Two Minutes in the Garden: Gardening Tips, Science, Myths

Two Minutes in the Garden: Gardening Tips, Science, Myths

Bite-sized informative updates on gardening basics, solutions, myths, news and other subjects of interest to gardeners both new and experienced. From the popular Empress of Dirt website (empressofdirt.net), home of creative and frugal ideas for your backyard garden.... Show More

Episodes

March 5, 2021 5 min

It's often recommended but seldom done. Do we really need to get our soil tested?

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: 4 Essential Tips for Indoor Seed Starting Success

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February 24, 2021 8 min

Seeds all have different labels on the packets -- open-pollinated, hybrid, heirloom, organic -- so what do those labels mean?

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: 12 Tips for Growing Giant Sunflowers

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February 20, 2021 5 min

When we propagate plants from seeds we usually get a genetic combination of two parent plants. But some plants can actually produce clones of themselves through seeds.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: 60 Herbal Plants to Grow for Homemade Tea

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Many of us are getting to the time of year when we can start seeds indoors -- but we may need to hold off just a little bit longer. Why is that?

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: Using Biochar as a Soil Amendment (Pros and Cons)

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Many people generate a lot of ashes over the winter from fireplaces and wood stoves. There's some good stuff in there for plants, so can we use wood ash in the garden?

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: 10 Flower Growing Secrets & Common Mistakes

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February 9, 2021 7 min

Some gardeners come to love scientific names and take pride in learning them ... for others they can seem a bit pompous. But there are good reasons that our plants need scientific names.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: Perennial Flower Bloom Times From Spring to Fall

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February 4, 2021 6 min

Juniper berries, ginkgo fruit and others may look like fruit, but botanists say otherwise. So, if they aren't fruit, what are those fruit-like structures produced by non-flowering seed plants?

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: How to Grow a Peach (or Plum) Tree From the Pit

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January 30, 2021 5 min

We're heading into peak seed-starting season in this part of the world. If you haven't started seeds indoors before, this is a great year to start -- and now is the time to get ready.

MORE FROM Empress of Dirt: Seed Starting for Beginners: Sow Inside Grow Outside

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January 27, 2021 5 min

Manure from different animals is a popular addition to garden soil but you'll also hear a lot of warnings about its use. And what about using waste from your pets?

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January 21, 2021 5 min

Have you heard the one about how you can tell a female bell pepper from a male? Well, that one's just a myth -- fruit isn't male or female. But plants can be.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: How to Grow An Apple Tree From Seed

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January 16, 2021 5 min

It's very different from what we do with plants growing outdoors in the soil. With houseplants, it's all on us to make sure that the essential nutrients are available.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: How to Grow Asparagus (and Plant Crowns)

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Stratification is a technique used to give dormant seeds the experience of changing seasons even when they've only gone from a drawer into our fridge.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: Winter Sowing: Starting Seeds Outdoors in Milk Jugs

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There are things we can do with dormant seeds to prod them along and get them to germinate. One of the most important for gardeners is scarification.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: What to Prune in Winter

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Seed dormancy can be frustrating for gardeners -- having seeds that won't germinate -- but it's an important part of the survival of many plant species.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: Science-based Companion Planting Tips for Growing Vegetables

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December 28, 2020 3 min

Most places now have recycling programs for Christmas trees -- or you can try one of the 25 creative projects from our list to put your tree to good use.

MORE FROM Empress of Dirt: 25 Creative Ways to Reuse Christmas Trees

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December 23, 2020 5 min

It's no fun to shovel, and it can look lovely ... but is that blanket of snow good or bad for your plants?

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: Easy Winter Composting in a Cold Climate

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December 17, 2020 5 min

Lots of reports this year that Christmas trees have been harder to find. Also lots of questionable advice out there about the best ways to care for your tree.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: 6 Craft Recipes to Make Fake Snow

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December 14, 2020 5 min

Holly is another of the popular plants of the Christmas season -- although they are considered to be invasive in many areas. And maybe just a little toxic too.

NEW FROM Empress of Dirt: How to Root Pothos Cuttings

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Native to Mexico, poinsettias have been a symbol of Christmas for over 100 years. They can be kept as perennials ... and, no, they aren't actually poisonous.

MORE FROM Empress of Dirt: How to Make Poinsettias Rebloom as Houseplants

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One of our favorite Christmas decorations is a parasitic plant that feeds off of others and is sometimes thought to be toxic, although that part is often overstated.

POPULAR THIS WEEK FROM Empress of Dirt: Christmas Cactus or Thanksgiving? How to ID Your Plant

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