As Seen on TV: Grow It Green on WMUR

Emma Erler and WMUR

Weekly Home, Yard and Garden Advice

Each week Extension experts share tips and research-based information about seasonal topics that every homeowner should know.

If you love the segments, please subscribe to  "NH Outside with Emma Erler"  -an email newsletter that delivers even more home, yard and garden wisdom right to your inbox.

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Featured Episodes

August 11 and 14: Solving Problems with Summer Squash

Summer squash is a popular and easy to grow crop in New Hampshire, but a few common problems can occur which can limit success. In this episode of Grow it Green you'll learn why summer squash bloom but don't produce fruit, grow fruit that are misshapen, or have fruit that start to develop then rot at the end.

Zucchini Plants Flowering but not Producing Fruit

Growing Vegetables: Managing Blossom End-Rot

August 4 and 7: Stink bugs: Do they all stink?

Though they’ve gotten a deservedly bad reputation, not all stink bugs are crop pests. Some are beneficial and prey on other crop pests, especially in vegetable production. Knowing the difference between good stink bugs and bad stink bugs is a good thing. This segment of Grow it Green we will focus our attention on some of the key characteristics in telling the good from the bad.

Stink Bugs

Field Guide to Stink Bugs

Controlling Stink Bugs in the Garden

July 28 and 31: Low Cost and Local Mulches That Control Weeds and Improve Soil

What some people may consider “waste products” others call “black gold”, when speaking of many natural materials leftover from tree crews, mowing of lawns, and even shearing of sheep. These leftovers can be locally accessed for low or no cost and be used as mulches that reduce weeding and build nutrient-rich, moisture-holding soil. In this segment we learn the differences and benefits of some of these locally-sourced plant-based mulches including ramial chipped wood, mixed wood chips, shredded wood mulch, pine needles, grass clippings, and even a non-plant-based but lanolin-rich mulch…wool! 

Ramial Chipped Wood: More Than "Wood Chips"


The Wonders of Woolch™ - A New Mulch for Farm and Garden

Organic Mulches

July 14 and 17: Spotted Wing Drosophila

Do you grow or have raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and other late-season, soft-flesh fruits — cultivated and/or wild growing in your garden? If you do you may have encountered the Spotted Wing Drosophila. Spotted Wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is a small fly that can cause significant damage to a number of fruit crops. This exotic pest is related to vinegar flies (commonly called “fruit flies” when found around the house).
Spotted Wing Drosophila by UNH Cooperative Extension

July 7 and 10: Viburnum Leaf Beetle

Is there something feeding on the leaves of your viburnum? The culprit could be the viburnum leaf beetle.
Viburnum leaf beetles can destroy viburnums in a sudden and abrupt manner.
June 30 and July 3: Easy Perennials for Beginner Gardeners
There’s something to be said for plants that perform well with very little extra care or effort. For those that are new to gardening or just don’t have time to fuss over their plants, it’s often best to choose hassle-free plants. In this episode of Grow it Green we’ll look at some of the most versatile and hardy perennials that can be grown in New Hampshire gardens.

Drought Tolerant Plants for New Hampshire Landscapes by UNH Extension

June 23 & 26: Great Groundcovers

Groundcovers are in integral part of any low maintenance landscape. Effective groundcover plants spread to form thick layers of vegetation that protect bare soil, reduce erosion, lessen weed incursion, and require relatively few inputs. For those that want to reduce the amount of turf grass in their garden or have difficult to mow areas, a perennial groundcover species may be the perfect choice. No matter what the growing conditions in your garden there are many plant selections that are sure to do well. 

Selecting Groundcovers by Virginia Cooperative Extension

June 16 & 19: Proper Lawn Care on the Shoreline               

How can you care for your lawn that will have the least impact on the ecosystem in and around your waterbody? This segment of Grow it Green will cover many tips on how to maintain a healthy and yet low impact (and low maintenance) lawn. We will discuss watering, fertilizing and pesticide use.

NH Shoreline Protection from the NH Department of Environmental Science

Waterbodies in NH by the NH Department of Environmental Science

Green Grass & Clear Water by UNH Cooperative Extension

Landscaping at the Water's Edge by UNH Cooperative Extension

Directory of Landscape Professionals Trained in Ecological Landscaping by UNH Cooperative Extension

June 9 and 12: Designing Your Own Annual Containers

By selecting the right container, matching plants with similar growing requirements, and using a quality potting mix, you are sure to have success - but that's only half of the picture. A succesful container garden wil look great too. When it comes to design, planting containers is a great way to express your own creativity and style. By paying attention to proportion, number, color, and plant growth habits, your containers are sure to have a pull-together look.

Successful Container Gardens by University of Illinois Extension

The Art of Container Gardening by Penn State Extension

June 2 and 5: Herbs a Tasty Alternative

Just about every dish tastes better with fresh herbs -- and there's no better way to get fresh herbs than to grow them yourself in an herb garden. So, if you have extra space in your yard or garden? Plant a fresh and simple herb garden only steps away from the kitchen. This segment will cover choosing herbs, finding the perfect location and planting.

Growing Herbs in Containers by UNH Extension

Growing Herbs Outdoors by Penn State Extension

May 19 and 22: Homemade Weights for Training Young Trees

Training trees to have one central leader when they are young helps promote good growth habits for the future, and for fruit trees such as apples, pears, and cherries, training the side branches to grow at angles between 60 and 75 degrees helps produce more flowers and fruit. Late May through June when the new growth is supple, is the time to encourage those branches to grow more horizontally. Learn how you can create your own weights from items you already have around the house to train your young trees.

Growing Fruit: Training and Pruning Young Apple and Pear Trees from UNH Extension

May 12 and 15: Pesticides and Reading a Label

A pesticide is any substance used to kill, repel, or control certain forms of plant or animal life that are considered to be pests. Before reaching for a pesticide it is important to not only know what it is you are trying to control or manage, but what the label is telling you. Reading a pesticide label is one of the most important things a person can do before applying anything to the environment. This segment of GIG will help a person determine whether or not a pesticide is really needed.

Reading Labels via National Pesticide Information Center

Pesticide Labels via EPA

May 5 and May 8: Choosing The Right Tree

Spring is a great time to plant new trees. The soil is moist, temperatures are mild, and trees have an entire growing season to become established. Purchasing a new tree is often a big investment, so you want to make sure you’ve made a good choice. Before you buy a new tree, you need to pay attention to site conditions. Note the slope, hardiness zone, soil type, exposure, soil compaction, amount of light, drainage, space or size, and soil pH/nutrient availability. After evaluating the spot where it will be planted, pick a tree that will adjust well to that location. Without exception, the needs of the tree should match those provided by the site. When selecting a tree keep the following things in mind: the tree’s potential size, cultural requirements, rate of growth, maintenance needs, and susceptibility to insects and diseases. In this episode you’ll learn all about how to choose the right tree for the right location, as well as take a look at some hardy trees that are perfect for spots with tough growing conditions.

Recommended Resources:

Planting and Mulching Trees and Shrubs fact sheet by UNH Extension

How to Plant a Tree in your Landscape video by UNH Extension

Mulching your Trees and Shrubs video by UNH Extension

April 28 and May 1: Bees and Wasps Around the House

Spring is the season when the fertile female wasps awaken from their winter rest and start looking for a place to start their nests. Yellow jackets and other wasps are easy to control early on in the season. In this segment we will focus on steps you can do to prevent large nests being created in places that they are not wanted.

Recommended Resources from Extension Partners:

Controlling Bees and Wasps Around the House from UNH Extension

April 21 and 24: Spring Cleanup and Characteristics of a Low Maintenance Landscape

How does a low maintenance landscape compare to others in early spring? This landscape at Rolling Green Nursery with a variety of plants, layers, and textures completely covers the soil and is still attractive even in early spring before flowers and new growth. Low maintenance is not no maintenance. Creating landscapes that build soil and keep it covered, and establishing layers of plants chosen for the right site conditions, wildlife habitat, and year round interest, allows you to spend more time enjoying and observing rather than mowing, weeding, watering, and mulching.

Recommended Resources from Extension Partners:

Landscape Practices Aligned with Ecological Principles

Low Maintenance Landscapes from University of Missouri Extension

Integrated Landscaping Following Nature's Lead from UNH Extension

April 14 and 17: Caring For Houseplants

Spring is the perfect time to give your houseplants some renewed attention. As the outside temperatures warm and the days lengthen, it’s time to consider caring for your houseplants. Most houseplants will start actively growing in the spring, which makes this a good time of year to start fertilizing and repotting. Your houseplants may need to be repotted if the roots are beginning to show through the drainage holes or on the soil surface, if new leaves appear smaller than normal, or if the plant wilts soon after watering. Houseplants also require occasional fertilization to keep them happy. In this segment you will learn how to reinvigorate your houseplants and keep them thriving.

Recommended Resources from Extension Partners:

Caring for Houseplants in Northern Climates from University of Minnesota Extension

Caring for Houseplants from University of Illinois Extension

April 7 and 10: Examining Plants: They can tell you a lot

Ever wonder what your plants are trying to tell you? Houseplants are nice to have around and they are a pleasure to grow when things go as they should. However, when your plant is looking puny instead of perky, has webbing on the leaves, appears shiny and sticky or you're noticing black mold on the surface of the leaves what could be the reason? In this week's Grow It Green we highlight some of the many possible insect pests that plague indoor plants.

Recommended Resources from Extension Partners:

Common Houseplant Insects & Related Pests from Clemson University Cooperative Extension

Houseplant insect control from University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension

Anna Boudreau Supports Extension

I Support Extension

Anna Boudreau
State Advisory Council Chair, Natural Resources Steward and NH Coverts Cooperator