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Preview: Gardening Conversations: Four seasons of gardening with Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy. Matha Foley hosts

Gardening Conversations: Four seasons of gardening with Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy. Matha Foley hosts

Latest North Country Public Radio regional news by topic. Topic=gardening.

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Dreaming in color...the catalogs are coming

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

(Jan 16, 2017) Snow or no snow, winter is a time of subtle, even monochromatic landscapes. And sometimes a person needs a little color. Gardeners have an advantage: all those seed catalogs coming in the mail, offer an explosion of flowers... just not right now. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy is one who's taking advantage of the glossy possibilities, planning for her summer garden. [full story]

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How winter can hurt trees and shrubs

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

(Jan 9, 2017) It isn't just the deep cold of winter, it's also the combination of temperature swings and dry wind that hurt shrubs and trees in winter. We can't do anything about the weather, but understanding the limits of "hardiness" and which species tolerate severe conditions best can help. Cooperative Extension'sAmy Ivy has some tips and suggestions. [full story]

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A little TLC keeps holiday blooms looking good longer

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

(Jan 2, 2017) Poinsettias and cyclamen are favorite holiday gifts. They're timed to bloom just right to brighten the indoor scene—for a while. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says they really aren't meant to last forever, and it's OK to pitch them when they're played out. But that doesn't mean you can't keep them healthy and looking good for longer with a little TLC. [full story]

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There's more than just birdseed to feeding the birds

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

(Dec 26, 2016) Forty pound bags of sunflower seeds are a start, but winter birds need shelter and a perch, too. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy made her own bird habitat over the years at her farmhouse. It's a question of landscaping. [full story]

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Winter's heck on houseplants

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

(Dec 19, 2016) Yes, they're indoors, but that doesn't mean houseplants get a pass on harsh winter conditions. They face a set of inhospitable and conflicting circumstances. They're likely perched on a windowsill, where it can be too cold and drafty. And they're probably over some sort of central heat delivery system, so it can be too warm and too dry as well. Days are short and dark.And according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, it can even be too bright. What to do...? [full story]

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House plants to give, or keep, for the holidays

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

(Dec 12, 2016) The list is familiar: Poinsettias, Christmas cactus, amaryllis, cyclamen.... Each can bring color into your house. Some are best as just seasonal visitors. Others can be long-lived additions to the household. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy talks with Martha Foley to sort through which is which, and how to care for them. [full story]

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Simple steps for holiday greens

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

(Nov 28, 2016) Plastic urns full of potting mix (or perhaps the remains of summer petunias) are the perfect, quick start on arrangements of holiday greens. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy pulls out the petunias mixes up and moistens the soil mix that remains, and fills the pot with mixtures of greens. Add some dried milkweed pods, maybe some winter berries, and voila! [full story]

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Winter vegetables good to eat, good to keep

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

(Nov 21, 2016) Now is a good time to stock up for winter on squashes and root vegetables. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has some favorite squashes, including a newer variety.Kabocha squash looks like a slightly gnarlier pumpkin, either green or orange on the outside, with a thick stem. It's orange on the inside, and is sweet and creamy when cooked.She also shares tips on how best to keep squash, root vegetables and apples, including why we keep fruit and vegetables apart. [full story]

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Mild weather means more time for last minute garden chores

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

(Nov 14, 2016) Who is ever really done with the garden? It seems like there's always something left to do, whether a basic like planting garlic, or finer details like a last attack on quack grass. Amy Ivy and Martha Foley share their lists. Yes, panting garlic is there, and what Amy calls "sheet composting." That's giving the garden a layer of manure or other un-composted organic material, to compost over the winter. [full story]

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Garlic? Yes, it's time!

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Oct 31, 2016) Garlic is one of the most rewarding crops a North Country gardener can grow. And now is the time for planting. Like most fall bulbss, garlic is fast, easy to plant, and highly rewarding. Choose your garlic well and follow a few simple steps. Then sit back and wait for spring. [full story]

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Raised beds can concentrate your gardening efforts

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Oct 24, 2016) "You never really finish improving your soil." Amy Ivy says. This is a good time for building soil up in advance of the next gardening season. Testing your soil can help you discover what you might need to improve fertility and balance the soil for what you want to grow.Raised beds can help in that effort by reducing the amount of soil you need to work with. And it can focus your efforts in general. Now that we have finally had a little rain, Amy plans to plant garlic in her newest bed. [full story]

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Clean out the garden, fill up the compost bin

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Oct 3, 2016) The gardening season is closing down. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy sets out priorities for what to clean out and how. Much can be added to the compost bin, but not everything. Watch out for diseased plant tissue especially, and some woody stems that just don't break down well. [full story]

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A difficult year for NY apple growers

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Sep 26, 2016) The apple harvest is underway, and it’s been a disappointing year for many apple growers in our region. Drought, hail storms and fire blight are some of the reasons for a difficult season.Cornell Cooperative Extension fruit specialist Anna Wallis is keeping an eye on the harvest in some of the Champlain Valley’s orchards this month. [full story]

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Can you plan for an unpredictable growing season?

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Sep 19, 2016) The change of seasons has gotten less and less orderly over the past few gardening years. Instead of watching for frost, most gardeners in the region are still worrying about drought. Where there was water for the garden, tomatoes are still ripening, annual flowers still blooming. Where there wasn't enough water, perennials are stressed and sad, lawns are brown instead of lush with fall growth.Horticulturist Amy Ivy says a gardeners has to have a more varied set of "tools" to make the most of up-and-down, lengthening growing seasons. [full story]

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Cool nights are good news for the orchard

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Sep 12, 2016) The combination of warm days and cool nights is perfect weather for the apple crop, but the dry season means that gardeners should still be watering, even though the growing season is winding down.Cornell Co-operative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy and Martha Foley parse the weather report for what gardeners needs to know as summer closes out. [full story]

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Not just your garden variety scarecrows in Canton

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Sep 7, 2016) Gardens in the Canton area this season were "peopled" with the help of a group of youngsters. As part of a series of summer activities at Taylor Park, teens and pre-teens took part in a scarecrow workshop with the finished straw folk given to local farmers and gardeners.Co-sponsored by the village recreation department, LittleGrasse Foodworks and TAUNY, the Creating Scarecrows workshop was run by high school students as a way to give them an opportunity to experience a leadership role and a way for the younger students to contribute to the community in a positive way. [full story]

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Self-seeding flowers, herbs can help fill your garden

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Sep 5, 2016) One characteristic of a sustainable garden is that it produces at least some of its own seed. There are flowers, herbs and vegetables that self-seed. Some produce seeds so readily that as long as you give them time to flower and mature, and set seed, you'll always have free plants growing in your garden.Amy Ivy, horticulturist with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton and Essex counties, says self-sowers may be annuals, biennials, or perennials. With a bit of light management, each generation can be coaxed into providing seeds for many seasons. And gardeners can collect and save seeds until the following year. [full story]

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How to be smart about weeds

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Aug 29, 2016) Weeds pose a special threat this time of year. They are going to seed. Imagine, some can drop hundreds of thousands of seeds, right in your garden. According to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, it's smart and efficient to just cut down the annuals, like pig weed, now. That will stop them from seeding the garden, and won't disturb the soil as pulling them up would. Do pull the grasses; their roots are a problem. But as with other pests, the first step is to identify the problem accurately. [full story]

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Good options for corn: homegrown, or not

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Aug 22, 2016) 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 — 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]

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Picking cukes, herbs, flowers often to encourage a longer season

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0400

(Aug 15, 2016) 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]

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