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Four Seasons of Gardening Conversations

North Country PR

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Canton, NY




To start seeeds indoors, you need the right stuff

(Feb 12, 2018) Tops on Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy's list are grow lights. You can assemble your own from common shop lights. Put them on a timer (16 hours of light a day), and be prepared to adjust the distance from the young seedlings.She tells how, and offers more tips on getting set to start seeds indoors. [full story]


Good information can up your gardening game

(Jan 22, 2018) Before the catalog orders, before the big tab at the nursery, now is a good time to invest in some good information.Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy suggests gardening workshops, websites to look for, and books to help make better plans for the coming seasons.Horticulturist Amy Ivy is a regular Monday guest on The Eight O'Clock Hour. [full story]


Did plants sleep through the 80-degree temperature swing? Maybe.

(Jan 15, 2018) Temperatures around minus 20 Thursday morning rose to 60 degrees above on Friday last week. That was a stunning swing. But just maybe it didn't hurt plants as much as we might think. By Friday night, the temperature was plunging again, and the snow was falling, re-insulating the ground, where the soil temperature is surprisingly moderate. [full story]


Trees, shrubs help wildlife get through the winter

(Jan 8, 2018) Deep cold and snow cover make life hard for wildlife. Birds cluster at the feeders. Deer come closer. Amy Ivy watched turkeys cruise her yard over the weekend. Martha Foley's cedar trees are full of chickadees, juncos, tree sparrows and more. Amy says now's the time to plan strategic plantings to provide food and shelter. [full story]


Extreme cold may be harder on your indoor plants than your garden

(Jan 1, 2018) Despite the extreme temperatures, December weather has had a fairly healthy pattern for the garden - steady cold to keep things dormant and a good snow cover for insulation. But your overworked heating system in sub-zero temperatures can take a toll on house plants. They can get too dry from forced air, or too warm from being near a heat vent, or too cold near a drafty window.Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy sorts out which plants are likely to have which problems...


Holiday gift tips for green thumbs

(Dec 18, 2017) Chances are you have at least one green thumb to shop for this holiday season. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy has some ideas for gardening tools as gifts. [full story]


Holiday gift tips for brown thumbs

(Dec 11, 2017) This is the season for giving and getting holiday plants and indoor greenery. But what about recipients who don't have a "green thumb"?Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has some can't-fail gift ideas for the holidays, including floral arrangements and natural centerpieces that won't require care later this winter. [full story]


Getting real: holiday decorating with fresh greenery

(Dec 4, 2017) A front door or porch decked out for the holidays speaks to the spirit of the season. Amy Ivy, horticulturist with Cornell Cooperative in Clinton and Essex counties, shares some tips for finding and arranging winter greenery, including wreaths, boughs and garlands. [full story]


Creating a meal from an Adirondack school yard - just in time for Thanksgiving!

(Nov 23, 2017) North Country School-Camp Treetops is one of the six founding members of the Edible Schoolyard Project, a national initiative of chef and food activist Alice Waters. The goal of program is to give students the knowledge and skills to make healthy food choices for themselves, their community and the environment. [full story]


Garlic? Spring bulbs? It isn't TOO late

(Nov 20, 2017) Raise your hand if you didn't get your garlic/daffodils/tulips in the ground before the cold set in. Fear not. With some tolerance for working outdoors in chilly soil, you still have a chance. Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy and NCPR's Martha Foley are in the same boat, and share tips, and consolation.Also, make that pumpkin pie a butternut squash pie this year. They explain why, and have some great ways to make processing the raw squash a snap. [full story]


You've got to trick bulbs into flowering indoors

(Nov 13, 2017) Word of the day from Amy Ivy: ver-nal-i-za-tion. noun. the cooling of seed during germination in order to accelerate flowering when it is planted.It's the whole thing in forcing spring bulbs to flower indoors. You've got to simulate winter's work by potting, watering and then keeping bulbs just above freezing for weeks before bringing them in to flower.Narcissus, paper whites, are the exception, not the rule, according to Amy. Bigger bulbs like daffodils require eight to 10...


Tulips and all - spring bulbs go in the ground now

(Nov 6, 2017) Now's the time to plant bulbs for spring flowers. Tulips, daffodils and all the littler bulbs go in the ground before it gets much colder.Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy tells why she likes daffodils and what to do to protect tulips from underground critters that will eat them if allowed. She also shares which of the smaller bulbs will spread from the original planting. And she's got a rule of thumb to gauge how deep to plant. (Soil on top should measure 2X the size of the...


It's prime time to compost

(Oct 30, 2017) Drifts of fallen leaves, plus the last round of lawn clippings, plus the remains of the frosted vegetable garden, plus a few shots of good soil - it all adds up to a great opportunity for compost.Whether you're a veteran with a chance to start a new bin, or a beginner wondering about the basics, Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy has the how-tos and whys of successful compost. One basic rule: no animal protein and nothing oily. [full story]


Warm fall? Get a headstart on spring

(Oct 23, 2017) Yes, it's still unseasonably warm. But parts of the North Country have had a killing frost.Perennials took a heavy hit in Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy's garden.That prompted her to start the annual fall clean up, and some strategic weeding to get a head start on spring. [full story]


Not too early, not too late - timing the garlic

(Oct 16, 2017) The thing about timing when to plant garlic, according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, is that you want to hit a sweet spot between too warm, and too cold. If the weather is too warm, the garlic might send up top growth. That's not good. Too cold, and the bulbs don't have time to establish some roots. That's not good either. That and lots more about how to plant garlic in this week's conversation. [full story]


Don't waste those leaf piles!

(Oct 9, 2017) You know what they say: one person's trash is another person's treasure. So it is with the tons of leaves that fall on our lawns every autumn. As they are doing right now! Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy argues that, despite the raking and the bagging and hauling, those leaves are solid gold for gardeners. [full story]


Hot spell gives tomatoes a last gasp

(Sep 25, 2017) They might not look very pretty, but the extended spell of sunny, 80-something days this month has given garden tomatoes some extra ripening time. But it's given the diseases that attack tomato vines extra time, too.Cornell Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy suggests picking fruit a little early, as it starts to ripen, to minimize damage. [full story]


Just try it: bringing the flowers and herbs indoors

(Sep 18, 2017) Some potted flowers and herbs are a naturals to bring indoors for the winter.Last week, Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy detailed her favorites: cuttings from her bright red geraniums.What about a hanging basket? Or a pot of parsley? Try it with care, she says, but watch out not to bring outdoor bugs, like aphids, in with them. [full story]


So, what do you know about hunger in the North Country?

(Sep 13, 2017) As part of national Hunger Action Month, a St. Lawrence County organization seeking to end hunger is asking residents to take the SNAP Challenge. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The challenge is whether you can feed yourself and your family on $4.60 per person per day. GardenShare's booth at the Canton Farmers Market has more information. Todd Moe stopped by earlier this month to meet the group's two AmeriCorps VISTA members who are helping out this...


Still a chance for ripe tomatoes, and tips on taking cuttings

(Sep 11, 2017) Martha Foley is still hoping to see her tomotoes ripen in the next few sunny days. But the evenings are pretty cool, so blanketing your tomatoes at night may help the ripening along.One thing that can be done before the frost comes is to take cuttings from nasturtiums, coleus or geraniums and root them in potting mix. The new plants can bring some color into the house all winter long. Horticulturist Amy Ivy shares tips on taking and propogating cuttings.Martha and Amy talk...


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