Charlie Nardozzi | Connecticut Public Radio
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Charlie Nardozzi

Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally-recognized garden writer, speaker, radio, and television personality. He has worked for more than 20 years bringing expert information to home gardeners.

Charlie hosts Connecticut Garden Journal on WNPR and Vermont Garden Journal on Vermont Public Radio.

Charlie delights in making gardening information simple and accessible to everyone. His love of the natural world also makes him an exciting public speaker and presenter. He has spoken at national venues such as the Northwest Flower Show, Philadelphia Flower Show, San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, Master Gardener conferences, and trade shows. Regionally, Charlie has spoken at venues such as the Connecticut Horticultural Society, University of Connecticut Master Gardener Conference and the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show.

Charlie is a native of Waterbury, Connecticut and has been gardening in New England his whole life. Learn more about him at gardeningwithcharlie.com.

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Radishes
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Most gardeners have planted their vegetable garden. But while it's tempting to sit back and enjoy your work, the planting shouldn't stop. Interplanting is mixing and matching vegetables with complimentary growth styles. It maximizes the production in a small space, saving room, time and effort.

'Miss Kim' Korean Lilac
Kerry Woods (Flickr / Creative Commons)

The lilacs have been beautiful this year and the flower show continues with some of the later blooming types such as 'Miss Kim' Korean lilac. Now is the time to do a little lilac care.

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As I nurse a sore shoulder, I'm reminder of all the things I should be doing to keep my body in shape for gardening season. It's so easy this time of year to do too much. There's flowers to plant, shrubs to dig and move, compost and mulch to spread and bags of fertilizer to carry. I think I'm keeping myself is pretty good shape through winter, but garden chores work a whole other bunch of muscles.

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It's peony season! The herbaceous peonies are blooming and they're a delight with their large white, pink and red, sometimes fragrant, flowers. But there is another group of peonies that gets less attention. The tree peonies are like their herbaceous peony cousins as far as plant and flower size. But the main difference is tree peonies are shrubs. They have a woody structure that doesn't get cut back in fall. If you're looking for a 3- to 5-foot tall shrub that flowers for weeks in spring and is low maintenance, consider tree peonies. 

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Spring is a great time to plant a tree. Shade, fruit and flowering trees not only increase the value of your yard, they are great as wildlife habitat.

Husky Cherry Red Cherry Tomato Plant
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It's Mother's Day soon. I was remembering when my mom was still living at her home in Waterbury. For many years we'd go Di Nunzio's greenhouses in Oakville in spring to buy flowers for her containers. She loved geraniums, but also my mom loved a good, vine ripened cherry tomato for salads.

Potato plants
PatchworkPottery (Flickr / Creative Commons)

Many gardeners void growing potatoes because they are so common and inexpensive in stores and they take up lots of room in their garden. But home-grown potatoes can be lots of fun. Let me share 3 ways to grow your own spuds.

oak tree
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Happy Earth Day. Every year we celebrate this day to bring our attention to living more in harmony with our planet. Certainly gardeners are helping by planting flowers, shrubs and trees and growing more of our own food.

Forsythia
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When I was a boy, my mother would always notice forsythias blooming in spring. I thought she was saying “for Cynthia” when she talked about the plant. I never knew who Cynthia was, and didn't learn the true name of this shrub until I grew up.

Kohlrabi
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My kohlrabi transplants are looking great under my grow lights. Kohlrabi, you say? What's that?

Blue Rug Juniper
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It's hard to know what to plant on a slope. Slopes that are too steep to safely mow can become eroded and turn into an eyesore filled with weeds and invasive flowers and shrubs.

Corydalis elata
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With the recent spate of warm weather, everything seems to be popping out of the ground. I'm excited about my snow drops, crocus and early tulips, but I also love some of the wild, native bulbs that will be blooming soon. One that really captures my attention is corydalis.

'Pica Bella'
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This is a good time of year to make your wish list of new perennial flowers for your garden. I like to read variety trials from public gardens located in similar growing zones to get ideas. One recent trail of echinacea varieties from the Mt. Cuba Center in Wilmington, Delaware caught my eye.

Irish Moss
beautifulcataya (Flickr / Creative Commons)

In honor of St. Patrick's Day next week, I thought I'd skip the green beer and talk about Irish moss.

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If you're looking for a good, native, evergreen shrub that's an alternative or compliment to your rhododendrons, don't forget the state flower, the mountain laurel or Kalmia latifolia.

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Celosia are annual flowers that are getting lots of attention. They come in two different types: Cockscomb and Pampas Plume. The cockscomb looks likes a colorful rooster's comb and, in Victorian times, were exhibited at county fairs with the biggest comb winning. The more popular Pampas Plume varieties have large, feathery plumes that bloom all summer.

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While we're still a good month away from starting tomato seeds indoors, it's not too early to plan what varieties to grow. Growing tomato plants from seed indoors is easy if you have a light setup. They only take about 6 weeks of indoor growing to be ready to plant and you get to choose from a wide range of varieties.

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If you have a sunny, south-facing window in your home or apartment, try growing indoor cactus. Indoor cactus are easy. Many grow slowly over time, don't require frequent watering and tolerate our dry, indoor air conditions in winter. Use cactus potting soil, and water throughly, but infrequently, and don't mist the plants. It's good to choose the right cactus. While all cactus are considered succulents, not all succulents are cactus. Cactus have growth points or areoles where spines, hairs and flowers grow. Here are some of the easiest cactus to grow in your sunny spot.

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Houseplants not only do provide soothing greenery in winter, they also bring in some pests! There are a number of houseplant pests you're probably seeing right now. Here are three main ones.

Leeks
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One of my favorite winter vegetables are leeks. These non-bulbing, onion-family plants, have a mild flavor, are easy to grow and are beautiful in the garden. Of course, I'm not growing any leeks in late January, but I am thinking about them. They freeze really well and we're still making delicious potato-leek soups in winter.

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Winter is a good time to plan for better garden soil. Soil is the soul of your garden. As goes the soil, so grows your plants. In my new book, The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening, I talk all about growing vegetables, herbs and flowers without tilling, turning or disturbing the soil. There are many good reasons for gardening this way. 

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Houseplants are popular for adding lush greenery indoors. But what if you don't have space for large floor or tabletop houseplants? The solution is trailing or climbing houseplants. 

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January is a good time of year to spruce up your houseplant collection. While having a lush, dark green foliage houseplant is soothing, there are some ways to add color to your houseplant jungle without needing lots of light. 

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Happy New Year. This fall while filming the New England Gardening with Charlie Nardozzi: Holiday Edition special for CPTV, I couldn't help but stop at Logee's Greenhouses and pick up some citrus plants. 

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Winter is here and before we get into the thick of it, we should do some last minute preparations to protect our plants. This is especially true of our evergreens.

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It’s getting down to the wire for gift-giving this holiday season. One of the people you might still be shopping for may be the gardener in the family. Gardeners can be a bit particular about the tools, supplies and seeds they use. So, let me give you a few ideas for your favorite gardener.

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With the holiday season upon us, and many people sticking closer to home this year, decorating indoors and outdoors is going full tilt in many households. One of the standards for holiday decorating is an evergreen wreath.

Weeping Norway Spruce
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It's taken me awhile to appreciate weeping evergreen trees. For the longest time they reminded me of illustrations from a Dr. Seuss children's book. But used properly, weeping evergreens can be an amazing focal point in your garden and provide winter interest. 

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One of the big three flowers of the holiday season is the amaryllis. Its trumpet-shaped bright red, pink, salmon, or white colored flowers brighten up any holiday table. And it can be forced to rebloom each year fairly easily.

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There are some houseplants that are great for those gardeners who live or work in a dwelling with little natural light and are a bit forgetful about watering. One of the best is the snake plant.

Snake plant or Sansevieria also has the unfortunate common name of mother-in-law's tongue. That's due to the pointed leaf tips can pinch you unexpectedly if you touch it. The traditional snake plants stand 2- to -3-feet tall with broad, thick leaves. The leaves are dark green and some have yellow edges.

But with the boom in houseplants, there are many different types of Sansevierias that are smaller, more colorful and less likely to pinch you!

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