Garden Basics

Wisconsin Gardener Segments tagged as Garden Basics

Growing a Living Fossil Tree

Join us as we visit Avalon, Wisconsin, where we learn about trees that have remained virtually unchanged from millions of years ago.  They’re hardy and easy to grow.

Perennials with Late Season Interest

The days may be getting shorter but the growing season is far from over. Host Shelley Ryan travels to Rotary Gardens in Janesville to look at perennials and annuals that do not even reach their peak until fall.

Planting Too Close to the House and Road and Other Landscaping Boo-Boos

Visit a site in Egg Harbor where birches, crabs and junipers had been planted too close to the building and the road. Years later, they are now hazardous to traffic, block the building from view, and creating an almost “hidden shopping complex.” This is a very common mistake people make when planting trees and shrubs. Caleb Whitney shows us the fixed side and the unfixed side.

Hardy Cactus

Wisconsin has its own native cactus, prickly pear cactus but there are others that are hardy here as well.  Cacti and succulent grower Dan Mahr shows off his collection of of both hardy and non-hardy cacti and tests Shelley on her cactus knowledge.

Improving Soil Structure

Learn how to condition your soil with organic matter.  UW-Extension Soil Scientist Sherry Combs demonstrates how to made soil rich and moist.

Appleton's Sustainable College Garden

Professor of Environmental Studies at Lawrence University Jeff Clark talks about university gardens that put food on the tables in dining halls. Students grow vegetables and compost food prep waste, maintaining environmentally friendly gardens.

How to Plant Annuals

Learn how to plant annuals with these tips from Master Gardener Doris Kistler.  Doris demonstrates how to prepare the soil and how to get the young plants out of the cell packs without harming them.

City Mulch - Is It Good for the Garden?

Most gardeners think free is good, but what about free mulch from the city? Plant Pathologist Brian Hudelson warns that using free mulch without knowing what's in it could add diseases to a garden.

Aronia - A Hardy Superfruit

Aronia has long been used as an ornamental shrub in the landscape.  Now it turns out to be highly edible, tasty and nutritious.  We visit Carandale Farm in Oregon where Dale Secher is doing research on a number of non-traditional fruits.  Aronia is one of the winners.

AAS Annuals to Grow

Learn how the All American Selection process works with Lori Yanny at Boerner Botanical Gardens.  This trial site evaluates and judges hundreds of new or improved varieties of seeds each year.


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