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Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

A Home, Education and Health podcast
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Episodes of Garden Basics

You can grow them indoors and outdoors; they’re easy to care for; and, are very unique and colorful! But which ones are the easiest to care for? We’re talking about succulents today with renowned expert Robin Stockwell. Starting a school garden
Welcome to the new year, and our latest Greatest Hits episode, featuring those segments that you spent the most time enjoying,  in record numbers in 2021. Among the top listened to segments last year included a lot about tomatoes. In fact, the
Eat less sugar. Eat more fiber. Eat out of the garden more! Have you set your New Year’s resolutions yet?  We’ll talk with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Andrew Bunting about some good gardening habits to start in 2022.The UC Davis Ar
Life, as I am fond of saying, is too short to put up with a problem plant. Today, the very alive Debbie Flower, who is no problem at all, talks about when to pull the plug on the dying plants in your garden, including some organ harvesting tips
A listener in St. Louis wrote in to ask, “Is it OK to put the stems and leaves of what’s left of the summer vegetable garden in a compost pile?” Retired college horticulture professor Debbie Flower answers: it depends! We take a deep dive into
Did you ever pull a sick, root-bound plant out of a too-small plastic or ceramic container and look at the root ball? All those thick roots, going round and round, along the sides and throughout the bottom? All those thick roots are impeding th
Farmer Fred Garden Rule #1: Bermudagrass is forever. You think I’m kidding? Ask any gardener who is battling this triple threat weed, which can reproduce and spread via seed, stems and rootstocks.Retired college horticulture professor Debbie Fl
One gardening trend that is beginning to take hold throughout the country is reducing the size of your lawn. What is our attraction to lawns in the first place? We talk with author Thomas Mickey. He wrote the book,  "America’s Romance with the
Just as all gardening is local, all weeds are local, too. And we are hearing from many of you about your yard’s nightmare weeds, especially ones that can be mistaken for clover, and you let it go…until it starts taking over. It’s oxalis, and it
Some of you, especially in USDA Zone 9 where freezing temperatures haven’t occurred yet, you may still have green and partially red tomatoes, clinging to life, in your backyard garden. Will they ripen? And as always, the answer is: it depends.O
Today we feature two garden crops that may still be lingering at your place, outdoors or indoors. It’s popcorn and pumpkins.The Plant of the Week is that Halloween decoration that’s collecting mold on your front porch: pumpkins. But it’s more t
Gardeners everywhere have a certain weed that drives them up the wall. Today, we talk about one that can literally climb a wall: field bindweed.  Although it's in the morning glory family, don’t be fooled by its pretty, white flowers. Field bin
Today we tackle a question from a listener who asks, why were my tomato seedlings last spring so skinny? Debbie Flower and I run through all the possibilities, and it turned out to be a very good tomato seed planting primer, something to keep i
Late October may be your last, best opportunity for overseeding a poorly performing lawn here in USDA Zone 9. Your next opportunity across the U.S. will be next spring. In either case, we tackle a listener’s questions about the best way to go a
Today we tackle a widespread beautiful weed whose cousin is a rather desirable plant. The weed? Salt Heliotrope, a close relative of the widely cultivated common heliotrope. And you don’t want the salt heliotrope growing around your desirable p
Master Gardener and Professional Houseplant Expert Lori Ann Asmus of Emerald City Interior Landscape Services talks about the pros and cons of fertilizing your houseplants, as well as problems you might face using some tap waters on your housep
Major League Baseball playoffs have started, and you know what that means? It’s time to harvest your popcorn! However, it’s still not ready for eating. How do you know when it’s ready to be popped? We have the popcorn harvesting tips for you to
Is wood ash good for the garden soil? Our favorite college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, answers decisively with, “it depends”. She has tips to help you decide if your soil will benefit from the addition of wood ash. She also tackles t
If you have a lot of leaning trees and shrubs on your property, chances are there’s an ill wind blowing around your home. Our favorite retired college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, has some ideas on helping your plants survive, even th
About a year ago, on Episode 52, retired college horticulture professor Debbie Flower gave us a beginning class on having a cut flower garden. Today, we graduate to more tips on successful cut flower care, including how to cut an outdoor plant
Pull one nutsedge weed from your lawn or garden, and nine more will come to the funeral. Nutsedge, also called nutgrass, is tough to control. And one of the worse things you can do is to pull it out of the ground. Former college horticulture pr
One Garden Basic we need to stress more on this podcast is this: to head off major plant problems, observe your garden, carefully. Retired college horticulture professor Debbie Flower talks about some mental exercises she taught her students to
If you live in a mild winter climate, mid-September through mid-October is the best time to care for or renovate your lawn. We get organic lawn care tips from organic landscaper, Steve Zien. And, the Plant of the Week: it’s a dependable, bloomi
You’ve heard on this podcast many times the benefits of using worm castings, which some people consider the best soil amendment. Just listen to Episode 107 about that. But maybe you’ve seen the price of worm castings at the nursery, and your he
We have a listener named Cindy. Cindy doesn’t like aphids. Cindy HATES aphids. If you’re a gardener, too, you probably aren’t very fond of this plant sucking insect, either. We have aphid control tips today. Also, it’s cool season vegetable pla
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