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://gardenbasics.net

Episodes

August 12, 2022 31 min

Yes, it’s August, and it’s hot out, but the garden is a busy place:  harvesting, watering, deadheading, weeding. Wise gardeners  have added another chore that will help guarantee future garden success: summer pruning of deciduous fruit trees. We’ll tell you why now nipping back your peach, plum, apple, apricot, cherry, nectarine and other fruit trees  will lead to better production next year.

Have you heard of lemon verbena? It’s an...

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If you have a sprinkler system, a drip irrigation system or a series of soaker hoses, how are you turning those systems on and off?  For many gardeners who live in dry summer climates, automatic irrigation control systems are the way to go. And if you have one of those older irrigation control systems, you might be amazed at how the newer, smartphone-controlled systems can ease your watering chores even more. We talk with an irriga...

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GB 217 More Jumping Worms! What to Do with Your Extra Fruits, Vegetables

Jumping worms! Unlike red wigglers or earthworms, jumping worms are not garden good guys. They’ll  consume a lot of your mulch, leaving behind pellets that are not good for your plants or your soil. And jumping worms are spreading. America’s Favorite Retired College Horticulture Professor, Debbie Flower, has updated information on how you can thwart the jumping...

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August 2, 2022 36 min

As we are fond of saying on this program every summer, “You grew it. Now, eat it!” Not all at once, of course. What are the best ways to preserve all the fruits and vegetables you grow? One of the easiest is drying them. Sun drying or using a dehydrator is a great way to preserve nutrients while enjoying the literal fruits of your labor throughout the year. But where do you begin? Today, we talk with a Master Food Preserver about d...

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July 29, 2022 26 min

A mature, healthy landscape tree can add thousands of dollars of value to your home. And that road to a healthy tree begins as soon as you get the tree home from the nursery. And that’s where many homeowners start making what could be fatal mistakes. Today, Master Gardener and tree expert Pam Bone has the vital tips on how to stake a newly planted tree.

We’re podcasting from Barking Dog Studios here in the beautiful Abutilon Jungle ...

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Garden Basics # 214 Soldier Flies, Improving Slow Compost

If you have a compost pile, or especially a worm bin, you may have seen a scary looking critter: an inch-long wasp-like creature. That’s the soldier fly. But are they good for your compost pile or worm bin? Some gardeners swear by them. Some swear at them. Today, we talk with a big proponent of soldier flies about them, and we delve deep into some of their many benefits. Also...

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GB 213 Garden Earwig Control. Summer Fruit Pruning.

Earwigs. They’re a garden problem, coast to coast. How do you control these pests that can take down young plants overnight? America’s favorite retired college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, has some tips. And, we talk with a fruit tree expert about the benefits of pruning your stone fruit trees this month.

We’re podcasting from Barking Dog Studios here in the beautiful Abut...

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July 19, 2022 32 min

Today, we pay a return visit to the blackberry, raspberry and boysenberry growing grounds of Sacramento County Master Gardener Pam Bone, to find out what are the problems hitting gardeners’ caneberry plantings this summer. Turns out, there’s plenty of issues, both pests and diseases. Fortunately, there are a lot of easy to implement controls. Today, we’re talking about solving your summer berry patch problems.

We’re podcasting from ...

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July 15, 2022 25 min

Spider Mites. Fireblight. Spider Mites. Fireblight. Try saying that rapidly three times. These are two widespread pests of a wide variety of edible and ornamental plants this time of year. How do you identify them? How do you control them? We go in search of answers with America’s Favorite Retired College Horticulture Professor, Debbie Flower.

We’re podcasting from Barking Dog Studios in the beautiful Abutilon Jungle in Suburban Pur...

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Yes, it is the second week of July, but it’s not too late to plant tomatoes, especially early maturing varieties in large containers. America’s Favorite Retired College Horticulture Professor, Debbie Flower, has the mid-summer tomato planting tips.

And mid-July is not too early to think about getting ready for your fall garden. Maybe try something different this year, something that could spend the winter in the ground, and actually...

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July 8, 2022 26 min

Welcome to summer, where we all look a little ragged in the hot afternoon. And your new plants may look a little droopy, too. But before you add water, listen to what our favorite retired college horticultural professor, Debbie Flower, has to say.

One listener asked, why don’t I have any oranges on my citrus trees? There are many possible reasons.

On a hot day, who doesn’t like to stand under a mister? It makes us feel better….but wh...

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This is the time of year when you may be wandering in your garden and your drawn to some funny looking aspects of your tomato plants. What is that brown leathery spot on the bottom of that tomato? What are all those cracks along the top of the tomato? What is that white spot on the side of the tomato? Why are the leaves curling? All of those are abiotic disorders of the plant. You can’t attribute the problem to an insect, animal or...

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Ticks. They’re bad enough when you’re taking a stroll in the country. They’re worse when they’re near your garden. What can you do to thwart ticks? We have tips.

It’s summer, and both you and your plants are wilting in the heat, especially when it’s approaching triple digit temperatures day after day after day. Here’s what you can do to help your plants.

Nectarines are a tasty home grown fruit, but are beset by a wide variety of prob...

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June 28, 2022 30 min

We’ve told you about the benefits of adding worm castings to your garden soil. And we’ve also told you about the limited lifespan of bagged worm castings. Maybe you ought to become your own worm farmer to harvest the freshest worm castings. It’s called vermicomposting. It’s a great way to recycle your leftover fruits and vegetables while creating a product that will add life to your soil.  It’s worm bin basics, today!
America’s Favo...

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Want to grow fruit trees? But the only area you have is a sunny, narrow side yard? Not a problem, if you trellis those fruit trees. Today, Master Gardener Quentin Young walks us through step by step construction of a trellis for fruit trees, along with the best varieties of fruit trees that are easy to trellis.

America’s Favorite Retired College Horticulture Professor, Debbie Flower, tells us about a quick growing flowering annual  ...

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June 21, 2022 27 min

If you been in a supermarket lately, you may still be in sticker shock at the higher prices for basic commodities. One of those has almost tripled in price over the last few months: eggs. As a result, maybe you’re thinking about getting a hen or two or more for your backyard to satisfy your egg eating habits. But before you head to the feed store to start your little chicken and egg enterprise, give a listen to today’s podcast. We’...

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June 17, 2022 29 min

Right now, in Mid-June, is still an excellent time to be planting tomatoes from transplants. It’s not too late, even for those of you in colder climates where frosts may occur in September. You just have to choose your tomato varieties a bit more carefully. We have the ones that will work for you, as well as tomato varieties for June planting for everyone in warmer climates.

What can you do with the shards from a broken pot? Lining ...

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Currently, 40% of the United States is dealing with moderate to extreme drought conditions. New outdoor watering restrictions are popping up throughout the west, southwest, intermountain regions, midwest, and the southeast. Can your garden survive with less water? Yes. In fact, if you irrigate and mulch correctly, your garden could even thrive on less water. Today we’re talking about tips and myths about efficient garden irrigation...

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Welcome to Garden Basics Greatest Hits, Volume 2.  This episode features the Top 7 most listened to segments of the last 100 episodes, from Episode 100 to  Episode199, as determined by you, the listeners, my garden-loving friends. Topics include  tomatoes (of course), berries, garden design, composting, soils, and the benefits of mulch.
 Time flies when you’re having fun, and we are having a blast, bringing you great gardening advic...

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Tulip growing is easy, in cold climates. In warmer climates, getting tulips to rebloom year after year is a challenge. Today, America’s Favorite Retired College Horticulture Professor, Debbie Flower, has tips for warm climate tulip growers to get those gorgeous bulbs to rebloom. And, she has advice for ALL tulip growers about the steps to take to make sure your bulbs remain at maximum strength, whether they’re in the ground or not.
...

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