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A bird's nest compost bin. Photo: Tompkins County Cooperative
A bird's nest compost bin. Photo: Tompkins County Cooperative

Kitchen compost: a gift for the garden

Compost is a key ingredient to increasing the organic matter in garden soil. And now is a great time to add it as a layer in the garden to help nourish seeds and seedlings.

Amy Ivy, horticulturist for Cornell Cooperative in Clinton and Essex Counties, explains some of the best ways to use compost in your garden, and alternatives if you don't have your own.  Go to full article
Trillium and other iconic North Country wildflowers pose a challenge for gardeners. Archive Photo of the Day, 5/18/11: Gregory Kle

Spring wildflowers in nature and the garden

A walk in the woods may seem like an optimistic activity during mud season. But early wildflowers are a sign of hope that a new season has begun. It's amazing to find spring flowers emerging just as the last snow melts, especially after our long, cold winter.

Todd Moe talks with horticulturist Amy Ivy about looking for early wildflowers in their natural settings, and the challenges of trying to grow trillium, bloodroot and Jack-in-the-Pulpit in backyard gardens.  Go to full article
43.7? Too cold. Amy says to wait for 50 degree (F) soil temperature before planting peas. Photo: <a href="">Stephen Cochran</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

When it's right to plant peas

The sun is out. The air is warm. It's late April. The crocuses are up and the daffodils aren't far behind. So, time to plant some peas, and maybe some lettuce, right?

Maybe, maybe not, says Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy. She tells Martha Foley there's an easy way to tell, and it isn't the calendar. Stick a thermometer two inches down in the soil and see what it says. If it isn't 50 degrees down there, it's still too early.

They also talk about ways to warm things up a little and coddle those early season plantings. Amy explains row covers, and says even just protecting new seedlings from the wind can help.  Go to full article
Spring surprise--voles at work. Photo: Martha Foley

Why does my lawn look like a giant ant farm?

The spring thaw has finally reached dirt, revealing the winter damage underneath. On lawns, that could include dramatic networks of dirt-lined runways left under this...  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="">Sarah Gilbert</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gardening call in gleanings: potato scab, blueberry canes, green manure

Horticulturist Amy Ivy and Martha Foley takes up some odds and ends of questions listeners had during our ...  Go to full article

Listen: Vermont's Pete Sutherland makes rural music, with kids

Just in time for the growing season, a new album filled with songs about gardening and rural life. Vermont folk singer/songwriter Pete Sutherland is best known as a member...  Go to full article
Mature apple tree before and after pruning. Photo: W. Lord, UNH Co-operative Extension

It's time to prune fruit trees

This is the best time of the season to prune your apple and other fruit trees. Horticulturist Amy Ivy has the best tips and how-to information to help insure good production.  Go to full article
Volunteers tend a community garden in Potsdam. NCPR file photo

Listen: Spring Gardening Call-in

Cornell Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy, a Monday morning regular on The Eight O'clock Hour, was in the studio with Martha Foley today. They were...  Go to full article
Seed packet for a disease-resistant variety of cucumber. Photo: <a href="">Cris</a>, Creative Commons, somew rights reserved

Disease resistant seeds? What's that?

It's a detail you don't want to miss, because planting "disease resistant" varieties of flower, fruits and vegetables could save a lot of heartache during the gardening...  Go to full article
Martha Foley's husband Everett Smith illustrating how deep the snow is inside their 7-foot garden fence, last Thursday just after the last big snow. Photo: Martha Foley

Your garden and the deep, deep cold

Extreme cold nights this week are adding to concerns about how this cold, snowy and icy winter will affect how the yard and garden will grow this year. How deep is the...  Go to full article

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