WNPR

Connecticut Garden Journal

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Connecticut Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Each week, Charlie focuses on a topic relevant to both new and experienced gardeners, including pruning lilac bushes, growing blight-free tomatoes, groundcovers, sunflowers, bulbs, pests, and more. Learn more about Charlie at gardeningwithcharlie.com, or reach him at cnardozzi124@gmail.com.

Hear Connecticut Garden Journal on Thursday afternoons on WNPR at 3:04 pm. 

Renee / Creative Commons

Some plant common names can steer you in the wrong direction. Take Rose of Sharon for example. 

ilovebutter / Creative Commons

With the zucchinis coming on hot and heavy and winter squash not far behind, you might welcome some insects that prey on these cucurbits. But while squash can be overly abundant, I'd never wish squash bugs or squash vine borers on any gardener.

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I love seeing those tropical hibiscus flowers in warm regions such as Florida. The flowers are big and colorful and plants like small shrubs. We obviously can't grow them outdoors in our New England climate, but we can grow a similar relative.

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Ahh, the dog days of summer. This time of year you can almost see the corn, melons, and tomato plants growing. But along with all this lush growth comes problems, especially with tomatoes.

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We often get wowed in late spring and early summer with all the colorful flowering shrubs. Lilacs, spirea, rhododendron, mountain laurel, and weigela are just some of the beautiful shrubs that burst into color in May and June. But come July and August, our shrub borders often just look green.

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This pest is native to the Southwest United States but has spread and become a worldwide problem for anyone growing potatoes. It's the Colorado potato beetle. 

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We think of peaches as a special summer treat from Georgia or New Jersey, but they were originally grown in China and can be grown in Connecticut. 

FarOutFlora / Creative Commons

This stately perennial has white, pink, blue, or purple flower buds that ancient Greeks called delphis or dolphin. They thought the flower buds resemble Flipper. We know theses plants as delphiniums.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Although I grew up in Waterbury with a big veggie garden in the backyard, my first foray into gardening as an adult was in a community garden. 

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After a hesitant start to summer, I think it's finally here. That's good news for watermelon lovers. Watermelons, like all melons, love the heat. So far it's been a slow start to summer, but luckily these cucurbits grow fast under the right conditions.

Kazuya Yokoyama / Creative Commons

We know this Mediterranean herb more for its scent and medicinal uses than for its culinary attributes. Its Latin name means "to wash," which refers to its use in baths, beds, and clothing. The oil has been used medicinally as a disinfectant, antiseptic, and to soothe migraines. This herb also adds a slightly sweet flavor to breads, soups, salads, and desserts. We know it as lavender.

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It's Memorial Day weekend. Time to get planting. When you're selecting flowers for containers, it can get overwhelming. When you walk into a garden center, the flower choices and colors can bowl you over. Where to start? 

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What do you do with a vegetable that looks like a spaceship? Kohlrabi isn't the prettiest veggie on the block, but it sure is easy to grow and surprisingly tasty and versatile in the kitchen.

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Although we think of this spring flowering shrub as quintessential New England, it hales from Eastern Europe and Asia. It's fragrant, beautiful and a sure sign of spring. It's the lilac. 

Katie Hetrick UC Davis / Creative Commons

Many gardeners want to grow their own food. Homegrown produce is fresher, safer, and healthier. But many gardeners don't want to sacrifice the beauty of their yard by removing flowers or shrubs to plant edibles. The solution is foodscaping.

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