May 102014
 
“She turned to the sunlight  And shook her yellow head,  And whispered to her neighbour:  "Winter is dead."  ~ A.A. Milne from When We Were Very Young

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.”
~ A.A. Milne from “When We Were Very Young”

Nothing signals the end of winter like bright daffodils and colorful tulips. Spring flowering bulbs are easy to grow and always rewarding. To enjoy their early spring show you must plant these bulbs in the fall and care for them after they bloom.

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He has some dos and don’ts for keeping daffodils, tulips and hyacinths happy and putting on a glorious spring show year-after-year.

 

 

Post-Flowering Care of Spring Bulbs

Spring Flowering Bulbs

"The tulips make we want to paint, Something about the way they drop Their petals on the tabletop And do not wilt so much as faint" ~ A. E. Stallings from him poem "Tulips" (Photo by John O'Neill)

“The tulips make we want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint”
~ A. E. Stallings from him poem “Tulips” (Photo by John O’Neill)

"Here hyacinths of heavenly blue Shook their rich tresses to the morn" ~ James Montgomery, British editor and poet from his poem "The Adventure of a Star." (Photo by John O'Neill

“Here hyacinths of heavenly blue
Shook their rich tresses to the morn”
~ James Montgomery, British editor and poet from his poem “The Adventure of a Star.” (Photo by John O’Neill)

 Posted by on May 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm
Apr 092014
 

"Carrots are divine, you get a dozen for a dime, it's maaaaaaagic!" ~ Bugs Bunny (Photo from the National Garden Bureau)

“Carrots are divine, you get a dozen for a dime, it’s maaaaaaagic!” ~ Bugs Bunny (Photo from the National Garden Bureau)

Bugs Bunny was never seen without a carrot at hand. Could it be the nutritional boost he got from his favorite food that kept him one step ahead of Elmer Fudd?

You should consider growing carrots in your garden. Fresh-from-the-garden carrots are often the sweetest and tastiest.

Home grown carrots also offer a great teaching moment for children. Watch the look of awe and surprise from a young child when you pop a carrot out of the ground, rinse it off and hand it to them to eat. They’ll think you’ve discovered buried treasure, which of course you have.

 Posted by on April 9, 2014 at 8:36 pm
Apr 032014
 

"In my garden, care stops at the gate and gazes at me wistfully through the bars." ~ Alexander Smith, Scottish poet (Photo from the National Garden Bureau)

“In my garden, care stops at the gate and gazes at me wistfully through the bars.” ~ Alexander Smith, Scottish poet (Photo from the National Garden Bureau)

Peas are one of first vegetables that you’ll plant and harvest. The crisp texture and sweet taste of fresh peas truly embodies spring.

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He says if you live in Missouri you need to get peas in the ground as soon as you can work the soil because when the heat of summer arrives your garden peas will be gone.

 Posted by on April 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm
Mar 242014
 

"A flower blossoms for its own joy." ~ Oscar Wilde (Photo by National Garden Bureau)

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.” ~ Oscar Wilde (Photo by National Garden Bureau)

It’s small wonder that petunias continue to rank among the most popular flowering annuals. With over 75 varieties available from different companies, these bright and lively plants bloom from spring until frost. They’re easy to grow and are well-suited for flower beds, borders, window boxes and other containers. Cascading varieties work very well in hanging baskets.

The petunia is related to tobacco, tomatoes, deadly nightshades and potatoes. In fact the name is derived from the Brazillian word “petun” which means tobacco.

The modern petunia will flourish in full sun as long as you keep them well watered. They will grow in partial shade, but won’t flower as much and the stems will stretch more.

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He says your grandparents could have only dreamed of the modern petunia because cross-breeding unrelated seed lines have produced superstar petunias.

 

Surfinia Trailing Heavenly Blue (Photo by National Garden Bureau)

Surfinia Trailing Heavenly Blue (Photo by National Garden Bureau)

Potunia Piccola Pink(Photo by National Garden Burean)

Potunia Piccola Pink(Photo by National Garden Bureau)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Petunia: Better than Ever

 

 

 Posted by on March 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm
Mar 102014
 

“The cucumber is about as close to neutrality as a vegetable can get without ceasing to exist." ~ Waverley Lewis Root, author (Photo by Jessica Salmond)

“The cucumber is about as close to neutrality as a vegetable can get without ceasing to exist.” ~ Waverley Lewis Root, author (Photo by Jessica Salmond)

Love them or hate them, cucumbers are an interesting vegetable. They’re a fruit, but classified as a vegetable just like tomatoes. They can be as much as 20 degrees cooler on the inside that the outside – hence the phrase cool as a cucumber. The temperature difference is likely due to the high water content; cucumbers are 95-percent water. They’re low in calories and contain vitamins C and K.

The cucumber is native to India, where it has been grown for almost 3000 years. It came to England during the reign of Henry VIII when Catherine of Aragon demanded them for her Spanish salads. Columbus brought them to the new world. The largest cucumber ever produced was grown in China. It was 67 inches long and weighted 154 pounds.

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He has tips for growing this popular home-garden plant.

 

 

Cucumber: A Brief History

Vegetable Planting Calendar: Cucumber

 Posted by on March 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm
Feb 262014
 

“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.”  ~H. Fred Dale, author (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view.” ~H. Fred Dale, author (Photo by Debbie Johnson)

There are people with a green thumb that fill their home with gorgeous houseplants that thrive and radiate vitality.

Then there are people like me who either cause plants to mutate so they’re perfect for the villain in Little Shop of Horrors, or I just murder them. Not premeditated, but no matter what I do they wilt, turn brown and shuffle off this mortal coil.

Turns out, I may just be giving them too much of some things and not enough of others.

David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension, is the guest today. He has tips for turning a black thumb, like mine, into a green one.

 

 

Caring for Houseplants

 Posted by on February 26, 2014 at 8:34 pm
Jan 312014
 

Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy. ~Terri Guillemets, quotation anthologist (Photo by Dennis Brown

Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy. ~Terri Guillemets, quotation anthologist (Photo by Dennis Brown

Whether you’re trying to grow tropical plants like African Violets, or you want to jump-start the growing season by starting seeds early, a light garden will provide plants the correct type of light they need to grow and thrive.

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He explains what plants need and offers tips for bringing sunshine indoors.

 

 

Lighting Indoor Plants

 Posted by on January 31, 2014 at 5:33 pm
Oct 152013
 

Marcy Weber, left,  bought a home, has a full-time job and is alcohol and drug free after participating in the Cass County Drug Court program that uses a community demonstration garden coordinated by the University of Missouri Extension. Master Gardener Darra Simpson is one of the volunteers who has helped participants learn teamwork and responsibility through the ‘magic of gardening.’ Photo by Linda Geist

Marcy Weber, left, bought a home, has a full-time job and is alcohol and drug free after participating in the Cass County Drug Court program that uses a community demonstration garden coordinated by the University of Missouri Extension. Master Gardener Darra Simpson is one of the volunteers who has helped participants learn teamwork and responsibility through the ‘magic of gardening.’ Photo by Linda Geist

There are so many difficulties to overcome when trying to escape drug abuse. You tend to keep company with other users, making it difficult to escape the vicious circle of substance abuse. Drugs become so all-consuming that you stop caring for yourself.

One community in Missouri is trying to give people who are lost in drugs a way back. Cass County Missouri’s Drug Court and University of Missouri Extension teamed up to teach gardening and along the way they teach confidence, independence and a way home.

 

 

News audio available at MU Extension Radio News Service

 

 Posted by on October 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm
Sep 162013
 

Hyphae of Rhizoctonia solani with right-angled branching pattern. J. Thompson photo.

Hyphae of Rhizoctonia solani with right-angled branching pattern. J. Thompson photo.

Your once beautiful lawn is suddenly sprinkled with unsightly patches of brown grass. Does it need water? Does it need fertilizer? In many cases it needs neither. You could be looking at a fungal disease: large patch in zoysiagrass or brown patch on tall fescue.

Today’s guest is Lee Miller, associate professor of plant sciences for University of Missouri Extension. He talks about the latest research for controlling large patch and brown patch. He also has tips to help homeowners keep their lawn healthy so it doesn’t fall victim to these diseases.

 

 

Identification and Management of Turfgrass Diseases – Brown Patch

identification and Management of Turfgrass Diseases – Large Patch

 Posted by on September 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Sep 032013
 

Serrated ovipositor on a female spotted wing drosophila (photo by Martin Hauser)

Serrated ovipositor on a female spotted wing drosophila (photo by Martin Hauser)

A fruit fly that can slice open berries and peaches, deposit eggs and destroy the fruit from the inside-out. Sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but this is all too real. The spotted wing drosophila, which has already wreaked havoc  in the west and the east, has now moved to the Midwest.

Today’s guests are Bruce Barrett, entomologist for University of Missouri Extension, and Brad Fresenburg, an MU Extension plant scientist.

 

 

Integrated Pest Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila

 Posted by on September 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm