By Lawrence Leaf
As someone who has been digging deep in the garden for several decades, I am here to offer you some tips that not only work but sometimes are a bit unconventional. Having good outcomes is the goal here so each month I will be offering these tips to you. There’s a reason I’m known as the Ambassador to Spring.
How times have changed? In less than 100 years, we have lost many of the lessons that kept our ancestors fed and alive. During the great depression, people would forage on lambs’ quarters, dandelion and chickweed to name a few. I would like to point out one that one that should be recognized for its great taste, great medical importance, and extremely high vitamin C level is a surprise. It is Wild Violets. The leaves can be used in salads, delicious in soup, and cooked as greens. When it comes into full blossom in mid-May, a 1/2 cup of Wild Violet flowers has as much vitamin C as three whole oranges. It is unbelievable that this is not farmed on a regular basis.
2.How to Access Your OWN Personal Gardener
In the title, I did not stutter folks. I said FREE expert garden tips. In 1914, the US Department of Agriculture partnered with a national network of universities creating extension services to serve the agriculture industry which rapidly grew to cover all 50 states. Each region has different pest concerns, plant concerns, and many other issues surrounding the agricultural environment of each region. These universities are operated in separate regions with hands-on experts and knowledge of each locality. In many states, extension services are required to have knowledge of a variety of agricultural needs and changing environments of counties within their state. Each region has local master garden volunteers or horticulture. Extension agents to answer your questions free of charge and are just a phone call away. These extension services also offer little cost or no cost soil testing, 4 – H club enrollment, master gardener classes, arborist certification classes and other classes at a reasonable fee. My favorite place to visit is The New Hanover County Extension Arboretum in Wilmington NC. They even have a pollinator garden, Japanese garden, Rose Garden, and other botanical gems you can visit daily for FREE. So, if you have agricultural questions, please call your local extension service for great FREE expert advice. What a deal – FREE expert advice!!!!
3.Invite Slugs to Your Garden Patio Party
You know when you have a party and invite that person who you call a slug that lays in your lawn chair and never leaves? To get rid of slugs in your garden, find the cheapest beer and put it in small cups or bowls low enough for snails or slugs to drink. These lovely guests will not leave either until they drink themselves to death. You will be the talk of the slug community drawing at least 10, 20 or 30 a night. Dump them out, fill them with fresh cheap beer, and another party to end all parties will start up the next night. Continue these nightly parties until the entire community is gone. Please remember not to abuse good beer on slugs. Use the cheapest beer you can.
4.Save the World and Plant a Tree on Arbor Day or Earth Day
This is an opportunity for you to take part in helping the overall environmental balance of our majestic world we sometimes neglect. If you have children, this may be one of the best ways to educate them about life by planting a tree. They can continue your education by bringing their children and grandchildren to visit the tree, and planting new trees to continue the tradition. Trees are such a notorious symbol of life in general. Nothing is statelier in life than a growing tree. So, this April and every April please plant a tree. A tree of LIFE. Arbor Day is April 28 and Earth Day is April 22.
5.Speaking Of Life! It’s April! Let’s Plant a Pollinator Garden!
Life starts with soil. A plant grows a leaf out of the soil. The plant then grows a blossom. A pollinator takes the pollen from the flower. The food chain starts. It is that simple. We live in a world that is moving so fast it is missing the passing of knowledge of life in general. It is extremely basic. Support life and it will support you. Plant a native flower garden. Be pollinator-friendly to the world and the world will keep producing life for you, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren! Love of life is to live with life not attempt to be separated from it! And as always PLANT TODAY FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.