231. Vicki’s Garden Tips | Garden Blogger | Vicki Henderson | Boise, ID

I’m so excited it’s Saturday, March 17th, 2018 when I’m recording and I have the most awesome guest Vicki Henderson on the line because she’s a master gardener, garden blogger at Vicki’s Garden Tips and Vimeo channel GardenBuzz listener and in the Facebook Group and I know she has so much to share today!


Tell us a little about yourself.

I actually grew up in Minnesota. I grew up on a farm, my dad was a dairy farmer. I got back into gardening later in life when I had kids. We have a property in Boise, we have about an acre. 

We have a

  • Vegetable garden
  • 2 rabbits that I love

use their manure for fertilization of the garden. A big composter! I love composting!

I have kept worms, this past year I stopped having my worms but I’m gonna start vermicomposting again because I like their compost as well

I’m a big vegetable gardener, worked as a personal gardener for homes in Boise Idaho


I love this maybe you’ll have some advice for people that might want to start a business like that, I have always thought that would be a good job for mike, he got a little job doing that last year, but it was kind of far away. The bonus was I got onions out of the deal and this year mike grew onions for me.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

my parents did! we had a big vegetable garden! We spent a lot of time weeding the garden. We sold cucumbers on the market for pickles

get up in the morning and pick cucumbers

sold apples on the side of the highway and sweet corn is a big thing in Minnesota!

corn corn corn!


I remember that’s what we did, mainly our income on the farm was dairy, but to keep us kids busy we sold vegetables on the side of the road. It’s interesting you know the big rigs blowing past you!

We had a small little table set off the highway by my house. People would stop and they would say let them taste an apple.

We were small children, we didn’t know any better!

We let have them, and they would take it and go

We had a big family

  • 6 kids
  • big sister
  • brother’s stayed home

little things

sell the vegetables

fun experience

grandmother had flowers

learned to love flower gardening

was really fun

Boise gardening was so much different

high desert

  • raining today
  • not a lot of water
  • a lot of heat

things grow different here

You have to do some research if you move out here from other part of the country, it’s different. 

Do you want to talk about where is a successful place to do research because a lot of people have been asking me about moving to a new place. 


I when I moved to Idaho more then 20 years ago

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 2.02.36 PM.png

I moved here became a volunteer at the botanical garden and I learned a  lot there, and I joined the master gardener program.

very active

took classes every week

do volunteer work

learned an immense about

  • what grows well
  • why it does

 master gardener program

Idaho Master Gardener Program

county extension

through the University of Idaho

continued in that for maybe 4-5 years

  • events master gardener
  • volunteering for different things
  • there’s just so much to learn

When I started when I started going personal gardening

more education on the real side

If you really want to learn how to garden you just got to go do it

  • fail
  • succeed

Several people, well Patti Armbrister in particular has asked several times, for Mike to create an online organic master gardener program. In Lincoln County where I live the extension program got cut. We’re working on it! A lot of guests have talked about the extension service is. 

How did you learn how to garden organically, was your dad organic?

in some ways yes, no in other ways

I grew up in the 50s and 60s that was the beginning of better gardening with chemicals

no in a lot of crops no my father was not organic fertilizers on the field.

in my vegetable garden we were

  • cow manure
  • spread it on the field
  • chemical companies want everyone to have bigger better corn with fertilizers
  • before round up we didn’t really use weed killer

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

My favorite thing that I grow is raspberries and I have a fairly large patch! If you have raspberries and you water them well enough.

water and water

patch gets bigger and bigger!

I try to keep it a certain size. I love to grow them because they’re so expensive in the store! And they’re so easy to grow. 


Right now is time to prune them (Mid March)

If you prune them and keep them fairly well weeded

  • bounty
  • so many raspberries

freeze them as soon as garden season

nothing better to go outside

throw them in your bowl

I love to grow things in the garden that are expensive in the store but not any more expensive to grow in your garden!

That’s what I use as my guideline for what I’m gonna grow

  • What’s super expensive?
  • what do I love
  • what is a delicacy
  • berries are so expensive

Season don’t last very long but if you can have them in your garden! They’re so great to grow! Be able to pick! I have grand children! And they are great to go out and pick!

 Garden Journal and Data Keeper 


I love this for so many reasons. One That’s why I put in the beginning of the garden journal and data keeper a place to write down what do you buy and spend the most money on! And It’s so true berries are soooo expensive! and they’re so healthy for you.

SI Exif

I always say fruit is so messy but berries aren’t messy!

raspberry harvest with cereal

My raspberries never make it to the house because I just eat the whole bowlful down there.

cat in the raspberry patch

I even wrote a cute little book called In the Raspberry Patch! And of course in the end it’s the grandkids in the raspberry patch!

I have a trail-cam I have it pointed at my compost pile

I know I have had the quail in my raspberry, they lay eggs in there, and the babies hatch, it’s good camouflage.

Boise is a drive, listeners might think we’re neighbors but it’s about 8 hours from here. You have snow right? You said it was time to prune? I did an interview with a woman from Boise who had a sweet little blog called Little Homestead in Boise.

I have a blog

  • not active on my blog right
  • garden website
  • I’m sure I’ll get back to the blog eventually. 

Vicki’s Garden Tips.com

It’s about Boise gardening because Boise gardening is different from your gardening is different from Minnesota garden

everybody has their our own climate and things that grow better.

I started that blog 4-5 years ago

Sort of website

we’re doing a trying to develop a garden website that is local based with all garden providers

To have a listing, Boise is a pretty large, metropolitan area. We call it the Treasure Valley

  • Boise
  • Nampa
  • Meridian
  • Twin falls over to Oregon

And so it would be a list of  garden providers

  • landscapers
  • patios
  • stone workers
  • waterfalls

have it all listed in one location

Website with those listings plus video

  • beautiful gardens
  • local gardens
  • what they have produced
  • what the gardens looks like

aerial photos


I have some videos up now

we haven’t really got it done.

Vimeo called gardenbuzz.com

I think that’s great, it’s always good to test ideas and get some content up there so when Oprah comes it’s full of quality!

  • local garden
  • website
  • videos


is nationwide but if you just write in the city area it will show you if there are videos from your city there. It’s a lot of ideas that they want to show videos of actually have good accurate information

pruning and landscaping for your area and what grows well in your area.

Pruning raspberries

My trick is to go to your state’s master garden site. Every site has an agricultural extension it will tell you about pruning timing. If your state doesn’t have it, your neighboring state may. It will give you accurate info on how to prune. 

Ever bearing vs Summer Bearing

In Idaho, it depends on if you have ever bearing or summer baring

Ever bearing means they will produce lightly through the summer

Summer bearing really produce once crop heavy crop just one time.

  • then you prune after that
  • if you don’t know
  • I didn’t really know what I had
  • just experiment with my pruning

one year I pruned all my berries to knee high, that was a mistake!

I pruned half knee high the other half I pruned to almost shoulder height.

I found out that the shoulder height pruning was much more abundant! I had many more berries by not pruning my berries down low

  • some older varieties prune almost to the ground
  • basically mow them down
  • come back to bear
  • would go into one year of rest
  • I know now! 

I was gonna say about black berries

I have to reread the info every year I always forget about

  • thinning them out
  • cutting them to a certain height
  • so I get some berries but they don’t take over the garden
  • grapes

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

I’ve tried so many things, this year I may be taking a rest. 

I have dug garden tunnels in the past. 

I bought shade cloth this year. 

I bought a whole thing of shade cloth, it’s a good thing to have because somethings get sunburned.


depending on the twelve 14 hours of sunlight on the tomatoes

If you want to grow strawberries, I’ve never been successful with strawberries so to cut down some of the sun exposure.

Do you want to explain what shade cloth is?

There’s that other thing too you can always put down the cloth that protects them from insects

shade cloth

  • buy it in a few colors
  • different kinds
  • will block the sun!

Water will get through it right? Do you have to put it up every day or does it hang on hooks?

It depends on how big your garden is

I have been trying to grow brassicas

Here I have to cover it with a white cloth that  keeps it from insects and moths so they don’t lay eggs all over it and it gets covered in aphids. So I cover that entirely. When I have broccoli, I 

  • stake it down
  • wire support
  • stake it down

sunlight gets through

water gets through but the

insects can not attack it

larger crop

shade cloth is black 30-40% sun block

just have an area of my garden and say this is my shaded garden, you just put it up once, use it on a support, like they do the sail cloth. 

Just have to adjust it

  1. want to protect it from the western sun or noon sun
  2. depends on what it is your trying to grow
  3. how your garden is oriented
  • north
  • south
  • east
  • west

There are a lot of companies that provide shade cloth or frost cloth and they will tell you the best way to use it!

Tell me about something that didn’t work so well this season.


I have struggled with strawberries over the years I have really just given up

Strawberries, they’re water hogs

I think

they’re pretty labor intensive, maybe because I do have such intense sun and no shade

They would do better maybe if I put them in partial shade

don’t work for me

I could work, if I put in extra labor but I’m the kind of gardener that says if I have to baby this, then Im not doing it

You have to grow what is easiest to grow I think

I don’t have hours and hours out in my garden

if it require

I keep trying not to say, I love that, so much, but I really do love all that. I just went to this BirdScouts training and then went to Free The Seeds who’s like an amazing friend, Laura Behenna, we went hiking together, she did a great episode on my show. I should replay it because she had lots of success with strawberries.

Front yard strawberries 2015

Maybe in Boise, you have access to strawberries at the farmer’s market or maybe if you neighbor grows them prolifically you can trade something you grow.

I have a small garden club

what we do is a group of friends maybe up to 10 members by now

we work in each others gardens

we work one hour in somebodies garden so we go and that’s 6 hours of labor you have done in your garden. 

two weeks later then when we work together in another garden. The host will feed us and give us something to drink. 

That’s what I was thinking it was just a way to spend time with friends and learn stuff!

We talk garden, we’ve been doing it for about 5 years now, it’s really fun!

Sometimes your gardening is just daunting, just outside you think??

  • where do I start
  • how do I begin
  • it’s frustrating

But if you know your friends are coming over, you can say help me do this? idk even now where to start? We have a mix of experienced gardeners and new gardeners so we talk and work at the same time. Especially you all work together in one area. We all talk and make suggestions! It’s a lot of fun!

I’ll bet listeners are gonna be like I’m gonna see if there is a garden club in my area or I’m gonna start one.

There are garden clubs here

  • I was a member of one but it focused on flower arranging
  • national organization
  • I was really not that into flower arranging
  • vegetable garden
  • a lot of times people don’t want to show off the garden ~ think my garden is so weedy you wouldn’t want to see it….

but there’s so much to learn go into somebody’s garden. Everybody’s garden so unique! It’s really fun to walk into, if you can get past that fear of showing your garden of to people. They say wow, look I never thought of trying that, let me try that. Most people’s garden’s are not a show place! They’er just the places where we work and get food.

That’s interesting because at my house I’m embarrassed to admit it’s a little bit the opposite the house is embarrassing and the garden is lovely. I’m always like let;s go have ice tea in the garden or let’s go visit in the garden. We do need a shady place in our garden.

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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?

Working in the flower garden I think in the spring. I have some perennial garden areas, the battle of the grass is the part I hate. 

Im getting older, my toes hurt and my wrist hurt, after spending a day in the garden when you’re tired and sore, weeding in the spring, once you have things under control then I’m ok.

I love picking flowers

even arranging and taking photos

Do you have any tips?

Well like Ive been saying over and over, Boise has a specific weather and climate, so if you are going to be having flowers you should pay attention to what grows here well! People want to bring their mid-west taste or they want to bring their Portland, OR flowers. 

It’s gonna be

  • expensive and time consuming
  • lush green look
  • it’s gonna suffer and a require a ton of water
  • a lot of work
  • soil amendments

better off understanding where you live

so garden for the place where you live

We have thousands of perennials that do well here, so pick the thousands that do grow well and bloom huge flowers that put out a ton of color!

I spent years where I would walk outside and I never sit down! I would laugh when I looked at the garden bench, I thought no one ever sits there all we do is work.

I love that because what you’re basically talking about native plants. I can’t wait to tell the kids I talked to 2 people this week that are caring about or planet which we were studying in school. 

not fun


That’s why we’re organic gardeners

water is not endless

not free

pay and take care of it

I am a member


Idaho Native Plant Society

great meetings and workshops

so many people there that are well educated



so much information at the tip of their tongue

encourage people if you are moving to an area, get involved in some of the clubs

Im not a botanist or horticulturists but there’s so much to learn

  • plant sales
  • sell Idaho native plants
  • can learn a lot by participating in clubs
  • buying what they

You totally remind me of my mom, she was the president of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Clark Botanic Garden. They have a plant sale and children’s garden and volunteering!


What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?

Picking the berries

  • late summer when the tomatoes and peppers
  • bright red and yellow and purple tomatoes
  • making salsas
  • freezing spaghetti sauce
  • love the peppers
  • just the produce!

I love looking out my window and seeing all the perennials in bloom! 


Early fall summer perennials! There’s nothing like looking out your window and seeing flowers!


I just posted pictures of Mike’s peppers from what he grew last year and the mini greenhouses he makes.

What is the best gardening advice you have ever received?

to think small

don’t get over excited

in the master gardener program 

You just get excited! You want to plant 10 of everything, in the spring it’s all so much fun and when summer hits, and it’s 100º is pretty normal here and all of a sudden you don’t want to go outside! I’ve seen people lose their gardens because they’re over planted and just can’t sustain it

See what you can handle and grow from there

Gardening is work! 

ways to make gardening easier but it’s still gonna be work no matter how you do it!

I keep trying to figure out what my niche is, what Mandy Gerth said their goal was to produce the same amount with 20% less work. My listeners are people with more experience like you. I keep thinking what my niche is people who want to get more productive with their efforts, increasing their results with less effort, their targeted, like what Megan Cain talks about being strategic.

Being successful, I did an episode once on starting small and not getting overwhelmed because it is a lot of work come August! But then when you compare it to teaching, everything’s a lot of work, but at least it is just August! I listen to this new teaching podcast and she says, it wont be easy but it will be worth it!

Vicki Henderson Hacker Tool

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

Well, the one tool I take with me everywhere

a hacker

we used it when I was a personal gardener

work in crews

  • It’s about 12 inches long
  • pointed on one end
  • flat on the other
  • like a hatchet

nice and lightweight

I have a Pinterest called garden buzz Idaho on Pinterest

what’s in my bucket

As a personal gardener carry your bucket with you with all your tools!

Do you do Pinterest?

There is an Organic Gardener Pinterest Page with probably 5 pictures on it. I do Pinterest mostly for school. I did find some art in the garden I really liked on Pinterest. 

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

Salsa’s definitely as favorite

Raspberry jams

Raspberry preserves and blackberries


raspberry sauce

remove all the seeds so it’s a nice smooth sauce, kind of labor intensive but so good!

  • ice creams
  • brownies
  • nice thick sauce

so beautiful! 

Crepes raspberry sauce

Take it out of the freezer and warm it up! ! 

A favorite internet resource?

for local info

on Facebook

Treasure Valley Garden Site


Treasure Valley Organic Gardener



Treasure Valley bee keepers

Treasure Valley Gardening and Homemade Goods


that’s what I pay attention to because that kind of lets you know what are the trends.

  • what are people looking for
  • what are people asking about
  • local info
  • what nurseries carry things

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?

well I really love


The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the Famous Year-Round Mulch Method

Ruth Stout


The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the Famous Year-Round Mulch Method


Lee Reich he Garden’s on the East Coast is a little bit different.


Weedless Gardening The Hassle-Free All-Organic System

The Ever Curious Gardener: Using a Little Natural Science for a Much Better Garden by Lee Reich

The Ever Curious Gardener: Using a Little Natural Science for a Much Better Garden

Final question –

if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

My big concerns would be water and soil!

I’m really concerned about losing top soil, taking care of our soil, whihc is why I’m an organic gardener. And of course the water, we have to be so careful of how we use our water and what water supply

two big things

Keep our soil alive!

keep water clean!

The guy I talked to before you we talked about the same things, from a place called Life Before Plastics … I have been going to Bird Scouts training, we do this thing on Fridays called Authentic Literacy I’ve been doing mine on Standing Rock and that plastic is made from oil and teaching my students about how oil affects bird’s wings and feathers. One of my kids her uncle is at Standing Rock and its related to their culture. At the training we did 8 lessons and my teams first lesson was how to dip feathers in oil and how it affects the birds.

Awesome Science Action Club

That’s one of the things I love about my podcast is that my listeners are very passionate about caring for our planet and world. I’m always telling the kids especially for styrofoam, the shortest amount is 500 years, so when your kids grow up and they get married and have kids, and they grow up get married, every day we’re using spoons every day, the big push for Breakfast in the Classroom and I understand, the parents really like it, Breakfast after the Bell, getting healthy nutrition into kids lives. 

Do you have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

just going to Pinterest can be very motivational

stay local and see what their doing

Can give you inspiration for you to copy

its about pictures and videos

stop in at your local nursery, I’m not talking about the big box stores like lowes and home depot but your local nursery down the street. 

Talk to those people


providing free classes to come in and learn about gardening!

That’s awesome we just went to an event here Free the Seeds, and this guest who runs our local community garden said he was coming from Plant Land and there was gonna be a composting workshop or an organic workshop. I’m gonna have to check out Pinterest more Instagram, I feel like there’s not as much white space like in Facebook. 


Last year getting inspired in that tough month of August you were talking about. Jennifer Ebling Still Growing Podcast was talking about getting inspired.  It looked so pretty after it was done it took me about an hour or two!

get involved

honestly there really isn’t

i guess if you live in Boise check out my Pinterest 

GardenBuzz - Vicki Henderson

garden-buzz is the name of it

hopefully our website will be out soon

some videos on Vimeo

if you’re a Vimeo

look at garden buzz

You’ll see some of my local gardens here’s the plants in the backyard

  • high desert gardens here
  • fun to see what people have here
  • done with their yards
  • video is really the way to do it


blogs are nice

have to have pictures

video really to show people best way to garden

well it’s just has a different personality then youtube


  • costs money to put videos on it
  • commercial free
  • not have to commercials

Vimeo is free to the viewer

  • costs a little bit to put them up
  • they offer the stories
  • link on your website
  • link to your Vimeo as a hosting site
  • very easy to use
  • friendly

How do we connect with you?


My favorite tool- the Hacker

https://www.pinterest.com/garden_buzz/   My Pinterest site

some of my Vimeo videos

https://vimeo.com/62117976  Building a grape tunnel

https://vimeo.com/45146035  “What is eating my plants”  A bug video

https://vimeo.com/159252013  Gail’s Boise Garden   a tour of a garden

https://vimeo.com/177714458 Hilda’s Boise Garden  An active 90 year old gardener and her beautiful garden

https://vimeo.com/album/2681898 Heather’s Easy No Weed Vegetable Garden- gardening in the hot sandy foothills of Boise


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3 thoughts on “231. Vicki’s Garden Tips | Garden Blogger | Vicki Henderson | Boise, ID

  1. I have raspberries, but the squirrels eat them all! Half my garden went to squirrels and bunnies. I’m seriously considering a green house! Enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day! Koko 🙂


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