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Gardener and Urban Farmer Swap Tips

air date: February 10, 2018

What do a Raleigh home gardener and Austin urban farmers have in common? Brie Arthur, Raleigh-based horticulturist, speaker and author of the The Foodscape Revolution, joins Paula and Glenn Foore at Austin’s Springdale Farm about connections that cross borders. In a small backyard, Ratna and Venkappa Gani unite worldwide tastes and sensations in a food and flower forest. Daphne answers: when are live oak leaves supposed to fall? Find out when to plant purple hyacinth bean for bee-loving flowers and gorgeous purple bean pods. Trisha tackles the squash vine borer to save this summer’s crops.

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Episode Segments

On Tour

Global Tastes in Backyard Food Forest: Ratna and Venkappa Gani

Influenced by their childhoods in Southwestern India, Ratna and Venkappa Gani opted for a backyard food forest instead of lawn when they bought a house in a new Austin subdivision. Combining edibles, including favorites from India, with flowers for pollinators, they harvest year round. An engineer, Venkappa designed rainwater collection before designing pathways from leftover construction limestone and bricks.

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Interview

Urban Farmers and Gardener Swap Tips with Brie Arthur and Paula and Glenn Foore

What do a Raleigh home gardener and Austin urban farmers have in common? Brie Arthur, Raleigh-based horticulturist, speaker and author of the The Foodscape Revolution, joins Paula and Glenn Foore at Austin’s Springdale Farm about connections that cross borders.

Watch more CTG Interview videos on YouTube →

Question of the Week

When do live oak tree leaves fall?

I love this question, since it gives me the opportunity to talk about the seemingly odd designation of “semi-evergreen.” Live oaks are quite often referred to as evergreen, since, once mature, if healthy, they’ll never be entirely leafless.

But live oaks aren’t true evergreens, because they drop the majority, or at least a very large portion, of their leaves every year in spring, not in fall, when most other deciduous oak species do.

When live oak trees are young, they usually drop all of their leaves each spring, just prior to flowering. But as they mature, if they’re in good condition, they won’t drop their leaves all at once. The majority of the leaves that a mature live oak tree does lose will drop in spring each year, but you’ll begin to notice a bit of leaf-drop at other times as well, and this is a normal process.

Environmental stress will have an effect on this pattern. If we have a particularly dry, hot summer, live oak trees, especially young ones, may drop their leaves and be uncharacteristically bare in summer, which causes many people to panic. But leaf drop is one way that plants hunker down to avoid stressful times, and most will come back once temperatures cool down and rain starts to fall. If abnormal leaf drop occurs with your tree during summer heat, you can help with supplemental irrigation until the leaves begin to grow back.

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Plant of the Week

Hyacinth Bean

Hyacinth Bean

Purple Hyacinth bean is a fast-growing warm weather annual vine that’s a true showstopper when it pops its lavender pink bean flowers. Bees absolutely love them! This energetic vine needs a trellis, arbor, or fence to support its spreading, lush growth. Plant seeds once the ground is warm in early spring. Hyacinth bean wants sun but also extra irrigation in dry summers. A few seeds will cover a lot of ground! Seedlings are easily transplanted if last year’s seeds sprouted and you want to transfer to a new location. After blooming, enjoy the purple bean pods for decorative appeal. You can bring some indoors for flower arrangements. When they’re totally dry, split open the pods to save the attractive white and black striped seeds for next year.

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