Vermont Garden Journal

Fridays at 5:55p.m., Sunday at 9:34a.m.

The Vermont Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Each week, Nardozzi will focus on a topic that's relevant to both new and experienced gardeners, including pruning lilac bushes, growing blight-free tomatoes, groundcovers, sunflowers, bulbs, pests and more.

Hear the Vermont Garden Journal Friday afternoons at 5:55pm and Sunday mornings at 9:34am.

Subscribe to the Vermont Garden Journal Podcast and RSS

Visit the VPR Archive for Vermont Garden Journal programs before 4/19/2013.

Andrew Huff / Flickr

Vicia faba is a legume that has been grown around the world for 6,000 years. It’s a food in countries from Ethiopia, Peru, Nepal, China, Italy, and England and can also be used as animal feed and a soil builder. It grows in a wide variety of soils, including clay and salty soil, and, unlike other beans, likes cool weather. Yes, it’s the broad, Windsor or fava bean.

Rachid H / Flickr

They’re a little late this year, probably because of our cool, wet June, but they’re here. Japanese beetle adults have arrived after over-wintering as grubs in the soil and they’re feasting on grapes, cherries, plums, raspberries, basil, roses and lots of other plants. This imported Japanese native arrived in 1916 and has wreaking havoc East of the Mississippi ever since.

Richard Roche / Flickr

You’d think a flower whose common name refers to a tiny bug wouldn’t be a highly desirable plant, but coreopsis or tickseed is a beautiful flower for your garden.

NoDerog / iStock

For as long as I can remember, each summer I get some amount of poison ivy rash.

Poison ivy is best identified by the “leaves of three, let them be," rhyme. It grows as an aggressive ground cover and up trees. I once saw a whole tree enveloped in poison ivy vines. I stayed away! It’s best to avoid contact with leaves, stems and roots since the chemical urushiol can stay active for months on clothes, tools and machinery.

Piers Nye / Flickr

This fruit tree is native to China and the leaves are used in the silkworm industry. It’s also the topic of a children’s nursery rhyme, which actually was started as a song sung by female inmates as they exercised around this bush in the prison yard. Yes, it’s the mulberry.

Duene Ellison / iStock

Ben Franklin once said, “A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.” Yes, with all the rain lately, weeds are having a hay day! Controlling them can be the bane of a gardener's existence and often the reason novice gardeners throw in the hoe and head for the beach come summer.

Martin Labar / Flickr

Happy National Pollinator Week! These days, there seems to be a dedicated week for all kinds of topics, some frivolous and others not. But pollinators are important.

cjp / istock

This common edible was first used as a medicinal plant by the Chinese. It hales from Mongolia and likes cool, damp conditions. It made its way to Europe, but wasn't until the 1700's that rhubarb was used as an edible. Rhubarb eventually found its way to America and is a staple in many New England gardens.

Bryant Olson / Flickr

It is as quintessential as the fourth of July and apple pie. Sweet corn is an All-American crop and there's nothing like munching on an ear of freshly picked corn on a hot summer day. It's so sweet, I don't even bother cooking it.

Pacific NW Gardener / Flickr

Gardening is known for its folklore. Some of these old wives tales have some truth to them and others, not so much. I often get asked about companion planting for insect control. Although many say plants such as onions, marigolds and rue can deter pests, scientifically, few of these folklore remedies have been proven. 

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