gardening

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If you have house plants, you may have noticed tiny insects making a home inside your plants this winter.

Spider mites, which are actually more closely related to spiders than insects, are so small you’ll often need a magnifying glass to see them. Gardening expert Melinda Myers says you are more likely to see the effects of spider mites.

Leaves turning a bronze color or becoming sticky are both consequences of having spider mites, and an infestation can even kill your plants.

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At this point in the year most of us have put away our gardening tools and packed up our lawn mowers for the winter. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has ended, it’s just moved locations.

With the impending winter, many gardeners have brought their plants inside where growing conditions can be much more difficult.

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As the number of fall leaves begin to dwindle on trees, they’ve found a new home on our lawns. But before you go and rake them into the street, there might be a better way to put those leaves to use.

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The Milwaukee area has been blessed with some amazing weather this week. Warm days that turn into cool nights with just a hint of what’s to come. As we celebrate the turning of the seasons, many of us are looking to prepare our lawns and gardens for the cold months ahead.

Every month, gardening expert Melinda Myers shares her tips and tricks on how to make the most of your garden. As the weather begins to chill, she says you can begin to lay the groundwork for winterizing your garden.

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For those of us who don’t relish the extreme heat or humidity of summer, fall weather is a welcome reprieve. And the cool air isn't just good for sweaters: it's also great for adding new trees and native grasses to a landscape.

Every month, Lake Effect contributor Melinda Myers gives her expert tips on gardening. This month, she gives her tips and tricks on adding trees and native plants. Myers says one of the most important things to remember is how tall a tree is expected to grow and where it sits in your yard.

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Summer is in full swing and many of us are seeing exponential growth in our gardens. Although much of the planting is over for this year, we’re finally seeing the fruits of our labors — both literally and figuratively.

Melinda Myers is an expert in all things gardening and she joins Lake Effect every month. This month, she focuses on garden maintenance and plant management. 

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The summer is in full swing and gardens are looking green. But there are always ways to make our flower beds sparkle a bit brighter. 

Every month, Lake Effect contributor Melinda Myers gives her expert tips on gardening. This month, she explains the process of deadheading flowers.

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It finally feels like spring outside, which can only mean one thing: rain. The Milwaukee area has been hit with some torrential downpours, leading to flooded yards and, even worse, flooded basements.

But there are some ways to manage water through gardening. These techniques can improve drainage in your yard and also lead water away from the foundation of your home, keeping your basement dry.

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Many of us have been cooped up in our homes as we collectively ride out the coronavirus pandemic. But the stay-at-home order doesn’t mean you need to stay inside. And for those of us living with kids, getting out in the garden can be a great way to get rid of some energy and exercise their creativity. 

Gardening expert Melinda Myers shares some gardening projects for kids of all ages:

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Although social distancing has many of us stuck at home, there are still opportunities to reconnect with nature. Health professionals suggest getting fresh air, taking walks, and even adding some greenery to your life.

March is a bit early to start digging in the ground, but there are still some ways to work out your green thumb. Gardening expert Melinda Myers has a lot of useful tips for starting seeds indoors, including what plants you should start in March. 

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Wisconsin winters are long and gray, which is why many of us choose to brighten up our homes with plants. But caring for indoor plants can be difficult — particularly in the winter when homes become drier and less hospitable to plant life.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers knows how to navigate these challenges, and also notes that caring for plants can help us cope with the day to day stressors in our lives. 

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Although most of us have sworn off gardening until the spring, the holidays bring a wealth of plants and flowers into our lives. Christmas trees, wreaths, and other plants like pointsettias, all require a lot of care to stay beautiful throughout the winter season. Gardening expert Melinda Myers spoke with Lake Effect's Joy Powers about how to care for these plants when they come inside. 

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The cold weather that settled in earlier this month was unexpected for people and gardens. Snow came unexpectedly while people were still dealing with fall cleanup, which didn't allow for regular winterizing of gardens. However, there's still work that can be done.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers first recommends getting fallen leaves that may have been covered by snow and frost raked up before the deep freeze really sets in.

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As the temperatures begin to chill, more people are thinking about finding their snowblower than digging in the garden. But gardening expert and Lake Effect contributor Melinda Myers says there are still things you can do, like composting.

Composting uses organic materials that mix together and decompose. The resulting compost is great for plants and seeds in the garden. 

Different types of composting

If you don't have the time or space to do a lot of composting, sheet composting is a good solution.

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As summer turns to fall, many fair-weather gardeners begin to pack up their tools and head inside. But there is still much to be done.

Gardening For Your Health

Aug 1, 2019
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Gardening can have a huge impact on your health. Digging holes, pulling weeds, and tilling the soil are great exercise for your body. Plus, it can lead to lower levels of stress. And at the end of it all, you have a new source of healthy and delicious foods.

Lake Effect gardening contributor Melinda Myers offers helpful information on the health benefits of gardening. Myers is the author of numerous books, including Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin and Can't Miss Small Space Gardening. 

Joy Powers

Summer is finally here  — and it looks like it’s here to stay. But after the cool, damp spring, many gardeners are still working to get plants in the ground and trying to undo some of the damage caused by the weather.

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Memorial Day Weekend is here. But the gardeners among us are casting an anxious look at the sky, or at least at the weather forecast, in hopes that it will be a good weekend to get gardens going and yardwork done.

While typical gardening and planting is a bit delayed this year, garden contributor Melinda Myers offers some suggestions about what you might want to take on during one of the busiest and maybe most important gardening weekends of the year:

How To Make A Rain Garden

May 10, 2019
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A cool, damp spring can seem troublesome for gardeners. But with the right kind of plants and gardening techniques, the weather can not only improve your garden, it can improve water quality. 

Lake Effect contributor Melinda Myers is the author of numerous books on gardening, including The Midwest Gardener's Handbook and Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin. She explains how you can create your own rain garden. 

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The Wisconsin State Fair is in full swing, and horticulturist extraordinaire Melinda Myers spends more time at the Wisconsin-centric celebration than most. The renowned gardener talks with Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich about what kind of gardening questions she expects to hear from this year’s fairgoers:

What’s with this crazy weather?

Maayan Silver

Post-traumatic stress disorder affects hundreds of thousands of veterans nationwide. Many find ways to cope through counseling and support services, but some are finding volunteering to be a useful tool in further healing. 

William Sims knows this first-hand. He's a Vietnam combat veteran and says he had, what would now be classified as, PTSD symptoms when he returned from battle.

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There’s a foot of snow on the ground and that’s not even counting where we’ve piled the stuff we’ve shoveled. So you might think you’re off the hook for preparing your garden. But gardening contributor Melinda Myers says you may want to rethink that. If you’re especially motivated to add some non-monetary green to your life, mid-February is not too early to get going. 

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Does the headline sound too good to be true? Stacy Tornio, author of Plants You Can’t Kill, assures that it’s not. In her new book, Tornio highlights different types of hardy plants for beginner gardeners.

"You basically need to know whether you're putting it in sun or shade, and you know, anyone can figure that out," says Tornio. "But you don't need a lot of like, fancy knowledge or background in gardening. This is truly: pick it up, randomly turn to a plant, and try it." 

Susan Bence

This month, Boerner Botanical Gardens in Milwaukee’s Whitnall Park has taken on an exotic look. The visiting display called China Lights covers eight acres of the gardens. At night the display lights up.

The welcome gate pulls you through a world lined with peach trees. Just ahead flowers sparkle in a sunken garden. Turn your head to discover colorful lotus fairies, turn another direction and pandas at play appear.

And you’ve barely seen anything – including the 22-foot tall dragon.
 

Artist Ziming Luo created the show.

Amoung the cream puff stands and the livestock barns at State Fair, you can find gardening expert Melinda Myers. Myers gives demonstrations twice each day of the fair, and this year is no different.

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich took the portable recording equipment and met Melinda to find out what’s on offer, and what it takes, to maintain a garden oasis in the midst of a busy fairground.

The Art of Lasagna Gardening

May 6, 2016
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It's growing season, and eager gardeners are already starting their plants for the summer. The promise of fresh fruits and vegetables is what keeps people coming back to their garden plots. But gardening is messy business, and setting up your garden can be strenuous. For many, the worst part is preparing the soil. It's a painstaking process of digging and tilling, which can feel arduous and unrewarding. 

Gardening contributor, Melinda Myers, knows this all too well. That's why she suggests something called, "lasagna gardening." 

5 Times Growing Heirlooms is the Way to Go

May 5, 2016
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It's the time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the ground is ripe for planting. It's a good chance to check out heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits and even flowers. 

If you're more likely to buy your produce than grow it, don't worry. It's also the season for farmers' markets and gardening centers. 

Contributor Stacy Tornio shares her list of heirloom plants to brighten up your garden (or salad):

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If you’ve consulted a calendar lately, you know that it’s (technically) spring.  However, if you’ve looked out a window recently, you might beg to differ. But true spring will arrive in the Midwest soon with the temperatures in Wisconsin trending upward, albeit slowly.

Courtesy of The Home & Garden Show

Whether its cleaning off or furnishing a patio, planting the first flowers or vegetables of the season or springing for new windows, new landscaping or new plumbing,  the organizers of the annual Milwaukee Realtors Home and Garden Show are aware that the shift in seasons brings spring cleaning and home improvement. 

S Bence

Charlie Tennessen’s trade is software development but his passion is farming. Ten years ago, he moved onto a 4-acre parcel in Racine County to pursue that passion.

His "team" is comprised of Sebastian, Rosey and Cassie - they’re miniature donkeys. Their job is to pull a homemade sled loaded with compost the resident chickens, goats and sheep contributed.

Tennessen says this is the perfect time to spread the nutrient-rich load. “Winter time is going to be moving compost and summertime, primary tillage on the field,” he says.

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