gardening

One demonstration garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden gives city-dwellers inspiration for plants that do well in small lots.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Whether your garden needs a little TLC or needs to be planted in the first place, the St. Louis area has some unique gardening hacks to help even the brownest thumb among us.

With resources like the following at the tips of your gardening gloves, St. Louis makes it easy to get your garden on.

What to plant

Ed Spevak / Saint Louis Zoo

Is it too early to plant carrots? What about tomatoes? And is there any use for those spiky sweetgum tree seeds?

Missouri Botanical Garden horticulturists June Hutson and Dana Rizzo were on-hand Monday to answer questions about spring gardening.

If you’re just getting started gardening, turn to the computer, Hutson said.

Offenders harvest fresh fruits and vegetables at gardens located at Missouri Department of Corrections' institutions to donate to the needy.
Missouri Department of Corrections

A record donation of produce to more than 80 food pantries and other sites around the state is coming from an unlikely source: the Missouri Department of Corrections.

For the third year in a row, prisoners in the Department's Restorative Justice Garden Program have harvested and donated a record haul of fresh fruits and vegetables to pantries, churches, nursing homes and school districts throughout Missouri.  This year, the offender-grown produce weighed in at 178 tons, topping last year's donation of 163 tons.

Deer Creek Watershed Alliance

Cindy Gilberg’s natural habitat was a garden. Preferably, one filled with native perennials.

Growing up in St. Louis, she spent much of her time exploring Shaw Nature Reserve. The love of the place, she wrote, brought her back as an adult and horticulturist “to work and share with others the possibilities of native landscaping and the joy of natural areas.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture, Ms. Gilberg fine-tuned her skills as the co-owner with her husband, Doug, of a Wildwood nursery for nearly three decades.

Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden annual Green Homes Festival is this Saturday at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening. One of the focuses of this year’s festival is gardening with native plants, or “naturescaping.”

Using native plants is environmentally friendly because it works within the existing ecosystem, explained Jean Ponzi, Green Resources Manager at the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

via Flickr/Louise Docker

After an especially harsh winter, spring has returned to St. Louis. Gardeners across the region are planting and planning for the growing season.

But the plants are still feeling the effects of the unusual cold, said Missouri Botanical Garden horticulturists June Hutson and Elizabeth Spiegel.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Now that it appears that Spring has arrived in the St. Louis region, the thoughts of many residents are turning to gardening.  Efforts thus far have been frustrating for many because of the varying temperatures and large amount of rain.  Many have delayed their Spring planting, and those who haven’t may find that the few warm days caused vegetables to flower prematurely and that the cold temperatures at night have harmed them.

It may have been pushed out of the headlines this week, but the worst drought in 50 years is still spreading across the U.S. At least moderate levels of drought have now enveloped more than 64 percent of the country. That's bad news for farmers -- and for gardeners! Americans spent $29 billion on their gardens last year, according to the National Gardening Association. And the drought is forcing many people to make some hard and expensive horticultural choices. Our Adam Allington reports for Marketplace.

Each month Gateway Greening community gardeners gather at the Schlafly Tap Room for Pints 'n' Plants, where guest speakers share their gardening expertise. The latest was from Small Farm Specialist Miranda Duschack, of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, who shared her knowledge about Integrated Pest Management.

Photo credit: Madalyn Painter / St. Louis Public Radio

March is the time to plant cold-season crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and onions. You'll find onion "slips"--immature onion bulbs--available at your local nursery now, along with some basic brassicas to start for summer harvest. Next year try starting from seed to select more unusual varieties. Venture out into what may be new territory by trying broccoli rab, kohlrabi, and bok choy.

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