Deb Brown, University of Minnesota Extension Horticulturist, visits MPR’s Gary Eichten at the state fairgrounds. Brown discusses lawns, gardens and answers questions from the fair audience.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
Good morning, and Welcome to our Labor Day edition of midday coming to you from the Minnesota Public Radio booth at the Minnesota State Fair. I'm Gary actin and glad all of you could join us here. And those are we listening on the radio glad you could tune in as well. Hope you're having a very pleasant holiday. Now over the noon hour Today sports. Analyst Howard. Sinker will be along to talk Home Run Derby the Big Mac attack on the Mariners home run record that's coming up at noon. But right now we're going to focus on matters a little closer to home named Ali what's going on in your own backyard yard and garden expert Deb Brown is with us. That is a horticulturist there with the University of Minnesota extension service course, very popular guest here on Minnesota Public Radio, and she's come armed with some Extension Service Minnesota gardening calendars, you bet 1999 edition and a special bonus for those of you in our audience here at the state fair if you step up to the microphone ask Debbie,Question get your gardening questions answered will give you a free calendar during nifty-nifty. I know absolutely but we'd sure like to get your lawn and gardening questions answered. Give us a call or Twin City area number is 227-6002 276 thousand if you're calling from outside the Twin Cities, you can reach us toll-free. That number is 1 800 to +422-828-227-6000 or one 800-242-2828 get all your lawn and gardening questions answered Deb. Brown is with us and thanks so much for coming by today. You bet it's gorgeous here really is little little Chile. I like this much better than the heat.We have you here the first hour. Might as well bring the two subjects together right away for people who are particularly ambitious. Can you mow your lawn in such a way that it looks like those baseball diamonds with a nice squares are they? Well, actually you can and the way that the way you do it, why don't know about squares. I have been to a ball game for long-time got to admit it. But if you mow your lawn on the diagonal, you mow it east to west kind of diagonal one one week and then the next time you mow it the other direction that's actually a good idea to keep your lawn growing well, too because if you always mow it the same way it tends to fall over that direction. So not only is it going to look nicer but it's better for the grass is going to grow up straighter and thicker if you go one way one time and the other way the other time you're very attractive for planes that aren't flying over anymore.For a Lawns and Gardens has been a fabulous year for lawns and Gardens. Of course, it's not such a good year for trees. Remember? We lost so many trees earlier this season and I do want to remind people that this is a perfect time to be planting replacement trees. Both deciduous trees the big shade trees that lose their leaves and Evergreens of all types. This is an ideal planting time because when you plant now, there's going to be another month and a half or so where the roots can get re-established before the really cold weather sets in but as for your original question has it's been a good gardening year. Absolutely because we started early and plants that sometimes don't ripen real well such as watermelon or cantaloupe their ripening just fine. In fact, we have pumpkins that are ripening too early people are worried about keeping them niacin and Furman. You don't let not letting him go soft around the way.Are wonderful, Minnesota apples are all ripening a couple weeks early. So this has been a great gardening season. What about just saying that we might end up with colder-than-normal weather earlier than normal any idea. Just what kind of timetable were on here, you know, I haven't a clue. I think that's a very Minnesota sort of thing to think of though is if we got some really nice weather early. We're waiting for the other shoe to drop and so we're going to have bad weather in the fall, but I don't you know, Mark is a real scientist. And if he says it looks like we're going to get cold weather early. I'll go with what he says, but I don't know that it's automatic because we started early and we've had a really nice warm season that that we're going to pay for it in any Sam it any kind of moral with a retribution since hopefully we'll have a wonderful fall as well. And if we get some good rainfall, this should prove to be a fall with wonderful color.If people are concerned about an early Frost and everything, they should be doing now to can't protect themselves. No, no, not at all if the weather if you do need to get out there and cover things that that you want to save a plants that are tender such as Tomatoes or or in some cases. You may want to just Harvest them let them ripen indoors, but there's nothing really you can do to prepare the plants for a frost coming up to the mic and the in the process will pass along to you one of the new Minnesota gardening calendars 1999 edition. Those of you listening on the radio. Give us a call 227-6000 or 1 800 to +422-828-227-6102 for 22828. And we have our first question. Go ahead.Just like you're not a big baseball fan. I'm not a gardening fan and you know, so when you were talking about mowing your lawn mowing in circles, you know, we kind of just kind of go round and around and around to the middle of what is a tutorial on that doesn't hurt it at all. I just doesn't give you any kind of a fancy pattern. No problem. I you know, I'm not a big lawn mowing fan either. I've got to tell you if I had my druthers I'd have nothing but Gardens, you know little bits of lawn lots of gardens. You do have to mow though. And what should you do with the clippings leave them on or well that's that's a good question because people always thought that they had to bag those clippings and get rid of them somewhere. But in fact if you just let the clippings fall back to the ground, they're they're very thin, you know grass blades are not very Hefty. They're going to decompose rapidly they break down and they actually recycle some of the nutrients it's like giving your lineup a little shot of nitrogen every time you let those clippingsCall back and the reason I think the people tend to pick some up is because they have the mistaken idea that clippings falling back into the lawn creates a fatch layer. And that's too much that is bad for a mod. But the reality is that that that is really made up of the wiry stems and undecomposed roots of the grass plant those blades break down rapidly. But those other kind of lower down Parts, they're not going to break down as rapidly and so if you have too much that you need to deal with it, but letting your clippings fall really doesn't contribute to the thatch layer. And so it just makes life easier. You don't have to be hauling them somewhere. You don't have to throw them in a compost pile and you don't have to fertilize your lawn is often. If you let the clippings fall back yet. So I think of do it the easy way and one caveat I guess is that you you need to walk. You need to mow the lawn often enough that theThings are really really long. You should mow the grass every time. I know you need to cut off maybe an inch or an inch and a half and that's good for the the growth of the grass as well. Kill. The big clumps might cause a problem but cause a problem if you have one of the newer mowers a lot of times you could get a mulching mower or mower that kind of shoots the grass out over a broad area. Some of the old really old mowers just kind of dumped it in rows and those rows, you know, obviously can kind of smother what's underneath you'd have to get out and kind of with a raker broom or something and spread that out and it then you got a lot of extra work then you may as well collect it or or buy a new mower is what I would suggest you go back to the old fashioned push mowers, especially in the city where you don't have a great Huge lot and any kind of the suburbs more and more we're seeing large houses built on really relativelyCall lots of because a lot of people don't want to spend the time of their yard or on the grass and the advantages of the push mowers which by the way are much lighter and easier to work than a than they were when we were kids. These push mowers are lightweight there give you a good aerobic exercise, you know, you get out there and the fresh air and push those mowers around and the again the grass clippings can fall right back down to the ground. They don't pollute. They don't smell they don't cause a lot of noise, you know, I'll never forget. I was at a great big party for someone's graduation from University and we know more than got out in the backyard and the neighbor came out with this big mower. You don't make it a huge noise here ready to just do that. Got these hand mowers. No noise. No smell. No nothing.Thank you. I was wondering also why it is if you water your lawn and around the trees and we have maple trees but they're the grass is all dead all the way around it. It doesn't matter if we watered or not. Why is that? Well probably with maple trees especially they they create a very dense canopy. And so the branches of the tree actually are going to shade the graph below it and you've got not only shade but you got a lot of competition from all the roots of those Maple Maple's are about as as a densely growing a tree as you can find and so it's very very hard to grow grass under a maple tree the bigger the tree gets the harder it's going to beHi, I have three Rosy lights. Azalea switch had fabulous blooms in Spring affect people were stopping their cars to ask me what variety they were. But after the bloom what happened is the lead never really got. I think they would they were almost stunted leaves and that's been going on throughout the summer. Is there something wrong with it sounds as if there's something wrong I'm I don't know that there's one specific thing. I can point you with stunted leaves. Have you done some fertilizing in the spring and getting them making sure they're well water than giving them your acid. Okay. Well you've done everything you can don't do any fertilizing at this point, but continue to water up until the the time that the ground freezes Rosie lights, as you know are part of the University of Minnesota Northern Lights series and they are fully hard to hear the things that that azaleas don't like in Minnesota are heavy.Play soil that doesn't drain very well, but the symptom that we usually see in that case is at the leaves curl or roll. And then they kind of get a sort of a discount if these leaves look healthy and green and are just smaller. Maybe they'll do better next year. It's it's awfully hard for me to pinpoint what could be going wrong. Yarn, Garden expert Deb Brown is with us from the University of Minnesota to take your gardening questions. Again, those of you here if you've got a question step up to the microphone and we will pass out to you the Minnesota gardening calendar 1999 Chris your question. Chris manager, let's get your mic on. Okay question about a couple of questions about roses. Do you think it's necessary to cover the shrub roses as well as the tea roses? Well, it depends on what shrub roses you have. That's a category. That's that's awfully big and shrub rose mean to grows in the form of a of a larger shrub many of them are hearty the ones that are in the Explorer series from from Canada are fully Hardy and don't need to be covered some of the ones from Iowa to Griffith Griffith Fox series don't need to be covered but there are some shrub roses for instance of David. Austin Roses are considered shrub roses. Those were developed in. I don't know England or Scotland are being sold fairly widely by some of the mail order catalogs. They are not fully Hardy here. And so it depends on what shrub rose you have. Usually with a shrub roses. You can just break some leaves around. The base I always think that's a good idea to do do a little bit of mulching and around around the base of the Cannes. Not you don't don't worry about covering them up. And then if we have a really severe winter and they died back at least you protected a little bit and often they're going to be growing on their own route when you're buying shrub roses try to get ones that are on their own Roots instead of Grafton because that is the top guys right down to the ground New Growth will still come up from the roots and it will be the same rows that you planted in the case of the tea roses. Those are always grafted and if the top dies what comes up from the roots are big vigorous canes with no flowers. So it's interesting one last question about them. What do you suggest covering them with how it if you okay if you're covering a tiros you mean if you're covering a hybrid tea rose what I would suggest is something called mounding. I really don't like the the Skyrim Camrose cones too well because they often times can heat up when you get a sunny winter day and that Rose cone acts like a little Greenhouse the light goes through it. It gets hotter inside than you open it up in the spring in the Roses mold it so what I like to do instead is to cut the rose down and then this is for the tender roses that need protection. How come down to about 18in get your shovel and mount some dirt over? So you're protecting 8 to 10 in of the cane, so you're making a mound of dirt and then cover that was straw or with leaves and maybe some chicken wire or something, so it doesn't all blow away and that really works pretty well. Thank you. You're welcome. Good morning. I have several questions, but I'll try to stick to just to I am Debbie agree with you on the garden of lawn. I'd love to have my garden or my lawn and all Gardens who I think that'll be fun. My first question is about my magnolia tree. That's about nine years old. This year was the first year that it really bloomed nicely in the spring. Now I've got it's loaded with Buds and I'm not really sure if this is a problem or if this is setting for next year. Kissing bugs probably for next year unless you're looking at the seed pods and I think that would be done by now. What kind of Magnolia do you have? Do you remember the variety actually and I really don't remember what it is. Okay, I'm Excuse me. Go ahead know I I I really don't remember. Okay, I would guess it is one not one of the hardiest Magnolia's or if you have one of the Hardy is just not in a real protected spot because this last winter was so mild that all kinds of things that don't Bloom very well normally Bloom beautifully this year. So the fact that it bloomed really well this year is not a function of its age as much as it is a function of the mild winter and you may in fact find it even though you have a lot of buds on it for next year. If we get a typical Minnesota winter, you may not have very good flower bloom. One of the best Magnolias for here is called a star magnolia that has white flowers. And that's that's one cultivar, especially called Royal Star. I think his is going to be about as good a magnolia is you can find for Minnesota. Most of them are pretty marginal. Okay, Marlow borscht or some type of flower that is really good and Hearty for shady areas. Well, their lot of things that will grow in the shade in Minnesota. Some of the Viber gnomes are very nice and they have attractive flowers in the spring and they do have some fruit in the fall if you want to attract birds and wildlife to your yard, that's a particularly nice plantain and look at viburnum is like the highbush cranberry and and there are several others as well. As far as flowers are concerned hostas are of course the most popular shade flower if you're talking about perennials and they're grown primarily for their foliage rather than their flowers, but you can actually put together a lovely Garden or a little bed using different hostas cuz some of them are yellowish or more yellow Summer very silver or white with a lot of variegation. There are different sizes. Some of them have even kind of bluish quilted leaves so that they're kind of puckery looking so you can really have a lot of fun with different textures rather than just looking at the flowers and I would say that's probably your best bet if you got a lot of shade but that in with some Ferns and you're going to have a very attractive kind of a peaceful garden, I guess another young lady here with a question for Deb Brown. Let's see, can you get up there? What is wrong with Dandy lion? Because I think they're very pretty and I would like to know if they're like weeds for your lawn that make your lawn dead or if people just cut them down for no reason but that's actually a wonderful question because the definition the traditional Horticultural definition of a weed is a plant out of place and there are parts of the world where they plant dandelions because they like the flowers they like the greens for salads and they also make wine out of the flowers. So dandelions are not a weed Annie place if they are considered a weed here in the lawn and the reason is that they seem to take over and even though I think a lot of people secretly like the looks of those golden dandelions when they're blooming. I certainly think they're beautiful they're not as attractive after they go to seed and you just have these big stem sticking out all over the place. The other problem is that those they put out so many seed That pretty soon if you have a thin line, you know, that isn't real thick with grass pretty soon. They're popping up all over and we in in Minnesota and in most of the United States hold this sort of traditional British view of the lawn where we want a perfect green like a golf course or a Bowling Green and that's held up is the ideal. And so that's I think why people really go after weeds like dandelions, but there's nothing about a plant that's inherently wrong and the right place it can be just fine. you bet dab am I wrong in assuming that more and more people are moving away from that traditional ideal though of the majority of people still want that really lush green lawn. But your your rights are there certainly is a movement to turn lawn into more Gardens and two more assertive Prairie lawns in some cases and I think what makes sense is is expanding shrub beds and expanding Garden so that there's less grass if people don't want to mow and take care of the grass, but we find it in many cases when you get rid of the grass you have you don't have a place for the kids to go out and play you don't have as good a place maybe to put your lawn chair or hang up a badminton net or something like that. And the other thing is if you don't mow the grass and you have a lot of taller plants, you're actually inviting wildlife and some of that Wildlife is may not be what you want in the city. So yes, there is a movement, but I think I think that people have Do go ahead with that fairly carefully and engage the approval of their Neighbours at the same time so that so that you know, they did someone doesn't call and tell the city that that your lawn is going to rack and ruin and then the city comes in and wants to mow it for you back to the phone Suzanne has a question for Deborah. Thank you in the spring and I never pruned my lilacs and I haven't been getting any blooms and I want to cut them down a little and spend them and I wondered is it too late now to do that and still expect some bloom in the spring definitely too late, but I'm too When to prune lilacs is immediately after they're through blooming unless you really don't care about the flowers if if you want to just print it to get the it's too rangy. You need to get it into shape. Then go ahead. It's not going to hurt the plan but it would be better to wait get whatever few blooms you have and then prune it after that the more heavily you prune at the further down you prune at the longer it's going to take before it's going to bloom again. And so you might even think about putting in some of the newer lilacs that will Bloom water still smaller plants and that are not going to spread as well or get quite as ranging. Okay back to the microphone here at our stage at the State Fair. Go ahead Place Lantana is a beautiful little plant here in Minnesota, but it's only grown as a summer annual in Oklahoma, and I've never been to Oklahoma, but I've seen it growing as a hedge in Los Angeles and in San Diego just great huge plants. And for those of you who don't know Lantana, it makes a kind of like Circles of tiny little flowers and clusters of flowers. And sometimes they'll be to tone the outer ring will be pink in the inner ring will be yellow or they may be orange and yellow or they may be all one color. They're really very lovely. If you look around at some of the nurseries and garden centers. You'll find them in small maybe 4-inch pots in the spring but you have to plant them outdoors and then either take them in for the winter or just let them die in plant again the next spring one thing you ought to know about Lantana is that the poisonous plants and if you have little tiny children in your in your family who still like to put everything they see into their mouth. That's not a good plant for you. Jebron is with us. She is a horticulturist at the University of Minnesota with the University's extension service. And she stopped by today are State Fair Booth to I take all your yard and gardening questions and Jerry, could I could I just when you mention the Minnesota extension service for people who can't get in today? Could I give them their number number for the yard and garden Clinic Mansion at the end of the show that we've got a wonderful service where people can call from anywhere in the state and they can either leave a question for a Master Gardener and will call them back at a convenient time or they can listen to a tape or if it's a business hours. They can call in and talk to someone at the University and that number in the metro area is 612 624-4771, but if you don't live in the Metro calling area you would just pack an eight eight eight on to that. So it's one 888-624-4771 will be receiving a copy of the 1999 Minnesota gardening calendar. If you're listening on the radio, it got a number to Pollard's lined up, but let me give you the number and and hopefully we'll have time for your question. It's 2276 thousand in the Twin Cities to shop in 6000 outside the Twin Cities one 800-242-2828 and we'll get to some more questions and just a moment. We live in a state that takes pride in the environment the Lakes the are the seasons and each candidate for governor has made the environment a priority in their campaign was in all this week as Minnesota Public Radio news examines the issue of the environment in the election season. Each candidate has a stand on the issue. But which one has the best plan for Minnesota's natural resources explore the issues know the candidates on Minnesota Public Radio k n o w FM 91.1 in the Twin Cities, Seneca partly sunny skies are forecast for the state today. Of course, it's cooler than it's been very pleasant really a high is today low sixties in the Northeast upper 70s in the southwest the Twin Cities sunny and cool this holiday with a high temperature reaching the low 70s right now. It's in the mid-60s fair sky and 64 degrees in the Twin City metropolitan area. Are people lined up with questions for Deb Brown? So let's keep moving along here. Go ahead man, good for scrap and then a subsequent crop. They'll just be soft and really not edible. And then maybe the same plant will produce. Well again, I wonder is that moisture and temperature related? It could be both actually, but I think you're lucky to get three crops off of off of being they talk about bush beans. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, I would guess that probably it's an interrelationship between the Heat and the water because if if plants don't get the moisture as they're developing the fruit or which of course the bean is really the fruit of of that plants don't they don't develop as well or as good and you may not realize because the the plants don't look wilted. But if you're if there's a big Corruption in the most you're available to them. You may not get as good a crap. And then that third crop comes along later when it started to get cooler or at least a days are shorter nights are longer and probably is going to do better again, but I think that's really good to get three flashes. You must be fertilizing in the middle of the season and giving them a little additional boost as well. Back of the phone. So that was on the line with a question for Deb Brown go to a place. I want to kill my garden so and mulch it so I can get good soil for next year, but I have a mix of annuals and perennials and on top of that. I want to plan some I'll see if I don't know whether to cut everything down what to do. Okay, you want to do you want to chill the the whole area? You've got perennials mixed with your annuals just a few. Yeah. Okay. Well you actually I guess depending on how you got them situated. It's possible to lift those perennials now, this is a good time to divide your perennial and if you if you had some help and put could get on to it in a day or two. You could lift those perennials put them in bushel baskets or flat. Stick bags not tied up tightly stick them in the shade and go ahead and wrote it till that Garden add the organic matter and fertilizer that you want to and replant those perennials all within a couple of days. Then be sure that you Mouse them. Well that you water them up until the point that the ground freezes and then put a digital Mulch on over the winter and everything will be fine. Otherwise, you're alternative of course is to just move and work around the perennial now the annuals that that are are done or pretty well played out. I would simply pull those out and put them on your compost pile at this point. I would not turn those into the ground at this point, although if they don't have a lot of insects on them or they're not disease probably it wouldn't make too much difference just be sure though that you put a little bit of fertilizer again, cuz as those annuals breakdown if they're in your soil, they are going to use some of the the nitrogen that's The soil this is midday coming to you on Minnesota Public Radio Live from the Minnesota State Fair last day of the fair and nice day out here a little a little cooler than it's been, but if you're out here for a while that feels good by those of you who have gathered around if you're just stopping by, this is Deb Brown or culturist with the universe Minnesota extension service. She's come by today to take all your lawn and gardening questions. If you have a question, we got a mic setup here, and we'll be giving you those of you here at the fair copy of the gardening Minnesota gardening calendar for 1999 special. Thank you for for coming up to the microphone Hitman. I planted some moms too late on my balcony. And I know they're not going to bloom and I have no place to bring them in. So can I take those mums and put them in somebody's garden now like say maybe in the next month? Well, you know you probably could but but my question is if there if they're not going to bloom on your balcony, they probably won't bloom in their Garden either and the mums bloom in in response to De Lange. So the moms that we get as gifts, you know, a potted florist. Mom, even though that might overwinter on a bow tie a knot on a balcony but in a garden, they usually are not programmed they're not they're not developed to bloom real early necessarily and so they may be making Flower by the late into the season and to let you know too late to to really survive in our weather even though the plant will survive from ear-to-ear if it doesn't make flower bud. Early enough that it probably isn't worth while so I'm guessing that if you planted some moms and they're not making flowers that maybe there are a variety that isn't really meant to do. Well particularly. Well, Minnesota, you can put them in someone's garden over winter them and see if they do better next year. But I think even if you planted late because the plants respond to our shortening days, they should be making flower bed soon. And if they don't they're they're probably not worth having here, but if I plant in a garden they could winter or maybe blue mixture that's possible. Yes, but there's no guarantee that they blew any earlier next year then they would this year but it's worth a try. I have a question. Can you winter over water hyacinths? I know this is a wonderful question. The reason that water hyacinths are not a problem in Minnesota is because if they don't overwinter you could you could die over winter them indoors. If you have a the right kind of like a galvanized tub with some light and so on and so forth but water hyacinths are very inexpensive to buy and they spread like crazy. In fact, they're choking out the canals in Florida. There. Are there a horrible problem and we are lucky because we can put them in our Water Gardens and in our ponds in this in the summer and know that our winter weather will be the end of them if you started with two and how much did you end up with? So I don't think there's certainly nothing precious about them. If you had a a beautiful water lily, you know that you would spend a lot of money or that you just love the color then that would be worth going to all kinds. Stream to try to save but just water Hyacinth. That's kind of like the dandelions a little girl asked about earlier. It's it's you know, it's a weed in some place in a controlled place. It's called My Pain clean. There you go back to the phones Frank's on the line from Rochester your question, please Calling and the guy that mows my lawn does a wonderful job in the lawn. Unfortunately, it is just a good a job on my Anaheim Chiles and took them off there about install. Now. I'm running late recover it all it if they do is our time to season flour. I do too. Well in Minnesota know I think you could kiss those. Goodbye. Another question Frank kind of sunflowers everywhere. They're huge and the heads of bending over and I'm wondering I want to save the Seas and maybe roast in playroom to have even dry on the plant cut off the head and bring it in the house. I have no idea what to do with these cut off the head with a little bit of the stock attached to it. Well, actually you have two choices. You can let them feel dry, you know right out in your garden, but then you probably ought to be putting a paper bag around them and tying it or or a cheesecloth bag or something like that because birds are going to come and they're going to pack at those sunflowers and certainly want to leave some of them for the birds. But if you want to bring them in for yourself, you'll be better off bringing them indoors and putting them in a clean Place hanging them up so that they can just dry naturally and At some point there those seeds when you rub your hand over the heads over the sunflower had the Seas will come out easily. That's the point that they're going to probably be dry enough and you cannot you can roast them on cookie sheets in the in the oven if you want. You can soak them in a a brine solution a saltwater solution beforehand. Let them dry a little bit and then roast them and they actually can be quite tasty. However, not all sunflower seeds are real tasty and hopefully you planted some that are going to taste good for you or other people like Frank who you know, the regular flowers just don't turn out very well. So what they're going to go for is something to wow, the neighbor besides the giant sunflower planting like nothing else like that. They can grow giant sunflowers certainly one that's going to while the neighbors I think you know people who like giant sunflowers usually like the big dinner plate dahlias as well, but they're a little bit picky or to grow so I can't think of anything super easy that's going to do that hollyhocks. If you can get hollyhocks established, they're going to grow forever. And of course, they're really bright and colorful. You don't have to do anything with them either. I think he should just try a few more flowers because flowers are not difficult to grow. They really are your question, please and keep it in my house or do I just let it die out. Okay when you say cigar plant is that the kind with a long red kind of Shinee like drooping things on it. Yeah. They had your back when something's in the garden and it's not growing in a pot. You know, it's going right in the ground. It's a little bit hard to dig that up and get that to succeed in doors. You're much better off. Take you several cuttings from it and make your cut a major cuttings only about maybe 5 in tall and make your cut right below where at least joins the stem then put the stump end of those cutting into moist vermiculite or moist potting soil and let them root in moist something. He met some kind of a choice potting soil and then you got new plants and chances are those will do just fine for you endorse. The reason I tell you to take several though is that they may not all work. You know, you lose a few but all you really need to end up with his two or three and you've got a nice plant again. Thank you. You bet if you're just joining us on this Labor Day were broadcasting at today live from the Minnesota State Fair this midday coming to you from the fair the NPR Booth over the noon hour will be joined by a chancre will be talking about the big Home Run Derby and the Vikings and all things sports. That's over. The moon are right now though. We're talkin yard and garden Deb Brown, University, Minnesota. And those of you gathered around if you've got a quick question step up to the microphone and as a special incentive, we will pass on to you a copy of the Minnesota gardening 1999 calendar. Go ahead sir. We've got a weed identification do with right down in the children's Barnyard in a number of the extension Publications that you've been mentoring mentioning. So your folks are interested in that. We've got the application guide in the and the weed control. We've been getting a lot of questions about a Nightshade type of plant that has red berries with the blue little blue flowers little coarse hair more coarse or than a black Nightshade and just we haven't been getting those questions before we get those questions actually yet at the University every year. This is called bitter Nightshade solanum dulcamara and it's a plant that grows up. Around fences and around Shrubbery and kind of at the edge of woods but it also grows in the city and it's it's really not unattractive but it's it's a viney plant that has little flowers that look like tomato flowers except like you say, they're there blue and then they have little red berries. The reason we like to see people get rid of it. Is it those berries particularly when they are unripe are toxic and you know little children are attracted to bright red berries. And so what you should do is if you've got small ones, sometimes you can just pull them out but because they developed quite a woody root system, you might need to spray them with a broadleaf weed killer and fall is just the perfect time to be getting rid of broadleaf weed because it's a time when the plants that are perennial are storing carbohydrates in their Roots there. They're really Gathering thing, you know that this nourishment into the room so they can overwinter and live again. Springer come out next spring. So when you spray this time of the year, you should have working with nature whatever you spray onto the leaves gets pulled into the roots and it can be in a very successful as compared to using the same types of things in the spring. The one thing that I would say though about using weed killers this time of the year is that they're not compatible with newly seeded grass. And so if you have broadleaf weeds in your lawn, whether it's the the bitter Nightshade or or something else, you only want to be using a weed killer. If you haven't got new grass coming up. If you got to see this print this file save the weed killers till next year. Thanks Noob at Mary Lynn is on the phone with a question for Deb Brown. Go ahead place just answered another question Ashley cuz I just sprayed my broadleaf weeds but I've heard that you're supposed to seed at this time of year. And I have swarms of blackbirds who come in. We're out in the country here in and wondered if that birds don't just eat up all the sea. Well birds will eat some of the seeds but this is still the best time of the year to see if you have a new area that you're sitting where you're actually turning up soil and there's quite a bit of soil you you probably want to do a little bit of mulching with straw preferably some kind of a seedless straw so that you see the soil underneath but that it does cover it lightly and that will keep at least protect some of the seedlings because they'll they'll come up under that straw in the birds won't get it but regardless of the birds at that just means maybe you have to put your seat down on. Thicker this is still the very best time because we don't have all kinds of weeds coming up. The nights are getting longer. We have good do in the morning cooler temperatures. And typically we get into Rainier weather now in Minnesota, you've only got until about the middle of September to get that seed down because if you seed later than that chances are it will come up but it won't develop enough of a root system to make it through the winter. So do your grass seeding right now putting some seed down. So I realistically how much can you expect the next summer to be to be there when the when the snow melts? What's the red weather you've been watering properly whether you've been mowing often enough? Whether you just kind of get into the hot weather and Concerta give up and say all the heck with it. You know, those are all going to make make a big difference and whether your lawn is getting a fair amount of sunlight makes a difference to grass is do not grow well in the shade and the the more shade you have the thinner the grass tends to be when the grass is thin then it if you know, it's it's just the perfect place where we used to show up. So their lot of variables previous years. My raspberries have always produced about 50 quarts of raspberries reading this year. Maybe two quarts. Nothing nothing. I'm not sure. Basically, what's the best thing to do with them in this time of the year? A lot of time strawberry plants and raspberries, they're all done and they get overgrown with weeds. What's the best way to really get them off to a good start for next year? Well, the thing the thing first while it's let's separate them because strawberries and raspberries grow. So differently The Raspberries. I hope you're you're sending them out periodically because the worst thing that you can do with a raspberry bad is to just let all the canes grow and when they get too sick, then of course, you're not going to get the kind of fruit production that you normally would we've talked to a number of people who did not have good fruit production this year and I really don't know exactly what went wrong but I would say for next year make sure that you've gotten rid of all the cans that have that have produced this year and thin out the rest of them and then fertilize first thing in the spring keep an eye open for any kind of leaf spot or cane diseases there are some disease Is it get on the Kings and those will result in fewer fruits as well. But if you get a fair number of games coming up and you fertilize the fact that they didn't do this year do well this year doesn't necessarily mean you're not going to do well next year. If you have two years back to back there where they're bad. Then I would start looking really closely at the possibility of a virus or something that's gotten into that patch of raspberries that that really means. You need to take it out replant with fresh stock in a different place. The strawberries can be renovated, but it's actually getting a little bit late in the season, but they are you actually want to go through and make you know separate your rose again, make sure that most of the old plants are out and leave some of the runners that are younger to take place of the older ones. The strawberries are most productive their second year by the time they're three or four years. They're really over the hill. And so you want to be always constantly renewing getting rid of the oldest plants and letting some of the younger ones take their place after a quick question here, sir. I'm gone from store. Okay, I didn't say well, that's probably true. If you got a cactus that surviving Outdoors. It's obviously one of the northern cacti, you know, there are some characters that are native very close to here in and around the blue mounds park in this in the southern part of State there cacti and also in the Dakotas, so I'm assuming that you got a cactus that is pretty Hardy and pretty tough and obviously you're mulching it in the fall so that it did that has a little bit of protection. That's all you need to do. Don't even think about taking indoors so I can handle it. Take a chunk off. Yes, but do it in the spring and don't break it take a nice clean. Make a sharp cut. My neighborhood has a rather nasty Vine that looks like a squash Vine but it's just produces some sort of bird that leaves you covered with needles and it grows everywhere will cover your garage. How do I get rid of it? Okay that actually grows from seed and so it's it's probably either a bur cucumber or one of those plants. It is related to cukes and squash and you need me to first of all get rid of it as soon as you said cut it down so that it doesn't make the fruit because the fruit will drop the seed and that's what's going to grow the next year. So scour the neighborhood early in the season and when you see those coming up get rid of them dig them out, so it doesn't help that it's covering. My neighbor's Evergreen does it know the Evergreen is not going to be very happy with that all over it. Absolutely. Thanks, you bet Debra, if people going to have questions they want to call The Garden line 624-4771 and outside. The Metro is 18886 to 44771. And you can get those you can get those actually at bookstores and garden centers all around the state. But you can also get them from your local County extension office, or you can call the University and one eight hundred eight seven six. 863 6 Or if you're in the local area, you can call at 612-624-4900 and you have to use a credit card with those from the University today. Always great to hear from you and my place are more questions and time to answer. Thanks so much. I'm Ray Suarez five years ago President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act into law after 7 years and two vetoes America's family had a bill passed for then it will allow them to not have to choose between their families and their jobs former White House spokesman George Stephanopoulos will look at how well the family leave Bill works today on the next Talk of the Nation from NPR news. It's 5 minutes now before 12 in time for The Writer's Almanac.