Valley Gardening: Keep the blooms, not the bugs

Where should I start? I guess I need to talk a little bit about the budget meeting the City of Alamosa held on this past Wednesday. It was at the Recreation Center. A number of city department heads and employees were there and three city councilors, and the city manager. A gal came in to “observe.” And me! What the heck folks? Do you not care how the city develops, and where the money is spent?

I was embarrassed (and that doesn’t happen often) and sad, very sad. Something is definitely wrong in our community if more folks can’t/won’t attend these meetings and make their voices heard! My only thought is that folks don’t think their voices matter. I can’t say that I don’t wonder that sometimes…but it doesn’t keep me quiet. I had the undivided (bored) attention of everyone there. But I don’t know that it mattered—only time will tell if any of my suggestions had any merit, any merit at all.

It is kind of sad, funny that I was there speaking as a person with a business in Alamosa, a person who does a lot for the community, yet because I sleep in Alamosa County I can’t even vote on ANYTHING!

I talked about city landscaping and how it is lacking, in my humble opinion. I asked for ADA playground equipment in EVERY park. I had a couple of ideas on how to get another police officer — maybe having a retired officer take all the shoplifting calls in town, freeing the officers to protect us all. 

I talked about Society Hall and what a wonderful, wonderful event center it is for Alamosa. I asked that our organization be able to give a presentation the next time they vote on “Quality of Life Grants.” We have applied but have not been successful in past years, or this year.

What I forgot to say…but have said it before…is that the workers down in the trenches need MORE than a $20 Christmas bonus. Maybe they are now getting $25 so that taxes can be taken out.

Meanwhile…back to gardening! I brought most of my plants in from outside this week. I have been cleaning up geraniums like crazy pinching the dead leaves, and spent blossoms. I brought in a number of Impatients that didn’t sell and I am hoping to grow them as houseplants because they have such a bright flower. I wasn’t very successful with them outside so am hoping to learn the secret of growing them this fall and winter. 

If you brought your plants in from outside you might want to treat with an Imidacloprid product to eliminate the pests in the soil. If you don’t, you will be sure to have moisture gnats for Thanksgiving dinner. You can’t use Imidacloprid on vegetables so you will have to come in and take a look at some of the organic soil drenches we have. You can also put out some yellow sticky traps to catch the little gnats, and hopefully some of the aphids that will come in with your peppers. 

The aphids have been pretty horrible this year. You should also double check any petunias you bring in, as they seem to harbor them. Tomatoes usually attract whiteflies, so check the bottom sides of the leaves if you bring them in. If you can, shake the tomato as much as possible to see if you can leave some of the pests outside. The yellow sticky traps will also help with whiteflies.

It’s early yet, but on Saturday, October 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church a benefit spaghetti dinner will be held for Jaiden Rogers, a young man in our community who has more health problems than many of us combined. For the first 10 people that buy a ticket from me ($7) I will give a ticket, purchased with the Charity Jar donations from my customers! This week we were also able to donate to a fund to bury the ashes of unclaimed veterans held at a funeral home in Montrose.  Many thanks to Jack Rudder and Eric Gile for spearheading this challenge. Let’s get these veterans properly buried, with honors! And thanks to Eric, we were able to donate towards a ramp for another veteran who needed access to his home. If we all don’t chip in and do it, who will? THANK YOU Green Spot customers—you’re the BEST!