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Plantrama - plants, landscapes, & bringing nature indoors
25 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Marking Your Territory, Elderberries, and Hydrangea Color
Ellen and C.L. discuss whether human urine helps with critter control in the garden and they talk about a favorite shrub, Sambucus, aka elderberry. The episode finishes with a discussion of changing the pH for a potted hydrangea so that the flower turns from pink to blue. :40 True or False: Urinating around the garden can keep deer or rabbits away. 5:20 Eat/Drink/Grow: Everything Elderberry, or the Sensational Sambucus 17:18 Love Letters and Questions: Charlotte writes from Germany about her potted hydrangea.
24 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
A Summer Cocktail Hour, Nitrogen-fixing Plants, and Pinching Annuals
In this episode of Plantrama Ellen and C.L. answer a listener’s question about growing male Cannabis plants. They explain why it’s good to pinch many newly planted annuals, what nitrogen-fixing plants are, and celebrate an early summer cocktail hour. :27 What’s For Dinner: It’s the cocktail hour in June! 3:58 Eat/Drink/Grow: Nitrogen-fixing plants. 16:39 Insider Information: Pinching annuals. 21:15 Love Letters and Questions: Is there value in a male Cannabis plant? Photo below is Ellen's Butterfly Kiss cocktail.
27 minutes | May 27, 2021
BBQ, Soil Bacteria, and Annuals for the Kitchen Garden, Cutting Garden and Containers
In this episode Ellen and C.L. discuss plants to grow or forage for with the barbeque in mind. They explain that not all microorganisms are good for all plants, give suggestions for great annuals, and talk about cutworm protection. :40 What’s for dinner: Gearing up for the BBQ season. 7:30 Insider Information: Mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria 12:04 Eat/Drink/Grow: Great annuals to grow this summer. 23.43 Love Letters and Questions: Paper cups around veggie stems?
28 minutes | May 20, 2021
Your Outdoor Office, Dwarf Conifers, Hand Watering and Hydrangeas
Do you need shade for your outdoor office? Want a low-maintenance, colorful landscape? Do you hand-water your vegetable plants or want to make your hydrangea flowers blue? This episode addresses all of these issues! :29 Your Outdoor Office: Ways to make shade 7:10 Eat/Drink/Grow: Dwarf Conifers 20:19 Insider Information: Hand-watering your vegetable 25:03 Love Letters and Questions: Coffee ground for blue hydrangeas
25 minutes | May 13, 2021
Planting in Square Holes, Plants for Small Arbors, and Long-Lived Perennials
C.L. and Ellen discuss the internet-based rumor that you should dig a square hole when planting trees, and give suggestions for plants to grow on small trellises and arbors. We finish with a discussion about how to know if a perennial plant will reliably return, or if it’s a “temperennial.” :40 True or False: Plant trees in square holes 7:41 Eat/Drink/Grow: Plants for small arbors and trellises 20:51 Love Letters and Questions: Rick writes to ask how you can tell if a perennial plant will live for many years or not.
27 minutes | May 6, 2021
Asparagus, Topiary, and The Deadly Nightshade
The Plantrama team discusses growing and foraging for asparagus, reviews a lovely book about public gardens you ought to see, and answers a listener’s question about the weed called nightshade. They also disagree about topiary…C.L. loves them, Ellen? Not so much. :32 What’s For Dinner: Asparagus ~ wild and garden grown 9:48 Eat/Drink/Grow: Topiary 22:01 Book Review: George Weigel’s 50 American Public Gardens You Really Ought to See 24:28 Love Letters and Questions: Is nightshade a bad neighbor?
24 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Earthworms, Passion Flowers and Carnivorous Plant Day
C.L. and Ellen tackle the myth that earthworms can grow once cut in half. They extol a favorite vine, the Passiflora, celebrate World Carnivorous Plant Day with margaritas, and discuss water-filled plant protectors. :27 True or False? Earthworms regrow. 3:53 Eat/Drink/Grow: Passion flower vines 14:05 Insider Information: World Carnivorous Plant Day is May 5th 17:35 Love Letters and Questions: Reginia asks if we can comment on water-filled tomato protection.
27 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
Cress, Spring Flowers, and Old Carpet as Mulch
Spring plants are first and foremost in this episode as we talk about cress, foraged and farmed, the Year of the Hyacinth, and two spring flowers, Ranunculus and Bellis perennis. Ellen and C.L. tell Paul why old carpet might not make the best mulch. :40 What’s for dinner: Cress wild and tame. 10:13 Insider Information: The National Gardening Bureau says it’s the year of the Hyacinth. 14:02 Eat/Drink/Grow: About 2 Spring Plants 23:07 Love Letters and Questions: Paul asks, “Does old carpet make good mulch in a vegetable garden?”
25 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Edible Flowers, Zucchini Problems, and White Specks in Potting Soil
In this episode we talk about the white perlite in potting mixes, spend the main segment talking about edible flowers, and answer a question about why a listener’s zucchini plants aren’t producing well. :30 Plant Noob: What are the white specks in my pots? 3:41 Eat/Drink/Grow: Growing Edible Flowers 17:43 Love Letters and Questions What’s with the lack of zucchini?
27 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
Fertilizing, Rhododendrons, and Plants That Lead to Divorce
Ellen and C.L. talk about whether fertilizing is always a good thing, and they take a deep dive into the genus Rhododendron, which includes what we commonly call azaleas. Then they answer Candace’s question about whether her spouse’s pruning of the blue hydrangeas is grounds for divorce. :33 True or False: Fertilizing never hurts…right? 7:57 Eat/Drink/Grow: Rhododendrons and Azaleas 24:21 Love Letters and Questions: Pruning blue hydrangeas, and can this marriage be saved?
23 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Earthy Flavors, Soil Temperatures and Houseplant Growth
Today we discuss garden-grown and foraged food with earthy flavors, and do a deep dive into the importance of soil temperatures for planting, soil activity, seed germination and growth rates. We end with a discussion about what you can expect from houseplants in the winter, and how to decide which plants are appropriate for an area that’s sunny in the winter and shaded in the summer. :30 What’s For Dinner: Earthy flavors. 6:59 Eat/Drink/Grow: The Importance of Soil Temperatures. 18:18 Insider Information: Should your houseplants be growing in the winter? 20:39 Love Letters and Questions: Planting for appropriate outdoor light
27 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
Spring Pestos, Photosynthesis, Mulch and Fennel Seeds
If you think that pesto has to be made of basil, think again! Ellen and C.L. talk about spring pestos, how quickly plants start to photosynthesize, and discuss the pros and cons of various types of mulch. We end with a question about the best fennel to grow if you want the seeds. :34 What’s for dinner: Spring Pestos! Make pesto before the basil has even germinated. 4:58 Insider Information: How quickly does photosynthesis start? 8:48 Eat/Drink/Grow: Much about Mulch 24:15 Love Letters and Questions: Cassy asks about growing fennel for seeds, not greens or bulbs.
22 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Diagnosing Houseplant Problems, Plant Terms and a Focus on Fertilizer
In this episode we define some terms that plant geeks toss around, and give you a recipe for figuring out what’s wrong with your houseplants. If you’ve ever wondered why fertilizer is called “plant food” or how lichen can grow on a rock or your roof, this is your podcast! :28 Plant Noob: Semi-Evergreen? Sub-shrub? 3:39 Eat/Drink/Grow: Diagnosing problems on houseplants. 17:45 Focus on Fertilizer: Why fertilizer shouldn’t be thought of as plant food. 19:24 Love Letters and Questions Nina asked “How the heck does lichen grow/stay alive on stones and dead branches?”
25 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Are Sunflowers Poisonous, Green Flowers, and Aggressive Plants
C.L. and Ellen rave about green flowers, explain the difference between aggressive and invasive plants, and discuss the common belief that sunflowers poison other plants. Plus we answer Meredith’s question about why cut flowers don’t grow roots. :40 True or False: Sunflowers poison other plants 5:19 Eat/Drink/Grow: Green Flowers! 14:51 The Plant Noob: The difference between aggressive and invasive plants. 19:31 Love Letters and Questions: Meredith asks “What makes some plants easy to propagate, and others not-so-easy?”
24 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
Spring Tonics, Planting Seeds Too Early, and Direct Sowing
Did you know that a spring tonic doesn’t have to be a drink? Hear Ellen and C.L. talk about tonics, what to do if you’ve started your seeds too early, the definition of direct sowing and vegetables for hot climates. :30 What’s For Dinner: What’s your spring tonic? 4:57 Eat/Drink/Grow: Starting seeds too early. 15:31 Insider Information: What does it mean to direct sow? 19:50 Love Letters and Questions: Erik writes about growing vegetables in Texas.
22 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Frozen Greens, Cannas, and Peroxide in the Garden
In this episode you’ll hear about ways to prepare the chard, kale or other greens you froze last summer. Learn why water beads up on some leaves, all about Cannas, and if hydrogen peroxide is a good thing to use on plant problems. :30 What’s for dinner: Greens from the freezer 4:22 Insider Information: What are “Hydrophobic leaves?” 8:55 Eat/Drink/Grow: Cannas 17:42 Love Letters and Questions: Samantha asked about using hydrogen peroxide in the garden
24 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
Standards, Yarrow, Voles and a Book Review
Ellen and C.L. explain what a “standard form” plant is and why you might want to plant the perennial yarrow in your landscape. Hear a rave review of Jessica Walliser’s new book about science-based companion planting, and learn about vole trails. :30 Plant Noob: What’s a “standard?” 4:13 Eat/Drink/Grow: Achillea, aka yarrow 14:16 Product Review: Plant Partners book review 19:45 Love Letters and Questions: Tedi wonders about the trails she sees in her garden after a snow melt.
25 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Sterilizing Soil, Growing Peppers and Water for Houseplants
If you’re wondering about sterilizing soil for seed starting, growing peppers in your vegetable garden, or the best water for your houseplants, this episode is for you. :30 True or False: You should bake garden soil in the oven, then use it to start your seeds indoors. 5:35 Eat/Drink/Grow: Growing Peppers 19:53 Love Letters and Questions: Kari wrote to ask about chlorine in water for houseplants.
23 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
Fennel, Epiphytes and Pelleted Seed
:30 What’s For Dinner: Fennel 7:04 Eat/Drink/Grow: Epiphytes – what they are, some common houseplants that are epiphytic, and what this means for how we care for those plants. 15:03 Insider Information: What are pelleted seeds? 19:44 Love Letters and Questions: Melissa writes about paperwhite narcissus. Ellen and C.L talk about growing fennel, what an epiphytic plant is, and why you may want to try some pellitized seeds. We answer Melissa’s question about why some paperwhite narcissus are more fragrant than others. Link to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs: https://www.brentandbeckysbulbs.com/Narcissus/Ziva/Narcissus
24 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Herbs, Plant Pinching and African Violets
In this episode of Plantrama we talk about essential herbs to grow or forage for, pinching plants to make them bushy, African violets and a Zoom houseplant event in February. :28 What’s for dinner: Essential herbs to grow or forage for. 7:40 Insider Information: “Pinching” tips off of plants to make them bushier. 12:33 Eat/Drink/Grow: African violets – Saintpaulia 21:02 Connections: Zoom with us the Plantrama Team!
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