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Avant Gardener – 040813

At Derek and Carolyn Fell’s home and garden at Cedaridge Farm in Pennsylvania it is a late spring with a record number of cold, freezing nights and chilly day-time temperatures. Early daffodils have just started blooming, so the two hosts discuss plans to start the new gardening season when the temperature warms up, including preparations for the vegetable garden and the cutting garden. Derek also discusses his forthcoming appearance on the QVC television shopping channel selling his new books, Vertical Gardening and Grow This! He also recalls the time when – for six years – he hosted his own television gardening show for QVC, titled Step-by-Step gardening. Appropriately, their guest expert is daffodil breeder Elise Havens, owner of Mitsch Daffodils, a breeding and growing concern south of Portland, Oregon, discussing the company’s outstanding daffodil introductions highlighted in their mail order catalog and their website (www.MitschDaffodils.com. In the segment answering emails one listener wishes to know how to make a home-made insect repellent from hot peppers and garlic; another wants the Fells’ opinion of seed tapes and whether there is any benefit over traditional seed packets, while a third emailer wants to know if rubbing lemon grass on exposed skin will repel mosquitoes. Listeners are also reminded that a free sample of the Avant Gardener newsletter can be seen by visiting avantgardener.info.