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.
||And then some other weather happened||To describe the weather this spring as "changeable" would miss the drama New York's North Country has endured. Extended periods of summer-like heat; over 90F more than once, paired with wind and very little rainfall, left gardens and lawns as dry as during an August heatwave. Transplants and seedlings that survived the dry heat then suffered frost, in some areas, a hard freeze. Many lost the battle.Gardeners were caught in the middle: plant early and live or die with the extremes; wait for rain and live with the late planting dates. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy commiserates. [full story]||5/31/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||What if it DOESN'T rain?||What this country(side) needs is a good, long, soaking rain. There are showers in the forecast this week, so it could happen. Just in case the skies over your house don't cooperate, Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy has some tips on watering, from trees and shrubs to tender transplants, even for planting seeds.And even if you DO get a nice rain this week, all this is good to know. [full story]||5/24/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||A garden transplant survival guide||The push in on in the garden. Flower and vegetable plants fill the nurseries and some of the flats have been in there a while. Which are the best to select? What can you do to help them survive and flourish after being transplanted?Cooperative extension horticulturist Amy Ivy shared tips and advice with Todd Moe for successful transplanting. She said smaller is better. Select flower flats that are not fully in bloom. Particularly for annuals, you should pinch off any open blooms after you transplant. Herbs and vegetable plants should not be overgrown and root bound. If they are root bound, open up the root ball to allow it to form new root growth after it is transplanted.It is a stressful time for fresh transplants. They can use a good soak immediately. [full story]||5/17/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||What's pH? And why should a gardener care?||Is your soil acidic? Or "basic?" It's easy to find out with a simple test. You get a number; you know the answer. But soil pH is far from a simple matter. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy sorts through why pH is crucial to plant growth and how to fix a pH problem. But she says it's also important to understand the other pieces of the good-soil puzzle. [full story]||5/10/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||All topsoil is not created equal||Good topsoil is solid gold to a gardener. Topsoil that is not so great, with too much clay and much sand can be an endless chore.If you have the need or the opportunity to acquire a load of new soil, either from a friend with some soil to spare or from a garden center, it is best to think about what is offered and whether it fits your needs. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy teased out the possibilities, the problems, and the fixes. [full story]||5/3/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Ready, set...spinach!||The soil is warming up and drying out, which signals the start of spring planting for home gardens.There are bragging rights for the first on any block to plant their peas and spinach, but now is definitely the time for even the more cautious among us to consider putting a row or two in the ground.Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy explains why "wide rows" can be a good idea for spinach and lettuce, and why raised beds are just a good idea. [full story]||4/26/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||The simple fix for better soils||Amy Ivy has clay-ey soil. Martha Foley's soil is sandy. Each kind can be a problem in a garden: clay is dense and stays wet. Sandy soil is porous and dry. You'd think they could just get together for a soil-exchange, adding clay to the sandy soil, and sand to the clay. Not so fast, says Amy, who's horticulturist with Cooperative Extension in Clinton and Essex counties. Mix clay and sand and you may get concrete. What's the answer? Organic material. Lots and lots of organic material. [full story]||4/19/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||The dirt on dirt||How do you know what kind of dirt you have in your garden and when it is ready to be worked? Martha Foley spoke with Amy Ivy with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service of Clinton and Essex counties about the most important part of a garden — the dirt. [full story]||4/12/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Spring pruning gives flowering shrubs a boost||If you can't wait to get started in the garden, a good chore this time of year is spring pruning. Horticulturist Amy Ivy, with Cornell Cooperative of Clinton and Essex Counties, said most trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning. She told Todd Moe there are many reasons to consider pruning and sacrificing a few blooms such as, encouraging long-term growth, getting rid of diseased or dead limbs, and cleaning up winter damage.Amy Ivy also said it is easier to prune when you can see the shape of the plant, before it is covered with leaves. [full story]||4/5/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Outdoor chores to do now||It seems like it has been forever since an outdoor chore other than shoveling snow or chopping ice off the roof was on the list. But once the snow melts, you can get out your pruning shears, your rake, and your wheelbarrow. Horticulturist Amy Ivy reports the warmer zones of New York's North Country, like her Champlain Valley neighborhood, have plenty of bare ground. She said it is best to uncover garlic, daffodils, and other early season sprouts sooner rather than later. [full story]||3/29/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Re-potting 101: small plant, small pot||Technically, yes, it's spring. But so far the only pussy willows in Canton are at the local supermarket. And they're not "local." So we're staying indoors for gardening today.Horticulturist Amy Ivy says it's important to match the size of the pot to the size of the houseplant. Small plant, small pot, even when re-potting. But why? And how small? How does the plant know what size pot it's in?It all has to do with water. Too much potting mix, as in a pot that's too big, and everything just stays too soggy. And plants don't like that. [full story]||3/22/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Three things to know for starting seeds||Timing. Light. Temperature. It is a three-legged stool for growing successful seedling "starts" for the garden at home. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy explains the importance of knowing when to starts seeds at home, and how to use light and heat to promote germination and strong growth."When?" is the first question, and Amy said we're not quite there yet, so there is time to get the heat and light set-ups right. [full story]||3/15/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Do a favor for houseplants||If you are looking for a sign of spring, look to your houseplants. Chances are they are adding new growth in response to the angle of the sun and the length of the days. After all, the spring equinox is coming right up on the 20th of this month.Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy said we can help our houseplants make the most of the new energy they're feeling, by re-potting and strategic pruning. Some need a full-on haircut, others need more careful trimming. [full story]||3/8/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Making more of houseplants||Literally â make more plants. Spring is on the way. The chickadees are singing their spring song, the sap is just beginning to run, and inside, houseplants are waking up to the changing angle of the sun.If you brought geraniums in at the end of the a summer, it is likely they are sending out new growth and blooming. Or maybe your indoor plants are in need of a trim. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy said now is the time to take cuttings and propagate geraniums and a host of other houseplants. You need small pots â 3-4", potting mix, baggies, and a sharp knife. You also need to know where to make your cuts. [full story]||3/1/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||What to think about before ordering berries for the garden||Gardeners! You, too, can have fresh berries from your own patch. Top picks for North Country gardens are strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, according to Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy.She says strawberries are a good place to start. Raspberries are a little trickier, and blueberries are a good bet, too, but don't produce any fruit for five years.But before you click "send" or put your order in the mail, there are choices to be made. [full story]||2/22/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Slips, sets and seedlings - more than just seeds in the garden catalog||Go out to the garden today...in your imagination. It's warm there, moist and green. Walking in, you can smell the tomato plants and a confusion of herbs. There's a slight breeze keeping the mosquitoes away. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has been imagining her garden and has her catalog order all set to go. Besides seeds, she's listed slips (sweet potatoes), plus sets and seedlings (onions). Here's why. [full story]||2/15/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Time to order your tree and shrub seedlings||Although the weather outside is pretty frightful, now is a good time to think about your spring tree and shrub planting plans. The Soil and Water Conservation districts around the region are having their annual tree and shrub seedling sales.These sales can be a very inexpensive source for everything from landscaping shrubs to conifers to nut and fruit trees and "butterfly" packs. You can order from some counties online. If you have a hard time locating your local district, Cornell Co-operative Extension can put you in touch. Deadlines for orders come around the middle of March.Martha and Amy discuss how to get your seedlings, and how to handle them when you do. [full story]||2/8/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Wind chill at -30? Cozy up with a seed catalog||Getting outdoors in winter is a prime way to battle cabin fever. But it's February, so when the thermometer says zero and the blowing snow is horizontal, diving deep into the seed catalog could be a better alternative. Spend an hour fantasizing about having warm sun on your shoulders and your fingers in warm soil again!And then, start making your list.Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy shares some tips on filtering through the myriad and wonderful variety of common veggies. [full story]||2/1/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Getting the best from the Internet gardening traffic||Wind chill in the minus 20s probably means more time spent indoors for the next few days and more time surfing the web. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy has advice for gardeners who spend their on-line time seeking like-minded Internet friends and sources. Like the catalogs that are arriving ahead of the gardening season, there is a huge variety of websites, blogs, and chat groups. They range from highly reliable to highly suspect. Amy has some good ideas on how to sort them out. [full story]||1/25/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Gardening - are your house plants too dry, too moist, or just right?||Martha Foley and Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulturalist for Clinton and Essex counties, Amy Ivy, talk about managing house plants during northern New York's long, dry winters. Amy offers some great ideas on how to give indoor plants the right amount of water to keep them happy. [full story]||1/11/2015||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!