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.

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VT Garden Journal
6:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Community Gardens

VPR's employee garden features beds reserved for staff and for area food pantries.
Peter Biello VPR

If you're a gardener you already know the benefits of growing your own fruits, vegetable and herbs. Many of us are blessed with abundant, healthy gardens this time of year. But, the realities of everyday life often prevent many Vermonters from growing a garden. One of the biggest deterrents is time. We often spend more time at work, than at home.

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VT Garden Journal
10:00 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Tuberous Begonia

The tuberous begonia is in full bloom at this time of year.
Botbin Wikimedia Commons

This common annual flower is in full bloom now, gracing hanging baskets and containers with its colorful double, sometime fragrant, blooms. It's origins go back to the Andes Mountains and it was all the rage in the late 1800's in Europe. But it wasn't introduced to North America until around World War I when a soldier, Carlton Lowe, saw it growing in Belgium and brought seeds back home to Ohio. What's the name of this globe trotting flower? It's the tuberous begonia.

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VT Garden Journal
8:50 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Tomato Hornworms

A hornworm sits on a flower bud.
Daniel Schwen Wikimedia Commons

There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about insects as food. In many parts of the world insects are a common delicacy. Its estimated that 2 billion people around the globe regularly eat insects. And why not? They're a great source of protein and there certainly are lots of them. While I did dabble in eating ants in Thailand in the Peace Corps many years ago, there's one insect in my garden I'd love a recipe for. It's the tomato hornworm.

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VT Garden Journal
10:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Trees and Shrubs

Deciduous trees provide shade in a forest.
lightfoot Morguefile

You start seeing signs around Labor Day at local garden centers. They start with a quiet 20 percent off and by October the signs are screaming up to 75 percent off! What's on sale? Trees and shrubs.

Fall is good time to buy trees and shrubs. Many nurseries and garden centers don't want to carry their stock through the winter, so they're eager to move plants. But, as with any shopping, you need to discriminate between healthy and not so healthy plants. Here are some tips.

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VT Garden Journal
10:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Harvesting Herb Seeds

Herb seeds are great for cooking and for your garden's ecology.
bluescreen Morguefile

This time of year it's usually a battle to keep my herbs from going to seed. We all know herbs like basil produce more and bigger leaves if you can slow the march toward flower and seed formation. But sometimes it's best to work with nature, instead of against it. Some herbs, such has dill, fennel and cilantro, produce seeds that are not only edible, but desirable. Cilantro seeds are also known as coriander, a favorite in Indian and other ethnic dishes. Dill seed is used in cooking and to make pickles, while fennel seeds are used in teas, breads and soups and it a good digestive.

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VT Garden Journal
9:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Sedums

Hoarfrost covers the dry blossoms of a Sedum plant in a park.
Hermann J. Knippertz AP

This common flower's botanical name means “to sit,” probably for the way it creeps along rocks. It is also called rocky stonecrop in England for the way it's perched on cliffs. We know it as sedum.

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VT Garden Journal
10:00 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Southern Greens

Collard greens (pictured) are related to kale, has a bigger, flatter leaf and milder taste.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

I don't have any southern roots, but I sure can appreciate a “mess of greens.” Southern greens such as collards, mustards and turnips are staples in a soul food diet and easy to grow even in our northern gardens. Luckily, it's not too late to get some greens a-goin' for the fall.

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VT Garden Journal
12:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Invasive Trees And Shrubs

Honeysuckle has been classified as an invasive shrub.
Steve Miller AP

I love wandering around the open meadows in places like California with large oak trees growing in a sea of grass and wildflowers. Well, but that's not here. In Vermont any meadow or field sooner or later wants to become a forest.

Unfortunately the first shrubs to move into open areas are not the ones we want. Invasive shrubs and trees crowd out native species and are not beneficial to birds and other wildlife. Here are three of the worst.

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VT Garden Journal
6:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Fall Peas

Plant fall peas two months before the first expected frost in your area. That means now!
Lee Reich AP

This ancient vegetable was found thousands of years ago in caves in Northern Thailand, Egyptian tombs and Swiss bronze age villages. It wasn't until the Italians started cultivating it as fresh vegetable, and introduced it to the French, that it really took off. The petit pois or fresh garden pea is normally a spring treat. But, it grows equally as well as a fall crop. Let me tell you how.

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VT Garden Journal
6:00 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Vermont Garden Journal: Organic Weed Control

Many weeds, like this redroot pigweed, are great-tasting edibles. But for the weeds you don't want, there are organic techniques for removal.
Lee Reich AP

It's been a great growing season so far with the right amounts of sun, warmth and rain. But flowers, fruits and veggies aren't the only things growing well. Weeds can take over this time of year turning a well-planned out garden into a jungle. Weeds can fill in any veggie or flower garden quickly when given a chance, but remember they're just plants growing in the wrong place.

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