Charlie Nardozzi

Host, Vermont Garden Journal

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. You can learn more about organic gardening at Growing with Charlie Nardozzi . Charlie is a guest on VPR's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.

Ways to Connect

Daniel Hulshizer / AP

We've all seen it happen. Your tomatoes are growing great with vigorous growth, flowers and even small fruits. Then it starts on the bottom leaves with some spots or browning. Slowly it spreads. Then more quickly to engulf the plant until by mid summer your prized tomatoes are nothing but stems with a few fruits. Welcome to the world of blight.

The main foliar diseases of tomatoes are early blight, late blight and septoria leaf spot. Although, they look a little different from each other, the results are the same. And they are more severe during cool, wet weather.

PRNewsFoto/California Walnut Commission / AP

Sometimes it's good to get a little nuts about gardening. Nut trees and bushes are great landscape plants providing shade, screening, food and shelter for wildlife and delicious nuts for us, too! Yes, many nut trees are slow growing, but they're landscape legacies. Maybe you or your children won't enjoy the 70 foot tall walnut tree, but you're leaving behind a tree for future generations to appreciate.

OldGreySeaWolf / Morguefile

Sweet peas are known as the Queen of the Annuals. And why not, these climbers have vivid colored flowers that look like floating butterflies, a long season of bloom in our climate, and an amazing scent. The sensuous fragrance is a captivating blend of honey and orange with varying layers of subtlety. It invokes love, romance and passion. But I get carried away.


I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. Here's a quiz. What's this vegetable? It was first found in Egyptian tombs about 6000 years ago. Three quarters of a cup of this vegetable has more protein than an egg. Starch from this vegetable is used to make plastics. Only 5% of this vegetable are eaten fresh. What's is it? It's the garden pea.

Julio Cortez / AP

I love garden chores that, as they say, kill two birds with one stone. This chore will cheer up your home in winter and get your trees and shrubs in shape for spring. It's called forcing flowering branches. When you prune crowded, broken or damaged branches in winter, many of the tree and shrub stems you'll be cutting are perfect for forcing indoors. Their branches are loaded with flower buds and all they need is some warmth and water to open.

Joerg Sarbach / AP

  Broadcast on Friday, February 14 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 9:35 a.m.

The Vermont Garden Journal with Charlie Nardozzi is made possible by Gardener's Supply, offering environmental solutions for gardens and landscapes. In Burlington, Williston and

GNU/Archenzo Moggio

Although we grow this plant as a perennial flower, it also has other devious uses. During the siege of Kirrha in ancient Greece, the invading armies poisoned the city's water supply with crushed roots and leaves of this flower causing the protecting armies to be weakened by diarrhea and overwhelmed. That's a good reason not to eat the leaves of your Lenten rose.

AP/Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station

January is veggie seed ordering time. But I can't look at those veggie catalogs on an empty belly. Everything in those print and on-line pages looks delicious! I know I can't fit them all in the garden, so each year I look for a few new and unique varieties to try. Here are my selections.

AP Photo/Jennifer Forker

There's nothing like the taste and smell of fresh herbs in winter. Thyme, basil, oregano and rosemary all remind us of warmer days ahead, but why wait? You can grow your own herb garden indoors, right now. You just have to the right herbs in the right conditions.

AP Photo/air pod plant holders,

Let's face it. Houseplants just aren't very sexy. Sure they are green and clean the air, but they're often just very common looking. Plus, many people get intimated by houseplants, thinking they will kill any plant. Well, the latest houseplant trend changes all that. They are tillandsias or air plants.

AP/Bob Child

Now that you've put away all your holiday decorations, what are you going to do with those holiday gift plants still adorning your house?  Like many gifts, some are worth saving and others are better regifted. So let's go through the list of holiday gift plants and I'll tell you what I think you should do with them.

AP/Toby Talbot

I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. It used to be New Years meant a slew of seed and plant catalogs filling my mailbox. Now the catalogs start arriving in November, but I still never get around to perusing them until after the holidays.

AP/Wayne Parry

I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. Well, the egg nog is gone, the leftovers still fill the refrigerator and there's that nasty stain on your rug from Uncle Joe's spilled wine that needs attending. And yes, there's the holiday tree. If you purchased one of the more than 30 million live Christmas trees sold this year, you're probably wondering what to do with it now that the festivities are over. You certainly can bring it to a recycling center for chipping or chip it up yourself to make mulch for your garden.

AP/Matt Dunham

I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. Forcing bulbs into bloom indoors just doesn't sound humane or natural, but we love to do it. There's nothing like a fragrant hyacinth, colorful tulip or cheery daffodil blooming on our kitchen table, while it continues to snow outside. But while Santa may grace your holiday stocking with some bulbs for forcing, you have to do it right to get the results you want.

AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

Oh, by gosh by golly, it's time for gifts for your favorite gardener. Yes, it's time to figure out what special holiday gift you can give the gardener in your family. If you're stuck for ideas, I've got a few I would like this year, hint, hint.

Jackson and Perkins

I recently heard a story about NASA sending basil and turnip seeds to the moon in grow chambers to see how they will germinate in that gravity-less, high radiation environment. It prompted me to remember the now famous research NASA also did on house plants.

AP Photo/Lee Reich

This flower is named after a shepherdess who had unrequited love for a gardener. Each day she would walk to his door to impress him by piercing her own heart with a golden arrow. The blood that would drop to the ground would turn into scarlet flowers that would line his path. I don't know if that shepherdess ever got her gardener, but I do know her name was amaryllis.

This South American tropical bulb is easy to grow and rewarding with its large, 10 inch diameter, multiple blooms. Plus, with a little care you can get it to rebloom next year.

AP Photo/Jeff Gentner

Friday, November 22, 2013 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 9:35 a.m. I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. We've all seen it happen. A beautiful, broad-leaved rhododendron looks great going into winter. But in spring the leaves have browned and curled, turning our beautiful specimen into a deposit for the compost pile. So how do we get our broad-leaved evergreens such as rhodis, mountain laurel and pieris shrubs to make it through winter? It's all about protection.

AP Photo/Dean Fosdick

Friday, November 15, 2013 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 9:35 a.m. I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. We all have played with the wiggly earthworm since childhood. As gardeners we've been taught to revere the earthworm as a master decomposer of organic matter and savior of plants growing on clay soils. But all is not what it seems with the earthworm. There is a dark side to this creature.

Wikimedia Commons

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 9:35 a.m. I'm Charlie Nardozzi and this is the Vermont Garden Journal. This common flowering houseplant is native the southeastern, coastal mountains of Brazil. It flowers in May in the Southern hemisphere in response to the shorter day lengths. Europeans starting breeding this plant in the 1800's and now it's one of our most treasured symbols of the holidays. It's the Christmas cactus.