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Doug at Beaver County Home Show Saturday 2:30pm creating a Steel City Garden

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog ST LYNNS PRESS SCG COVER 3-26

I’ll be appearing at the Times Home and Garden Show on Saturday 3/29/14 at 2:30 p.m. The event is at the Golden Dome on the campus of the Community Collage of Beaver County. I’ll be talking about The Steel City Garden, showing how to create a garden of black and gold.
Pittsburgh Dad will be there too and lots of great garden activities also.
It’s only $5 to get in and it’s well worth the price of admission.
Here are all the details.
There are many fascinating exhibitors and events all day. Kids under five are free!
Here’s the main stage schedule-
10:00 am
Quikrete Leaf Casting – Learn to Make Bird Baths, Feeders & Lawn Ornaments
Maxine Gress, Quikrete representative

11:15 am
Wild World of Animals Show

1:00 pm
Pittsburgh Dad Question and Answer Session
Curt Wootton and Chris Preksta, co-creators

2:30 pm
The Steel City Garden: How to create a garden in black & gold
Doug Oster, Co-Host of KDKA Radio Show, “The Organic Gardeners”

Demonstration schedule is as follows-
9:30 am
Upcycle Your Garden: Reusing plastic bottles to create garden tools and terrariums
Penn State Master Gardeners

10:30 am
Right Seeds, Right Time: Selecting the right seeds and transplants for your garden
Penn State Master Gardeners

12:00 pm
Painting Ideas & Inspirations
Chippewa Home Depot

1:30 -3:00 pm
Pittsburgh Dad Meet & Greet

Money Machine
Win a chance to grab cash at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, Noon, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm. Special drawing at 12:45pm for those who buy their tickets at ESB Bank.

“That Guy with the Birds”
Exhibit open all day, with 30 minutes live shows at 10:30 am, Noon and 2:00 pm

Home Depot Kids Club
Kids can stop by anytime throughout the day to make a birdhouse and get their own Home Depot apron

Airbrush Tattoo Artist
Available for kids between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm

 

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Everyone loves peanuts, especially the birds

Written by Doug Oster on .

 Blog Red Bellied with PeanutA red-bellied woodpecker grabs a peanut from the bird feeder and heads to a neighboring pine tree to enjoy the treat. Photos by Doug Oster

The shrill call of the red-bellied woodpecker is heard from the forest. A second later and the bird lands of the feeder, grabs a peanut and then flies to a nearby pine tree to crack open the treat, a few minutes later a nuthatch lands and grabs one too.

It's a good thing for gardeners to feed the birds. It keeps them around to feast on insects during the gardening season.

I mostly feed them black oil sunflower seeds, but love to watch them being drawn to the feeder by peanuts.

Best Feeds is where I get them in bulk, you can find them at many different places.

But it's not just the birds who crave peanuts. My daughter has a wild squirrel, which has become slightly domesticated though a love of peanuts. She calls him Braveheart.

We don't don't get close tot he animal, just throw a few under the bird feeder and watch him get fatter.

During a long winter like this one, it's nice to help the wildlife out a bit with some treats. The birds will repay you by keeping the pest population down.

 Blog titmice copyOne titmouse waits while the other flies off.

 Blog redbellied again copyThe red-belly came back for more.

 blog nuthatch with peanut copyI love to listen for the nuthatch before they coem to the feeder.

 blog nuthatch with peanut take  copySometimes the peanut can be a little much to handle.

Blog squirrel looking at feeder copyOur friendly squirrel would like in on the action too.

 blog squirrel smelling peanut copyEnjoy!

 

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Video: Seed starting 101

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog seedling emerges cu aSeeing a little seed sprout and then reach fruition is one of the wonderful things about gardening. Photo by Doug Oster

Here's a video demonstrating how I start seeds indoors. We had a little help from the performers of Varekai Cirque du Soleil. Planting tomato seeds with my friend Kristine Sorensen.

 

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Timeless beauty of amaryllis not only for the holidays

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog amarillis long 032514'Minerva' is an amaryllis bulb offered by Longfield Gardens. Photos by Doug Oster

blog amarillis long 0325There's another bud coming!The giant blooms of amaryllis help me get though the last days of winter. I grow about 25 different bulbs, some bloom in December, some in February and I've got a nice in bloom right now.

This is 'Minerva' from Longfield Gardens, shipped to me in January in a cool looking zinc pot. I've grown a few different varieties from the company and as you can see, these flowers are just the first flush, there's more to come.

The bulbs seem to have a mind of their own after the first bloom, the next season they will bloom again when treated right, but often won't be at the same exact time.

Once they are done flowering, I remove the flower stalk and let the foliage stand. Once there's no chance of frost, the plants go outside in the shade. I fertilize them every few weeks to help the bulb build energy for next year's blossoms.

In August, they come inside and are put into dormancy by withholding water and fertilizer. The big, strapping leaves will die back and I keep the bulb down int he basement for six to eight weeks, then bring it back up to the windowsill.

Once the bulb is lightly watered, it should send up a flower stalk and start the cycle again.

I have about a 50-50 success rate on re-blooming annually. The bulbs always re bloom eventually, once they have stored the energy they need for flowering.

Don't think of amaryllis as just a holiday flower, they are beautiful whenever they bloom.

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Free gardening talk with Doug tonight. "The Gardens of London."

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog delphiniums and begoniasI couldn't believe my eyes when I walked into the Great Pavilion. Every plant you could ever imagine was displayed in its peak. From Delphiniums, to clematis to daffodils and everything in between. Photo by Doug Oster

I hope you'll join me tonight at the Whitehall Public Library 7 p.m. for a free garden talk about the gardens of London and the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show.

Last May I took 23 people from Pittsburgh to London to explore the city and many of the amazing public gardens. We were also treated to the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show, which was spectacular.

We visited Kew Gardens, Tower of London, Wisely Gardens, Hampton Court Palace and more.

I'll also have some free 'Limbaugh Legacy Potato Top' tomato seeds to give a way. For those interested, I'll also be selling and signing copies of my new book, The Steel City Garden.

You must register to attend this free event, call Debby Rampolla at 412-882-6622 or e-mail at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .'; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text55284); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The library is located at 100 Borough Park Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15236.

See you tonight!

blog wisley heatherThe National Heather Collection is just one of the things which make Wisely Gardens my favorite. Tonight you can learn why I walked 20 minutes in the rain to see this part of the garden.

 

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