Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

Tips for beginning and experienced gardeners. New, 30-minute (or less) episodes arrive every Tuesday and Friday. Fred Hoffman has been a U.C. Certified Master Gardener since 1982 and writes a weekly garden column for the Lodi News-Sentinel in Lodi, CA. A four-decade fixture in Sacramento radio, he hosted three radio shows for Northern California gardeners and farmers: The KFBK Garden Show, Get Growing with Farmer Fred, and the KSTE Farm Hour. Episode Website: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629... Show More

Episodes

March 5, 2021 24 min

Fabulous Fruit Friday is back on the Garden Basics podcast.  Fruit tree expert Ed Laivo will tell us about one of the tastiest cherries you’ve probably never had, but you need to try, and is now available. It’s an old heirloom variety, the Black Republican Cherry.  A sweet piece of fruit that has a good story behind its name, as well.
Stink bugs love your garden in spring and summer. We have tips for controlling this widespread pes...

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If you want to expand your vegetable garden palate this year, this is the episode for you. We talk about vegetable varieties that are tasty, but unappreciated. Broccolini, radicchio, Malabar spinach, Joi Choi, moringa,  and much more. Do your garden plans include insectary plants? Those are annuals, perennials and shrubs that attract pollinators and beneficial insects that can battle the bad bugs in your garden, without any chemica...

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At some point, you will get the urge to start a wildflower garden in a spot in your yard. Before you begin scattering seeds, take a listen. We have tips from a wildflower expert. 

What’s the easiest, safest way to clean a backyard fountain or birdbath? Our favorite college horticulture professor (retired), Debbie Flower, applies some elbow grease to that question. 

Wouldn’t it be nice, if you moved into a rental home, that other peop...

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Welcome to the Garden Basics Seed Starting episode. Growing your summer vegetables and flowers from seed is a fun experience. Plus, there are so many more varieties available as seed. If you have a sunny window or a seed starting kit with a heat pad and lighting system, your ready to plant.  And, Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms tells us how he starts his tomato seeds. 

Also: can you reuse old soil that you might have in containers? As...

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Want to help Mother Nature battle your garden pest problems? Give a listen and find out how. Jessica Walliser, author of Plant Partners, talks about scientific proven strategies for incorporating different plants into your vegetable garden to fend off the bad guys by attracting the garden good guys.
Also, how deep should you plant that new fruit tree?
It’s all on Episode 78 of the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. And we will...

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Dealing with weeds in the garden is bad enough. How do you deal with tree roots in your flower and vegetable beds? We’ve got some tips. Questions about how and when to prune trees and shrubs? We give you a list of good resources. The Plant of the Week is putting on a show for the nose right now. It’s wintersweet. And, how keeping a garden diary and planting a "Gratitude Garden" is good for your mental health.

It’s Episode 77...

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It may be February, but it’s not too late for a New Year’s Garden Resolution: Don’t let your overhead sprinklers hit your vegetable and flower gardens. Our favorite retired college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, tells us why.
We have tips for planting and caring for raspberries and grapes.
Confused about all the shovel and pruner choices that are out there? We’ll unearth the best shovel choices for your outdoor tasks and we...

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In USDA Zones 9 and 10, February is the month to be starting tomato seeds indoors. For colder climates, you may want to wait until March. We continue our evaluation of great tomato varieties worth trying with Don Shor, owner of Redwood Barn Nursery in Davis, California. We talk strategy as well as good tomato varieties worth trying in 2021. 

In the world of unique looking, tasty tomatoes, Wild Boar Farms has the market cornered. We ...

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If you plant tomatoes in late April or early May, February is the month for you to be planning your tomato strategy and then start planting tomato seeds indoors. We talk strategy as well as good tomato varieties worth trying in 2021. 
Are you still attempting to decipher all that tomato terminology in the seed catalogs? We’ve got the help you need! 
Heavy winds and wild weather has buffeted most of the country the past few weeks. We ...

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Today, we have tips from a Master Rosarian on selecting and planting roses. Listen to this before you go out to buy your roses, because what you’ll hear just might change your mind about where to shop for rose plants now. 
Are you planting a single variety bare root fruit tree? Did you remember to cut it back by half after planting? We’ll tell you why that is necessary in a backyard garden (P.S. don't do this to multi-budded fru...

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This time of year, hope springs eternal in the minds of gardeners with dreams of a bountiful spring, summer and fall garden, filled with beautiful flowers, delicious fruits, and wonderful vegetables. But for many second year gardeners, as well as many more experienced gardeners, there could be a "sophomore slump".
So why does a so-so garden year sometimes follow a wildly successful garden year? Debbie Flower, our favorite r...

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It can take quite awhile to grow a pepper plant from seed to outdoor transplanting stage. 12 to 16 weeks, which can include up to three weeks for the seeds to germinate. But we can help you speed up that process considerably with pepper seed germination tips from our favorite retired horticulture professor, Debbie Flower. 
We start a new segment on this show today: the Plant of the Week. And for that we will turn to one of the most ...

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If you’re venturing into flower and vegetable seed starting in 2021, good for you! It’s fun, and with seeds, there are plenty more varieties to choose from. You may have some leftover seeds hanging around. But will those old seeds germinate? Our favorite retired college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, has a surefire way to tell.

Are you familiar with the pluot? It’s a fruit, it’s a cross between a plum and an apricot. And it ...

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For those of us in USDA Zone 9, protecting citrus trees from a frost or freeze is a primary concern. But what about all the gardeners in USDA Zones 9, 8 and 7 that have a yard full of succulents? What is the best way to protect them from cold damage? We talk with the Plant Lady, Marlene Simon, from the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, who has tips for keeping your succulents alive through the winter. And one of her tips involving w...

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Happy New Year, and welcome to the beginning of Season 2 of the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. For many gardeners, planning the 2021 garden is underway this month. Perusing seed catalogs, making choices for the warm season vegetable and flower garden, and perhaps checking out all the dormant plants that are arriving, or will be arriving soon, at area nurseries and garden centers this winter.
One of those popular bare root ...

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If you live in the West or the South, Perhaps Santa left you some new bare root fruit trees. Back East or up North, maybe it will be the Easter Bunny making those deliveries.
Wherever you live, we have tips for planting bare root fruit trees, those six foot tall bare sticks with pretty pictures attached, arriving this winter at nurseries and garden centers (just in case Santa and the Easter Bunny don’t come through for you).
Also, ...

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 If you’re thinking of adding a fruit tree to your garden in 2021, here’s one criteria to think about: of all the fruit trees available, which are the tastiest?  Dave Wilson Nursery's Phil Pursel  talks about the tastiest peach tree varieties. Plus, he has advice for pruning and training those new backyard fruit trees so you can have multiple varieties of trees, even in a small garden. It’s all about size control. Or, choose a ...

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A fully grown, properly placed, healthy tree can add thousands of dollars of extra value to your property.  Yes, your trees can put extra money in your pocket when it comes time to move! In the meantime, how do you know your trees are really healthy? And, how do you know if your neighbor’s trees are healthy? After all, those trees on the other side of the fence might be causing you a lot of extra work, expense, or danger. The only ...

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It’s a good thing that Santa parks his sleigh on your rooftop, otherwise, Rudolph, Donner, Blitzen and the rest of his deer crew might help themselves to your garden goodies. Deer love your garden! Are there such things as deer resistant plants? How do you keep deer from ravaging your radishes and rose bushes? We have tips. Plus advice for caring for that new, cut Christmas tree that you’re about to haul home.  And, poinsettia  poi...

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November 27, 2020 26 min

Itching to get a bit more dirt under your fingernails during the cold, wet months ahead? Do it indoors, growing microgreens. Some call it vegetable confetti. Microgreens are a perfect topping for salads, soups, stews, tacos and a lot more. What’s in microgreens? They’re leaves…small, colorful vegetable, herb and flower leaves, that pack a wallop of good nutrition.  Plus, they grow quickly and easily!  Master Gardener and vegetable ...

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