Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

Tips for beginning and experienced gardeners.New episodes arrive every Tuesday and Friday. Fred Hoffman (former farmer, to be exact) has been a U.C. Certified Master Gardener since 1982 and hosts three radio shows in Northern California, from Sacramento: The KFBK Garden Show, Get Growing with Farmer Fred, and the KSTE Farm Hour. Episode Website: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629... Show More

Episodes

October 20, 2020 28 min

If you’ve been bit by the gardening bug, it won’t be long before you’ll be craving a hobby greenhouse. With a greenhouse, you can get a jump on spring planting, keep tender plants from freezing in the winter, and, perhaps most fun of all, starting all sorts of delicious fruit and vegetable varieties from seed, varieties you possibly wouldn’t find at a nursery. And there’s no reason why you can’t be growing tomatoes, peppers, greens...

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It’s Fabulous Fruit Friday, and today we talk with Ed Laivo of Tomorrows Harvest about a delicious, sweet, crunchy white peach, the Ivory Angel. And, Ed explains why your fruit trees need cold winter weather.  Master Food Preserver Laura Doyle tells us what to do with all the apples you might be harvesting this month: make some apple jelly.  Plus, she goes over the basics of using a water bath canner.  And, Professor Debbie Flower ...

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Why should we, here in the warm, sunny areas of the United States, have all the fun growing citrus? If you're in snow blower tune-up mode now, you could also be growing citrus trees such as lemons, limes and more…indoors! We talk with the man who literally wrote the book on citrus, Lance Walheim, about how to successfully grow citrus inside your house during the winter.
You’ve heard me yammer on about the benefits of using leav...

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It’s Fabulous Fruit Friday! Ed Laivo of Tomorrows Harvest tells us about one of the most peach leaf curl resistant varieties of a peach or nectarine that you can grow at home: the Frost Peach. Plus, Ed and I do a deep dive into the mulch pile, singing the praises of topping your garden with wood chips, tree trimmings and more. Don’t worry, we won’t sing. But we do harmonize on how mulch can make your gardening chores a lot easier! ...

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If you have a pollinator friendly garden, you have all sorts of beautiful flowering plants. Why not bring some of that outdoor splendor indoors? Today, on the Garden Basics podcast, the appropriately named horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, offers tips on how best to harvest and prepare cut flowers for an indoor display (that's a combination of zinnias with garlic & onion flowers in the picture).
Also, for those of you ...

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Thinking about buying a rototiller? How about purchasing a chipper/shredder instead? It’s a machine that will make easy work of chopping up your garden clippings, including tree limbs, into the greatest mulch you could possibly own. The latest research shows that rototilling your soil actually damages soil structure and the soil biology. On the other hand, the end result of using a chipper/shredder is going to provide you with a qu...

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We continue our discussion of easy to grow cool season vegetables with Master Gardener and vegetable expert Gail Pothour. Last episode, we discussed the easy greens to start in your garden now in USDA Zones 7, 8 and 9. This time, we talk about easy root crops to grow, like carrots, turnips, beets and radishes. Plus tasty fall and winter above ground vegetables like sugar snap peas, snow peas and broccoli. Gail has a list of her fav...

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Looking for easy care, tasty, cool season vegetables to plant now? Look no further than all the nutritious, green leafy crops that love the fall weather. Today, we’re talking the basics for growing lettuce, spinach, chard, cabbage, Chinese greens, and kale, with great growing advice from Master Gardener Gail Pothour, who's also a vegetable expert. And we are introducing a new segment to the show: Fabulous Fruit Friday, presente...

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The hot trend of spring is back, this time for fall. The trend? The home-based, back-to-the- land movement, where more and more people are starting a garden. Just as what happened in the spring, nurseries right now are seeing cool season vegetables and flowers flying off the shelves, especially for USDA Zones 7, 8 and 9. For those of you in colder climates, it might mean putting the backyard garden to bed and maybe doing some indoo...

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September 18, 2020 25 min

Horticulture expert Debbie Flower rejoins us for Part 2 of Understanding the Language of Seed Packets. This time around, she has good planting instructions for what to do if that seed packet says things like, "darkness aids germination" or "requires light for germination". And, when it says "keep seedbed evenly moist, but how much water do you apply? And, just about every seed packet has instructions on thinning...

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September 15, 2020 25 min

A seed packet might say, “Plant in spring, but if you live in a mild climate, sow in fall.” What is a mild climate? Do you live in a mild climate? You might think so, but the folks at that seed company might disagree. On this episode of Garden Basics, our favorite retired College horticulture professor Debbie Flower tackles that as well as what can be other very confusing terms on a seed packet. Things like, “days to harvest”, bolt...

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Ripping out your summer garden to make room for the fall vegetable and flower garden? Before you stick one broccoli plant or calendula flower in that space, you need to improve your soil. It’s tired! How do you perk it up? One way: let a portion of your garden lay fallow for the summer, as is that bottom raised bed in the picture. But the soil is being replenished, courtesy of all the mulch on top of the bed.
Soils expert Steve Zien...

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Can there be too much of a good thing? Yes, indeed, if we are talking about fertilizer for your outdoor fruit and vegetable plants. In fact, too much fertilizer can actually reduce the production of fruits and vegetables. Professor Debbie Flower tells us why. Every state in the union can grow table grapes. And this month, you just might have too many grapes, waiting to be picked. Unless you are a professional bird feeder, save thos...

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September 3, 2020 27 min

For those of you who live in the West, the South, parts of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states, (USDA Zones 7, 8, and 9) we get down to specifics in this episode on the best varieties of vegetables to grow during the cooler months of fall and winter:  lettuce, spinach, Swiss Chard, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cilantro, broccoli (pictured), cauliflower, beets, snow peas, fava beans, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, parsnips, shallots ...

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August 31, 2020 28 min

Many gardeners are still enjoying the summer vegetable garden. But get ready…the days will be getting shorter and cooler this month and those vegetables may start to go into decline. Now is time to be planning and planting your second garden of 2020, the fall and winter vegetable garden. Our favorite college horticulture professor (retired), Debbie Flower, has tips for getting your lettuce, spinach, Swiss Chard (pictured), cabbage,...

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Welcome back to our little insecticidal soap opera, "Who’s Eating My Tomatoes?" College horticulture professor Debbie Flower joins us for our big finale of this three part series, which looks at the insect critters that don’t necessarily chew the tomatoes, but they sure make them look ugly and unappetizing. It's the sucking, piercing, rasping insects of tomatoes that get our attention today, along with a look at the ben...

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We continue our conversation with retired horticulture professor Debbie Flower about the critters that are munching on your backyard tomatoes. Last time, we discussed the smaller pests: hornworms, fruit worms, fruit beetles, snails, slugs, earwigs. This time we tackle the larger interlopers who are getting into your tomatoes: rats, squirrels, birds, possum, raccoons, and, of course, deer.
Plus, we talk with farm advisor Rachael Lon...

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August 21, 2020 28 min

How many times have you gone out to your backyard tomato patch, reached in to harvest what looks like a big, juicy, ripe, red tomato…only to have your fingertips realize…someone’s been eating my tomatoes. Who’s the culprit? Our favorite college horticulture teacher (retired), Debbie Flower, rounds up the suspects and interrogate them one by one. There’s so many possible offenders, it will take us two episodes to get through them al...

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It’s a rather general garden question we received that has a lot of possible answers: "Why am I not getting any tomatoes or zucchini?" But that very general question, with no other details, gives us the opportunity to go through a checklist of all possible causes. One of those reasons just might hit home for you.

Blueberry harvest is ending here in California, but it’s still going on in many other states. We pay a visit to a...

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August 14, 2020 37 min

Don’t let drip irrigation become drip irritation. Today’s entire show is on drip irrigation basics: how to install it, how to run it, how to maintain it. We talk with garden author Robert Kourik, he wrote the seminal book about the subject, it’s called “Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates.” He’ll tell us that not only will drip irrigation save you money by using less water, drip irrigation can also increase your yi...

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