Valley Gardening: 'Hops' to it and get involved

Last week I mentioned that we would be having a small bake sale, spaghetti dinner (Jaiden Rogers) ticket sales and free coffee and apple cider today from 10 to 2. Well…we will still sell tickets and will also have coffee, and maybe cider, and maybe store bought cookies but I will not be present to entertain you. Alicia will be able to help you. Where will I be, you ask?

At the same time you might have been reading my article last Saturday, it was learned that a friend, Scott Erickson, had passed away the previous evening. His memorial/celebration of life is today. 

Scott was a partner with Leroy Polkowske as owners of SLV Builders. I have written about them a number of times. At a time when developers from Denver were interested in the wells connected to Splashland, Scott and Leroy decided to buy the pool and fix it up for our community. I am still in awe at what they have done for our community. I am amazed and thankful My hope is that I have the time and energy to help get a cover on the pool and make it a year round facility.

Community….do we have the commitment to get this done? Hey city and county…can’t you help? RIP Scott…you left us way too soon, and you will be missed by many!

When I think of Scott and a life cut short, it reminds me how often I say “Give ‘em ______ today, because there aren’t any guarantees for any of us.” Period. 

When I go to city council meetings and try and make a difference…when I write letters to the editor…when I helped create Society Hall…way back, when I created the Sunshine Festival…when I help beautify my community…when I help beautiful LODA (Lower Downtown Alamosa)…when I stop what I am doing to play with my grandchildren, or individuals with special needs…I know that if I die tomorrow I have made a difference today! Maybe just a little bit, but I try.

You can make a difference. You just have to go to a meeting once in a while. Ask questions of elected officials. Find out where the money is going. Find a cause. Support the senior citizens, or the SLV Museum or the Boys and Girls Club. Or Society Hall. Get involved. I was raised to believe that if you complain about something, you have to be willing to speak up.

I guess I learned well from my Mom and Dad!

Meanwhile…if you have been eyeballing my Hops Vine in front of the store, come on by and help yourself to all the Hops you want. Cecil McGuffin used to gather some of my Hops, and then he would bring me a gallon of beer. Hint, hint.

The seeds from the Echinops are also ready to pick—on the north side of my building. This flower is also known as the Blue Globe Thistle. It is one of my absolute favorites.  It blooms during late summer/fall, requires next to no water, and has a great blue color. It goes to seed readily, bordering on obnoxious, but it is easy to hoe or pull up if you get too many.

It is a little sticker like the Canadian thistle, but does not spread from the root like that plant.

Plants still looking great even after the hard frosts include Calendulas, Ornamental Cabbages and Kale and Carnations. It’s kind of nice still having a bloom or two the middle of October.

A few years ago I got some soil from the Polston School area. The worst part about the soil (other than it being clayey), is that it was also loaded with goathead seeds—also known as puncturevine. Talk about a NASTY weed!

More than anything it is horrible for dogs and cats! If you have this vine you need to get rid of it. When you pull it up—carefully and with heavy gloves, put it in a plastic bag and dispose of it.  Do not put it in your compost pile, or in a pile to burn at a later date. It will continue to go to seed. AND, the seeds are viable in the ground for FIVE years.

You can layer cardboard over it for a year or so, and that might choke it out. Or, put down a seed inhibitor in the spring—like Treflan/Preen. Or spray 24D or glyphosphate. Do your part and try and eradicate it, so that it doesn’t spread to your neighbors. I still have a rather large pile of soil, if you want to buy some?

I just read about puncturevine weevils, so will give you more information next week. Something to look forward too, huh?