gardening

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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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