The Zesty Garden

The Zesty Garden is UPR's original gardening and outdoors program. The Zesty Garden is more than just the usual garden conversation show.

Expect insider information about Utah hiking and biking trails along with their flora and fauna. Learn what plants you should avoid putting in your landscape with the Wait, Wait. . .Don’t Plant That! segment. Literary musings will encourage your soul and inform your mind.

To round out the hour, show host Bryan Earl will infuse his own green thumb experiences along with your questions and comments.

The Zesty Garden airs Thursday at 10 a.m. on Utah Public Radio.

Contact the Zesty Garden:

You can catch weekly updates and info for your garden and outdoor life on the Zesty Garden Twitter account.

If you want to send us a message, please click here.

Additional Gardening Info:

Plant Pest Advisory Sign-Up
Horticulture/Dormant Spray Demystified
Insect Vectors of Vegetable Virus Diseases

Photo of the book: The Triumph of Seeds
Basic Books

A Seed is a Seed is a Seed? Not all are created equal. Some won’t last a day without staying moist while most keep out moisture as they remain in stasis for days, months or even years. A seed can be thought of as a baby plant inside a box, with its lunch. Some have not touched a bit of their lunch while others have consumed everything, including the thermos! On Petals and Prose today, Helen Cannon reads about how seeds germinate, especially the avocado. But first we’ll have a conversation with USU Extension Fruit Specialist Brent Black. Have you ever considered using a container to grow fruit? Then we’ll hear from Grant Cardon on the state of our soils. Why are they the way they are? He’ll have some important information on the use of chelated iron.


Image of Crane Fly
http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/crane_fly.htm

The cultured landscapes that surround our homes are, for the most part, not native. While many of the plants in these landscapes look beautiful, they usually require a LOT of extra water, and they don’t attract the insects that are needed by native bird species to survive. In the Petals and Prose segment of Zesty Garden, learn what can happen with just a little bit of change. Native birds come back! But first…  When is a giant mosquito not a giant mosquito? USU Extension Entomologist Diane Alston is in studio today to discuss the Crane Fly.
 


Photo of Atlantic Giant Pumpkin
Lindsay Bench

What’s orange, is watered about every 10 minutes, and has a baby-cam posted so parents can see how it’s doing. It’s a giant pumpkin! Today we check in with Lindsay Bench from the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers to see how her pumpkin is doing. Then Dan Drost will give some tips on how to pick a ripe melon.  He’ll also help you get over the loss of your tomatoes to curly top. In Petals and Prose, Janett Warner recommends the Blue Grama Grass. Then on Petals and Prose, Nancy Williams re-visits the San Francisco Zen Center of Green Gulch Farm with a reading from Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate.


Photo of Edith Warner's Chocolate Cake
http://www.nmmagazine.com

Heat has a way of both helping and hindering your vegetables. On today’s Zesty Garden, USU Extension Vegetable Specialist Dan Drost explains why knowing what you’re growing can help you mitigate what Mother Nature may want to throw at your garden. Then in Petals and Prose…Today is the 70th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan. Nancy Williams reads from an essay about a woman who lived close to where the bomb was developed in New Mexico. Look for the mentioned chocolate cake recipe!

Link to Chocolate Cake Recipe...Scroll Through Link


A photo of blackberry pie with a dolop of whipped cream.
www.pillsbury.com

The blackberries…they are a ripenin’. Today on the Zesty Garden, USU Extension Fruit Specialist Brent Black will talk about how to pick the perfect berry. Color may only be one part of the equation. We’ll also look at other fruit ripening issues such as bitter pit and coryneum blight. Then on Petals and Prose, take a few minutes and listen to an essay about grass as the staff of life. 

photo of red onions
deepstarventures.com

What’s red, can be found in your kitchen and are beneficial as they munch through your leftovers and create a wonderfully rich compost? I’m talking about the worms of vermicomposting.  Also on the program is a discussion with Dan Drost about harvesting onions. In Going Native! you’ll hear all about including the wonderful, native Fire Chalice. Then in The Green Room it's Pathos. In our latest Insect Bites, we look at the science of Mellisopolynology (huh?). Then in Petals and Prose, it's pests as guests.


Photo of Mormon Tea
Andy Gabor via Pinterest

How to have a citrus cocktail of several different fruits on one tree will be heard in Petals and Prose. Diane Alston gives an update on grasshoppers, coddling moth, and the greater peach tree borer. Learn about including Mormon Tea in your landscape with the Going Native! segment.


Photo of New Book: Good Garden Bugs
www.qbookshop.com

Learn about the insects in your garden that benefit your growing efforts with an interview about Good Garden Bugs by Mary Gardiner.  On Wait, Wait...Don't Plant That!, Jerry Goodspeed disses the dastardly Bishop's Weed. Then learn how to attract birds to your yard on Petals and Prose with Nancy Williams.


Photo of tomatoes on a vine
blog.harvardvanguard.org

One or two days of plus 95 degrees don’t typically adversely affect vegetables. But stretch a few days to a couple of weeks, then you’ll see heat stress issues. On the Zesty Garden, Dan Drost discusses several ways to help mitigate the heat, including mulches and, oddly enough, shade. We’ll also discuss what vegetables can still be planted this season. Then on Petals and Prose, Helen Cannon takes a second look at dormant plant packages…or seeds.

Photo of Poppy Mallow
www.illinoiswildflowers.info

When it comes to plants, I’ve never really had much of a problem growing them, that is…until I tried growing an orchid. I can keep it alive for a year but it gradually just dies on me. It’s kind of embarrassing for this gardening show host. However, after a conversation I had last year with Shane Taylor of Cactus and Tropicals, my orchid thumb is now green! You’ll learn today what you need to do to keep your own Moth Orchid, or Phaleonopsis, growing well. And are you considering planting a Norway Maple? Well…don’t. You’ll learn why in a revisit with USU Extension Forestry Specialist, Mike Kuhns.  In Going Native! you’ll learn about the lovely Poppy Mallow or Wine Cups (it blooms into fall with 3-4” magenta purple blossoms). In Bug Bites, it’s all about growing the right type of milkweed to help the Monarch Butterfly populations, then finally in Petals and Prose, Nancy Williams finishes with reading about bees.


Varroa Mite on Honey Bee
www.alexanderwild.com

Seeds are a marvel of nature’s creation. Some are tough enough to withstand the blows of a hammer yet readily germinate under the right conditions. And from such a tiny object great things are produced. Helen Cannon reads a favorite essay about seeds on today’s Petals and Prose. But first is a conversation with Diane Alston, USU Extension Entomologist. Varroa mites are a major pest of honeybees. They have learned to smell like a bee in order not to be drummed out of the hive. They are essentially getting through the door and reaching the inner sanctum by using bees’ own complex communication codes, and if needed, they can change their scent within a matter of days. Then on our Going Native! segment I have a conversation with Janett Warner of Wildland Nursery in Joseph. You’ll want to consider planting the thin leaf alder in your landscape.


Photo of Two Sandhill Cranes
www.motherjones.com

Herbs have different tastes to different people. Today on the Zesty Garden, I have a discussion with Darla and Michelle from our Tasty Trek series. You’ll learn how to grow herbs, both indoors and out, and how you can use them in your cooking. Even the more obscure, but readily accessible herbs, like French tarragon, should not be forgotten. And in our Bug Bites segment, I have a discussion with Diane Alston, USU’s Extension Entomologist, about some interesting studies concerning mosquitoes. A certain species has apparently learned to spread from area to area by traveling the road less traveled. And on Petals and Prose, Nancy Williams reads about the Sandhill Crane.


photo of hands with potato beans
permaculturepark.wordpress.com

Now that the May deluge seems to be over…at least for the time being…it’s time to turn your attention to getting those warm season crops in before it’s too late. If you’ve already planted them, in some cases it may be better to replant rather than try and nurse plants along to recovery. Today on the Zesty Garden, USU Extension Vegetable Specialist Dan Drost is here to take your questions and comments. There's also a Petals and Prose from Helen Cannon about the development of the potato bean.


Photo of red raspberries
www.bearlakeraspberries.com

What kind of berries are grown in our climate? We know about raspberries, strawberries and blackberries…Wouldn’t it make sense that you could grow logan berries in Logan? Marion berries make a great pie. Then there are ligon berries, thimble berries, salmon berries…What can you really grow, and expect a harvest from, in our intermountain soils? Brent Black, USU Extension Fruit Specialist is in studio for today on the Zesty Garden. He’ll talk about how some berries are worth a try, but others are best left to either the bears or those living in more hospitable berry climes. Lindsay Bench, media spokesperson for the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers, talks about how well her pumpkin is coming along. It’s already six feet in length! She’ll give you some tips on how to grow large pumpkins, and least once it quits raining and you’re able to get into your garden. Then Nancy Williams reads another essay from Terry Tempest William’s Refuge.


Photo of Desert Four O'Clock
www.the7msnranch.com

Mirabilis multiflora, also known as the Desert Four O’Clock, is a spectacular plant that doesn’t need additional water once established, and it blossoms continuously from early summer until fall. Learn about it on the Zesty Garden this Thursday at 10:00, along with bombardier beetles and trap-jaw ants with Diane Alston, and the industry of nursery-grown tomatoes in Canada on Petals and Prose.


Image of Gardener's Market
www.facebook.com

Have you ever wondered what you might find at a farmer’s market? What’s the best way to approach what and how you buy? How much cash should you have? How do you know what you’re purchasing is straight from the farm and not just being resold. These and other questions will be answered on today’s Zesty Garden by Darla and Michelle from The Tasty Trek. There's also a conversation with Kelly Kopp, USU Water Conservation and Turfgrass Specialist. The severe water restrictions in California are not far away from being implemented in Utah. Learn what you can do to reduce the amount of water you use and do much more with less. Finally, Nancy Williams honors mothers with an essay about…sparrows.

Link to Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance


A photo of cantaloupe
www.parkseed.com

Now that your early crops are coming along, just what should you do to protect them? For instance, flea beetles, those little, black, pin-head sized jumpers want to ravage your arugula. Who tells them you planted arugula in your garden anyway. So…floating row covers can be a big help, without the pesticides, to act as a barrier to these and other hungry munchers of your leafy greens. USU Extension Vegetable Specialist, Dan Drost, is in studio to take your questions and comments.  For something different…It’s all about that Rhubarb, ‘bout that Rhubarb, no trouble! So what CAN you do with this easy-to-grow perennial other than make a pie. Dan will have a few suggestions. Then on Petals and Prose, Helen Cannon celebrates last month as National Poetry Month.

Rhubarb Recipes from Dan Drost


Photo of Allergy-Fighting Garden Book
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com

Just how do you get away from all that pollen that causes allergies. Plant more female plants! On today's Zesty Garden is an interview with Thomas Leo Ogren about his book "The Allergy-Fighting Garden." We also discuss his OPALS scale that assigns a number from one to ten to each plant so you know which one has less pollen than another. Also, in Going Native! learn about the Yellow Sulfur Buckwheat, then we finish with Petals and Prose.


Photo of Black Petunias
www.daileymail.co.uk

Today's Zesty Garden includes discussions about voles, black Petunias, and how to tell if your fruit trees suffered cold damage.


Looking in a carved-out pumpkin
www.ksl.com

A spider that commits matricide? A pumpkin more than 2000 lbs? The Great Salt Lake on the Rise? Listen to today's program with USU Extension Entomologist Diane Alston.


Photo of kumquat tree
www.gracelinks.org

The Japanese word ‘bonsai’ is two characters that literally means, “planted, in a shallow container.”  Bonsai is an art form more than 2000 years old, and you’ll learn more about it on today’s zesty garden. First on the program, though…have you ever thought about hosting a garden party? I mean the kind with twinkling lights, white linen, small sandwiches…and dressing up? Michelle and Darla from the Tasty Trek will inspire you to greatness with your own party.  Later, author Kerry Ann Mendez will talk about her new book, The Right-size Flower Garden.  On Petals and Prose…Have you heard of kumquaticide? Helen Cannon explores an essay about how sometimes no matter what you do or how well-intentioned you are, unintended consequences can happen.


Photo of asparagus
www.telegraph.co.uk

The asparagus is pushing up; Onions need to be planted. There's a lot to do and USU Extension Vegetable Specialist Dan Drost is here to help. In addition, in Petals and Prose Nancy Williams reads from Terry Tempest William's essay 'Refuge'.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/4404049182/

USU Extension Fruit Specialist Brent Black talks about dwarfing rootstock, and expectations for the coming season. Helen Cannon reads about the allure of oranges, especially when you're unable to have them.

Image of Potato Beetle
www.vegetablegardener.com

How do insects eventually overcome the chemicals meant to kill them? Is it too late for a dormant oil spray on my fruit trees? USU Extension Entomologist Diane Alston answers your questions. In addition, journalist Nancy Williams has one last reading about Topaz, the Japanese Internment Camp that used to be in Utah's west desert.

Image of 50 best Utah Hikes book
Wilderness Press

What flowers are edible and can (or should!) be included with your cooking? Today is the first Tasty Trek with Darla and Michelle.

Link to Edible Flowers in Utah

What are the 50 best short hikes in Utah's National Parks? Listen to author Greg Witt.

Do you need solace or comfort...or just need to learn how to enjoy life? It's Petals and Prose with Helen Cannon.


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