gardening

Andrew Dunn / Wikimedia

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
schulzie / Adobe Stock

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. 

Late Summer Gardening Tips: Managing Lilacs, Weeds And Homegrown Produce

Aug 2, 2018
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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. 

Maksim Pasko / Fotolia

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
J.H. Fearless / Flickr

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
Pickle Smith / Flickr

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.

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