The D&B Garden Show

Decembre 5, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, was joined on the show by Mary Ann Newcomer. Mary Ann is a published author, speaker, and more famously known as The Dirt Diva.

Are you thinking about adding some drought tolerant plants to your landscape next year? Mary Ann shares some drought tolerant varieties and talks about the watering benefits.

Debbie and Mary Ann talk specifics about planting bulbs, particularly Amaryllis. Listen in to hear planting and watering tips, as well as tips in choosing your bulb.

Have you wondered if it was a good idea to re-use soil from this year’s tomato plants for next year’s garden? Are you looking for a hearty and meaty tomato variety to plant next year. Debbie and Mary Ann receive several suggestions from listeners on the best roma tomato to plant.



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November 28, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, shared some great information this week about healthy evergreen trees and Christmas blooms.

Are you wondering if the appearance of your evergreen trees is healthy? Debbie explains what your evergreens should be looking like this time of year. Do you have moths in your pantry or cupboards? With a lot of diligence, you can get rid of them with pheromone traps and elbow grease rather than harmful chemicals.

Debbie explains where you should be in the process for having your poinsettias and Christmas cacti ready for Christmas, and shares some tips for beautiful blooms. Are you growing paper whites? Debbie gives some tips to help your droopy blooms stay perky and how using alcohol can stunt stem growth. Amaryllis bulbs are a great gift to give this time of year and Debbie shares some easy planting tips for healthy buds.

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Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, welcomed Melinda Jean Stafford to her show this week. Melinda is the Campus Programs Coordinator and manages the Rooftop Bee Farm internship program at Boise State University.

Melinda joined the Garden Show to talk to Debbie and her listeners about beekeeping in the Treasure Valley. Melinda shares how she first became involved in the Rooftop Bee Farm internship program at BSU and how she now has her own hives. Listen in as Melinda gives some some general beekeeping information.

Are you thinking about keeping your own bees? There are many different reasons people enjoy beekeeping, whether it is for pollination or honey and wax harvesting. Melinda shares some things to think about before getting started. Be sure to check county, city and neighborhood ordinances before setting up a hive on your property.


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Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, started off the show taking a great question about protecting your trees from deer and elk. Deer and elk can severely damage and/or kill your trees by rubbing on the trunks. Debbie gives some great tips on how to protect your trees without injuring wildlife.

Are you still wondering when the best time of year is to trim and prune your trees and bushes? Doing this during the wrong time of year can be disastrous. Are your late blooming tomatoes covered with brown spots? Are you wondering how to get rid of those nasty weeds overrunning your yard? Debbie addresses all of these questions and more with informative tips and remedies.

Gretchen Anderson, author of The Backyard Chicken Fight, called in to the Garden Show and talked to Debbie about her upcoming “How to Winter Your Chickens” classes being held at two D&B Supply stores. Prepare to be educated and entertained by Gretchen during these free classes.

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November 17, 2015 - 

Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, shared some great information on fall planting and what we should be doing now to be ready for next spring.

If you have grown gourds or winter squash, Debbie has some tips on harvesting and saving them from the first frost. If you have grown smooth skinned gourds, rest assured these will not be harmed by frost.

If you have not yet fertilized your lawn, right now is the time to get it done in order for thicker and healthier lawn next spring. If you are still mowing your lawn, remember to cut it a little shorter for the winter. It is also a good time to check your garden hoses as you are putting them up for the winter. Get rid of any hoses that are no good and start planning for next year. Debbie suggests taking pictures and making notes about what worked and what did not work this growing season. A garden journal is a great resource for you to use from year to year. Lawn mower servicing and blade sharpening can also be done now so you are ready for next year.

There is still time to do some fall planting. Our ground is still warm enough to establish the roots of trees and shrubs while the plant doesn’t have to worry about keeping the leaves alive. Trees should be watered in well and given a little mulch for added protection during our winter months. Expect to have healthy trees and shrubs next spring.

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October 10, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, talked to her listeners this week about the fall season.

Did you plant a fall garden this year? Debbie talks about the current weather and extending your garden season. Have you ever wondered what makes the leaves change color and why they fall? Listen in to hear about the scientific process and how each color is formed.

Are you seeing white flies and aphids around your garden and want to learn how to prevent them from coming back next year? Debbie describes what actions can be taken to help with future prevention.

Do you have gophers tearing up your yard? One caller had some advice on getting rid of gophers using corn cobs and castor oil. In case you have voles, Debbie gives her recipe for vole control again this week for those who have missed it previously.

If you have fungal diseases on any of your stone fruit trees, now is the time to treat them. Once the leaves are off the tree, you should spray with a copper-based spray. Pay close attention as Debbie explains the clean-up procedure.

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September 19, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, welcomed Ashton Ritchie from The Scott’s Company. Ashton called in to the show this week to talk turf and gardening and answer listener questions.

With the cooler weather also comes feeding time for your grass. This is especially important for your turf’s root system. Ashton suggests feeding your lawn twice a year - both times being in the fall. Fall is also an excellent time to plant grass seed.

Are you seeing any bare spots in your lawn? Ashton gives some great tips for filling in those spots and how you should care them. Are you finding fungus or rust in your lawn? Ashton has some low cost methods to get your lawn on the right track to being healthy.

Ashton suggests using a weed and feed product for weed control in your lawn and flower beds during the cooler weather. It’s best to use a weed control for perennial weeds on a day when the temperature is between fifty and sixty degrees. Ashton has some great advice for when and how to do this without damaging your grass.

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September 5, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, received listener questions on a variety of tops this week. She gives great storage tips for delicious tasting tomatoes along with the health benefits and tomato fun facts.

Do you have a poinsettia you’re wanting to be red and beautiful by Christmas? Now is the time to start thinking about this. Start introducing your plant to darkness and get it ready to be a houseplant. For 10 weeks, your poinsettia will need 14 hours of darkness per day while you continue to water as normal. Debbie gives some great advice on how to care for your plant until Christmas.

Curious about fall container planting? Try a flowering cabbage, flowering kale, spinach or some pansies. Are you seeing pesky critters flying around your walnut tree? Listen in to hear about the Walnut Husk fly and what you can do about them. Are you seeing white residue on your cucumber fruit? This could be powdery mildew. Just listen in to Debbie’s tips for getting rid of this.

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August 29, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, started off her show this week with a delicious recipe for Countryside Canned Tomato Soup from listener, Margie. Listen in to get all the details.

Now is the time to fertilize your lawn. Be aware it is not the time to fertilize woody plants such as trees, roses, etc. as fertilizing will only encourage new growth. Are you curious about spraying spiders and their webs? Remember to check the label on the insecticide you are using to make sure spiders are listed. Are you inundated with spider mites? Debbie explains symptoms and what to look for in your garden.

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August 15, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, started off her show this week talking about rose petal beads. Listen in as she gives step by step instructions on how to make these fragrant beads out of rose petals and try it for yourself.

Do you know when cantaloupes and watermelons are ready to pick? Did you know that apple trees can sometimes turn into biennial bearer? Are you still treating for the lilac ash borer? Are you a new gardener and unsure about basic watering needs? Listen in to hear the answers to these questions and much more information about pruning.

This is the time of year where spider mites may be visiting some of your plants. Your plants may look a little dusty - this is because the spider mites are sucking the chlorophyll from the leaves. Before any treatment, check product labeling. Your insecticide will need to specifically state that it will kill spider mites, since they are technically an arachnid.

Your herbs should be ready to harvest. Drying is the best way to preserve the oil. Debbie gives some great tips and tricks for harvesting

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August 8, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, received some great questions about bugs this week.

Ash trees are being affected by lilac ash borers and aphids this time of year. Debbie explains what to look for and how and when they should be treated. Are you seeing signs of geranium budworms around your geraniums and petunias? Insecticides work well to get rid of these, however if you have hummingbirds and bees in your yard, Debbie has some safe alternatives to try.


Debbie reminds listeners about the importance of reading and following label instructions. Know the disease, know the life cycle of the insect and know the proper timing for effective use before you begin any treatment in your yard and garden.

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August 1, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, started off her show this week sharing the best watering times for your lawn and garden during this extreme heat.  Debbie also shared the many benefits of using organic mulch around your plants. One listener calls in to explain all the benefits of planting Marigolds in your garden.

When is the best time of year to trim arborvitae? What are some tips for trimming and maintaining arborvitae? Is there a way to keep cucumbers from getting bitter? When is the best time to separate peonies? Are you seeing powdery mildew on your peonies? Interested in planting fall crops? How do I stop the yellow jackets from eating my blackberries?

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July 25, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, received some great listener questions on a wide variety of topics this week.

Do you see squash bug eggs on your squash plants? Have you seen cabbage moths in your garden? Are you wondering when to pull your onions up to let them dry out? When is the right time to move daffodils? When is the right time to harvest garlic? Are you looking for a hearty fertilizer for your roses? Are you losing all the fruit from your fruit trees? Have you seen codling moths on your apple trees?

Debbie shares the step by step process on how to take a stem cutting from a rose. Listen in to find out how to do this like a pro.

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July 18, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, gives a lot of great information about insects in your garden. Do you know which insects are beneficial or harmful for your garden?

Are you curious about what should and should not be fertilized in your yard right now? Have you treated your stone fruit trees for peach tree borer? Are you seeing curly top in your tomato plants? Are you concerned about curled foliage in your garden? Are you planning on starting seeds for fall crops? Listen in to hear Debbie’s answers to all of these questions and more.

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July 11, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, addressed a variety of gardening topics this week.

Are you curious about the growing cycle of corn? Do you have tomato plants wilting and falling over right now? Are little white spiders invading your garden and bugging you? Listen in to hear what advice she shares. Also, now is the time we can be invaded by Peach Tree Borers. Treatment is crucial.

Garden Tip: To keep cantaloupe off the ground and away from bugs, listen in to hear what one listener does.

Are you planning on entering your vegetables at your local fair? The most important thing you will need to do is get your hands on the Exhibitor’s Guide. The Exhibitor’s Guide will have all of the requirements and instructions for entering. Not following the instructions will get you disqualified quickly.

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July 4, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, received some great questions and tips from her listeners this week.

Are your tomato and cucumber plants growing out of control? Are you finding tiny holes in your squash leaves? Are earwigs and ants harmful to your vegetable plants? Are you wondering whether you are under-watering or over-watering your garden in this heat? Is it too late to plant raspberries? If you are wanting to know the answers to any of these questions, listen in. Find out what the listener question about a lilac tree keeps Debbie scratching her head.

Margie, a listener of the D&B Garden Show, called in with a great tip for getting rid of squash bug eggs on the bottom of her squash leaves. Find out what Margie uses to get rid of the nuisance without damaging her plants or using harmful chemicals. Another listener called in to share her tip when planting squash that will keep away those awful squash bugs. A little container of water, maple syrup and oil placed in your garden will attract and kill those pesky earwigs.

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June 27, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, had a great mix of information to share with listeners this week.

s it harmful to cut the bottom branches from my large Blue Spruce tree? What can I do to prepare my 35 year old Summit Ash for the upcoming winter months in order to prevent damage? Do you have unwanted critters crawling around your rocks? Is there fruit dropping early from your fruit trees? Listen in as Debbie discusses the answers to these questions and gives some great advice to her listeners.

Gretchen Anderson, author of The Backyard Chicken Fight, joined Debbie on the D&B Garden Show when she called in and shared great tips on keeping your chickens cool during this heat wave. 

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June 6, 2015 - Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, Debbie Cook, kicked off the beginning of June with a few calls about insects on this week’s radio show.

Are you being bugged by unwanted critters in your yard and garden? Have you found scale or sucking insects on your Maple or Honey Locust trees? Listen in as Debbie provides a lot of great and useful information along with answering questions on how to get rid of those tiny creatures.

Is there an advantage to pruning your tomato plants? The leaves have two important jobs: to protect the fruit; and to produce the food for the root system. It’s better to leave your tomato plants untouched during the growing season.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015 - What is the best thing to do with grass clippings? Should they be left on the lawn or bagged up? Debbie answers by addressing both options for a beautiful lawn. Are you curious about thatching? She also gives great information on when and why this needs to be done.

Fruit tree do’s and don’ts: Do treat for insects. Don’t plant your tree too deep and allow grass to grow up around the trunk.

How do I transition my indoor seedlings to the outdoors? Listen in as Debbie explains when and where your seedlings should be placed in the great outdoors along with watering and air exposure instructions. Debbie also provides a simple schedule to follow to ensure a smooth transition.

What do the veins in maple leaves reveal about the overall health of the tree and it’s surrounding area? Debbie takes a question on why one Maple tree has a different shade of green leaves from the other ones. Listen in to what advice Debbie gives this caller.

Thanks for another great show, Debbie.

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May 16, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, asked her listeners this week to call in and share some growing tips for new or first time gardeners. Here are a couple she received:

  • Add a half of a handful of Quaker oats (not the instant kind) in the hole when planting your tomatoes - the oats are full of nutrients and the tomatoes thrive.
  • Purchase old baby gates at thrift or second-hand stores and use them for your climbing plants.

Debbie took a couple questions about fertilizing flowers. She suggests looking for a “bloom-booster” in your fertilizer. This is where your second number (phosphorus) is higher: such as 5-10-5.

Have you had powdery mildew on your flowers? Do you know what causes this? Find out what you can do to get rid of that fungus for good.

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May 9, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, talked seed packets and tomatoes this week on the D&B Garden Show.

If you still find yourself confused by all of the information on seed packets, Debbie gives great information about the number of days until harvesting, what diseases your plants are resistant to and the amount of light needed. Quick tip: If your package states your plants or veggies will need a lot of light, this typically means at least six hours of full sun every day.


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April 25, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, goes into a lot of detail on this show about what is happening with all of the trees in our area. Listen in to see what you should be doing right now. 

Debbie particularly wants to remind us that bees are very busy right now. If you happen to see a swarm, please let it be. The bees are only looking for a new home. However, if you or someone around you has an allergy and you are nervous about the swarm, please contact an experienced beekeeper to have the bees relocated. 

Listen in to find out how and when to fertilize your perennials while Debbie explains the three numbers on the packaging. Debbie talks about soil temperature for your tender plants and gives some great advice. Wondering what should be done to bulbs right now? Debbie has the answer.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, discusses pruning roses on last week’s podcast. Are you seeing signs of sickly roses? Don’t start pulling those bushes out just yet. The tools you use for pruning are extremely important and Debbie details what you should be using and the proper techniques for the care of, and when to disinfect your tools. Listen in to learn about the types and directions of the cuts that should be made. Wonder why or how you would use Elmer’s Glue on your rose bush? Debbie shares the why and how.

In addition, Debbie shares some information on taking care of your bulbs after blooming; warming up the ground in preparation for planting tender plants; things you find around your house to use as natural dye for Easter eggs; and labeling of GMO foods.

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March 28, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, welcomed this beautiful weekend weather with a lot of listener questions this week.

Listen in to Debbie’s advice and answers to these questions: How do I get rid of the suckers under my trees? Is it the right time to mulch my garden? What are some watering tips for planting onion sets in order for healthy onion bulbs? Does my pine tree have borers or a fungus? Is it too early to put out my hummingbird feeder? Can I cut down my ornamental grasses right now?

Are you ready to plant a bare root tree? Debbie shares some planting and watering tips to ensure a healthy start. She also talks in-depth about mail-ordering plants and flowers. Debbie explains how to understand and decipher the descriptive wording and language in order to save you time and money.

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March 21, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, answers some great listener questions on this week’s radio show.

Are you wondering why the Pine, Cypress, and Evergreen trees are looking so unhealthy? Hear what Debbie has to say about their needles and how to look for new growth before you start cutting away.

A lot of us have started mowing our lawns and caring for our landscapes during this beautiful weather. Debbie reminds us that the amount and frequency of watering also to be adjusted. Listen as she shares her suggestions on proper watering.

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March 14, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Arborist, was joined by her friend, Mary Ann Newcomer, speaker, author and “Dirt Diva.”

Debbie and Mary Ann answered a few questions pertaining to raspberries. Raspberries are certainly fun to grow and fun to eat. Raspberry cane borer (small beetle-like insect) is not particularly common in our area, but is easily treated by trimming and cutting. No chemical spraying is necessary. Are you concerned about when you can start trimming your raspberries? Now is the time. Look for the dried up berries and dead canes before you start snipping.

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March 7, 2015 - Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, Debbie Cook, is joined by Margaret Lauterbach, Master Gardener and columnist for the Idaho Statesman. Debbie and Margaret talk about the early signs of spring and how it pertains to your flower and vegetable gardens. They also discuss fruit trees in depth, such as pruning, diseases, blooms, bugs, etc. Tune in to hear Debbie and Margaret’s great tips and advice for planting and enhancing your soil for growing healthy fruit trees.

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February 28, 2015 - Debbie Cook, Master Gardener and Certified Arborist, answered some great listener questions this week. Growing great tasting green beans means harvesting often and before they get too old and swollen along with trying some different varieties. If you were not able to apply pre-emergent to your winter annual weeds last fall - look for the temperature requirements on the product label and apply it now. In addition, check the label on the fungicide you are planning to use to see if it has dormant oil in it or if you can mix the two together so you can apply at the same time. Debbie also provided some useful tips for listeners: If you’re having “growing” problems in your garden, a soil test can provide some helpful information. Pine trees and evergreen trees in our region are turning brown - this is most likely due to the extreme cold snap we had in November. Polish up those pretty leaves on your houseplants - this allows for more oxygen intake and makes them happy.

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February 21, 2015 - Certified Arborist and Master Gardener, Debbie Cook, talks about tree trimming and applying Dormant Oil. With the sunny days and 50 degree weather, we are all anxious to get out and clean up our yards. While we may be tempted to start with tree pruning, Debbie reminds us of some dos and don'ts that will benefit the overall health and beauty of our trees. While pruning, we must refrain from "topping" or cutting off the tops and also refrain from cleaning out the middle or inside of the tree. Debbie tells us that it is time to apply Dormant Oil to suffocate insects that have been over-wintering on our trees. 

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January 3, 2015 - Are you ready to prune your trees? Debbie Cook, the garden gal says, depnding on the size and type of tree, it is best to wait. If you are trimming deadwood or crossing branches, you should be fine unless it is a flowering tree. Then you need to wait until after it flowers. Learn more from the Garden Gal in this week's episode.

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