Shade Loving Plants as Seen on KDKA’s PTL

Double impatiens are wonderful!

There are lots of choices for the shade garden besides impatiens (the doubles are cool though).
Here’s a list of plants we talked about on Pittsburgh Today Live that will enjoy some time out of the sun.
Caladiums come in many colors and are wonderful shade plants.
One of my favorites are caladiums. They are grown for their colorful foliage. They are perfect as the centerpiece for a container. they come in white, reds, pinks and lots of variegated versions of all three.
Begonia 'Gryphon' is a winner in containers.
Begonia ‘Gryphon’ has been a winner in my garden for the last couple seasons. The star shaped bronze and green leaves are a show stopper.
Coleus is a great annual for the shade garden. The foliage plant is available in a variety of colors, and will thrive all season.
Torenia is a great substitute for impatiens.
Torenia is a great substitute for impatiens. They love shade and bloom all summer.
There are perennial plants that enjoy the shade too.
I love hostas, there are so many different shapes and sizes. They are indestructible, beautiful and will spread with time.
Ligularia is a great species for shade. ‘The Rocket’ stands three feet tall, filled with yellow flowers that light up any dark corner of the garden.
Take some time and walk around your favorite nursery or garden center and look for some shade plants. You’ll be surprised and the variety of plants that are available.
I bought all the plants I used on the show from Hahn Nursery in Ross. they are located at Babcock and Three Degree Rd., 412-635-7475.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch and How to Water the Right Way. As Seen On KDKA’s PTL

Mulch will help preserve moisture, keep the plants happy and suppress fungal diseases.

Mulching is an important part of gardening. A good layer of mulch preserves moisture, keep the soil evenly moist and cool and also can prevent fungal diseases too.
The question is, “what should you mulch with?”
It’s all about what looks good to you.
In the vegetable garden I prefer straw. It’s easy to find, cheap and looks fine in there.
But in the ornamental beds I use different things. I like bark mulch, but when I can I use something that will release nutrients like Sweet Peet or compost.
Cocoa mulch smells great and gives you a different look. Don’t worry about all the stories about dogs eating the mulch and getting sick. 98 percent of dogs won’t eat it and most of the products available now have been treated so they can’t harm pets.
Watering and mulching go hand in hand.
To do it right, get out in the morning. This gets the plants ready for the day, and allows them time for their foliage to dry off.
That’s important, we don’t water at night because if a plant’s leaves stay wet, they could be affected by fungal diseases.
When you water anything, be sure you soak the plant. That includes the lawn too. One soaking a week is all most plants need.

Creating a pollinator garden as seen on KDKA’s PTL

Dill is one of the best plants for attracting beneficial insects. Photo by Doug Oster

I love bugs! There I said it. Did you know over 90 percent of the insects in the garden are either good or benign?
In my garden I’m growing a variety of plants to attract beneficial insects. They help me garden by pollinating flowers and vegetables and take care of lots of the bad bugs too.
The real key is to plant a variety of different flowering plants in the garden to bring in the good bugs.
Small flowering plants like thyme, oregano, thyme, sweet allysum and others all will bring in beneficials.
Here’s a list of the plants I used on the show-
Cleome (spider flower)
Nicotiana (flowering tobacco)
Most importantly don’t spray the garden with chemicals, nature really does provide a wonderful balance when we stay out of things.