Are you really a gardener at heart? Take Mike’s quiz!

    Listen 00:52:58

    Have you ever had to wash your hair to get your fingernails clean? Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden, will ask 50 quick questions that will reveal if you really are a gardener! Plus your fabulous phone calls.

    Question of the Week:

    Think You’re a Real Gardener? Take The You Bet Your Garden Quiz and Find Out!

    Think You’re a Real Gardener? »

    Highlights from show for May 15, 2015:

    Salt Damage

    Rob in Philadelphia, PA has a Wisteria plant that’s about eight or nine years old that normally blooms in spring, but this year it did not bloom at all. He is concerned that there may have been some foul intentions involved from an ex-roomate. He mentions that he has observed some kind of white residue on the surface of the soil as well as tasted it; he suspects that salt was was poured over the soil. Also, according to Rob, he dug out all the soil from the pot and has been drenching it with water daily. Mike assures him that the actions he has taken are exactly right and what he would recommend to anyone who is experiencing salt damage in either a lawn or garden. Flushing is the best solution in this case and flushing with as much water as a possible. Mike advises Rob his next move should be to fill it back up again with potting soil, compost, and pearlite. He emphasizes how it should be very rich but light as well. If Rob provides the plant with nutrients through compost; washing to remove the salt; and pruning to stimulate its natural regrowth, Rob’s precious wisteria plant should regrow to the way it once was.

    Browning Arborvitaes

    Judie in NY noticed browning on one side of all her arborvitaes about a month ago. She is curious if they can be saved. She adds that she has put down holly-tone and has watered them with a soaker hose about eight hours at a time. She wonders if they will come back and what she should do in order to prevent further damage. She mentions that they have been receiving a lot of wind and dryness lately in her area. Mike believes one possibility could be wind burn. Mike also suggests having them examined for bag worms; these are the major pests arborvitaes are plagued with and this kind of damage is usually the work of bag worms. Additionally, keeping them hydrated during this period of drought in her area is essential and compost can help with that effort.

    No Saw Dust in the Composter

    Sarah in Ambler, PA recently purchased a “NatureMill” electrical heated composter; Sarah states that the instruction manual says to add saw dust pellets that it provides for the consumer and overtime continue to buy more saw dust pellets from the same company. The instructions suggest a ratio: every one saw dust pellet to five cups of food scraps. She fills it with kitchen waste and it turns the compost every four hours. Mike informs Sarah that he sees why the instruction manual says to add saw dust pellets for it is better to add dry browns to compost because nitrogen-rich materials cannot compost without them. He emphasizes the benefit of her heater, but stresses the reason it is said not to put saw dust into one’s compost pile is because the base of your compost should be shredded fall leaves. Mike states “for you to put saw dust in there, it shuts everything down”.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal