Will any fruits grow well on a deck or a balcony?! Mike McGrath, host of You Bet Your Garden, will discuss the possible cultivation of sweet treats outside and off the ground; plus Mike speaks with Dr. Chris Williamson who has some exciting news about fighting grimy grubs; and your fabulous phone calls!
Question of the Week
“My kids and I want to grow fruit on our deck. I was thinking of strawberries and blueberries. We get plenty of sun and I’m just wondering what type of pots to use and when to start planting. I looked online for a few tips but they vary. Any direction on this would help tremendously.”
Matt “in a townhouse outside of Philadelphia”
Photo by Flickr user Arthur
Highlights from show for February 28, 2015:
Mike speaks with Dr. Chris Williamson
Dr. Williamson is a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work focuses on the management of insect pest of turf grass and ornamental with emphasis on biological and cultural control strategies. The particular pest control that Mike is most interested in,however, is a new product that can combat Japanese Beetles. Dr. Williamson has been testing the effectiveness of this new control for Japanese Beetles called BTG. This product would work on both the early stage larvae and the adults, which is a huge break through.
Veronica calls into the show from Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania in order to get some help ridding herself of weeds after the snow melts. Veronica has identified the menacing weed as Creeping Charlie and she’s wondering whether she can use high-strength vinegar to get rid of it. Mike tells her Creeping Charlie can be pulled out… if not by you, then perhaps by some eager young men in the neighborhood. He is hesitant about using vinegar, especially since it requires the use of eye-protective gear. Mike suggests a ‘pulling party’: inviting people over for food and barbeque, and pulling those weeds. Mike also recommended completely saturating the weeds with water until they are bloated. If that still isn’t possible. or a ‘pulling party’ just won’t fly with your crowd, there are herbicides based on iron (there is one called Iron X), which could be a good idea as well. To use that, you are going to want to wait until it is dryer outside, and saturate the weeds around noon time. As soon as you do that, spread a mulch. If the only thing you can find is wood mulch – be sure that it isn’t dyed.
Cory calls us from frigid Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has discovered that there are railroad ties on the edges of his garden. The fear is that railroad ties, being loaded with creosote and other cancer-causing chemicals, should not be around plants or the gardener themselves. The danger lies in touching the wood, or in children playing in the garden or eating the soil. The elements in railroad ties usually do wash out. You need to have gloves on when touching the material and to use a respirator, covering your mouth and nose. He also asks Cory about where he intends to dispose of the railroad ties, and if Minnesota has a hazardous waste disposal, because those can become a real issue, and you should be careful about that.