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Gardening
Jul 9, 2014 — If you always end up killing your house plants, this week's innovation pick may help. This new microfarming appliance grows produce indoors with just seeds, an electrical outlet and a little water.
Apr 5, 2014 — More and more city dwellers are trying their hand at urban gardening. Most know to be wary of lead in their soil, a report finds, but they're clueless about how to avoid other types of contaminants.
Dec 16, 2013 — A woman in Miami Shores, Fla., is suing her town after it forced her to remove vegetables from the garden in her front yard, which she had tended for 17 years. She's being backed by a a national public interest law firm, but the town says it's a long-standing zoning ordinance that won't be overturned.
Dec 3, 2013 — The space agency has announced plans to grow turnips, basil and cress on the moon by 2015. The experiment could be good news for astronauts sick of their freeze-dried fare. But researchers say the real goal is to see if humans could one day live — and farm — on the moon.
Oct 29, 2013 — Older people who are active every day appear to lower their risk of heart disease and death by almost a third, even if they're not doing the kind of exercise that breaks a sweat. Gardening and puttering around the house qualify. And don't overlook berry-picking, a popular pastime in Sweden, where the study was done.
 

Gardening Links

Amy Ivy
Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy
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Encyclopedic Guide to Northeastern Weed Species on CD-ROM: Cornell Weed Ecology

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Special Features

Audio Series
Local Flavors: Todd Moe keeps it homegrown in this series focused on eating locally, and on sustainable agriculture and gardening.
43.7? Too cold. Amy says to wait for 50 degree (F) soil temperature before planting peas. Photo: <a href="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3646/3601931725_066a0fe319_o_d.jpg">Stephen Cochran</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
43.7? Too cold. Amy says to wait for 50 degree (F) soil temperature before planting peas. Photo: Stephen Cochran, 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 winter's snow pack by voles.

Voles work the surface, tunneling through where the snow meets the lawn. They're vegetarians, and like to eat away at the roots of the grass. Horticulturist Amy Ivy says the lawn's probably too soft to walk on yet, and it's probably too soon to do too much in the way of repair just yet. When things dry out a bit, she suggests raking the damaged area lightly, to level the tunneled areas out. And have some grass seed on hand to reseed after the weather warms up.

Moles throw up bigger mounds of dirt from their underground tunnels. Rake those to spread the dirt around; those areas can be reseeded to grass later as well.

Amy says it's also time to do some remedial pruning where trees and shrubs were broken during the winter. And she talks about best practices for pruning flowering shrubs now.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cafemama/3554624390/in/photolist-6q7nZq-9bWxWy-4FjXbD-48C15n-4B7ks-d33Bcu-4B1fJL-84PDiw-hos2oJ-kmJZQ-Po95f-9kkqg2-hovRDL-ahtbyB-ieJUqN-adLfQb-9Ak9XY-6vikT9-JVDMJ-dAKsT8-83YQcJ-6tNG25-6bCcDi-eh96Pz-6fGSZF-db5C2U-db5BxQ-db5BMC-NxEpj-a4sQ2N-8o4Pya-6f6qui-7PKvEd-4WbwDb-6KeovC-5ek7mn-4X8zQM-2kaEaN-5fgsDp-6jCjBC-7YiN6B-8sZy9F-d33BaN-d33Be9-dWehH-89JiNr-avWqyt-9LbTLM-81LwZ9-4LAwRo">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 Spring Gardening Call-in program. Issues covered include scab on beets and potatoes, care of blueberry canes, and what you can use in place of compost if you can't get hold of it.  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="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20561948@N00/3472478600/">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
The tap...

Listen: In Canton, tapping trees for syrup

The immediate forecast isn't ideal for making maple syrup, but it's coming: that combination of cold nights, warm days and sunshine. Chickadees get busy, and the sap rises....  Go to full article
Garden crop rotation can maintian soil fertility, reduce disease and increase yields. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/57217144@N00/476016841/">Annie and John</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Why rotate crops in your backyard garden?

Just like big farms, the backyard garden can benefit from rotating vegetable crops. Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulturist Amy Ivy says small-scale crop rotation can...  Go to full article

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