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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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Garlic's a constant in an up and down summer

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Jul 17, 2017) It hardly seems like we've had enough "summer" for this, but it's mid-July, and time to harvest garlic. In fact, according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, other areas in the state have their garlic out of the ground already.This week, she's got tips on how to tell when it's really ready, how to get the bulbs out of the ground, and what do do to insure both good-keeping heads for winter use and a good crop for next year. [full story]

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Time to tidy up the early bloomers

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Jul 10, 2017) It's transition time in the garden, time to clean up the early bloomers. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy has tips on tidying up peonies, iris, daffodils and other spent blooms. And she has a tip on her favorite flower for this point in the succession - cat mints: Six Hills Giant and Walker's Low. [full story]

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They're growing! Tips for getting the most from tomato vines

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Jul 3, 2017) Cages, stakes, fertilizer and judicious pruning all help fast-growing tomatoes produce. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says moisture and extra lush growth can make tomato vines vulnerable to disease. She offers tips about managing the consequences of an extra-wet spring, and has an update on the possibility of blight this summer. [full story]

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Now the tomatoes have taken off, its time for training and pruning

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Jun 26, 2017) Martha Foley took horticulturist Amy Ivy's advice from last week and gave her pale struggling tomatoes a little nitrogen. Now that they've perked up and greened up, what's next?Amy says it's time to train and support them to produce a good healthy yield. [full story]

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Too much, too little, or just right. Water matters in the garden

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Jun 19, 2017) It's hard to make a broad generalization about how much water is right for your particular garden. The type of soil matters, the maturity of the plants and whether you're getting localized downpours or slow steady rains.Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy says paying close attention to the moisture in your soil is step one. The way to figure that out? Dig a hole and see for yourself. [full story]

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Heat can slam leggy early-season flowers and vegetables

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Jun 12, 2017) The cool, rainy spring has left a lot of new transplants behind schedule, and perennials that are tender and leggy. They'll welcome the sun and heat, but the resulting sudden growth spurt can be a challenge. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy offers some tips for extra care and feeding! [full story]

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Cool showers are just what a young garden needs

Mon, 29 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(May 29, 2017) A rainy Memorial Day isn't perfect for picnics and parades. And it might be frustrating for a gardener itching to make progress with the vegetables or flowers. But it is just right for tender transplants.That and more about the TLC young plants need, from cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy [full story]

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Planting potatoes and learning to garden near Lake Placid

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(May 25, 2017) The end of the school year is just around the corner, but students at North Country School and Camp Treetops are busy outdoors at the start of the gardening season. Most of the students and faculty took a break from books and blackboards last week and helped plant hundreds of pounds of potatoes. [full story]

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Easy DIY planters and baskets from scratch, or not

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(May 22, 2017) You know those gorgeous hanging baskets, those urns and planters that are so tempting in the greenhouses right now? Here's the formula Amy Ivy likes: a thriller, a filler and a spiller. To put it another way: something eye-catching. Something to add color and fill in the space, and something that'll trail over the sides. Fill the container with potting mix, arrange the plants side by side, add water, and a good measure of patience. [full story]

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What to look for at the local greenhouse

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(May 15, 2017) Greenhouse people say the plants that sell best are the plants that are already blooming. It makes sense: they're pretty, and so appealing early in the season, when gardeners are yearning for some color. And, when you see a bloom, you know what you're getting. Pink cosmos or white? Orange or yellow marigolds? But Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy says there are risks in buying plants that are that far along in their growth cycle. She shares tips on what to look for, and how to mitigate some common downsides. [full story]

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Tackling perennials, and the weeds that love them

Mon, 08 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(May 8, 2017) It's time to tackle perennials — dividing, replanting, moving, and cleaning out the grass and weeds. That's what the calendar says. But continuing cold rain and occasional snow showers don't add up to ideal gardening weather. It's just not much fun out there, and messing around when the dirt is wet makes weeding harder and is bad for soil structure, according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy. So wait till weather clears, then follow her practical tips on how to proceed. [full story]

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It's all things lilac at Moore's Hill Farm near Potsdam

Thu, 04 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(May 4, 2017) One of the joys of spring is the appearance, and fragrance, of lilacs. Most old farmsteads and gardens have at least one lilac tree. A Potsdam couple has started a second career of bringing lilacs back to more yards.About ten years ago, Janice and Cliff Westerling sold their home in the village of Potsdam and bought a 50-acre farm near West Potsdam. Now retired, they're focusing on growing and selling lilacs. Their gardens at Moore's Hill Farm include more than 30 varieties. One of the most fragrant flowers in the plant world, lilacs are available in lots of colors - including royal purples, presidential blues and creamy yellows.Todd Moe stopped by for a tour of the Westerling's nursery and display gardens. It's still too early for blossoms. Janice says the flowering season is typically Mother's Day to Father's Day, but she and Cliff love to show off the plants to curious visitors. So, why lilacs? Cliff says the hardy varieties are easy to grow in the North Country, despite pesky deer. [full story]

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Helping the garden "reach for the sky"

Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(May 1, 2017) It may not seem like it now, but soon the garden will be reaching for the sky. Some plants needs a little help to climb. Amy Ivy put in some plastic mesh fencing as a trellis this weekend to assist her peas and beans to reach their full potential. The same, with ties to hold heavier produce, can keep your cucumber and tomato bounty at a dry and healthy altitude.Almost anything from chain link to snow fence to woven twigs will do to add an upper story to the garden. [full story]

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How to give tender early row crops a little TLC

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Apr 24, 2017) Getting an early start on the vegetable season can be tricky. The weather can be sunny and warm one day, chilly and windy the next. Young lettuces, spinach and other early season starts have to get through it all. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy shares advice on using row cover - that light, porous fabric - to moderate the extremes. One warning -though row cover looks like a way to protect against frost, she says it isn't. You need a little more when temperatures fall that far. [full story]

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"Aggregates" key to keeping good soil together

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Apr 17, 2017) Think chocolate cake. A handful of good soil will look like a handful of chocolate cake: dark and rich, holding together but a little crumbly at the edges. Space for whipped cream to soak in (in the case of cake) or air and water, in the case of soil. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy says it's the aggregates that keep the texture right. She explains what aggregates are and how they work. She has tips on how protect and encourage them. [full story]

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Spring chores? Don't go crazy

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Apr 10, 2017) There's so much to do when winter finally does go away, and the breezes warm up. Between the yard and garden(s), you could go crazy. But no need. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy starts slow-ish, loosening up the winter accumulations of leaves and debris from the perennials and giving what's up some light and air. Clearing out the dead stalks and remains of last year. Giving the yard a light raking. And doing some thinking! [full story]

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Warmer soil's your cue to start planting

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Apr 3, 2017) Sunny Spring days are a temptation to plant the year's earliest vegetables: peas, spinach, arugula and other hardy seedlings. But as warm as the breezes might be, it's still too early if the soil isn't registering 50 degrees F. So says Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy. [full story]

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A good day for some serious pruning

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Mar 27, 2017) Pruning time has arrived, but there's no rush. You have the month of April, at least until the buds come, to get it done.Amy Ivy and Martha Foley share some tips for a good pruning strategy. Get the dead stuff out, obviously, but with flowering shrubs like lilac or mock orange, you might want to get rid of dominant gnarly older stems, too, since young growth flowers more abundantly.And lopping shears are fine for smaller branches, but move up to a saw if you find you are straining yourself, or your tool. [full story]

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Another sign of Spring: those bugs inside your house

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Mar 20, 2017) Happy Spring! The warmer sun of March wakes up the trees and brings birds north. It also wakes up the bugs that live inside your house. Box elder bugs, lady bugs and cluster flies are three common ones. They're all a nuisance, but harmless. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy has more on these mostly unwelcome visitors, and what to do, and not do, to deal with them. [full story]

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Chill out — no need to prune yet

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

(Mar 13, 2017) Justin case you're watching the thermometer drop and getting antsy about pruning your trees and shrubs, there's no hurry. Especially with the weather this week (New England states broke the record for cold on Saturday, the AP reports), it's not a good idea for person or plants to get stressed about this spring chore. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy says there's time. She advises sitting back and thinking through your pruning plan, and she's got some tips. Then wait for a nicer day to actually do the work. [full story]

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