Gardening Conversations: Four seasons of gardening with Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy. Matha Foley hosts
By North Country Public Radio Newsroom
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NCPR provides locally-produced news stories from around the Adirondack and North Country regions of New York State, as well as Western Vermont, and Ontario and Quebec in Canada.
||Good options for corn: homegrown, or not||Sweetcorn can be an easy, interesting and delicious crop for a home gardener. It likes heat and humidity, so Adirondack conditions aren't ideal. And there's one thing you really need to know: plant at least four six-foot rows. Horticulturist Amy Ivy explains why, and shares other fun things about sweetcorn â like, what the silk is for.On the other hand, really good sweetcorn is widely available at farm stands and farmers' markets across the region. Stock and freeze some for winter! [full story]||8/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Picking cukes, herbs, flowers often to encourage a longer season||Horticulturist Amy Ivy says if you’re pulling cucumbers and beans out of your garden - keep at it! Amy says picking cukes, snipping basil leaves and cutting zinnias actually promotes a bigger harvest. [full story]||8/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||A dry year keeps diseases down, but...||According to the US Drought Monitor, almost 90 percent of New York State is abnormally dry. That includes most of the North Country counties. And three quarters of the state is in a moderate or severe drought. So, yes, it's very, very dry. If there's any silver lining, says Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, it's that dry conditions put diseases like late blight at bay. On the other hand, some insect pests are having a very good year. Leaf hoppers and cucumber beetles are among them. Amy has advice on when and how to spray. Especially with organic means, it's important to catch insects early. [full story]||7/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Right-sizing your garden||Garden chores getting the better of your summer? Maybe it's time to "right-size." As Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy says, gardening can be such a joy, it's just not right to let it be a burden, a giver of guilt. She and Martha Foley are down-sizing this year. Amy explains how to take a pause in the garden without giving up entirely. And she explains how to make soil even better for when you're ready to pick up again. [full story]||7/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Get the jump on garden pests||It's hard to be prescriptive when it comes to all the creatures that threaten flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees at various times of the season. But Amy Ivy, horticulturist with Cooperative Extension, has some sound advice for dealing with pests: keep close track of the garden plants so you notice problems early; figure out what the problem is (what bug is it, anyway?); and, do no harm. [full story]||6/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Weather matters for gardeners in the North Country||Although we can’t control the weather, Amy Ivy reminds gardeners they should pay close attention to it and be prepared to react quickly.We can’t make the wind stop blowing like it did over the weekend, but Amy suggests gardeners create a wind block or temporary hoop to help tender transplants survive windy conditions. From near-drought, to heavy rain, and then the heat that is forecasted for this week, Martha Foley and Amy discuss how gardeners can cope with the changeable North Country weather. [full story]||6/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Garden watering strategies to save time and plants||Much of the region got a good dose of rain over the weekend, and farmers and gardeners will tell you it was a badly needed at the start of the growing season. Water is one of the essential ingredients in gardening, and horticulturist Amy Ivy shares some tips for smart ways to water plants when it's dry. [full story]||6/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Watering tips for the garden during this dry spell||Memorial Day means gardening for many people. It's been a dry start to the growing season. Horticulturist Amy Ivy has some tips on watering young plants, seedlings, and trees at the start of the growing season. [full story]||5/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Thrillers, fillers and spillers in the window box||The hunt for the perfect mix of annuals, herbs, and even perennials for containers is part of the fun for gardeners. But where to start? Horticulturist Amy Ivy says a good recipe to follow is the thrillers, fillers, and spillers concept. It's a technique that utilizes three different types of plants to create well-rounded window boxes, urns, and other container gardens. [full story]||5/22/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||First steps to making your own hanging baskets and planters||So, you want to make a flower box, urn, or hanging basket to rival the glorious arrangements in the greenhouse or garden center. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy can help, with information. Step one, like other gardening, is planning and preparation. Is the location too windy and/or sunny for a hanging basket? What's the right mix of potting mix, soil, compost, and other materials for the project? How big is the basket or planter? Lots of questions and answers in this week's conversation. Next week: strategies and design for what to plant, or, thrillers, fillers and spillers. [full story]||5/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Toughen up those transplants!||Mother's Day weekend is the big one for retail greenhouses and garden centers in this region. But just because you walked out with flats of tender transplants, or a gorgeous hanging basket all in bloom, doesn't mean these pants are ready for outdoor life. Too much of any piece of our mix of up and down spring weather can take a toll: wind, rain, sun or cold. Same goes for the starts under the grow light in the basement. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy explains they all need to be toughened up, or "hardened off." [full story]||5/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Feels wrong, is right: dividing perennials||Both the calendar and the forecast signal a key stage in the flower garden: dividing perennials. It can feel wrong to drive the point of a shovel into the heart of your lovely favorite, but the proof is in the pudding. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy says she's her sedum Autumn Joy has hundreds, maybe thousands, of descendants around the region, given away after being divided from the flourishing mother plant. Why do this, and how, in this week's gardening conversation. [full story]||5/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||How to make your own good soil||You've had your garden soil tested . . . now what? Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy lays out the plan for making so-so soil better. And for more drastic areas, how to make your own good topsoil, from scratch. [full story]||4/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||For the lawn and garden, step one is knowing your soil||When the law starts to green up, a gardener's first impulse might be to get out the fertilizer. Surely, that new growth needs to be fed! Not so fast, and not so simple, says Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy. Same with the flower and vegetable gardens.The first step is know the soil ph so you know what the soil needs. The second thing to think about is when the fertilizer will really help the plant's overall health. [full story]||4/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Pick your berry, and grow your own||Raspberries... or blueberries? Take your pick, or plan for both. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy says these two summer favorites require very different conditions, though, and require different levels of care. She makes sense of the differences this week.One new note this year: there's a pest that's pretty much ruling out fall-bearing raspberries these days. They used to be an easier choice, but Amy now says early raspberries are a safer bet. [full story]||4/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Chill out and loosen up the garden||It is still early spring in the North Country and snow is falling is some parts of the region today, so don’t plant anything in your garden yet.Cooperative Extension Horticulturist Amy Ivy said now is a good time for spring cleanup chores. Gardeners should concentrate on loosening things up: lightly rake the thatched lawn and smooth out winter molehills. You can gently remove mulch and clean up any remaining winter debris, but Amy warned ready-to-go gardeners not to plant anything until the ground temperature reaches 50 degrees, usually in late April. [full story]||4/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Happy Spring! Time to get serious about pruning||Lilacs, spirea, forsythia - all those shrubs and bushy things that make flowers can benefit from some judicious cutting back. Not all benefit in the same way, from the same techniques. It depends.Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy begins to sort out which likes what, and how to make cuts that help rather than hurt. Next week: hydrangeas. [full story]||3/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Step one for Spring: clean up and planning||The warm, sunny weekend was like the "go," after weeks of ready, set. . . and wait. Yard work may not be everyone's answer to cabin fever, but for eager gardeners it's a start. Step one, according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, is the clean up.After a series of mini ice storms, lots of yards are littered with limbs and branches. Shrubs are bent and broken. Cleaning all that up comes first, and is a good opportunity to plan for step two: pruning.Over the next couple weeks, Amy will lay out a rational plan and techniques for these spring chores. [full story]||3/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Look, and listen: finding signs of spring||March has to be one of the tougher months for North Country people: zero degrees one night, cold rain the next day, then a brilliant sun and breezes that could feel warm if they weren't drifting over the lingering snow pack. But there are some compensations, like maple syrup, and the signs of coming spring begin to add up.Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy listens closely for seasonal bird songs and watches twigs and shoots for signs of spring. She has a recommendation for bringing a little springtime into the house too: cut young branches for forcing. Birch and tamarack are a couple favorites. [full story]||3/6/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Gardeners have a decision to make about strawberries||Strawberries are the easiest fruit crop for a home gardener to take on, according to Cooperative Extensions' Amy Ivy. Now is the time to order plants for this spring, but there is a critical choice to make, between "June-bearing" and "day neutral." Amy sorts out the pros and cons of each, and shares some varieties to look for and a warning against varieties labeled "ever-bearing." [full story]||2/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
This is one of my favorite podcasts. Though I don't live in upstate New York, and I don't even have a gardening area in my condo, I find this podcast enjoyable, entertaining, and educational.
Good Podcast for Gardeners
I love this podcast. Amy Ivy knows her stuff, and I always pick up a hint or two that I can use in my garden.
Love listening and always learn something about a plant I have or want -or- hear a tip that I can I use in my own garden. Thanks for a great podcast!
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