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
Mar 062014
 

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” ~ Carl Reiner (Chart from The Missouri Climate Center)

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” ~ Carl Reiner (Chart from The Missouri Climate Center)

I saw a robin red breast today. Hopefully it is an indication that winter will soon release its grip on the Show-Me State.

While we’re still waiting on the final data, it looks like the winter of 2013-14 may be the coldest in 35 years.

Today’s guest is Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program. He talks about the cold, the lack of needed precipitation and a rare event in Missouri.

 

 

Missouri Climate Center

 Posted by on March 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm
Mar 042014
 

"The income tax has made more liars out of Americans than golf." ~ Will Rogers (Photo in the Public Domain)

“The income tax has made more liars out of Americans than golf.” ~ Will Rogers (Photo in the Public Domain)

Scam artists are always on the look-out for ways to steal somebody else’s money. Income tax is another avenue they can use to rip you off and steal your identity.

 

 

Tax Fraud Alerts

 Posted by on March 4, 2014 at 2:10 am
Mar 042014
 

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." ~ Will Rogers (Photo by Mariya Gencheva)

“The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” ~ Will Rogers (Photo by Mariya Gencheva)

If you don’t file an Income Tax return you make it possible for someone to steal your identity, your money and get you in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service.

 

 

More information from MU Extension on taxes and other financial topics.

 Posted by on March 4, 2014 at 1:57 am
Feb 262014
 

"Spare when young, and spend when old." ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Spare when young, and spend when old.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Spending and saving go hand-in-hand because the money you don’t spend can go toward savings.

The problem is too often we don’t pay attention to all the incidentals we buy and dollar-by-dollar we spend away our savings.

Today’s guest is Andrew Zumwalt, associate state specialist for financial education for University of Missouri Extension. He says before you can create a plan for building your savings, you need to have a clear picture of where you’re money is going.

 

 

 Posted by on February 26, 2014 at 9:41 pm
Feb 262014
 

"I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart." ~ EE Cummings (Photo by Damian O'Sullivan)

“I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.” ~ EE Cummings (Photo by Damian O’Sullivan)

Having money in savings can be liberating. You can have peace of mind knowing that funds are there in case of an emergency. Savings will also allow you to reach financial goals like buying a home, a new car or putting your children through college. It’s an important part of a healthy financial future.

Today’s guest is Andrew Zumwalt, associate state specialist for financial education for University of Missouri Extension. He offers tips for saving so you can build a health nest egg.

 

 

Managing Your Money

 Posted by on February 26, 2014 at 9:10 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
Feb 102014
 

"Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." ~ Benjamin Franklin (Photo by Kent Faddis)

“Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” ~ Benjamin Franklin (Photo by Kent Faddis)

Many people, when they get their annual tax refund, think that money is perfect for a down payment on a car or truck. But, there’s homework to be done, numbers to crunch and options to consider before you drive that vehicle off the lot.

Today’s guest is Andrew Zumwalt, associate state specialist for financial planning for University of Missouri Extension. He has some tips for smart price negotiating and advice for shopping for the best loans.

 

 

Missouri Taxpayer Education

 

 Posted by on February 10, 2014 at 11:32 pm
Feb 102014
 

“Nothing burns like the cold.”  ~ George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (Graphic by Pat Guinan, Climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program)

“Nothing burns like the cold.” ~ George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (Graphic by Pat Guinan, Climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program)

Bitter wind chill, frozen soils and temperatures that may set records marks January in Missouri. In addition, last month saw an unusually low average dew point, making the air very dry, even by winter standards.

Today’s guest is Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program. He says if the cold trend continues the winter 2013-14 could be the coldest in decades.

 

 

Missouri Climate Center

 Posted by on February 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm