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That's a Good Question and more...

How should I orient my vegetable garden?

A standard rectangular bed should run along an east-west axis.  The goal is to give sun-loving plants as much light as possible.  Put tall plants like corn, beans, and staked tomatoes on the north side, shorter ones like squash and peppers on the south side.  Remember that in summer the sun swings across the southern sky for most of the day, so plants tend to cast shadows to the north; that's why tall one should go at the north rear of the gardens.

Looking for a Good Read?

Bee Basics:  An Introduction to Our Native Bees.

A beautiful publication with wonderful illustrations on our native bee's world.  Published in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and Pollinator Partnership Publication. Click on image.

  

Screenshot 2024-03-06 Bee Basics.png

Did you know?

"Soil" in a bag...In 1957, the University of California at Los Angeles introduced UC mix - a lightweight blend of inorganic matter (fine sand and perlite) and organic materials (ground bark, peat moss, and redwood sawdust).  It set the standard for potting soil.

Compost Cook-Off:  Seattle Tilth, a nonprofit group that specializes in urban organic gardening, started the first citywide composting program (Seattle; 1989).

Heavenly Baskets:  Herb Warren, city parks administrator in Vancouver, British Columbia, hung baskets spilling with flowers from lampposts to commemorate the city's 75th birthday in 1937.  The idea was later copied in cities around the world.

Tulip Tips...

 

Pricking a small hole in the stem of a tulip, also known as pinpricking, is a clever trick to help prolong the freshness of tulips. 

Here's why it works:

  • Air Escapes Route:  Tulip stems have hollow channels called wylem and phloem, which transport water from the base of the plant to the top.  When you cut the stems, these channels can scab over or seal up.  By pinpricking the stem, you create a tiny hole that allows excess air trapped inside the stem to escape.  This escape route ensures that the water can flow freely into the bloom, keeping it hydrated and upright.

  • Improved Water Absorption:  The pinprick method opens up the stem, allowing even more water to be absorbed by the tulip.  As a result, your bouquet stays fresher for a longer period.

Here's how to do it:

  • Cut the Stems:  Start by giving your tulips a fresh trim before placing them in water.  This step ensures that any sealed veins are open and ready to absorb water.

  • Pinprick:  Take a pin (like a sewing needle) and pierce a tiny hole through the top of the stem, about 1/4 inch below the base of the bloom.  Repeat the process for all the tulips in your bouquet.

Remember, this simple technique can help your tulips stand tall and vibrant, preventing drooping and extending their beauty.  

What should I feed tulips (in the ground)?

Dutch growers feed tulips with 12-10-18 fertilizer right after flowering.  This allows leaves to grow for about three months after bloom.  The foliage and fertilizer nourish new bulbs that will produce flowers the next year.  The old bulbs are completely expended at flowering time.

 

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