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Dr. Cassandra Quave is a botanist extraordinaire. I was fortunate to chat about her early life, career path, and her new book “The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines.” Book Description: In The Plant Hunter, Dr. Quave weaves together science, botany, and memoir to tell us the extraordinary story of her own journey. Traveli…
 
In this episode, I discuss October garden To-Do tasks. There is a big variety with a lot on the list, including: Continue clean up – pull out dead plants; remove lead, vegetable and fruit debris Use soil sulfur to drop pH Prune non-frost sensitive plants Cover succulents if chance of rain Add beneficial nematodes Plant perennials Buy bulbs…chill tu…
 
The backbone of any organic garden are hard working beneficial/parasitic insects. I talk with founder of ARBICO-Organics, Sheri Herrera de Frey, about which ones are a must for gardeners to incorporate. We discuss controls for whiteflies, Japanese and cucumber beetles, gnats, borers and so many more. Plus -- learn why releasing beneficial nematodes…
 
Listener Q&A episode. Topics include: Propagating a String of Pearls Basil infested with caterpillars Mandarin bush – will it produce late in the season Azalea – how to care for Overwintering eggplants & peppers – when to prepare Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – best time of year & method to transplant To ask questions for future shows, submit them at…
 
Avocados, blueberries and Hydrangeas - 3 plants I get a lot of questions about. In some parts of the world they grow like weeds, but in many locations they can be tricky. I talk to Bruce Ritter -- co-founder of the Sacramento Botanical Garden -- about growing these, as well as how the plan to build a world class garden in Sacramento is going. To as…
 
In this episode, I discuss September garden To-Do tasks. There is a big variety with a lot on the list, including: Clean up – remove certain vegetables. There are certain ones to leave (peppers, eggplants, etc) as cool temperatures can help them. Plant Fall/Winter vegetables, including brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, cabbage, kales,…
 
What does it take to grow healthy CBD with organic regenerative practices? I talk to founder of Sunset Lake CBD, Sam Bellavance and farmer/grower Caitlin Silber to hear about how they produce the most beautiful plants in Vermont. We discuss how they feed the soil, prevent most pest and disease problems and what they use to treat powdery mildew. Plu…
 
A plant out of place… this is a universal definition of a weed. Weeds are many gardeners' biggest nemesis. If left unchecked they can cause numerous issues in a garden. I breakdown how weeds get to your garden, how to control them and the single most important task to prevent an inundation.By Marlene Simon
 
Grab bag listener Q&A episode – fruit tree pruning, orchids, hibiscus…..topics include: Old wood chippings – what can I use for? Orchids – how to treat ant infestation Hibiscus – part is green, part is brown….diagnosis? Spotted spurge – how to mitigate this weed Peach tree – how to prune to prevent branch breakage To ask questions for future shows,…
 
The dog days of summer are upon us, and heat and smoke from wildfires is everyday life. In this episode, I discuss this as well as all August to-do tasks, which compared to other months are not as daunting. These include your fall vegetable planning/prep, summer fruit tree pruning, and some beginning thoughts on water issues. To ask questions for f…
 
Doing a bit of summer fruit tree care can go a long way for a plentiful, healthy crop the following year. I talk to Don Shor, owner of Redwood Barn nursery, about the benefits of summer pruning, what you should be fertilizing with, summer pests, how to tell if you watering enough and many more helpful tips. Don and Redwood Barn can be found at: Web…
 
Grab bag listener Q&A episode – tree issues and recommendations, vegetables, pests…. Jade – why is it turning red Thrips – how to mitigate Cucumbers – why very pale in color Limbs dropping on a tree that seems healthy Maple tree – roots are starting to show at the base….should they be covered with soil To ask questions for future shows, submit them…
 
Sonya Harris is a lifetime educator. Working with kids with special needs she became aware of the importance of alternative learning and began her journey creating a school garden. Sonya’s energy and dedication quickly morphed into a bigger mission -- eventually leading to the nonprofit Bullock Garden Project. The mission of the organization is sta…
 
Summer is in full swing, and oppressive heat is dominating the western US. Even with that, believe it or not this is the time of year I start thinking about my plan for winter vegetables. In this episode, I discuss this as well as all other July garden to-do tasks including…vegetables to plant, summer fruit tree pruning, pruning hydrangeas, and lav…
 
Grab bag listener Q&A episode – vegetables, flowers, trees, pests…. Butternut squash identification Japanese Maple – what are the white spots on leaves? Hydrangea -- flowers dying prematurely Lavender – why are leaves turning yellow? Tomatoes – what are the small, red insects and webbing? Magnolia tree – limbs have been dying for a few years. Anyth…
 
Soils are key to a healthy garden, but it can be a bit confusing when knowing what to buy or add. Jim McKinley of EB Stone Organics joins me to discuss ways to improve your soil health. Is compost always a good thing? What is a soilless media? What is better… chicken or steer manure and many more questions/topics are discussed. Website: org Faceboo…
 
The summer heat is here – or it’s at least starting. With that, vegetables are in full swing – as are an assortment of pests. I discuss these as well as all other June garden to-do tasks To find Marlene on social media or ask questions for future shows, submit them at: Facebook Instagram YouTube email Marlene at marlenetheplantlady@gmail.com…
 
What started out as a passing interest for Natasha McCrary’s son has turned into a full fledged farm with the primary mission of promoting and saving baby doll sheep. As the years progressed, the farm has now become a source of cut flowers, essential oil products, farm events and more. I talk to Natasha about how she goes about growing cut flowers …
 
Gardening is a continuous journey of learning, experimenting and cultivating. It doesn’t matter how long you have been gardening or how big your garden is, we can all learn from anyone who has put a trowel in the ground. In this episode I talk to photographer David Art about his journey into gardening. As a youth he watched his grandma garden and g…
 
While growing in raised garden beds is not necessary, it can make gardening easier and be a solution to certain issues (can you say gophers!) Joe and I go over how we built my new ones and ones I’ve used in the past. We cover: What materials work the best Type of soil to fill them with What sizes work best How to barricade against gophers and more …
 
Many of us have memories of shucking corn on a warm summer evening, but it's even better if that corn is grown in your own garden. I talk to Farmer Fred Hoffman of the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast -- he discusses everything you need to know to grow your own sweet corn and popcorn. As a former popcorn farmer, Fred dives into the primary pe…
 
Spring is a time of growth in the garden ... but that can also mean proliferation of pests and diseases. In this mini-episode, I address a few of the most common problems and how to counteract them... peach leaf curl, powdery mildew, aphids and more. To find Marlene on social media or ask questions for future shows, submit them at: Facebook Instagr…
 
Spring is in full swing. In Zone 9 all summer veggies can be planted, perennials should go in the ground before the heat comes and summer bulbs should be planted. I discuss these as well as all other May garden to-do tasks To find Marlene on social media or ask questions for future shows, submit them at: Facebook Instagram YouTube email Marlene at …
 
May 5th is World Carnivorous Plant Day! I’m joined by carnivorous plant experts Kenny Coogan and Carson Drexler to discuss the online events people can take part in, including talks led by carnivorous plant experts from around the world. And of course -- Carson and Kenny discuss all the tips for growing carnivorous plants. Check out the links below…
 
Permaculture. It is a word that most gardeners have heard but what is it really? I talk to Greg Peterson, host of the very popular Urban Farm Podcast, who has been practicing permaculture for over 30 years. Whether you are growing vegetables or ornamentals, permaculture is a philosophy of gardening that encompasses the entire system of nature aroun…
 
Spring is in full swing and there is a lot to do in the garden. I’ll address which veggies you can plant now and which ones you should hold off on for a bit longer. I’ll also discuss peach leaf curl, weeds, perennial planting and discuss my annoyance with finding a perfect weed eater. To ask questions for future shows, submit them at: Facebook Inst…
 
Located along the bluffs of Mendocino is a botanical gem…the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. I speak to horticulturalists Jim and Jaime about a few of the stand-out plants the garden is known for -- Rhododendrons and Camellias. Jaime discusses the history of the gardens and the overall growing techniques of the plants. Former Rhododendron nurser…
 
Award winning landscape designer Jan Johnsen has been creating magical landscapes for years. She has taken her vast knowledge/eye for design and has written an educational book entitled ‘Floratopia’. I talk to Jan about which flowers are fail-proof in containers, how to use texture/color and her years of designing all around the world. Check out he…
 
Spring has sprung…well at least in zone 9 of California. Here is my garden list of tasks to be done or continued in March -- including planting potatoes, summer blooming bulbs and sunflower seeds (along with other annuals). I discus which veggies can be planted and which ones to hold off for a bit. Additionally some pruning tips are provided…which …
 
Houseplants are very “in” right now and Logee’s knows houseplants. They have been around since the first houseplant craze of the Victorian Era! But in addition to houseplants, they have a marvelous diverse selection of all sorts of plants…edibles, ornamentals and unique varieties of all kinds. I talk to third generation owner Byron Martin about the…
 
For over 125 years, Placer County in California has been producing delicious mandarins that are shipped all over the country. Nine years ago, Kelly Krause got a crash course in growing these tasty fruits when her family bought an established orchard. I sit down and talk with Kelly all about growing Mandarins including when and how to prune, pests a…
 
This continues my series of what garden tasks should be on your to-do list for each month. Here I cover the cold and wet February. Tasks include: Pruning roses Pruning fruit trees Spraying fruit trees/roses Clean up Plant more winter veggies Start veggie seeds inside To ask questions for future shows, submit them at: Facebook Instagram email Marlen…
 
There are numerous reasons to plant bare-root fruit trees… greater selection, price and ease of planting. I discuss with Fred Hoffman, host of Garden Basics with Farmer Fred, on all you need to know about selecting, planting and steps to get your tree on its way to producing bumper crops. What are chill hours vs chill units? Why do you paint the tr…
 
Grab bag listener Q&A episode – some very detailed questions this time, so take notes and put your thinking hat on. Azaleas – not doing so well, how to make grow better? Blueberry bushes – having difficult time growing, need to move them, water issues Seeds – require air circulation for storage? Miracle berry – leaves turning brown Redwoods – folia…
 
Focus on your soil and your garden will thank you. I talk to ‘Stay Grounded: Soil Building for Sustainable Gardens’ author Melinda Cordell about the steps to a healthy soil. How exactly do earthworms help your soil? Can you really compost drywall and levi jeans? These are just some of the topics we touch upon. To find Marlene on social media or ask…
 
This continues my series of what garden tasks should be on your to-do list for each month. Here I cover the chilly and (sometimes) wet month of January. Pruning – fruit trees (except citrus), ornamentals, roses Plant bareroot Spray liquid copper Vegetables – radishes, loose leaf lettuce, fava beans Weed control Buy seeds for spring To find Marlene …
 
Listener Q&A episode -- Marlene answers listener submitted questions this week. Topics include: Roses: Propagate from cut flowers? Egg shells in soil? Christmas cactus: Care and transplanting Boston fern: How best to thin out foliage Crickets/Frogs: How to promote them staying in your garden Staghorn fern: Able to thrive in Northern California? To …
 
Dahlias can be one of the most stunning and rewarding flowers to grow… AND they are not as mysterious and difficult as a lot of gardeners believe they are. I talk to author and expert Dahlia grower Kristine Albrecht of Santa Cruz Dahlias, and we dive into how to grow Dahlias successfully in your garden. We touch on propagation and her passion for b…
 
This continues my series of what garden tasks should be on your to-do list for each month. Here I cover the cold and blustery month of December. Spray peaches/nectarines with liquid copper Apply horticultural oil for overwintering pests Plant frost resistance perennials Chard. Kale, fava beans, radishes – all can still be planted Clean up plant deb…
 
Epsom salts, hydrogen peroxide, calcium sprays… these are just some of the topics I cover with Robert Pavlis, author of the popular book series Garden Myths 1 and 2. Robert has made it his mission to bust these myths and help gardeners decipher the science behind each one. We talk about the most common myths and the ones that drive him the craziest…
 
Listener Q&A episode -- Marlene answers listener submitted questions this week. Topics include: Holly bush: How can I propagate it? Succulents: Need to move indoors for the winter? Tuberose: When to stop watering and move inside? Nectarine: Liquid copper for peach leaf curl – what to ask for at the nursery? Rust: Has had rust problem for 5 years – …
 
Eight foot tall peppers? Yep -- this is how Jeremy from Farouche Peppers grows his amazingly beautiful peppers. Not only does he breed gorgeous, tasty peppers -- but he knows how to grow for production. Learn how his sustainable, organic approach arose from his need to feed the soil on a budget. I talk to Jeremy about what it takes to breed peppers…
 
Every month has certain things that need to be done to keep your garden vibrant and prepare it for future seasons. I love lists – on this episode I cover my list for what to do in November, including: Plant vegetables -- fava beans, bok choy, swiss chard, garlic, lettuce, onion sets, radish, spinach Cover crops -- fava beans, vetch, clover Clean up…
 
Something that is always confusing is the massive number of soil amendment options found at nurseries. They have a multitude of similar names, and it is very hard to know which is appropriate for what you are doing. This episode is a deep dive on how to take the confusion out of the marketing language behind these products, and guide you what to lo…
 
Ever wonder how the heck a 2,000 pound pumpkin is grown? Even if you don’t want to grow a 2,000 pounder -- but one slightly smaller -- Brian Myers from California Pumpkin Growers goes through the steps to get you the Jack O’ Lantern of your dreams. Our conversation starts with the history of pumpkin weigh offs and the heaviest pumpkin ever recorded…
 
A single scent of a blossom may evoke past experiences, as plants have been present in pivotal moments in many people’s lives. I sit down with illustrator and writer Katie Vaz and talk about her book My Life in Plants: Flowers I’ve Loved, Herbs I’ve Grown and Houseplants I’ve Killed on The Way to Finding Myself . This funny, poignant, feel good boo…
 
Listener Q&A episode, with a big focus on winter vegetable gardens. If you are planning your winter planting, this is a great primer episode for you. Vegetables discussed range from broccoli, kale, lettuce, beans, carrots, radishes, onions, peas, beets and more. Topics include: What winter vegetables can I plant now? Is there anything different I c…
 
Fascinated by Fungus? Then you will love Dr. Gordon Walker… the “Fun-Guy” behind the popular Instagram feed “Fascinated by Fungi”. Gordon and I talk about the amazing world of fungi including stinkhorns, dog vomit fungus and the complexity of fungi in general. He also gives helpful tips on how to eradicate fungi in your yard and reasons why you jus…
 
Listener Q&A episode -- Marlene answers listener submitted questions this week. Topics include: Peppers: Have erratic lines on the leaves….what are they, how to treat Nutsedge and crab grass: How to fight these weeds Venus Fly Trap: Not growing well – recommendations? Peach tree: Limbs are breaking due to fruit overload PVC shade structure for gard…
 
Tara Beaver-Coronado grew up on a farm -- but never thought she would become a farmer. After years of living away, the pull of the soil soon took over and she began Beaver Vineyards. I sit down with Tara to discuss her journey on starting her farm, trials and tribulations, the stresses and the anticipation of her very first harvest. Little did I kn…
 
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