Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Radio Silence

Our radio show, "Garden Talk," was abruptly cancelled last week when the station underwent a change in format from news/talk to alternative rock. Such is life these days in the radio business, or at least that is my understanding.

My co-hosts, Dr. Sue Hamilton and Andy Pulte, who have been doing the show much longer than I have, are determined to bring it back to the airwaves before next spring. We are researching possible venues and mustering our arguments.

I will update listeners as new information becomes available. In the meantime, folks can continue to send questions to knoxgardentalk@gmail.com or to post questions and photos on our Facebook page.

Readers of this blog are invited to send questions via the email link on the home page.

We welcome comments, suggestions for improvements, and anything else you would like to share regarding the "Garden Talk" program. Our plan is to create an even better, more informative, and more entertaining show as we seek a new, larger audience.

Although the 2015 garden has yielded up just about all of its delights, the current warm spell is prolonging the harvest for some crops. We are on track to have a great harvest of fall peas, especially given the good soaking rains we have received the past few days. We continue to harvest parsley and scallions, kale will be ready any day now, turnip greens are coming along, and the cilantro is lush and delicious. All indications point to some harvest well into November.

We have started some indoor crops that are thriving under artificial lights. If you like the flavor of fresh basil, but are appalled at its cost in the grocery store, your best bet is to grow a pot of 'Bush Spicy Globe' in a south-facing window or under lights. This variety has excellent flavor and will reach the size of a volleyball in a six-inch flowerpot. Grow it in any commercial potting mix, adding a half-teaspoon of timed-release fertilizer at planting time. You could also mix in an organic plant food, following the instructions on the package. Basil needs little attention, other than regular watering. Don't let the soil get dry enough for the plants to wilt. Clip sprigs for the kitchen judiciously until the plant is at least as large as a softball. Thereafter, you can snip with greater abandon. Keep plants producing by removing flower buds as they appear.

Want to start a vegetable garden next year, but not sure where to begin? Email for information about our Home Food First program. It's designed to help first time gardeners succeed, like having your own personal gardening coach.

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