Valley Gardening: Peas could be planted

If you weren’t at the SLVCRF concert at Society Hall last week, you missed a really beautiful evening! A very sincere thank you to all who have supported this organization over the past 10 years. One hundred percent of the money raised goes to helping folks that we all know in that terrible battle with cancer. If you would like to donate, please stop by the Green Spot and pick up an envelope.

Many of us realized last Sunday how short life can be, how fragile, how precious…. when we heard about the death of Travis Malouff. We were, and still are, shocked at the unfortunate accident that claimed his life. I didn’t know Travis real well…but I will NEVER forget his laugh! We were at a barbecue a while back and Travis was there. We were sitting across the patio from Travis and the folks he was visiting with. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t hear what they were talking about, we just listened for the laugh, and then more laughing…it was so infectious! A tremendous void will be felt for all that knew Travis. Curt, Kay and Ferris—there are many, many in our community who cry, for you and with you.  Words cannot describe the depth of compassion that is felt for your family.

Peyton Sanchez and his mom Sheila are still at Children’s Hospital in Houston. The entire family came down with either food poisoning or the flu as they were heading to Texas last weekend. Everyone recovered, except Peyton, and he ended up in the hospital for this past week, which is a real bummer.  When you think about complaining because your back hurts, or your knee, or your elbow, give a thought about Peyton and all that he has gone through—the entire almost 11 (April 18th) years of his life! Be thankful…and PLEASE keep the Sanchez family in your prayers! They are such good people, salt of the earth people!

Meanwhile…back at the garden…it’s almost time to think about planting…some things, anyway. You can plant your peas now, or you can wait a few weeks. I have been learning a little bit about inoculant the past few days. I’m sure lots and lots of people have never used an inoculant, and others use it every year—especially on peas. The inoculant I sell is called AZOS and you would coat your seeds with it—shake it in a plastic baggy, and then plant. The AZOS helps the pea plant actually pull Nitrogen out of the air. I’m not sure how it does this, and I’m too old to learn that part, just trust me that it does. Any plant needing more nitrogen would benefit from an inoculant. I don’t think you have to inoculate every year if you are planting in the same area.

As long as we are talking about nitrogen…know that it is the first number in the series of three numbers on every fertilizer product. Nitrogen typically promotes green, leafy growth. I always think of top growth when applying a nitrogen product. Too much nitrogen gives you nice foliage but few flowers or blossoms for vegetables. If your plant is lacking in nitrogen you might notice leaves yellowing and slower growth in the lower leaves.

The second number is for phosphorus. When I think of P I think of root development, which in turn stimulates fruiting and flowering. I use a lot of Tiger Bloom which is a 2.8.4 when I want to give my annual flowers a boost. Along with a compost tea.

The third number is for potassium, also known as K. In one of my really big books I couldn’t even find what potassium does for plants—it was nowhere to be found. One of my ‘sources’ told me that K helps with the overall uptake of nutrients. Down to Earth says that K produces strong, sturdy plants with thick cell walls, increases disease resistance and stimulates fruit, seed and root production.

Next week, I will slowly but surely get into the trace minerals—there’s 16 of them, and they all are important for the best vegetables ever.

Bids are or have gone out for the hockey rink/pavilion so time will tell how expensive that facility ends up being. I still don’t understand where the money is coming from….AND why we just can’t build two walls and a roof over the rink at Carroll Park. The restrooms in Carroll Park could be expanded to include dressing rooms. The facility would be close to the high school and fairly close to the junior high. One of the most avid supporters of the hockey rink told me that the existing facility as it is, is pretty nice, like really nice—it just needs protection from the wind and sun. Even I can figure that out!

I wonder if playground equipment for folks with special needs will be purchased for parks around town before this expenditure is approved? Just wondering…that’s all…just wondering.


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