Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Going Green, Part 2

"Going Green" is a chronicle of my adventures in gardening...

So far, this Spring has been awfully wet. We live in corn country, and farmers are having to re-plant their crops because of all the rain.

Their loss is my gain. My lettuce and spinach continue to do great. The rain is holding the temperature down enough to prevent them from bolting. 'Bolting' is when leafy plants lose their compact shape and start to form a flower spike to set seed. When lettuce and spinach bolt, their leaves can get tougher. Mine are still tender and delicious.

I am worrying a bit about mildew issues and will have to investigate safe fungicides to keep the vines on the melons from withering. If you have suggestions, please write them in the comment section. I'll let you know what I find out in my next "Going Green" column.

We're just starting (even though it is already June!) to feel the heat here in Illinos. When it's not stormy, it's starting to feel steamy. My tomatoes, peppers and green beans will love the heat. This is the time when they will really start shooting up. I can't wait. Maybe that will help the mold issue to resolve? I don't know.

In the flower garden, I can report that I have begun to see HONEYBEES! This year is the second year for our wildflowers out back. (And for those of you who think we must have a huge amount of land, we don't!) Last year, the city brought in earth-movers and replaced sewer line along a defunct alley behind our property. Most of the neighbors re-seeded with grass. We are trying a wildflower garden instead, and loving it! We have lillies of the valley, a redbud, and tiger lillies from before. But we seeded with a Midwest Wildflower mix from American Meadows. [http://www.americanmeadows.com] Now, we have a beautiful border of wallflower, dianthus, bluebells, and dame's rocket. There is plenty of cosmos and sunflowers on the way, along with a few plants I haven't identified yet. It promises to be a colorful summer!

I recently read that the crisis in honeybee populations [called CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder] is partially because high levels of pollution prevent the bees from "smelling" the fragrance of flowers to pollinate. One sniff of a garden full of wallflower and dame's rocket will let you know that will not be a problem out at our place! We also buck a trend by letting clover grow in our lawn. It is so soft on the feet, and the flowers really help the bees. Healthy bees mean better pollinated vegetables in the new veggie garden!

It's all connected. Here's to going green!

Midwest Mom

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me.