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Connecticut Garden Journal
Thursday, 8:58 PM and Saturday, 11:57 AM

Connecticut Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Learn more about Charlie at gardeningwithcharlie.com.

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Latest Episodes
  • Rain gardens are sunken areas in your lawn, planted with perennials and shrubs that can take occasional flooding.
  • We've all heard the story of Johnny Appleseed. According to folklore, he wandered the Midwest in the early 1800's planting apple seeds.
  • Every September I break out the hot water bath pot and start canning tomatoes. I love the taste of canned tomatoes in winter sauces and soups.
  • Asian pears have become popular for their pear-like flavor with an apple-like texture. This pear was developed in China, but spread to Japan and Korea and now is grown around the world.
  • The fall perennial Boltonia produces an abundance of white or pink, daisy-like flowers in late summer and autumn, is deer resistant, and is a fantastic pollinator plant.
  • I first ate kerala or bitter melon, when I went to India in the early 1990's. I remember eating bitter tasting vegetables when I was in the Peace Corps in Thailand, so I wasn't too surprised by the flavor. What I really liked was how local villagers cooked it. Roasted, stuffed, steamed or sautéed it added a depth of flavor that I love.
  • It happens every spring. I look where the hardy hibiscus is supposed to be growing and I see nothing. The bulbs are blooming, the spring perennials are flowering, but no signs of our hibiscus. Instead of panicking, I've learned to be patient. I know hardy hibiscus takes its time in spring.
  • When I suggest growing mint to a gardener, they sometimes go running. Mint has a bad reputation of spreading, sprawling and generally trying to take over the world. But not all mints are created equal when it comes to plant growth. Certainly, peppermint, lemon mint, spearmint and their off shoots, such as chocolate mint (it smells like chocolate but doesn't smell like it), will spread quickly and readily in a garden. But more unusual mints such as ginger mint, banana mint and pineapple aren't as aggressive.
  • They're back!!! Every year at this time I start searching for the tomato hornworm. It's not hard to see the damage. These caterpillars of the hawk moth start out small on the tops of tomato plants. As they eat, they grow and turn into 4 to 6-inch long monsters! Well, maybe they aren't that scary, but they can cause lots of damage on leaves and fruits.
  • Our zucchini and summer squash are cranking out fruits everyday now. The winter squash and melons are vining and life is good in the vegetable garden. But, this false sense of security won't last long. Unless you're diligent, squash pests, such as squash borers and bugs, will attack without any advanced notice.