the means of the bullets and those were often things cryptic where the things differently so I always tried to do things that other people were doing because then I wouldn't have to bump into that bullies that I didn't play sports. 'cause I was always the last one picked. I mean so does psychological component to working on high stress organisms whether they're plants or animals. Interestingly I fought against those buildings for years after ten years of working I actually got a H- site visit from the natural sciences and Engineering Research Council. They said by the way. We don't like the fact that you're working on rocks come and if you want to. This was a big incentive to move into the trees because they said if you WanNa have continued funding from us you have to work on something more real something more important like trees or higher plants but not Rocks Cup while many Lichen colonies several thousand years old and they said no one cares boy so with that encouragement lappy. We had all these people working in Allergy and we said okay guys. They're the writings on the wall. They don't want us to work on Lichens. What else grows beside them? That might gain some respect and one of the Grad students at whether trees growing on the same rocks. I mean maybe maybe we could just switch from the trees a A year later that we discovered on some of those cliff as trees that the rings were incredibly tight. We we had no plans to studying trees. We were simply looking at the way. Human Disturbance Influence the structure of these base forests. So to what could that. We decided a good thing to calculate was productivity enough to calculate the productivity tree. You have to divide its mass by age. Okay using architectural models. We calculated massive all the trees in climbed area in that massive all the trees in inclined area and then took core samples to find out how old they were Kazan. That would give us an estimate of productivity lifetime. Cry Tippety when we did that. You've got these core samples from the cliff face trees and we couldn't see any rings at all So then sanded them up more carefully. And that's when we realized reason why we couldn't see the richness is that they were too small and at that stage we with either. These trees are putting a tree ring every time it rains it because we were like an experts. Had We know the yet you know much about the biology trees at the time so what? We have a bunch of samples and said the sent them. Ed Cook It. Lamont Doherty in your you know in Palisades. Yeah Yeah just. North of the city in Ed. Cook wrote back and said Yes. Those are ancient trees where to find and I said well I can see Toronto from where they grow the sitting right on the edge of the escarpment facing the biggest city in Ontario. And it looks like some of them have over seven hundred rings in them. Whoa and he said well you got a good one expert instill as dendrochronology in the world. And so he he and I started to collaborate with some other lab partners and we did quite a bit work after that on the dendrochronology the series of the Niger. Escarpment but it was all accident really amazing. We weren't initially curious about ancient trees at all just wanted to see if disturbance influence productivity turned up the did disturbs make it. The trees grow faster because it was competition but that became a side issue once we found For us in a place where no one expected to find one.
Tomato Success with Craig LeHoullier
"You're also like a lot of people this year though you're sort of exploring new territory literally you are but a lot of people. There's been this enormous. I mean I was talking again for that story in. The Times talked to thome stearns of high mowing organic seeds and he was saying they had a three hundred percent increase in Gardner Home Gardener sales this year and some weeks. They were up as much as five times normal week to week. And and so many people gardening garden centers or having bumper business even though with the restrictions and so forth on on on shopping. And so you know you're a little bit of a new gardener too because you're new snow as you're absolutely right and the PRI the perfect timing of our move at a time where you know there are some really real challenges and difficulties with covert. I get to go through and share an experience of what it's like to garden in a new zone in a new area when confronted with New Space. New Decisions to make. So I you know all of us you and I are both and there was many of educators and in garden coaches and people who are trying to inspire new gardeners to stay gardens forever. So I'm hoping that opportunity allows me to share what I'm doing the things that succeed the things that go wrong. I'll be very open about all of it and then learn what. I can about gardening in Hendersonville in my particular yard this year. And we'll make some adjustments next year so I am you know. I've been gardening. Forty years to be able to still be as excited about gardening. Forty years into a hobby is just to me It makes it a very unique cobby. Don't you think and we'll also give people the heads up that you've been doing these really fun which I've been coming to. Instagram lives on Fridays. And sometimes at other times Friday afternoons and you're at NC tomato man on instagram. And you people can like ask you questions the new show us how you're doing things and what stage the plants are out and I mean they can just chime in and say what do I do about this. How do I stay that? What so? Let's talk about some of the things I mean I think in Raleigh you grew in Straw bales and in growing bags that were set on the surface of your very famous driveway. Your driveway driveways right. Yes and where? Where are you growing tomatoes and other things now? Are you growing in daggs in bales? Are you growing in the ground? What are you doing now? So we're we have about a quarter of nacre backyard that is quite sunny and but we have our septic field back there so one of the things I did not rush into is getting a shovel and digging up the soil I learned a lot about container gardening. Straw Bale gardening but will focus mostly in container gardening. And we'll definitely growing. I garden for years and years and years traditional garden. And so you never really forget about that experience. But it's it's a work in progress because I've got. Let's see twenty nine plants planted but another seventy or eighty that needs to get in there and they will probably go into ten gallon. Containers grow bags. You know. Maybe some going container. So it's you're catching me where it's a work in progress and figuring out day by day as I go along. What's the worst thing you ever did to a tomato may? Maybe the worst thing that ever did to to a tomato when it still rewarded me is we do seedling. Sales in the spring and all gardeners have lots of things that you don't sell. Don't get given away get forgotten. They just sit there so I had some sun goals that were at least two months past sales type they were. They were a foot and a half tall of just a stem with maybe a few leaves coming off it and they even. They didn't look very good. So I'd find those and thinking. Oh I've got space for another son Gold and they just bury. It is deep as I can and it leaves out in it produces delicious son go so I guess. The moral of the story is tomatoes. Tough gardeners I think in general especially new gardeners really. Don't WanNa make mistakes and we tend to maybe over care for and baby are plants. And I've learned through the years that tomatoes really do respond well to some tough love along the way. There's very few things that actually will kill them and make them disappear. Some of those things have teeth and But yeah they're very forgiving and You know we'll probably talk through some tips in this in this chat we have about what do you do? What are the things to do to help build in quality from the Front? And what are the things you do over the course of a season to ward off really sad stories and just put a smile on your face at the end of the season. Because you've you've succeeded you've got what you want. You've got delicious tomatoes and on the table in jars in the Freezer. So you just talked about that stretched out spindly overgrown overdue transplant of the Sun. Gold and how you can really deep also up north. We haven't planted because it's been snowing and stuff and even in a lot of other places people quite a bit to the south halfway between you and me or more people have had some frosts recently. It's been really nutty so not to worry. If you haven't planted yet folks I have a friend who even here up north one year. He was so busy with work assignments. He didn't plant tomatoes till July fourth weekend and he had the best rocky ever had but one of the things with an overgrown planners Finley plant like you said is planet really deep because they can make those adventitious roots off the stem right. There are plant. That can do that. So they can. Really root in Super deep not suffocating. It right absolutely and I actually also plant eggplant peppers deeply a As a few friends of call me I tend to be a bit of a rule breaker and yes. I read books and I read blogs but then I kind of put my thinking cap on and I think why can't I try this? And it has helped me to develop some new variations on techniques through the year and You know succeed more often than not. So we'RE GONNA WE'RE GONNA plant deep. I plant even a normal six inch. Kind of a seedling. Stout small seedling. That's maybe six weeks or so growing. Muno that I might have grown myself. I plant them deep. Do you take off the lower leaves. Do you create a splash like barrier to get prevents fungal spores from the soil from getting up onto that plant. Like what's your sort of I. How do I put it in the ground? And what am I thinking about? When I'm transplanting? So great question and it's a it's a really wonderful thing for beginners to consider as well because You may you may be looking to garden area. That's been gardened a long time he may be looking at something that you're just digging for the first time yourself. You may have a container. I think it's really good right from the start Your stand we're kind of soil you've got so is it. Does it dream? Is You if you dig a hole in? It rains that rain still there the next day or do you dig a hole in it. Rains and the water gone in five seconds. That tells you if you're to sandy during too quickly you're not retaining water so those roots are always going to be searching or if you've just got so much So much of a barrier to drainage that your roots are literally going to drown the plants. GonNa look like it's dry because it's wilting. But it's actually drowning because it's not getting oxygen so working organic matter and soil and maybe sending the sample off to an extension service just to get an idea if your three main trans n. p. k. nitrogen phosphorus potassium are in good balance At that point on you just dig a nice like you said Various much as the stem as you can or if you dig deep you can dig. How're you can dig diagonal and kind of been the plant in? Berry that stem because of photo tropism the plant grow up right. It may stick out of the ground bent but it will go right up toward the sun. It's almost like a trench and the two thirds of the stem is below. The root ball is at one end. Say at the left and then the most and sort of been the upper part in the upper couples. That's up and then you fill in that trench and your tomato will again. Can you say it will grow up
Can I Cut the Blossoms Off of My Indoor Thyme Plants?
"That planet some time indoors in hopes of getting some good leads for cooking right now though it has blossoms all over it Do I cut those offer. Just wait for the plant to mature assuming as stated there that she's going to use them for cooking and leaves are the principal thing to us. I think where. It's at least practical a pair of tweezers a little eyebrows as or whatever it might be to clip those flowers off. Because when you want the leaf four. It's well medicinal and other uses Cooking and so on you you you WANNA leave the plant. Have as much energy as it can. We're not breeders. We don't necessarily care what the next generation is going to look like so I believe where it's at least practical To go in and cut the flowers off now I understand. I've never done it but I understand that you can actually dry the floor. Cluster then and make tea out of it but I. I've never gone that route but my brother is a well retired chef and into all kinds of spices Including eye of Newt and other things keeps his keeps in his spice covered but not cauldron. Yeah Yeah but at the same time I think if if it's practical for I'd cut him
How Do I Get Rid of Garlic Mustard in My Yard?
"Successful growers for generations. Fred I know that In addition to the deer you've been cousin at them garlic mustard this week. Garlic mustard Is is could take over the nation. At least I think so. It will grow under around through about anything. It's it's a pretty little plant when it's just green leaves. Kind of a little cluster. Do you don't pay a bit of attention to year one It's a biennial so it grows just leafy you. Don't think much of it. You might kick it one but there leave the rest of them alone if you have to reach for him Well then they die down in the fall like perennial will however they come back in the spring then and right now they're about Oh between eighteen and n how they're over eighteen inches tall right now. Usually on fairly upright straight stems pretty little flower clusters on the tips of each stem in as best. I can tell from what I've been told. Each of those stems bears a whole bunch of seed and when those seed are ripe or say matured later on they flip out and spread themselves and I think given no care on a five year period. You could. You'd have to mow them nuts right. No no no Yes it's well. There are many weeds that are best. But this is an insidious little devil and when I tell you that under over and around I I'm thinking of hiring my grandson. Get on his hands and knees and go in under some plants to get them out. They'll pull fairly easily and if not how he or someone will have a trowel in their hand. But I do try to stop that rascal before.
Orchid expert Dr Manos Kanellos answers a Dendrobium question
"It's time for question of the week and this one comes from Gaskin who has an issue with dendrobium orchid skin rights. I got it a couple of years ago and it's been a joy flowering profusely for the first eighteen months. He's also doubled in size when it arrived it had a few stumps which made me think you'd have been divided or cutback with my kids. I know to Prune flowering stems back to the next node after flowering wanted. My danger need something similar and should I be dividing those rooting branche. Let's at the base. I am no dendrobium experts so I called on somebody who is to answer this question. Manosque ANALYSIS IS THE CO author of book growing orchids at home along with another orchid expert. Peter White so he was just the person meads speak to thankfully Manas was on hand to answer all Gaskins dendrobium queries. And then some are GonNa see three questions here. The basically the dribble what we're looking at is the drug of nobility which is native to Southeast East Asia and it is often referred as a cool growing in boom which is not doesn't do doctors in that it doesn't really need cool temperatures. But it's kind of spacey kind of special because it is one of the few calm only sold or kids that has a distinct growing unrest phase. It's going phase starts when you see buds on the gains in the rest phase stotts when the new gains have reached almost the height of the old canes their best boat late spring about. Now it's arrest and growing phase coincides with them with the nobody with a here now so I can see city questions that need to be honest from from paragraph. So the first question is what these stumps these dumps. In fact cut of games. The plant didn't need a one that say these case cut off but grow did cut them off so the blunt looks prettier for somebody to bite. Which these second question do you need to cut off the gains of the end of the Florence. No because they are used as reservoirs for nutrients and would that feed the new cades when the plan does need these old gains it will become crinkly yellow and then you can cut them off. It's not like offices which is unique in that. It Kennedy Flower on the same stem. These a flower. Normally it would just stop a move to the new gains but as they do not got the old game. I think this is where I've fallen down with this plant in the past because I in my ignorance of this plot have have cut off those stems before they sent me before they've gone completely yellow and Brinkley and as a result I've I was doing the right thing but obviously I wasn't and you end up with kind of an unbalanced ugly looking plan as well grow can do this because in the nursery does that. He's doing just before shows blunt. But he's doing it because in in your house you have perfect. Conditions was at home. The blood is not in ideal conditions. Most of the time so taking away it's Bui- Wa Shales nutrients in what is it. Makes it much more difficult for it to show? Its best left of left on the left with the plan until the plan tells you does need. I'm I guess this is. Why if you grow a few follow ups all kids you have to understand that the dendrobium Zarb different because that flowering style is quite different. They don't fly off from the same in the same way. Do they? Sort of flying from the side of the stag with a very short flowering stem as opposed to that long one get. We found offices years. There is different than two or three ways from other orchids. And as soon as you realize that most of the darkest got two or three significant but as if you only differences than the very to grow one is you know one or two key things. The key for this one is an interest and a glowing period joining address. You keep it cool in cool bright dry conditions Jewish growing face you know what orchid the key to eight was you do this L. Thrive. It's not difficult to grow at home now. The third question w dividing the Bronx leads at the bottom and a difficult one to answer. It's basically that says yes. No these orchid if it's not given a proper rest videoed develop not bronze. Let's they're called chi-chi's new plantlets on the canes if it does so these are best sprayed with some water will. Miss missed it and win the have enough road full five a couple of inches in length either be snapped off and then all put together in small report and you have a new plan but on this case in this picture this is not. Lebron's lead it doesn't look like a is. It just looked looks like a new cane. Orchid looks that it could do with reporting and now it is that I tend to report it all the way until the end of June. So it is best reported in a weaponry party is good to take a little bit of also dog from the bottom of the boat and boot the audit into its new book which should be only slightly bigger a little bit deeper. These huge go into into the bar. So if you really really wanted you cool take that bit off. But it's risky and you have to ask why the best thing is to be less with planned so you end up with a big stronger thriving blunt and what is the best mix to use with the dendrobium is it just like kind. Classic orchid bog just simply bought a don't balk based or anything called compost. You Know Eh isn't a very and you do. Not because they have long games a lot of people feel they need to put him in a big. But the problem with this is that it's not easy to keep it on the very dry Jimmy. It's rest period. So if need be for weight you could put a couple of Februaries in the but the best to just every time you just slightly at the best the next size up in terms of thought so the nets sized book on. I know that I say it. It looks a little bit too big for its board. But that's what it needs to do to do and say just balk which will enable enabled the grower to keep it on the on the dry side during rest field watering these kids. I mean is there any special requirements? Here judy is growing face You what you keep it moist but not overly wet. You can use hardwood that it's easy but it's good at least from time to time to use a rainwater always luke warm temperatures and it was. The new. Gains was the end of the season growing cheese on Wednesday new case of the the height. Alsi availed gains than you. Keep it on the dry side very little water from time to time with Chevy Mistake. So doesn't get bone dry and deal. You see a new buds appearing on the new gains. The new gains also good to be stoked will be supported otherwise can just fold over all or the garden grow. Not Straight okay. That makes sense. Well that's helped me. Also because I've I've got a couple of little Katie's or might dendrobium which I have. I have to say already removed without really checking what I was supposedly but removed them and they were glass of water in the minutes. Must pop those up there quite small but they have got decent read some them so they can just go into one newport with market bark and hopefully they'll go next year with the oxy skype is is you can just snap them off the gain of the boom rather than a cover to cut off a little bit of this time as you have to do with the with the front office and then. Yes dorothy three together with them on on a very small against the Mita in Bach and and not too much watering at the START STUCCO FLEETS. And then you'll have a and what about this worry that people have the they're all kids in see through. Pulse is not true because I can't seem to come from the nursery and report to. We need to look for seats. Report Oral Paik once. Okay very good question. A book is good because you see the system village focusing the size especially Clear all else equal is a good thing. I clear poured for not only for August for plotted plants as well because I can see the roots but it is not necessary to grow or what is essential in a boat. The guarding orchids is that it has good. Greenwich has blend your host closer to drain or kids especially for an obvious need to drain and dry well. Between what the other thing. Also which is the secret is easy. Key is don't even have a dome even clear participation it the Dome it is definitely made for orchids because no The plan needs that kind of special boot so there are clear thoughts in the market. Which frankly not really good for you. Because they don't have good Greenwich as long as the pot has very good grant. A lot of big holes at the bottom is good for orchids. The all clear is better because you also she system in the roots This House is when you say talk about the Dome is the Boston. Part isn't flat. It's got a raise section which presumably is increasing surface area for more act coming in the menu holes at the bottom of the foot. Give it good drellich than dome is mostly for Asia. The center of the if you think about it is basically a niche may be a neat and a half from the what whereas in innumerable port. It's still possible to have inches away from
Botanical Latin with Ross Bayton
"What an undertaking encyclopedia more than two thousand plants. Five thousand entries or terms and hundreds of beautiful botanical. It was quite a work came to me and said well. We have room for about five thousand words. Which ones are? You'RE GONNA choose while it was quite an option. There are millions of clients out there so I had to kind of winnow it. Down to the the cream of the crop. Well I've been enjoying it As I said in the introduction you dipping back in and really smiling to have sort of the provenance of the definition so to speak of many of my favorite plants revealed but before we get to that I just wanted to Know a little bit about like why this is not new territory for you've written other things about plant genealogy so to speak. Why is this important to you? Where did you get into this in your life? Well I started gardening as a kid I had a poll of English. Iv that I grew in my room My parents were in the military and we traveled around a lot so I didn't have a garden but I grew a lot of house. Plants and I started by dipping into book that my mom had go reader's digest. It was an encyclopedia of. Houseplants HAS NAMES THERE. And some beautiful illustrations and the words just seem to stick in my mind in a way. The other things don't tend to forget people's names really really good at remembering of names I once. I started to see similarities between one name and another started to be curious about. Won't connections were my mom's a big fan of sweet peas and they are Lazarus Buddha Ross's yes and I realized meant fragrant and I saw that word in other plant names in my garden right spring. But it all the DOTS connecting. Yeah Yeah so okay so for gardeners listening. So why Latin any way and is it truly even Latin or is there some Greek in here? You know what what tell us a little bit about? Why Botanical Latin kind of like Wyatt evolved why it was invented quote unquote. You know a little history. What we call botanical lasted would not be understood by people living in ancient Rome last night. basically what happened is is in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries scholars at universities. They taught entirely in Latin Understanding learning this language was thought to provide agility of mind for the students but also A lot of universities were connected to the church and many churches also Gave that the the Bible was written in Latin and many of their Liturgies were also given in that language so it was very common for scholars to understand that This particular language and for it seemed a natural thing when they started to name plans to use a lot and that they were already using their day to day Scholarly Endeavour right so and then along came. Lineas yes eventually yes then. The names was a Swedish botanist Manassas. Actually his last name. His Swedish name was funding and like many of the scholars of his time on heat he taught Latin and he had a broad interest in science. He was trying to the medical dogs up but he received plants and animals that were brought to him by sailors by travelers and he was really fascinated to try and classify them. I'm so he would give them names in Latin but the really important thing that he did was he gave them a two part name now before. Luna's every all the names that were given to plants and animals. We're actually loan descriptions of those plants animals in lasted. That's pretty cumbersome. When you're dealing with a plant you don't want to name as eight or ten words in it What the did was he. Shorts these down to two words and we now call those toured names the dated by bills and the names that you find in the book right. You mentioned sailors a minute ago. And so this was the early Eighteenth Century. Onward was sort of the age of plant exploration. Yeah people are bringing. It wasn't just Europe where he was it was people were bringing things in from other places and there were unknown thing so different people would be communicating with people in other countries. And I guess didn't I think in the book One of the essays up front says something like one. Great Advantage of Latin is its universality that It's not the language of any one nation. Was that also part of the motivation. Absolutely nobody really speak Latin and so the language that can be used by people in in any country but some last had an advantage in the east started his work in Sweden and Sweden doesn't really have an awful big flora. It doesn't have very many different species of plants. If lemass it'd been born in Central Africa or in South America where plants were much more common much more diverse. It's entirely possible. That just would have been so confused by this great diversity. That Egos have never come up with the system that he did because he only had to work. On a small group of plants he was able to develop a system and then refined as people brought plants to in from other parts of the world so he's began in Europe but this Checks on me that he began quickly began to spread across the world as Europeans and others were exploring further afield and since it wasn't the language anyone nation. It was kind of a shared language for all of these people. There'd be excluded. Yeah yeah it didn't belong to one person so everybody could use it and today they still do If you read a botanical papers from China almost the only part that you'll be able to read if you're an english-speaking lot me is Latin names right so we were mentioned you know plants The system for naming plants and of course it was for other organisms as well and I read an essay. You wrote recently. Or maybe it's excerpted from the book Where you muse about Latin name Homo Sapiens and And how it doesn't sound very fancy compared to some of the plant names that are more elaborate but until you understand what it translates as Which is wise man? Yeah so we gave ourselves Ed very good name. Yeah we were quite modest. Fabian is the name that was given by lineas fact. Lunacies body actually remains the type specimen for the human species because when when he named humanity based on himself he will forever be remembered as the original human. These Wet Tax on consent. So he's not pressed in herbarium slide but he is the type specimen yeah. It's the todd specimen in his tomb in Sweden. So I was early on. I was when I was first. Learning from much. More scholarly individuals plant friends I was paralyzed. Know afraid to say the words out loud because they looked so difficult and I was told. Don't worry Margaret. It wasn't a spoken language. Really it was okay. Just have at it and try to pronounce stuff and and do my best which is always going to be better than a common name. So does pronunciation matter you give guidelines. I think you sort of let us off the hook and say don't worry also. Is that correct? You're absolutely correct Margaret. I always tell people all to worry about it There are purists who might adults two pronunciations for certain parts of botanical Latin. But my feeling is that I would rather people were using the names and understanding them and speaking to some rigid system appreciation You say Clemson said commodities I I think you're easily understood. Whatever the way and as I began doing this as a kid I would say names also different ways so one of the ones I used to mispronounce was the daily Jazz Amaral Kalisz then when I grew up and started speaking to people about it. I realize that everybody actually called a hammer accounts. Yes it's a subtle difference and most people understood what I was saying until I started speaking with other people. I didn't realize that there were other ways that you might say but in truth it doesn't really matter and most people will understand what you're
Post Spring Garden Tuneups with Ken Druse
"Did their spring clean up or they're doing it and they're like okay. I've done that check. But that's not the end of the story so I thought we could go through sort of some of the things that you and I. After a million years of gardening have learned sort of aftercare that really help the garden to look good right into the summer and beyond so. Do you want to start with like bulbs for instance because the big features of spring? I think that your listeners know that by now that you don't cut off the Daffodil foliage during the language kind of too bad 'cause it's hard to get around it and you don't break the. When was the last time he saw braided daffodil foliage? It's been a long time but I used to see people do it but I have seen people who planted daffodils. The lawn for that lovely English look and then mowed the lawn and they wonder why they don't have any flowers anymore right right right so here. I'm in zone five fee. I don't even know. I have big amounts of them in sort of grassy areas and I don't even know those areas until around July fourth. So you know I really let them go their own all all the way down to Bauge and maybe if you have species tulips that some of the comeback every year out of most tulips. Don't come back every year for me anyway. Even the species. But if you have species tulips you leave fully it. You WanNa leave the foliage of all the bulbs and most of them will tell you is over like the album the value Mer blooming and their foliage is ugly and turning yellow at the same time. And so it's pretty much over after they bloom right right so I let them ripen as we would say I let them do their thing and take advantage of their photosynthesis process before I clean them up. So that's super important journey yellow. That's when you do it right right and one other tip I think with some of the little guy. Some of the little guys like one of my favorites is the winter ACA night Aransas high malice and tiny little. I ball to bloom with the snow drops here for me. Even March where I am. Sometimes yellow. Tiny flowers is hard to establish but when it does get established the way it likes to establish itself and get into bigger and bigger mass by seeding. And so you don't want to disturb that area when the flowers are spent you know what I mean. Make a mess cleanup to roughly. Because you'll miss out on that colonizing effect that the self sewing is going to do so the takes a long time. It does surprise but it takes a long time because I believe that those aides need to they take two years to Germany to have both through warm moist. Cold Moist warm moist. You know the whole thing like that. I think I think it is two years to germinate. So you know. It's one of those things in the garden. You don't stand there tapping your foot waiting to see the colony takeoff. You just go away. And then a scant seven years later. A nice big clump. Yeah we're colony so flowering shrubs or another hallmark of spring. And Oh my goodness I mean you know. We could name so many that we adore and the question arises you know dead had them getting from people more southern than I am. I've already been getting like do I have to dead my roadies do I'd after dead. Had My you know Fill in the blank so yeah camelias for more southerly people exactly you know. And that sort of dot dot is like also went to prune them is. When is the right time to prune them? So maybe let's talk about you if you can imagine fast forward in your garden a little bit like some things that you do tidy up. Don't tidy up in the SHRUB department Kind of pertains to their flowering. Don't tie that's that's a good one you rose by a rea- I think some Birgitta. You Know Ogun among one eighth you don't WanNa cut that back because the foliage is what you're grown at for. It has lovely white flowers early and there followed by this. These sort of needle like leaves and Ogun is the gold one and that's a terrific plant so that's actually percipient to don't come back for. I mean you you can cut out the part that's deceased but when I see a percent the ball I just think oh what is going on. And sometimes they have no flowers because the the landscaper has made them into meatballs. Yeah Yeah not a good thing for but other things I mean. Camellias are kind of self cleaning like another. The power's turned brown. And they sort of fall off but you can help that along. Just go to the flowers and just sort of snapped them off and if you need to you can put it. But you know as we're talking thinking the general rule especially for spring flowering things. Is You prune them right after they flower particularly need the whole season to prepare to flower again? Some things like hydrangea panicky. Lada make the flower. You know what they're gonNA flower with through the season but the early things they've made what they're going to use to flower the year before right rarely right after they bloom so in our northern gardens. You know one of the two everywhere. Just a tiny little different. If the best time to lilacs they say is cut some bouquets and enjoy them indoors. And that's your pruning. You know what I mean. It's at the time or right after because by say July two months later or so. They are already beginning that process toward thinking about setting buds for next year. And certainly by fall there Abud. So you don't WanNa do it then and there's a lot of should you dead head lilacs or not dead lilacs and I think i. I think that if you let the fruits develop you really don't get as many flowers at least I don't so I it's a lot of work but I I do think that you know as you said. Cut some for though by the on the on the nightstand. That's the best some things that have fragrances. During the day don't have fragrances at night. Like trigger twenty four seven So cut them and have them on the bedside and then if you haven't cut them all then go round and just you can snap off little fruit. Says they're forming very easy to see their green fruits where the flowers used to be. Or you can take your SA- caters her crooners and cut them off at. If you WANNA prove your Lilac I would prune it down to the first out facing cluster of leads so you want to encourage the Shrub to sort of get a vase shape so so that the next branch doesn't cross with an inner branch or become congested. You want to open it up. And that's that's pretty easy to see if you look at it so when you prune in any case you look to see where the direction what you're leaving behind is likely to sprout and go in right so that you're thinking of the future architecture. That's that's mostly true with a shrub that has alternate clusters of leaves because some of them have in clusters of leaves on both sides. You can actually remove one and encouraged that outpacing growth. My getting confused here. That's not so hard to understand and with the lilacs the other reason I like to Dead head them so to speak. Is that once those fruits as you? Call them those clusters of green. Things are Brown. They look like hell. Let's do you have a big flow reference. You know one that really performed beautifully and then it has this mess right. I'd rather get mother green red right because it's awful and and I don't want to look at that the rest of the season and as you say it may also reduce flowering you know. Some of the energy may be put into the reproductive those seeds but uh so the long reach prunier. I loved one by the company. I have no affiliation with them but I just love their pruning tools. Rsd Longreach Crooner. It's maybe gives gives you an extra while you can get very long ones but I have one. That's maybe four feet and another one that telescopes to six. So I can get a lot of those. Even you know eight nine ten nine feet high can get a lot of those dead heads out of a Lilac which is great.
How Deep Does the Soil Have to Be in a Raised Bed Garden to Grow Tomatoes and Peppers?
"Says she's thinking about putting in a small raised bed small garden on her patio so she can grow a few tomatoes and peppers and she wants to know how deep the soil would have to be. Well that's a good question mark. I'm GonNa stay deep as possible is the best answer now. Let's try to qualify that My uncle and his reclining time go to Mehta's in a water. Water filled apparatus That was only. I think maybe eight inches deep at the very most now. Most people probably aren't going to go into that particular kind of thing so I would say eight inches would be the absolute minimum depth then going to best case scenario eighteen inches is better the whole point being that if if you want to stay with tomatoes and it Cetera they can be and can be productive in a relatively shallower area. She wants to plant any loan stuff carrots then she's got to get down toward that eighteen now to be let's just say as as general in terms of gardening as you can think of. I Have Lois dig down twelve inches or have ever higher young guy with a shovel but anyhow down twelve inches through through that dirt decide on a tarp or for that matter throw it out but I would be inclined to keep a bit big down to that Ten or twelve inch. Ruth range put in minimum two inches of gravel. Now this would be just plain Pulverized gravel if he could even be limestone best but it wasn't but it's okay Three inches is better than put some some landscape cloth over the top of that gravel. So that leaves her with a nine inch depth of actual soil. Now that can be when she's talking about digging or I'm thinking of her digging down. She wants to raise it if she wants to. Stay on top of the ground. Then I would say you're still dealing with what is going to be ten to twelve inches deep Bordered by Goodwood. Or what have you So that you can stay on top of the ground I know well Ash. Ritchie's has been on with me from time to time. Grew blueberries here in Central Ohio on limestone rock because he went into raised beds having been there and pick some of these various and enjoying them. Thoroughly I know that he was not more than twelve inches. Deep with those beds so either down and start. Grab on the bottom or it's still best to put down. Maybe an inch gravel on top of the cle- junk or whatever it is still used hardware cloth then build up the good soil on top of that within boundaries and borders or not Action did not have borders on his his very bad but So it tapered up on over but I think even in the very center of it His soil wouldn't have been much more twelve or fourteen inches deep. So I think that's the best leader recommend four Louis The better drainage you can create on in ground or above ground is best comes in with there being an interface between her new sales repaired. So she's GonNa make whatever And and hard rock junk
Growing in Galvanized Containers
"Plant in galvanized containers for fun and Dana at the Seattle flower asked us. I'd like how galvanized containers look. But are they eco-friendly? Do they require more water? Well this I thought that this was a very interesting question. I did too because galvanized containers look really cool. They can either be modern or they can be very country. It's a really versatile. Look they come in a bunch of different sizes. They're not super expensive. They're lighter weight than clay or wood. There's a lot of reasons why you might want to use galvanize containers but I think people get freaked out at the idea of using metal to hold their plants. I I'm guessing that's what it is. I think so too. First of all galvanized steel is coated with zinc. And so people. Have you know. They're worried about that but they should know that zinc first of all is naturally in our soil's right. It's it's a micronutrient essential all. Yeah that's right. We need it including plants need it as well Huh. So that's number one. I think it certainly is common sense that you probably wouldn't use an old rusty corroded. Yes galvanized container plant in. But when you think about it. A lot of our municipal water systems use galvanized pipes to deliver the water to us so at the amount of zinc that comes off. A non corroded planter or pipe is very very small and is well within the testing. That's been done that I've been able to find the research for is well. Within the limits of what's healthy for a human being the other great thing about the livestock troughs that you can use for large planting areas. Is They have a drainage hole in the bottom and so that works very well. They've already got you know of system for getting RID OF EXCESS WATER. And if they don't have enough you could easily punch more in them so it's not like with clay or wood where you have to really muscle that drill you can easily or you know fairly easily. Add drainage holes to those containers. That don't already have them so I would say Dana. No they don't require much water because I guess maybe Dana was thinking that metal heats up more in the sun and that is true they do get. The roots will get warmer. I used to use a lot of these on the terraces in New York and the metal does get a little bit warmer so there were a couple of times when I'd lean up against one of them on a hot summer day and say ooh that's hot but but it doesn't seem to unless you have a plant that really needs to keep its root zone cool. That's not an issue and as far as needing more water goes. They actually need less. Because they're not porous so the water does not evaporate through the walls of the container as it would with wood or clay. So if you're planning something really drought tolerant. You probably don't WanNA use galvanize container because the water is gonNA evaporate from there fairly slowly. Yeah I have a couple of these on my back deck as well as other places on my property. I love how they look. I love the fact that they're not that expensive and they show off. Whatever I plant in them to great
Amazing Bird Nests With Brett DeGregorio
"I should probably tell the story that led me to your doctoral work and then subsequently over the years two other papers you've published and then to calling you up out of the blue the other day and inviting you to come talk today so. I know it will bore you because you've already heard the story but I'm sitting. I don't know how many years ago at my desk and to my right in my field. Division out of their side of my right eye is A patio and stonewall and in the springtime. There's a chair out there. And there's a bird who sits on the back of the chair and every so often came seems very intent on the stonewall and every so often Swoops down and seems to look for something in the stonewall in this house goes on over and over again and I'm thinking what in the world and the behaviors of Flycatcher that I kind of knew the kind of that kind of Activity but I thought. What's IT catching? What's it doing anyway identified? The bird turned out. It was a great crested flycatcher and then one time I turn my head just at the right time and it was picking up a shed snakeskin out of the wall of a lot of garter snakes in the stonewall. They loved their and they wriggle out of their skin and leave it behind and this flycatcher apparently knew that he or she whatever could find. I don't know if it's a year she could find snakeskins dare and wanted to collect them and I read that. They used them in their nests. So tell us about that crazy thing I mean how in the world breath that bird not do that and why. Why does a bird do that and two other birds do that? I mean it is very aging and that behavior was first reported on in the nineteen twenties. So people have known about this for a long time but it wasn't until two thousand six. Anybody tested it and what they found out. Is that these Great Crested Flycatcher. They nest in cavities in trees made one of one of their main predators are flying squirrels and one of the things that wants to eat flying squirrels and also loves to go into those tree. Cavities are snakes particularly lap snakes and it seems to be that if a fly catcher incorporates a snakeskin into its nest or displays it outside of a toll it is much less likely that a fine squirrels gotta go into that nest hole and Either take it away from the bird or actually degradate the exit that bird. Wow you know and I mean my head just goes to the like who told the bird. This was a good idea. What bird in its ancestral line? How many billion you know thousands of years ago figured this out. I mean it's just it's amazing. It's just so so it's an anti predation strategy that this animal has developed that and then those tests that you said in two thousand six to that said they sort of proved it. They examined enough nests to prove that it did have a positive effect. They did what they looked at. Were a bunch of Artificial comedies basically burn Fox's SPA for fly catchers and they put A third of those Nestboxes they put Ness with nick skins inside the box at third of they hung the snakes right outside the box. In a third of them were just regular NASC without snakeskins and what they found is that Flying squirrels stay right away from those Desperate either displayed or incorporated those snakeskins. It's amazing now so you're into snakes. Urine two birds. This is about a relationship among snakes. Birds actually in a couple of ways. Well the snake sometimes go up the tree looking up the tree looking for the Flying Squirrel. Is that what goes on or something to get into the nest cavity Tom? I believe that the snakes you know particularly those rat snakes. They loved to climb trees and they're always looking for a a a good place to hide out in. One of their favorite places to hide is in the hollows of of dead trees. Those avenues I see so so snakes and birds did it. And they have a common ancestry. Don't they even? I mean I'm not so good with paleontology and sort of the Filo genetic system of things according to their ancestry or whatever but aren't Cincinnati Related. Sort of certainly not my strong point either. But but yeah they they definitely come from the shared ancestor. Yeah and so. Yeah so you know I mean to other birds do this. Are there other birds? Go looking an isn't known whether it was the male or female who does this. I don't know who builds the nest in the great crested Flycatcher for instance but and I don't know how to tell them apart necessarily But other birds that do this collect snakeskins and use them in this way There are and the the more you start paying attention to burgess the more you see the wacky things that they incorporate but I I've seen snakeskins. In a number of different species nests including up blue grow speaks. Do It really frequently Robbins occasionally do that actually spent the day today watching some Robbins Dildo nest right outside my front door. And they're incorporating a long piece of tape off of the cardboard box it looks just like a snake skin and I'm guessing that they're tricked by it At read seen European birds do this as well and there seems to be a theory that these birds who don't nest in cavities but instead built big platform Nestle Little Cup Nests. They do as kind of a status symbol. So there's one bird that's a small Hawk called the black kite and the more snake skins and white pieces of plastic incorporate into the nest the tougher. They're telling their neighbors. They are and the birds that incorporate lots of these white pieces of plastic and snakeskins they tend to be really dominant and other birds will don't mess with them and kind of Sub Dominant or weaker birds. They're too afraid to incorporate these ornaments into their nests. Because they know they can't win those sites so they have that crazy contest. Is it so forgive me? Saying there's a pecking order Haha among
Spring is the best time to edge your beds to keep grasses out
"Cultivating successful growers for generations. Fred kind of dove tailing off what? Sandy said about the grass in her beds. I know the one of the things that you said really needs to be done now. As to edge those beds yes and I well as I mentioned I. I was a little lax in the lead fall. Fortunately I'm not in too much trouble But there are of course not enough grasses and other weeds that come up from seed and so on so let's just expand on Sandy's having to get down in use a weed killer or clough all or whatever once. She has that straightened out and the weeds under control. They're digging them out getting the routing off and any runners That is a challenge. Now once that is done that moved over the soil. Get it looking the way you want it with or without Mulch then put down. Pren- preen is a read. No actually it's a germination retardant foresees now it was developed principally for lawns. There are better chemistry's now for lawns but the prime material is is by kind then used for years and it does a wonderful job. I'M GONNA put at the eighty percent range of stopping new seeds from germinating either grass or
Cocktails With Flower Power
"We're getting to the good part creating the cocktails cocktails. Okay now as we said in the beginning you don't have to do these beverages with alcohol. In fact here is drink for the cocktail hour that it's very simply made. It is trader Joe's Grapefruit Soda with ice and Rosebud from the garden and sprigs of mint. And what could be more beautiful or elegant. That's except maybe if you added a little vodka to it but that's just me if you do wanna add a little vodka. You could make yourself a Martini. I call this version. The dirty lily bud and instead of being garnished with pickled onions or with all of this is garnished with pickled daily buds which are delicious. And if you like a dirty Martini poor little bit of that pickle brine into the Martini along with the flower buds. Now tell me what the red on the top is there. That actually is a good plant also for the cocktail hour garden because those are dried red hibiscus flowers tropical biscuits tropical hibiscus okay. This is a blueberry beverage that is made with vodka and blueberry lime and a little simple syrup or maybe a gob Acer Up. It's one of the recipes that I made for the Cocktail Hour Garden Book. But I'm showing it today for the Sprig of mint because that's break of mint is in bloom and many people forget to use blooming meant as a garnish. Whether it's for your eyes tea or for cocktail but grow your meant and pot so that it doesn't take over your world And then let it come into flower and use those flowers as a garnish. Yeah I think a lot of people might think that when when herbs flour the flavor is then affected in a negative way and while that can be true for some annual herbs. For a perennial herb. Like this it's not true at all the flavors terrific even when it's in bloom. These are the flowers of the New Mexico. Locust were closely related to the honey locust and almost the same flavor the New Mexico locust yes it grows in New Mexico but it also grows all over the country it is not just a desert plant and if you take those flowers infuse it in some gin and then garnish with the white flowers of the honey locust. You get the sweetness and the slightly gravy flavor of the flower in the gym and also in the garnish itself. That's gorgeous. I think it's beautiful. Yeah beautiful and you'll get the B. I saw that picture. Don't get that in the cardinal. Yeah it adds a certain thing that you probably won't appreciate and if you're not somebody who wants a cocktail you can take those same flowers. Make a syrup out of them and then turn that into a wonderful sorbet. That's also drop dead gorgeous if you ask me all right well. This is one of my must have plants in the garden. N- assertions easy to grow from seed put right into the soil. All they really ask for is a little sun and some good drainage and they are happy and the wonderful thing about this plant is the both the leaves and the flowers are edible in the summertime. One of my favorite things to do to walk out into my vegetable garden and say what's for dinner and what's always on. The menu is a salad. And what's always in that salad leaves and dister flowers so distortions are in what plant family anybody no. I'm GONNA pretend somebody said mustard. You're right in the mustard family. And they do they have that mustard e sort of hot spicy but green flavor to just a little bit of a spice which is nice and the flowers also have some sweetness to it so this is a cocktail made with gin and elderberry liqueur. And and basically what you do. Is You put those minister. Shem flowers in a Shaker Cocktail Jarir Mason Jar and you model them with either a wooden spooner model or you crush them up. You had your ingredients into that jar with ice cubes and then you shake it all right and then you strain it so that the biggest pieces and the ice cubes come out and you port in a glass and serve garnished with an assertion flower. The beverage has the flavor and the sweetness of distortion flowers in. I want to take this opportunity to talk about whether you shake or stir your cocktails James Bond. I'm a big James Bond Fan. But he got it totally wrong because a Martini should never be shaken. It should always be stirred and here is why we stir cocktails that are primarily either alcohol or clear liquids or liquids that have a similar density. Because they don't need a lot of agitation to combine the liquids and you want them to be clear and smooth when they come out into the glass but something like this or a cocktail that combines a syrup or cream or an egg that means a lot of agitation in the speaker in the Shaker so that the ingredients will combined well so for something like this which you then want to strain out the big pieces it absolutely needs to be shaken and you could make a non alcoholic version of this by putting the same distortion flowers in with a little bit of water little bit of lime and a little bit of a Gava Syrup shake it up with the ice cube strain and then pour some sparkling water and that would make a very refreshing drink. Probably doesn't need to be said that you put the sparkling water in after you shake. I've made that mistake. It's not a good one to
Lesser celandine--weed or a great plant?
"Successful growers for generations read. We had an email this week from Conrad There's a yellow flower that keeps growing in my wildflower beds and my lawn and he wanted you to identified for him and he sent along a picture and you were able to look at it and say hey. I know what that is. I thought I did and then I looked closer than my best handling of the phone. I expanded the picture to where I could get into the pedal count the color of the center of the flower the well the possible to the plant and I will tell you that I had a notion that it turned out to be wrong because I thought it was a marsh. Marigold definitely not I went through four books on religion say perennials and general and then three wildflower books and I found found sign lights. What I think is an exact match. A little plant Six or so inches tall A nice kind of heart shaped or spade shaped leaf mount on the green side. I've got a solid greenside. The flower petals usually are a little shiny and he just called. Lesser Sellin dined now. That's that's the good news but I think it actually is now then is decision is GonNa be how much what he wants. Because it can be an invasive. Little Rascal If you are dealing with a shady wet spot then it can be an absolutely perfect well so to speak ground cover because that's what it loves moisture now you can't put it in upon but it can be right at the edge of the wet spots so on we'll continue to flower seed and grow to the point where you say okay enough and you start using the weed killer from there Doesn't have to be and isn't always a an invasive plant because of the growing conditions sometimes it almost even suffers if it's too much of a dry spot to dance shaded CETERA. But I'm GONNA say because now in trying to find the duplicate for the flower picture he sent. I have been through well. The yellow flowers listed in four different little books. I think I've looked at a hundred yellow flooring plants and as per usual. It's always the last one you see 'cause when you quit looking but I think it's lesser selling dine. Yeah it's certainly looks like it In all the pictures that I've seen as well and like you say even in some states they consider it a noxious weed. Well and I'm not so sure about Ohio's list. There there are the top ten noxious plants in Ohio I have looked at it reviewed but not retained it. Then there are some that are even on beyond the ten but Hitting the wrong place that creature can try to take over however. I don't think even though I have not had the fight at personally. I don't think it will be that hard to set a line of demarcation with a
Can I trim a yucca plant hard in the Spring?
"Successful growers for generations. Yucca plant and it's about Eight eighteen years old. And it's Kinda looking packing the the outerly. Kinda PERSON. Cut that down and choose backup. Well that probably yes reason. I laugh at this point. Some people have planted Yucca and long before he years they WANNA get rid of it. And can't that means that you can probably practically murder the plant and have it come on along? If you're going to cut it down hard real hard number one if you can save some of the inner and greenest youngest looking leaves. This would be good if you can't do that. Then get it done soon so that it has a recovery period route wise and then can put up From the crown of the plants that you can put up new leaves I'm GonNa say that sometimes when you want to get rid of them. You can't other times when you want to keep them. You can't get good transplant. But I would think that you could go into it. Pretty heavy yet What part of the State are you in Pat? We're around the Canton Canton area. I think because of being several days later in weather time Temperatures and so. I think you could go ahead and do that and be pretty comfortable that it will come on a long now. It may sit looking pretty haggard or or just plain topless if you have to cut that hard For quite a while but do not despair because it could be well into may maybe even early June before it starts to recover but the odds are pretty good. You can get it done. Sooner is indeed better okay and now as I told. Sandy it is also a matter that if you well if you want to cater to the plant at this point in its present condition Again very
"If you're not familiar with Clavier mini-armada this is a wonderful species. That's native to Southern Africa and their members of the Amer relived. Aca family. That's the Lilly family with strap. Like leaves and Gorgeous. Lily like flowers that are usually orange but come in a radio collar three to read rusty reg yellow. And there's also some with variegated leaves for you variation fans out there and as to the clavier debate. Well they were named after lady Clive. Who was the granddaughter of Robert Clive and Clive of India? So I guess officially it should be Clavier but Steve from implant center and I both ATV so. You're just going to have to deal with that if you happen. To be a proponent of Clavier Steve Hickman is part of a family run. Nursery called the whole implant center in South Yorkshire in the UK and this interview was recorded before lockdown happen so there may be some references to flower shows which normally at this time of year. Steve would be attending with his plants. But of course that's all been curtailed for the moment but that just put it into context as to why that might be mentioned in this episode. Now Steve as well as being an expert and one of the premier breeders of clears in the UK. He's also an expert breeder of Agatha this to bake and narrowings so didn't check out their website something for the Garden Dot Co dot UK which is got loads of information on growing all of these plans including clears and really is a great resource. I'll put some inks in the show notes so you can take a look at that over to Steve to kick us off with some fron tastic useful information about growing these beautiful flooring house plants and he starts buying explaining exactly what court about clears in the first place where first of all we started and we still do A. I'm a few years ago. They outcomes has changed families into Morella. Deysi which covers the cliff is is not to go into the May. Tens of this society amid other girl was principally a guy called Mike Jeans who was then national collection holder and from talking with him and saying the clippers and the fantastic amount to call us. That are available now. Such as Reds Brahms's yellows petits Greens and pinks and from tastic by colours. It really attracted me. I The ship of the leaves like some shape. It's exactly like the ACA pompous impressive with not in flower because of the array of different flower. Colours just fantastic just mind blowing. Libya's went out saying for a long time. Steve Do you think they coming back in fashion? It's a traditional Victorian plot. You say parents and grandparents used to have them up. They used to have they asked pedestrians manly the vote in the oranges and occasionally the yellows but these days like I say these different colors our community the ball and what we're doing to encourage people to start growing With exhibiting clippers at The larger richest flower shows which is Chelsea Chatsworth. Where LAST YEAR? We did it for the first time in the Pavilion Chelsea and we at to get the gold medal along with the pumped exhibits as well so people say all these new fantastic colors for the first time and people with play Orange One Sort of increase in the collections. I think we are always going to be suckers for all those new and interesting plants safe more generally. What are the basic catastrophically? These I think quite tough floods are they. You have Roy of an easy to grow so stopped up in February. If you've clavier in a container they only liked to be repoted every now and again just like yoga from the same family. The lie of the rose to become jested so once. You've you plant in. Say six to eight inch. Container is happy for three. Maybe four years in that same content. Now let style February you start watering the clavier once a week or once a four not just keep it moist but you do start to feed the clear. Once every two weeks and the reason he stopped feeding now become apparent. Sort of later on you do this. Roy through the season about September. Now if you've never wall broom the clavier will start to flower. Send the flower up through the leaves early January February even a little bit early. If it's a really warm room if you keep it nice and cool which we try and do the flower. Later in the season surrender may June time. So You keep watering you. Enjoy the flower ridden. If you pollinate the flowers with a cotton bud In the morning or evening you get seedpods form in which I'll talk about lead but the most important thing to keep flowering every year is the do like a cold spell so when the danger cross gone sort of June two you can take it outside onto the shade of a tree or a shady part of your Patio Conservatory and leave it there while end of walk. Tober bring it in. Just before the frost or alternatively you can keep it in your house while the September implicit outside September October so it gets not Eight to ten week chill sets the board in the base of the plant for flower in the following spring. Now you can't live is fairly dry over winter. So December January you keep it on the dry side not bone dry but dry. That's the rest in period And brings you into February. You start watering and keeping it moist you feed once a fortnight the fade then brings the flower up through the leaves and the flowers normally just held above the leaves. If you don't say it correctly the flower often stays in the central Rosette delays. And you don't really see it so the cold spell. In the autumn. The dry over interest impaired undefeated wants all night. It keeps you plumbed health and on the issue of fertilizer. What what do you recommend Of The freeway recommend Is is sort of general feed but we have especially speed that we use we do. It is available on our website and the flower shows a mouse. Eighteen twelve eighteen. It's not jim loaf law phosphates and high potash dot keet plums hoppy right the way
Give P.J.M Rhododendron a Try for Spring Color
"That I know I probably mentioned every spring such an outstanding greeter. Pete J. M. Rhododendron. It is one of the cultivars of Rhododendron one of the very many that grows into the three to six foot tall range. It right now. Mine is on and it's always a nasty corner. It's the North West Corner. Sun Beats off the driveway. Winter winds whistle by it so on it comes into bloom every year. It started again on Thursday. Just a few things open flowers. I should say open in the morning and by evening on Thursday it was showing more and yesterday I think is a flower stem on the tip of ever flower on stems of every every stem on that. And I'll bet there's no less than a thousand stem dip so. It's just absolutely spectacular. Several people walk by in his. They're doing right now with their dogs. That as well as just walking by and three people I saw stop with their cell phones. And actually take a picture of the rascal. I chatted with one lady. She said well. My RELATIVES ARE UP IN CLEVELAND. And their stuff's not coming on like this yet so I'm going to let them know what's happening here. So it's just it's that show that people walk up off off of the sidewalks up the driveway and feel perfectly comfortable and I'm glad they do taking a picture of something so magnificent on the GM has that nice deep rich violet. Sort of color. Yes I would say. That's its principle. Color Mark. The does vary their pinks and almost whites. I have been told there is even one more or less experimental in the yellowish colors. But principally that that fantastic medium strong pink. Is that a full sun full sun. I'm sorry mark is that for full Sun Well mine indeed is now you can grow shave because I have one. That's initiated does not perform as well this one however is on a west face So that by noon almost every day of the year. It's in full sun clear until dark so it it can go both ways the only thing as Rhododendron the whole family or a group of Rhododendrons alias and so on they need an acid fertilizer. I gave mine what I call a decent burial white whole. Not too deep Prepared Soil Lots of Peat Moss. A lot of sulfur in the soil and got it into good shape probably as much as forty years ago now and it has it has been treated unkindly every since if I think of it in the spring while I'm doing others I will give it a little bit of acid fertilizer. I allow many leaves together under it. Which makes kind of a sloppy Gardner but It's my favorite mulch. Anyhow and mark I would say into or toward more dense shade but then totally full sun because they're grown in northeastern
Time to Attack Crabgrass and Weeds
"Growers for generation. Why no one thing. That's going to help you this week. you're going to get out and do something about crabgrass. Oh my ass And as a matter of fact. I hired it done in. The fellow was here last week. Putting the crabgrass prevent down When the dandelions and i have counted three the other day unfortunately but when the dandelions come into flower you better have it down right then or before and even very shortly thereafter because it is a pre emergent there are posting merges for crabgrass. But if you if you get it down get a good thorough job done At the right amounts and so on but if you can get Pretty darned free and clear lawn for the whole summer and not only crabgrass other things like fox. Dale and so on can be held Well as not being able to germinate. That's what this is all about. So get her done yet to now's the time to attack those weeds the ones in the lawn now the ones in the beds. That's a whole different story. Yeah no doubt about it is it. Is it okay to get get. Get those now. Yes i think based on my yard. And i know that makes variables but at the same time. I think that there's enough green top on all of the really evil ones that you can use nervous side at this point in time and knock them out and if one shot doesn't get it at least stop them making curl up their leaves or stems a little bit and then a second shot in a seven to ten days to hopefully stop a lot of the holy and co Discussing later. On in the season i i well i speak like i get mine all done. It doesn't happen. There's a lot of new and kneepads coming up in the future. But i still want to stop as many as i can at this point especially little things like the hand. Bit and chick we they. They're they're sassy right now. Looking great I counted seventeen flower heads on one of the little henbit plants the other day. Everyone of them has a white flower on it. Everyone will come to seed and those little seedpods when they dry we'll split open at the slightest of touches or on their own for that matter and you can feel him. String your ankles
Time to Teach the Kids About Gardening While They're Home from School
"Successful growers for generation. Now Fred I know that Lots of people are dealing with their kids being home right now with the school being suspended so I know you have some ideas for getting kids involved in gardening. Well I do mark and it's twofold well hand can go even be way beyond that but I I got to thinking and I saw some pictures in the paper about children being masked and on and on and on all of which then can his parents and children no end of a concern. I got to thinking that there can be some help from the gardening and I buy books that depending on the child's age but at the reading books that are referenced gardening and then the other is back to migrate. Well my grandmother teaching me to grow plants in little Well Solo Cups. Whatever they were called then I do is I Dunno an inch and a half deep an inch and a half wide is probably plenty big enough. The cups should have a solid wall and in that they were meant to hold water. You have to start by using a pencil or some such punch a hole in the very bottom of the Cup because you grandmothers going to teach you to water that little plant and she's serious but if it can't drain it'll drown and that's not happy for the child or grandma so let's just say that Any nature of Cup that can be drained or there actually are a little tiny clay pots and banned plastic. Pots made for decorated services. And so on. So you start there and then one of the things I like to Let's just say propose is the bigger the seed you handled hand to the child to plant the more. They're going to understand what they are doing. They can see it feel it in their fingers and so on and then when it grows and has a fruit such as Pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds are great one to get started Get get get that big seed in their hands. Beans peas things like that It's a little tedious and you. I would recommend you. Don't promise them a crop but at the same time you can see the on their face when the bean or whatever starts to break through the soil and send a little top. Now that's the next step let's just say an intermediate step one of the first things is to punch a hole in the pot. Then use only good potting soil in potting soil. There is probably no such thing as actual soil. It's some of the COMP components of soil but it is not Heavy clay oriented so that it won't drown so Then you go to the matter of popping up through the soil. As soon as there is green showing from the kind of a gooseneck arrival of the seat itself you're going to see Need to get into highlight now the highlight and be an east window. West window south for that matter And and then even to the point of adding some electric to it If you WANNA really set the kids up get a four foot shop light. Hang it from the floor. Joyce in the basement and be able to move that lamp well or or shop light right down to within two or three inches of the seats as they germinate. Then you can in this chain and with the Proper Cup you can kind of move it up the chain as the plants get taller. Then the next step is grandma will teach the child to water. And that's good but try to water in that case where you can water the soil only trying not to just stick it under the sink and pour water on the top There when you keep the soil to moist Not even sopping wet
Five of Fred's Favorite Gardening Books for Kids
"Successful growers for generations. Know you have some suggestions Especially for those folks that are trying to maybe home school. Their kids a little bit right now. some books for kids. I do mark. I have a list in my hand and I'm GonNa pick from it and I'm just going to give the titles. I do not have authors at this point but the one that I list I is called the Kids Nature Book. The second one is stated to be lower and play in the garden. Third one the amazing world of plants. That's that'll be educational end of things. And then the one called the secret garden activity book which will instruct on how to do these things I think indoors and out for that matter and then the last one that I have on my specific list is down to Earth. Nice and I imagine. A lot of these are available online through the libraries. Yes yeah well that that'll give That'll give the parents a little bit of something to do. It will be good for the kids to and then when it gets to the down to Earth I have not read into the book but at the same time they may get on down into the earth where they find out what worms do what little you know what little things can happen. That make a big difference in how the