Webinar series looks at common garden woes

Learn to deal with diseases, insects and weeds in your vegetable garden during a three-part webinar series presented by University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialists 6:30-8 p.m. Mondays, June 3-June 17.

In thymes of old, Rosemary used lavender to freshen the air

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Long before plug-in air fresheners and scented candles, people used plants to make their homes more livable by masking unpleasant odors.

Care of spring bulbs after flowering

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Right after daffodils, tulips and hyacinths have spent their last flowers, many homeowners mow the plants down. That’s a bad idea if you want them to keep flowering year after year. Spring-flowering bulbs need to photosynthesize and produce food in order for the bulbs to enlarge and set the stage for the following year. For that, leaves are needed.

Missouri Master Gardeners volunteer to teach others their passion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – During this National Volunteer Week, University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Tamra Reall notes that volunteers across the state are the backbone of the Missouri Master Gardener Extension Program. “They are such an important part of our extension mission and are ambassadors for sharing research-based information with our communities,” Reall says.

Sunflower: The story of this summer goddess begins with search for love

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The sunflower’s story begins with a tale of unrequited love.According to Greek mythology, the water nymph Clytie fell in love with the god of the sun, Apollo, who dazzled the earth as he drove his golden chariot across the sky each day. When he rejected Clytie’s affection, it nearly drove her mad. She spent days without food or water as she searched the heavens and waited for Apollo to appear.

Fall flowers usher out summer in a blaze of color

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Fall is time for the changing of the guard in flower beds and containers. As some summer flowers shout their last hurrah, others gradually fade into the background.

Lasagna gardening: Layers and layers of goodness

JACKSON, Mo. – As traditional gardening season takes a bow, lasagna gardening makes a grand entrance. Lasagna gardening is no-till, no-dig gardening that uses materials typically thrown away such as kitchen and yard waste, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Donna Aufdenberg.Aufdenberg says lasagna gardening is environmentally friendly and frees the gardener from tilling, weeding and digging. Gardens also retain…

Weekly Garden Hour resumes

COLUMBIA, Mo. – As growing season begins, University of Missouri Extension’s weekly Garden Hour returns to its noon slot on Wednesdays. MU Extension specialists address lawn, garden, disease and insect questions during the free hourlong virtual sessions.Listeners receive a weather report from MU Extension climatologist Pat Guinan and hear brief sessions on timely gardening topics, says MU Extension horticulturist Donna Aufdenberg.

After the bloom fades, Easter lily can see new life

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Easter lily used for spring decorations can provide beauty and fragrance for another season.After blooming ends, plant Easter lilies outside as soon as the ground can be worked, says University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist Jennifer Schutter. The following year, they will bloom in June and have a sweet fragrance.

Budding flower business benefits from drip irrigation

HUNTSVILLE, Mo. – When Amanda Quinn quadrupled the growing space at her Randolph County flower farm, she didn’t want to quadruple the time spent watering flowers.Quinn, owner of “bloom: Cut Flower Farm,” contacted University of Missouri Extension specialist Dan Downing for advice about drip irrigation systems. She had attended an MU Extension demonstration of a drip irrigation system last year at a flower farm in La Plata.

Grow your own veggies to ease COVID-19 financial stress

COLUMBIA, Mo. – In response to the tremendous interest in home food production, University of Missouri Extension now offers a free online course in basic vegetable gardening.“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put an added financial strain on many Missouri families,” said MU Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. This has resulted in many people putting out vegetable gardens for the first time in an attempt to lower their food bills.

Pansy: A flower for all seasons

COLUMBIA, Mo. – If there’s a plant that deserves the title of “flower for all seasons,” it is the pansy, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. At any given time in North America, you will find pansies blooming prolifically somewhere. This cool-loving garden flower flourishes in winter in far southern states and in summer in northern regions. Midwesterners enjoy pansy’s unique palette of colors and…

Dr. Bug answers questions you're itching to ask about mosquitoes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension field horticulture specialist Tamra Reall answers questions that are “bugging” youngsters.Mama mosquitoes

Like a rainbow, iris comes in colors everywhere

COLUMBIA, Mo. – According to Greek mythology, the gods sent the goddess Iris to bring messages to mortals. Dressed in colorful robes, the golden-winged messenger traveled to earth on a rainbow.Fittingly, the flowers that bear her name burst with intricate, delicate beauty in a rainbow of colors, says University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein. The National Garden Bureau named iris as its perennial plant of the year.

Hostas: Emperors of the Shade

COLUMBIA, Mo. —Few plants add more interest to shady areas than hostas.