Listen to Learn:
Springtime in the Natural State means gardening is growing in popularity! Small gardens in backyards to big ones in community spaces, and every size in between. Janet Carson and Chris Olsen share tips and encouragement for everyone in this show. Whether you're planting fruits and vegetables or flowers in your garden, you’ll get great advice from these two professionals.
Janet B. Carson began and ended her career as a University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension horticulture specialist and the coordinator of the Arkansas Master Gardener program. She wrote a weekly gardening column that ran in newspapers and magazines, hosted radio talk shows and appeared in multiple TV guest shots. Carson is well known and loved by gardeners all across Arkansas for her knowledge and her encouragement to gardeners of all skill levels.
The Master Gardener program is a 40 hour class the requires 40 hours of volunteer work the first year, and 20 hours a year thereafter. The most visible contributions of the MG programs are the landscape projects maintained by the volunteers on public property. Many of the gardens around public buildings, the State Capital, the Governor’s Mansion and county courthouses are maintained by Master Gardeners.
Carson retired at the end of 2018.
Originally from Connecticut, Landscape Designer Chris Olsen’s family moved to Little Rock where he spent a few years before moving to San Diego, then back to Arkansas in 1992.
Olsen attended Oxford University in England, studying landscape architecture, landscape principals, and philosophy and also graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in business. Chris has over 25 years of landscape architecture and interior design experience. In partnership with his father, Chris obtained a landscape maintenance company called Doramus and established the Horticare Landscape Company. After only ten years, the company grew into five divisions: chemical, maintenance, landscape, nursery, and irrigation.
In 2003, Chris opened his second home and garden store called Botanica Gardens on Rebsamen Park Road. Olsen bought the Edgemont House in June of 2016 and after extensive renovations, lives there and operates it as an event center.
Chris’ design works have been featured in several of the Symphony Design Houses, At Home in Arkansas, The Arkansas Times, AY Magazine, Health and Living, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Real Living Magazine, Soirée, Inviting Arkansas, the Abode Magazine, Southern Living Magazine, and several times in Better Homes and Gardens.
00:00:07] GM: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Through storytelling and conversational interviews, this weekly radio show and podcast, offers listeners an insider’s view into starting and running a business, the ups and downs of risk-taking and the commonalities of successful people.
Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.
00:00:29] KM: Thank you, Gray. This show Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy began as a calling for me. After four decades of running a small business, I felt I had something to share. I wanted to create a platform for not just me, but other business owners and successful people, to pay forward their experiential knowledge in a conversational way.
00:00:47] ANNOUNCER: On today's show, as we begin beautiful springtime in Arkansas, you're going to get two guests for the price of one. They're both talking about gardening. Chris Olsen and Janet Carson.
00:00:58] KM: My guest today is Arkansas’ well-known and beloved Master Gardener, Miss Janet Carson. Since the year of her graduation from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1980, she has been working at a break neck pace to educate and inform the public about agriculture and horticulture in Arkansas. In 2018, Janet retired from her day job at the Cooperative Extension Services, but not from her passion for gardening. It is a pleasure and a privilege to welcome to the table, the hard working, gifted gardener, author, orator, educator, visionary and now, entrepreneur, Miss Janet Carson.
00:01:39] JC: Hey, Kerry. Thanks for having me.
00:01:41] KM: Let's start at the beginning. It sounds like you always knew you wanted to grow up to be a gardener, because your first job out of college was at the co-operative extensions office, where you worked for 33 years and never changed jobs. That’s unusual.
00:01:56] JC: 38 and a half years.
00:01:57] KM: Oh, pardon me. 38 and a half years. That's unusual.
00:02:02] JC: Well, when you start college, they say that very few people start and end in the program they start with. I did that as well. I guess, I don't like change. I started, majored in horticulture. When I got ready to graduate, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to stay in Little Rock, and so I started putting feelers out. One of my professors said, “Janet, Extension needs you.” I said, “But I don't want to live anywhere but Little Rock and I don't want to do anything but horticulture.”
I was hired as the first female agricultural agent in Arkansas and I was the first horticultural-only agent in Arkansas. They hired me for Little Rock. I had a dream job. I did my own thing. I answered a lot of questions, started doing radio shows, started doing TV, started doing newspaper. I did that for about 12 years and then I got my master's degree and I moved over to the state level and then I started covering the whole state. I did that for the rest of my career and I left work the end of 2018.
00:03:03] KM: You thought if you took a job at the Cooperative Extension Offices, that you wouldn't be able to be in Little Rock, because it's usually an agricultural position. You thought you’d be out in farm country.
00:03:11] JC: Usually when you apply, you don't say, “I only want to go to Little Rock.” There's 75 counties, so there's positions all over the state. You apply for extension and they put you where they think the best fit is. I put on my application, I only want to go in Little Rock. I figured that was a no-no. I got hired and the rest is history.
00:03:32] KM: Were you a great student?
00:03:33] JC: I was a fairly good student. I wouldn't say great. I mean, I made all A's and B's. I had fun too.
00:03:41] KM: Why did they break the mold for you? Why did they, this 22-year-old baby, student and only wants to live in Little Rock, that comes with a set of rules and wants to work in horticulture go, “Okay, let's hire the first woman and put in the first department.” What was there special about you?
00:03:58] JC: Well, I got to think that I was in the right place at the right time and somebody was looking out for me. I've been blessed. As far as jobs go, I've only had two interviews my whole career. That first one and I got the job and then when I decided to go to the state level, I went over and talked with the director and that's it. I mean, it was a pretty easy ride for me. I think part of it was I did have very good references with the horticulture department at Fayetteville. In fact, Teddy Morlock who's passed away, he was the one who said, “Janet, you need to do this. They need this position.”
If you think back to the 80s, when I majored in horticulture at Fayetteville, it was a huge department. My degree was in urban horticulture and landscape design. Today, I don't know how many students in horticulture. I'm going to guess and say, maybe a 100 in the whole department. That may be high.
00:04:52] KM: You mean there's less today?
00:04:53] JC: Oh, way less. That was the heyday. I mean, we had hundreds in horticulture then. I mean, our classes were 80 to a 100 people.
00:05:01] KM: Why the shift?
00:05:02] JC: Well, I think part of it was horticulture was really popular back then. It is now, but it was nurseries were growing, landscaping. Think about landscaping back in the 60s and 70s. You had a few shrubs. You had a few bushes. Think about the number of perennials today. If you think back to the 50s and 60s, you could find peonies and hostas and day lilies, some irises.
00:05:26] KM: Azaleas.
00:05:26] JC: Now there's thousands of choices. The industry is booming. In fact, the big trend now in horticulture is grow your own vegetables, everything about eating locally and farmers markets and community gardens. That trend, in fact, I've been saying now for four, or five, or six years that we have more vegetable gardens today than we did since the Victory Gardens of World War II, because people are growing their own.
00:05:56] ANNOUNCER: Let’s meet Kerry’s other guest on this special edition of gardening guests on Up In your Business.
00:06:02] KM: He’s the landscape designer, Mr. Chris Olsen. I call him a lifestyle expert.
00:06:11] CO: I’ve been called worst.
00:06:13] KM: Chris is more than a local gardener in Arkansas. He is a creative businessman with lots of irons in the fire, in addition to his gardening and landscape business in Little Rock Botanica Gardens and his North Little Rock home and garden center, Plantopia. He is a decorator, author, and historic building preservation, and a wordsmith. I think you made all those words up.
00:06:34] CO: I make a lot of words.
00:06:37] KM: Yes, preservationist. Chris has saved, preserved, and opened his historical home, The Edgemont House, in North Little Rock, Arkansas to brides and businesses for public use. If you look at your life, I noticed along with working hard, being passionate about plants, I think you’re a risk-taker.
00:06:56] CO: I am a risk-taker.
00:06:57] KM: Yeah. You started Botanica Gardens, Plantopia, became a television personality, lifestyle expert, invested in large restoration project of the historical Edgemont Home. All of those startups take a lot of guts. When did the seed of entrepreneurship first begin for you?
00:07:17] CO: I have always been that way. I started in Connecticut when I was a little kid. My dad a very stressful job. He was a stock broker and actuary and all that. His way to relieve his stress was a garden. Our whole backyard was a garden, orchard and everything.
00:07:34] KM: Big backyard.
00:07:35] CO: We had a big backyard.
00:07:37] KM: In Connecticut, you had a big backyard.
00:07:38] CO: Yeah, we had a big backyard. We used to ride the station wagon picking up bags of grass and leaves to use as mulch in the garden. I loved it. He gave me a little patch of land. My grandpa had an old wagon. We painted it green. I thought you’re wearing green today. My favorite color. I grew a vegetable garden, and that’s how I started. I used to sell vegetables to my neighbors and then I also had a paper route. It all started because my dad always never gave – They never gave allowance. You had to earn your money. I mean, I didn’t live a bad life. I lived a good life. But nonetheless –
00:08:13] KM: You are living in Connecticut.
00:08:14] CO: Yeah, exactly. I earned my own money and I grew up that nobody you owes you anything and you owe no one anything. You work for it.
00:08:27] KM: That instilled an ambition in you. Earn stuff.
00:08:29] CO: Absolutely. I always worked from the beginning and I always enjoy working.
00:08:32] KM: You have an innate passion for gardening that was like a lifelong goal. Did you go to school for horticulture?
00:08:41] CO: Well, I did go to Oxford, England. I went at architecture landscape design. I did not go through a horticultural school though.
00:08:50] KM: You went to Oxford, England in architectural landscape design. Is that like a two-year program?
00:08:56] CO: Yes, two-year program.
00:08:58] KM: Is that what you would recommend to other people?
00:09:00] CO: I mean, there are so many great programs here in the United States now, and I think we have one locally. It’s a great experience, because there you study at actual gardens. You walk through and you learn their philosophies behind it. It’s much more than just plant design and plant knowledge. It’s really about the principles of design. Then you come back to the US where you learn plant knowledge. I just got it from working in nurseries. Of course, my dad has a passion for plants too. I picked it up from him. The coolest thing is, is on weekends, when I was a kid, me and my dad would visit nurseries and we put in little shells in my window to grow house plants. I always made money doing it.
00:09:43] KM: How did you end up in Little Rock, Arkansas?
00:09:46] CO: Well, coming from Connecticut, I moved just a few times. We moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a year and a half and then from there we moved to Little Rock, and we lived in Little Rock for about 3-1/2 years and then we moved to San Diego.
00:09:59] KM: Good night nurse.
00:10:00] CO: We kept going west.
00:10:02] KM: Why did your daddy – Was it all for career?
00:10:04] CO: Every time he moved, he got a better, better job.
00:10:07] ANNOUNCER: How did Chris Olsen’s background and childhood compare with Janet Carson’s? Let’s find out.
00:10:13] KM: When you were young, did you garden when you were young?
00:10:15] JC: We always had to go – I had a vegetable garden. I grew up in St. Louis. I was a city girl.
00:10:19] KM: You’re not from Arkansas?
00:10:20] JC: No. I lived here.
00:10:21] KM: Well, then how come you want to live in Little Rock?
00:10:22] JC: I moved here when I was in high school and absolutely hated it. I came from St. Louis, I was in 10th grade. All my friends were getting cars. I had a boyfriend back there and I moved here to where I didn't know anybody. I mean, we moved my entire childhood. My dad was the telephone company. We moved every two to three years. It never bothered me, because I'm somewhat outgoing. I can talk to a wall.
When you got in high school, that's a little bit – I hated it. All I said to my dad was, “As soon as I'm out of high school, I'm going back to Missouri and I'm going to Mizzou and I'm never staying here.” Then by the junior year, senior year of high school, things started clicking. I visited colleges all over. My sister went to Baylor and I looked at that, but they didn't have a horticulture. They had botany, but they didn't have horticulture.
I looked at southwestern and they didn't have horticulture and I went to Fayette and I loved it. Now, I am the biggest proponent of Little Rock that there is. I think Arkansas is one of the best-kept secrets and Little Rock even more. I wouldn't live anywhere else.
It's wonderful. My husband is native, born and raised. When we first got married he said, “Well, Janet. I think we ought to move.” I said, “Well, I don't think so. I've moved enough in my lifetime. I love it here.”
00:11:37] KM: Hearing that your dad traveled a lot and you were uprooted and moved around and had to make friends over and over and over, I think that's why you're so likable. You see that all the time and people that are extremely likeable have learned how to make friends and get along with people, because they moved and moved and moved and moved, because everybody likes you.
00:11:52] JC: Oh, thank you.
00:11:53] KM: You're welcome. You’re retired.
00:11:55] JC: I have.
00:11:56] KM: What's it like after – life after that?
00:11:58] JC: You know, I thought I would like it. I didn't know I would love it. I really do. It's fun. My daughter said, “You know, mom. I thought retired people stayed home.” I don't. I said, “No, you get to do what you want to do.” You're not tied to a schedule. I used to live by a calendar. If I lost that calendar, we were in trouble. Now I can get up – I mean, I still get up at 6:00 every morning, but I have time to spend in my own garden. I've done a lot of trips just for myself. It was funny, we went – a friend and I, we’re going to go where it was warm in February, our first girls’ trip. We chose Phoenix. It was freezing and it rained the whole time we were there. Then I went to the beach, same thing, cold in March. We hit a home run with England. We had great weather over there.
00:12:48] KM: What do you get the most asked about in Arkansas? Pests? Fertilizers?
00:12:54] JC: I would say the number one question is pruning. The number one plant pruning is pruning crape myrtles. The funny thing, I did the radio show for 28 years at the Collins Show on Saturdays. This lady called in and a lot of the calls were the same every week. It would be something similar, or very seasonal or cyclic. This lady called in and she said, “I've been listening to you since you were Janet Biermann,” so before I got married. She said, “But I have never heard this question.”
We were thinking, here comes a doozy. She said, “When do you prune crape myrtles?” Which was the number one question. Russ felt – we all fell out, because everybody knew the answer to that. My husband who is not a gardener could tell you how to prune a crape myrtle. It really made me realize that until it's your question, you don't listen to the answer. You may be listening to the radio show and listening to those things and reading my columns, but you just read it until it pertains to you.
00:13:52] KM: You can be as repetitious as you want to be.
00:13:54] JC: Well, they say you have to repeat things three times before it really sinks in. Again, if you don't have a crape myrtle, why are you paying attention? It’s in general information. Once you have one, then all of a sudden, oh, it's important.
00:14:07] KM: What about pesticides? They are always in the news.
00:14:10] JC: Well, and I think there's a lot of bad information out there. I think there's some very good pesticides. Now, I don't use a lot of pesticides in my garden, but I do use them occasionally. I don't use anything in the vegetable garden. I think that you've got to feel comfortable. I think if you use the right product for the right pest, but at the right time and at the right amount, you're going to be fine.
They say, especially farmers, they're really using the least amount of pesticides they can, because pesticides is money and that's it in the bottom line. Homeowners actually probably overdo, because you hear if a little bit is good, a lot is going to be better. You may look at that rate and say, “Well, if it says to use a teaspoon, I want to use a tablespoon.” When you use products in the wrong way, you're doing damage. I think that happens all the time.
I also think that if you're out there spraying, like right now, everybody's worried about mosquitoes, because we've had all this water and it's standing and we've got a lot of mosquitoes. Those mosquito companies are really coming in and they're spraying the whole yard. Well, it's not just killing the mosquitoes. We're going to hit our beneficials as well, our bees and butterflies.
I think we have to find what we're comfortable with. I don't think one person can say this is the only way to garden, because gardening is not an exact science. I think you have to do what's comfortable for you, but good for the environment as well.
00:15:37] KM: Number one mistake home gardeners make?
00:15:39] JC: Probably overdoing.
00:15:41] KM: Just what you said.
00:15:42] JC: Yeah. Too much of anything is not good.
00:15:44] KM: I absolutely am guilty of that.
00:15:45] JC: Well and fertilizer. One of my favorite stories, some good friends of my parents, they're long gone, but he retired before his wife did and she had always fertilized the yard. He thought he would surprise her and he found these bags of ammonium nitrate, which no home gardener should ever, ever use. He saw them in the garage and he thought, “I'm going to surprise her.” He took all those bags fertilizer and dumped them on the yard. It looked like it had snowed. Everything died. Plants don't get fat. They burn up. I think, common sense should come in a little bit too. Make sure you have separate sprayers for insecticides and fungicides and herbicides, if you're going to use them.
00:16:25] ANNOUNCER: Taking advantage of the opportunity to ask gardening tips from these two experts, now some questions for Chris Olsen.
00:16:32] KM: Changing for the season is a lot of work. Knowing when to prune, when to fertilize is tricky business. I just burnt a plant up in my house during – With Miracle-Gro this past winter.
00:16:44] CO: Which means you got to buy a new one now, right? See, it’s not always a bad thing.
00:16:47] KM: What a business owner right there. But pruning is tricky, because you can cut the buds off, the flowers off. How do you recommend people keep up with that? Do you have the gardening calendar?
00:17:02] CO: Well, yes. Of course, we have the website now. I mean, not the website, but the internet, which gets you a lot of month-to-month hints of things to do. But there’s a general rule. When it comes to pruning, usually if it’s a spring bloomer, an azalea, anything that blooms in the spring, you’d only prune it after it blooms and starts to flesh out, never before. Usually you stop pruning that in July, because if you do that and you trip them back in July, they still have a month or two to grow back and they’ll bloom off that growth. But if you bloom them too late in
the season, and since they bloom on new wood and new growth, then you sacrifice the flowers. That’s the general rule.
00:17:41] KM: Spring flowers –
00:17:43] CO: After they bloom and flesh out.
00:17:45] KM: Only put flowers on new growth.
00:17:47] CO: Most do. Some bloom on – They have new hybrids now that do both.
00:17:50] KM: What about winter? What about Omaha all season? Because that’s what everybody is doing right now.
00:17:55] CO: Sure. I mean, you can prune those in the south, majority any time of the year. Just don’t prune them heavily in the winter time, because if you – Remember, it’s an evergreen hollies and they produce what? Food with the green leaves. If you cut them way back, there’s no way for them to produce any food because they’re not going to flush out for a couple of months and the plant could starve that way. The general rule is you can prune them lightly, but not too heavily.
00:18:20] KM: My red tip – No. No. What’s the – Nandinas that I have.
00:18:24] CO: Yes.
00:18:25] KM: Those I think you have to prune right now, because they put their berries on.
00:18:30] CO: Yes, correct. You would sacrifice – Once they bloom, if you trim them before that, then they don’t have berries.
00:18:38] KM: It’s spring. What should we all be doing right now?
00:18:41] CO: This is the time to get your yards ready. I mean, you should have by now cut your
inaudible 00:18:46] back, crape myrtles back. It’s not too late for some things. This is
the time to clean out the leaves and re-bark your beds before everything fleshes out like crazy. It’s easier to re-bark before plants flesh out.
00:18:59] KM: Oh! We should be cleaning our beds.
00:19:00] CO: Oh yeah.
00:19:01] KM: Putting down new bark. Why is bark so good for gardens?
00:19:04] CO: It’s organic. It rots. It really does condition a bed. It has two things. It has a couple of things. First of all, it conditions the soil overtime, that’s why you want to mulch it every year as it rots. Put it on thick. We put it on at least three inches thick because if you put a light, it’s going to be gone in a couple of months with all of our humidity and rain. It also keeps weeds at bay because it smothers weeds out in seeds. Weed seeds germinate with light, and if you bury them in mulch, they won’t germinate at all, and it conserves moisture. It really does cut down on water.
00:19:37] KM: Is there a mulch that you prefer? Which one?
00:19:39] CO: Yeah. There’s a hardwood mulch, and there’s double hammered and single hammered and so on. At Plantopia we sell one that’s a single hammered but it’s not too chunky, but it’s not too fine. A lot of people like fine mulch, because if it’s already really fine, it’s going to rot very quickly and it washes very quickly. You want something with a little bit more chunk to it, and that’s a single hammered mulch hardwood.
00:20:02] KM: Single hammered? What’s that mean? Is that cedar? What is that?
00:20:04] CO: They turn it at the lumber yards. They turn it once or twice, which means that it’s still chunky and it’s not fine. The more they churn it in their whatever you call those things.
00:20:14] KM: We used to all get cedar mulch. You can’t hardly find that anymore.
00:20:17] CO: You can find it somewhere. It just costs more.
00:20:21] KM: Why did we quit using cedar mulch? I thought that kind of chased bugs away also?
00:20:25] CO: Well, there’s some truth to that and there’s some myth to that. People think hardwood mulch actually brings insects and stuff like that. Any organic matter can, even cedar mulch. But I think it’s more the cost and availability of it. Yeah, hardware mulch is more available from lumber yards.
00:20:42] KM: Is cedar in – Is it threatened or something? I mean, we ran out of cedar trees? Endangered?
00:20:51] CO: I don’t know if – To be honest, I don’t know. I really think it’s costs. If you need 12 yards of mulch, you’re going to go for the cheaper one. Saves money.
00:20:59] KM: My husband is going to be mad about this question, because he’s a grass man, but are grass yards passe?
00:21:05] CO: No. My other house, I had in a lawn. That was only because I had too many trees. But this house I have a much bigger lawn. No. No. Lawns are coming back.
00:21:18] KM: Takes a lot of watering.
00:21:19] CO: Takes a lot of watering.
00:21:20] KM: Of course, that doesn’t matter in Arkansas.
00:21:21] CO: Technically, a lawn is less maintenance than a flower bed, because you just mow it. As beds, you have to weed it all the time. You have to mulch them. You have to trim what’s in lawns can be less maintenance. If you have a chemical program, they’ll have weeds in it. It’s less maintenance.
00:21:38] KM: I have a chemical program for my husband’s, St. Augustine. We put this broadleaf that – weed killer, broadleaf wood killer, ended up killing the trees.
00:21:53] CO: You have to be very careful with chemicals. There is what’s called chemical drift, and the fumes of it which can injure plants. We’ve had clients’ houses – Last year, for some reason, we had a lot of clients whose plants were mutated. Their oak trees were mutated. Everything around it, all the bushes around the trees were mutated.
00:22:13] KM: What do you mean mutated?
00:22:14] CO: The leaves curled up and you can tell something was wrong and they’re defoliating, and majority of the time, that’s a chemical drift. Somewhere, a neighbor sprayed or a chemical company sprayed and it drifted in the wind and it can be very toxic to other plants if it’s not applied correctly.
00:22:33] KM: Well, I went to the extension office and found out that trees with broadleaf and that when you put down a broadleaf killer in your yard over and over and over, you end up killing your trees.
00:22:48] CO: Yeah.
00:22:48] KM: How far out should you mulch your tree to kind of prevent that from happening?
00:22:55] CO: In the best world, you should come out about 5-foot or so, to the tree line – to the tree drip line of a tree. That’s ideally would be the best, but that would be big tree rings. It’s all how it’s applied when it’s applied, if it’s applied correctly and what you apply. For me, technically, I think it’s better to hire a professional company to spray than for you to do it yourself, because for me, I don’t like to deal with chemicals. I just don’t. We need them, but I don’t like to touch them.
00:23:27] KM: What do you get asked about the most?
00:23:30] CO: Growing marijuana. I’m just kidding. Just kidding. I haven’t asked that though.
00:23:38] KM: I didn’t expect that. I had like bees, chickens, flower garden, vegetable garden, marijuana garden.
00:23:45] CO: Oh! What would be the – Oh god! That’s a good question. Probably most what plants provide the most color and what kind of color or combos look the best.
00:23:53] KM: Okay. What?
00:23:54] CO: Everyone has a different flavor, but I believe that if you add three colors together, like a seasonal color, it complements each other and brings out more color. If you start to go too much beyond that, it looks confusing to the eye.
00:24:07] KM: More than three. Don’t do more than three.
00:24:09] CO: Well, you can. I mean, I’m addicted to plants, so I love color. But usually when I design, yeah, a certain area, I try to stick with three colors.
00:24:16] KM: Do you like for – Let’s say for spring, what’s your favorite color for spring?
00:24:21] CO: It’s hard to limit myself to color.
00:24:23] KM: Three. Give me three.
00:24:25] CO: Of course, yellow is my favorite colors.
00:24:27] KM: For summer?
00:24:28] CO: Yeah.
00:24:29] KM: For spring.
00:24:30] CO: I love orange. Orange for summer. I love hot oranges and stuff for summer. I like rich, hard, intense colors for summer and more pastely stuff, soft colors for the spring time. I love pinks.
00:24:43] KM: I love pink.
00:24:44] CO: It’s a guy color now too, and so I do.
00:24:46] KM: That’s all I want to plant, is pink.
00:24:48] CO: I really do love pinks.
00:24:50] KM: I don’t like red in the summer. It makes me hot.
00:24:52] CO: You know, red is not one of my favorite colors when it comes to plants and I didn’t think about it just now. I don’t really buy many red plants. I don’t like red pansies. I think they’re dull. They don’t have a lot of – They’re not vibrant. I always add yellow, because yellow is the one color that seems to complement all of the colors.
00:25:11] KM: Oh, interesting.
00:25:12] CO: It really highlights everything.
00:25:14] KM: I would have never thought to put yellow and pink, but I bet yellow, pink and purple would be really pretty.
00:25:19] CO: Beautiful.
00:25:20] KM: Because purple and yellow are lovely together.
00:25:22] CO: I think yellow if the first color your eye is attracted to.
00:25:25] KM: Really?
00:25:25] CO: You notice it. That’s why I use it in commercial properties, because it brings people into their signage and it brings them to the signage, so maybe they’re going to rent apartment. If they rent apartment, what are they going to do? Spend more money on landscaping. It all works out.
00:25:36] KM: He’s always thinking. Do you prefer plants in pots or in the ground? Because you use a lot of pots, and what do you think about that?
00:25:46] CO: Both. I love containers. I like big pots, because the larger the pot, the less maintenance it usually is, because less water you have to do, the better the plants do. I shove and cram my pots full of plants.
00:26:02] KM: In a big pot.
00:26:03] CO: Oh, yeah. Bigger the better. What they always say, it’s true.
00:26:07] KM: What’s the number one mistake home gardeners make?
00:26:10] CO: Watering probably.
00:26:12] KM: Over or under?
00:26:15] JC: Both. Here what happens. They can’t read a plant. You have to read a plant. If it’s wilting, what do you do? You water it. If it’s still wilting, you water it again, and then still you water it again. Well, it’s drowning. If a plant doesn’t pop up and it’s sill wilting, it’s overwatered. Once a plant is overwatered, what happens is the root system is suffocating. Once the plant starts to suffocate, it usually never will rebound. But if it dries out and not too bad, but dries out, it usually can rebound. You rather underwater than overwater.
00:26:47] KM: Interesting. I water my house plants once a week, except for the orchid.
00:26:53] CO: I do the same thing.
00:26:54] KM: I water it once a month. I water that orchid and the Christmas cactus once a month, and then everything else once a week.
00:27:02] CO: It comes with time. Sunday is my chore day. Sundays, I water all my plants. It takes me about two hours to water my inside – I got a lot of plants, but I can read them. If it looks moist, I must just give it a little bit of water. But then you have other house plants that dry out every week and you have to give them more. You just have to watch what they’re telling
you. If they’re starting to defoliate and they’re dry too much, they’re stressing too much. You need to water it more.
00:27:26] KM: That is so true. Some people cannot read a plant at all.
00:27:32] CO: Not at all. Some people are intimated by it. We have moisture meters. It’s great. You stick it in there. It tells you if it’s dry, moist or wet. It helps out a lot of people.
00:27:42] KM: Climate change. Is there anything we’re doing different?
00:27:45] CO: I can tell you, so many people say don’t believe in climate change, and I can’t say scientifically. But I remember when I first moved to Arkansas in ‘92, I couldn’t wear shorts usually past mid-October, because it really started freezing frost. Now I wear almost mid to end of November. Something has changed.
00:28:06] KM: Well, it’s so wet this season, and it’s been so wet for so many – Every year, it’s been really, really wet.
00:28:12] CO: Yes. It’s hard for me in my business, because when it’s cloudy and rainy, they don’t come shopping. But I look at it this way. I much rather have too much water than too little water.
00:28:23] KM: You’re not changing anything about the way you’re doing business based on the – Has our zone changed? Has Arkansas’ planting zone changed?
00:28:32] CO: We’re 7 and we’re kind of like 7-1/2 here. They changed it one time to 8 and they brought it back down.
00:28:43] KM: 8 being warmer?
00:28:44] CO: Yeah. What has happened is this is what has changed. Everything comes in earlier now. You never bought until mid-April. That was the way it is. That changed not only because of the weather, but then you have all these discount stores and everyone is trying to push plants out to get the market share in the beginning. It’s like Christmas. It starts in July now.
Well, technically, our last day of frost in Central Arkansas is historically April 15th. Everything is getting earlier. We’re pushing it a little too much, and we have to push it, because everybody else is pushing it.
00:29:16] KM: Can we put our plants out on the porch now?
00:29:18] CO: If it’s a covered porch, yes. I think we’re okay. But there is always that chance. We may have a frost, but I don’t think it’s going to be a low ground frost.
00:29:26] KM: Grandmother always said never plant before Easter, and Easter is always based around the moon, so it changes.
00:29:34] CO: She might know something.
00:29:35] KM: She might. Grandmother also said –
00:29:36] CO: Let’s listen to grandma right now.
00:29:38] KM: Nobody listens to grandmothers anymore. Here’s something else you might disagree with. Grandmother used to say that when you plant a plant in the ground, that you should always fill the hole with water to help with shock.
00:29:48] CO: I don’t do that, because you can also drown a plant. But I do believe that you need to water plant thoroughly. I use what’s called root hormone B1, a root stimulator, which helps heal the roots and gives them nutrients, etc., for a plant to really rebound fast.
00:30:03] KM: Oh, root stimulator. That’s good stuff.
00:30:05] CO: Yeah.
00:30:05] ANNOUNCER: We’ll be back for the second half of the show in just a minute. It’s the special edition of Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy, featuring gardening professionals, Chris Olsen and Janet Carson.
00:30:15] GM: You're listening to Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Over 40 years ago with only $400, Kerry founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, the business has grown and changed, along with Kerry's experience and leadership knowledge. In 1995, she launched the business website, flagandbanner.com, became an early blogger in 2004, founded the non-profit Friends of Dreamland Ballroom in 2009, began distributing a bi-annual publication called Brave Magazine in 2014. Today, she's branched out into this very radio show, YouTube channel and podcast.
Each week, you'll hear her engage in candid conversations with her guests about real-world experiences on a variety of businesses and topics that we hope you'll find interesting, educational, and motivational. Stay informed about upcoming guests by subscribing to Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy's YouTube channel. Join our email list at flagandbanner.com and receive our very popular, all-inclusive watercooler weekly update. Telling American made stories, selling American made flags, the flagandbanner.com.
00:31:24] ANNOUNCER: Back on this special edition of Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy, featuring professional gardeners, Janet Carson and Chris Olsen. Of course, they do a lot more than gardening tips. Let's check in again with Janet Carson.
00:31:37] KM: Let’s talk about the Master Gardener program that you started. You had only been at the Cooperative Extension offices for five years when you went to Tulsa.
00:31:46] JC: Right. Actually, the program, the Master Gardener program started back in 1972 in Washington State. The gentleman who founded it is still living and he still travels around and talks to groups. He was in a County Extension Office and they were getting a ton of consumer horticulture calls. He said, “We need some help.” He said, “I think we can train some good volunteers to help us out.” His boss was saying, “It will never –”
00:32:12] KM: Help us do what? Answer the phone?
00:32:13] JC: Answer the phones and help do community service and outreach. His boss has said, “Oh, it'll never work.” Here we are this many years later and now it's in every state in the United States. There's one state that it's not through the land grant college, but every other state is through the land grant college. Massachusetts, it's through a Botanical Garden, but it's also in provinces in Canada and now South Korea as well. Tulsa had a program. I mean, Oklahoma did not have a program, but Tulsa had a program. Four of us went over to visit, to see if it was something that would be feasible.
00:32:46] KM: When you were in your 20s.
00:32:48] JC: I was actually 28, I guess when we went over there and looked. I was 30 when we started it. We went over there and we decided that it would work. We came back and we put together the book, borrowed bits and pieces from other states. We offered the class in 1988 for four counties. It was Pulaski, Saline, Jefferson and Garland County.
00:33:11] KM: You put together a book, like an educational book?
00:33:13] JC: They get a huge notebook, but we borrowed from other states and put it together to get it done as quickly as we did. We had them out of the 4H Center. We charged them only $25 to take the class. Each of our four counties was supposed to take 10 people. Well, I put something in the newspaper in my column, 78 people applied for that first class for Pulaski County. They let me take 20 people, instead of 10. Everybody else – some of them didn't even get their 10.
We had about 45 people that took that original class back in 1988. Then after that, we started having our program in Pulaski County by itself. The second year, I had a 150 apply. I mean, it was really, really rocking. I mean, people would send in resumes with their application and references of who I could call that could let me know they're a great gardener.
I didn't care if they were a great gardener. You can teach people horticulture. What was most important for me when I interviewed people to see if they understood what they were getting into was the volunteer commitment, because that was what I was building was a
volunteer base. I didn't want them to just come in. The carrot was the education. If all they wanted was the education and they weren't planning to pay back any volunteer service, that really wasn't a good investment for me.
00:34:33] KM: The volunteer piece that you wanted and that the original man who started the program wanted, was because you need people to go out into the field and look at stuff. You need people to answer the phones. You need people to go out in the field.
00:34:43] JC: Well, each county actually bases it on their needs. We have 75 counties in Arkansas. 67 have the program. Each county is going to be different, based on their population, the calls that come in. When I started in Pulaski County in 1980, there were five ag agents. Each of us had a phone day. Even though I was the horticulture agent, we had another gentleman who was a commercial horticulture agent, but I was all any horticulture.
We each had a day on the phone. Well, over time people started retiring, but Extension started downsizing. From 1980 to 1992, we went from five ag agents to two. Phone calls did not stop. I couldn't get anything done if I was in the office. My record was a 158 calls in one day. People brought plant samples in for identification, for diseases, or insects and it was just overwhelming. In Pulaski County and we were the only county that mandated this. To begin with, you have to pay back 40 hours of volunteer service in a year, which is not hard.
00:35:47] KM: That’s mostly phone work.
00:35:48] JC: Well, for us 20 of those 40 had to be answering the phone. We had a horticultural hotline on Thursdays and Fridays. We only had 20 people. We only did it during the gardening season, so late March to early September, or mid-October, we would cut it off. Now, they have people in the office every day helping.
00:36:10] KM: How long does it take to become a master gardener? How long is the course?
00:36:12] JC: It's a 40-hour class. It's usually five weeks. Now we did offer and we started something new two years ago, so this coming January will be the third year, is an online class, so that people who work, or can't take off during the day to come to a 40-hour class can actually
do it at their own pace and they have three months to do it. It starts January 1st or January 2nd and then it ends March 31st.
00:36:34] KM: People that work would be hard to command the phone and do volunteer hours along.
00:36:38] JC: Well, it's not mandated to do the phone anymore. They have so many projects. Pulaski County alone has over 500 master gardener volunteers now. They have 25 projects across the county.
00:36:53] KM: Some of them are taking care of public gardens?
00:36:56] JC: Well, there's things like, there's plant therapy programs at Baptist Rehab Hospital. There are school gardens. There's a community garden out at the 4H Center that's a demonstration garden that they're going to use it with the 4H kids. They're teaching them how to – They have beehives. They have compost bins. They have vegetables and flowers and fruit. The old Statehouse was the original project in Little Rock and it's still a Master Gardener project today. We also used to have a vegetable garden at the zoo. That was our second project in Arkansas. When we had some interesting pest problems, we had Wallabies that would get loose and come eat our vegetables. The produce that we grew actually was used to feed the animals at the zoo.
00:37:38] KM: Then the governor's mansion.
00:37:39] JC: The governor's mansion, they'd have the herb garden, vegetable garden there as well. There's lots of the old mill in North Little Rock, the community center in Jacksonville. They try to have a project in all parts of the counties that they're in.
00:37:54] ANNOUNCER: That’s the well-known Janet Carson, on this special edition of Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy. We have another guest featured on today’s show and Kerry McCoy reintroduces him now and then talks about a current project.
00:38:06] KM: I’m speaking today with Mr. Chris Olsen, owner of the historic Edgemont Home and founder of Botanica Gardens and Plantopia Home and Garden Center in Central Arkansas. He’s a lifestyle specialist.
Now, first, before we move on to this question, I want to preface this next segment by telling our listeners that you bought the vacated 1927 Edgemont Home on Skyline Drive in the historic Park Hill neighborhood in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and that the style of the architecture is Spanish colonial. Let’s start with the home’s history. Can you tell us about it?
00:38:41] CO: Well, it was built in 1927. It was Justin Matthews Jr.’s home, personal home, and they actually start at my neighborhood in Park Hill, which was called Edgemont, and that’s why the house is called Justin Matthews Jr., which it still is, but I call it the Edgemont House. That’s just my short-term for it. Because of the history of the neighborhood.
00:39:04] KM: Edgemont neighborhood was to rival Edgehill neighborhood in Little Rock?
00:39:08] CO: Well, yes. The street in Little Rock is Edgehill. Edgemont was supposed to be wealthy, or wealthy street. They were trying to bring that to North Little Rock. Of course, when they built the house, my house was the first house built in the neighborhood. One of the first houses built in the neighborhood, and of course, soon afterwards, the Depression came and that changed everything in the neighborhood.
00:39:31] KM: Did they lose their home?
00:39:33] CO: They lost their home. The house has been foreclosed several times.
00:39:37] KM: How many owners does it had?
00:39:38] CO: I’m the 9th owner.
00:39:41] KM: Did you worry about that?
00:39:42] CO: Well, some neighbors call it the White Elephant, because there people have died in the house from the last owner, and all of them young. One was 23. One was in her 50s. The other in the 40s.
00:39:53] KM: Are you checking your pulse every day? I mean, your blood pressure?
00:39:55] CO: Well, here’s the funny thing. When I started working on the house, you’re talking about stress. I had a major colon infection, which the doctor said you have too much stress. That’s when I learned to reduce my stress and I thought, “Oh my God!” because I never get sick. It is happening. But since then, everything has been good.
00:40:13] KM: You have had anybody come in, like a priest come in?
00:40:16] CO: No.
00:40:17] KM: Why not? I have one.
00:40:20] CO: I was so busy with work in the house. I never thought about the deaths in the house being haunted, and people always told me the house is haunted, until I almost moved in and then it dawned on me what if – Well, I can’t afford to move now. I put too much into the house. I had a slumber party the first night because I was not going to live in the house, sleep in the house alone the first night, and the house is very quiet. There’s nothing that gives me that vibe.
00:40:46] KM: That’s nice, but just to get – If there is any juju – You said you took your mother over there.
00:40:52] CO: I took my mom over there in the very beginning before I bought it and she said – She looks at me and she said, “No. No.” I said, my mom’s just, “No.” I love the house I lived in before I built it. It just pondered my mind, and I knew I would move, only I knew because a house would find me. It wasn’t for sale. It just pondered me. I had to have it. Somehow in God’s will, everything worked out the way it was supposed to be.
00:41:22] KM: You ended up moving.
00:41:25] CO: I bought it in June of 2016. It took months to negotiate with the daughters. I almost backed out. Then it all worked out. Then I moved in October 2016. We did massive renovation with my guys from Botanica afterhours.
00:41:40] KM: What’s the first thing you did?
00:41:42] CO: First thing we did – Well, the outside was the worst of the house, because the house has no eaves. It had no gutters for 27 years. The water run down the house. We had to rebuild the majority of the windows.
00:41:52] KM: Oh!
00:41:53] CO: We started on the outside first to get it dry and then we moved on the inside.
00:41:57] KM: I’m surprised you didn’t keep the front doors on.
00:42:00] CO: That wasn’t there. There was no front door on it. Now, I have pictures from the 60s.
00:42:04] KM: That I saw online.
00:42:05] CO: Yeah. If there used to be lanterns and everything in front, all that was gone. There was no light fixtures, except for one broken lantern at the front door.
00:42:13] KM: You used to entertain in your other house.
00:42:16] CO: Yeah, all the time.
00:42:20] KM: Before the show, I just tripped across a video you did of taking people touring to your house and you entertained there.
00:42:31] CO: Yeah. It was only 2,000 square foot. It was in West Little Rock, and I did bus tours in every – I didn’t do weddings or anything like that, but I did bus tours.
00:42:39] KM: For people to come see your 2,000 square foot home.
00:42:42] CO: Yeah. Well, it was the yard. It was amazing, because when you came down, you drive through my neighborhood and you think, “Does Chris live here?” Because it’s just a regular neighbor. Then you’re in a cul de sac. My house was hidden. All you could see was one garage door. No one knew where they’re going and it didn’t make sense where they were. When they got out and walk through the gates and into the house in the backyard, it was almost an acre. It changed everyone’s mind.
00:43:09] KM: What do your neighbors think when a bus load of people pull up?
00:43:11] CO: Well, I had great neighbors in the cul de sac.
00:43:13] KM: I’ll say.
00:43:14] CO: But that’s why I ended up moving, because the City of Little Rock was trying to prevent me from having tours. The funny thing was there are Little Rock tours. Anyhow, because it’s a residential neighborhood. When I bought the Edgemont house, that was a concern of mine in the neighbor. We’re very conscientious of the neighbors and parking. The City of North Little Rock had an emergency legislation of meeting and voted into law that anyone in North Little Rock that has a historical home with certain regulations can open it up for tours.
00:43:47] KM: Did they do that because of you?
00:43:48] CO: I think that was a big influence.
00:43:50] KM: I’m so glad you saved this house. Tell everybody how many square feet it is.
00:43:56] CO: I enclosed parts of it. It’s almost 8,000 square feet.
00:44:00] KM: Can you imagine taking care of an 8,000 square foot home? How many bathrooms does it has?
00:44:04] CO: Six.
00:44:05] KM: Bedrooms?
00:44:07] CO: It has 4 upstairs.
00:44:08] KM: The outside when the house was built, there was no such thing as landscaping.
00:44:13] CO: No. It was just a hedge against the front of the house.
00:44:15] KM: If people had crape myrtle, or had a crape myrtle or had azaleas on their front yard, it was like, “Oh! Look at the azaleas.” Today –
00:44:26] CO: It’s pretty packed. People call it the North Little Rock botanical garden, because – Technically, I got every type of plant you could imagine.
00:44:35] KM: You do tours.
00:44:36] CO: Yeah.
00:44:36] KM: You do weddings.
00:44:40] CO: We do lots of weddings.
00:44:41] KM: How do people find out about it?
00:44:43] CO: Word of mouth now. Of course, we advertise and stuff like that.
00:44:47] KM: Got a website?
00:44:47] CO: Yeah, it’s theedgemonthouse.com.
00:44:49] KM: Theedgemonthouse.com. I recommend go there, take his virtual tour. It will blow you away. I can’t wait to come to a party there sometime. If I wanted to get a landscape design from your team, what’s the first thing I would do?
00:45:04] CO: I am the only landscape designer at Botanica Gardens. You just call Botanica Gardens and it’s a free appointment and I come out and meet you and we just go from there.
00:45:15] KM: Out of all the stuff you do, which seems like way too much to make money at, which one is your most profitable?
00:45:22] CO: Landscaping.
00:45:24] KM: The design or –
00:45:25] CO: Installation of it.
00:45:26] KM: The installation of landscaping. You got a great team. Get in there and get it done.
00:45:31] ANNOUNCER: We have just enough time in this edition of Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy for another part of a conversation with Janet Carson.
00:45:38] KM: There are three great horticulture – this word messes me up.
00:45:44] JC: It hurts a lot of people.
00:45:45] KM: It’s horticulturists in the state of Arkansas. There's Peone Smith, there's Janet Carson, you, and then there's Olsen.
00:45:53] JC: Chris Olsen.
00:45:53] KM: Chris Olsen.
00:45:54] JC: There's a lot of – there's not just the three of us. There's a lot of great horticulturists.
00:45:57] KM: Those are three pretty famous, nationally famous people right here in Arkansas. Are you competitive?
00:46:03] JC: I'm competitive in a lot of things, but I don't compete with Chris or Alan, either one, as far as everybody has their own thing. I was government. I was Extension and I wasn't trying to go national. I'm still not trying to go national. I mean, I was on national committees and national boards. I think, Arkansas Master Gardeners are known nationally, because we've held two international events. I would say they were two very successful Master Gardener events. They have their own venue.
In fact, my least favorite thing, which both of them love is TV. I hate TV. I mean, I've done it for a long, long time, but you spend a lot of time doing even a 30-minute segment. Then if you're not watching it at that minute – now today it's a whole lot different than it was when I started TV. My very first TV gig was Four Your Garden. Do you remember all the four years for channel 4? There was Four Your Money, Four Your Health. I was Janet Carson, Janet Biermann Carson Four Your Garden. I mean, it was a 30-minute – I mean, a 30-second segment every Saturday at the 6:00 news. We spent a half a day. I'd have to find the location, do the spot, go back and do the voice-over. Then they would edit it. Back then, if you didn't see it, you didn't see it.
00:47:18] KM: You missed it.
00:47:19] JC: Now, they can at least capture them and you can go back to the site and you could re-watch it. Back then, you couldn't. It was a lot of work for a small segment, I thought.
00:47:31] KM: What should everybody be doing right now?
00:47:34] JC: Watch for pests. Insects are starting to come in. Harvest your vegetables as they ripen. If you have not pruned anything that blooms in the spring, because all of those plants set their flower buds in August, September and October.
00:47:49] KM: I think everybody prunes wrong.
00:47:51] JC: Oh, and pruning is – if you said, I would I have a talk on pruning, or I'm going to have a talk on flowers, everybody's going to go to the flowers, but everybody needs the pruning.
00:47:59] KM: Because they prune the flowers away.
00:48:01] JC: Well, if you prune it the wrong time, you're usually not going to kill the plant, but you might lose the reason you planted it, the flowers.
00:48:06] KM: You might lose the reason you planted it. Husband, Grady, are you listening now? Because he always wants to prune when it's starting to really grow and get really big. He goes to gut them and pruning it. I’m like, “It's doing its thing right now. You can't prune now.”
00:48:21] JC: Well, he could have been one of my callers. Years ago, this gentleman called on the radio show and he said, “Janet, my wife’s favorite flowers are hydrangeas.” He said, “For her birthday, or anniversary, or something years ago, I planted a whole row of them.” He said, “They have never bloomed.” He said, “All the neighbors bloom, but ours don’t.” He said, “If you can’t tell me how to make them bloom, I'm taking them out.” I said, “When do you prune them?” He said, “I cut those dead sticks to the ground every winter.” “Well, they have the flowers already in them.” I said, “Don't prune them this year and you'll have flowers.”
00:48:53] KM: When do you prune them?
00:48:54] JC: Well, if they need it, you do it as the flowers start to fade. As they start to fade, if they're too large, you take out older canes at the soil line. You don't give them a haircut, because they have multiple stems coming from the ground. It's not one trunk that supports the whole thing.
00:49:11] KM: Don't you think that's a good rule for everything that blooms? Trim it as they start to fade. If you always do that, won't you be safe? If you turn the Azalea, that would be safe?
00:49:21] JC: Well no, because hydrangeas and gardenias are the exception to the rule. Even in the realm of hydrangeas, we're talking about only the big leaf hydrangeas, which are
the pink and blue ones, or the oak leaf hydrangeas. Oak leaf hydrangeas, big leaf and gardenias bloom in the summer, but they turn around and set flower buds in the fall. Crape myrtles, roses, Rose of Sharon, all those summer bloomers, they typically bloom on the new growth. We can prune all of those in February before they start growing.
00:49:51] KM: You could safely prune everything.
00:49:55] JC: I wouldn't recommend pruning crape myrtles and roses and all of that in the fall as their flowers are fading at the end of the season. The reason for that is, they can have winter damage. If you prune them as much as you need to –
00:50:09] KM: You might shock them.
00:50:10] JC: Well, not that, but you've exposed them. Let's say, we have a really cold winter, you've taken their buffer off. There's nothing to protect them. You could lose the plants to the ground.
00:50:20] KM: Should you rake your leaves in the winter? In the fall? Or they protect everything?
00:50:24] JC: Now it depends. If you have a lot of oak trees and they're big leaves and you don't rake, it's going to smother what's underneath it. It actually forms such a dense mat that it doesn't allow oxygen in well, keeps water out. That's not good for it. Now I tend to use my mower and rake to just mow and crush them up. As long as you can still see grass, or you can still see through them, it's fine.
00:50:50] KM: Mulch your leaves is the best option.
00:50:52] JC: Yes. If you have huge, heavy old leaves and you put them out there over your perennials, or – you're going to kill them.
00:50:58] KM: Then in the summer, you have to go and rake those out, right?
00:51:01] JC: Well, what I do is I have a leaf sucker upper thing. It sucks the leaves up and it turns it into mulch. Then I can put that right back as mulch.
00:51:10] KM: In the summer, when it's time for your grass and everything to start growing do you –
00:51:12] JC: Now not on grass. I don't mulch my lawn, but I do mulch my vegetables, I mulch my flowers, my shrubs. That's one of the best things you can do in Arkansas. It cuts down on how often you have to water, because it retains moisture, it modifies that soil temperature and it helps to keep the weeds at bay.
00:51:31] KM: Don't let your oak leaves bunch up around your bushes necessarily, which is what I do.
00:51:36] JC: Well, big trees and shrubs, it's not going to be a huge issue. If you have a heavy layer, it's going to be tougher to get water through. I have a fig tree in a pot and it's got a layer of leaves in there. I'm having a hard time getting the water through. I mean, so I'm pulling them back up and shred them up.
00:51:51] KM: Everybody has got to get on and read In the Garden 2010, Janet, so that they can figure out exactly when to do everything, because we could talk forever about this.
00:52:00] ANNOUNCER: That's it for this springtime gardening edition of Up In your Business with Kerry McCoy, featuring Janet Carson and Chris Olsen. The most interesting interview program and podcast on the radio today.
00:52:11] KM: We hope our listeners have heard, or learned something that's been inspiring, or that it's been – or enlightening and that it whatever it is, will help you up your business, your independence, or your life. I'm Kerry McCoy and I'll see you next time on Up In your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.
END OF EPISODE]
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