Valley Gardening: Special brew helps plants survive summer

It is so dang hot! My favorite part of the last few days is when the clouds cover the sun—even if only for a few minutes. I know we all tend to complain, no matter what the weather is, but what we are experiencing now sure gives me fear for August! If we pray for rain, it will more than likely be a thunderstorm with hail and that will give us something else to complain about. Oh, well…

The train stopped traffic again today, more than once. If only they could stop traffic every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) I would be thankful. You see…Peyton Sanchez is opening his lemonade stand in the courtyard at the Green Spot and he is hoping to raise lots of money to help build an animal shelter for the Valley Humane League. What a hero he is and certainly an inspiration to us all.

Speaking of Peyton, he is having a few issues with mobility. And so…when I saw Sharie Harmon, previous owner of the Sand Dunes Pool, I asked what could be done to get him in the pool OFTEN, so that he remains active, with no stress. People in the Valley are so wonderful! Sharie, without hesitation, offered a family pass for the next three months—yahoo! This is so awesome. Without a doubt I know that the folks at Splashland will do the same—because they are good people, too! We are certainly lucky in the Valley to have TWO wonderful places to go swimming. Get your kids into swimming lessons at either pool, but get them started—save their life.

Sometimes I feel like a witch. Let me clarify that—when I am making a batch of compost tea. I have a 15-gallon Vortex Brewer that I keep running 24/7. The batches lately have been made up of Xtreme Gardening Teabags, a little bit of Kelp, and some Wholly Mackerel. I add a little bit of Insect Frass and a cup or so of worm castings. Next comes a smidgeon of Humus and last but not least, I add some Silica.  With the weather being so extreme, I figured out Silica would help plants survive the heat and it also helps to build stronger cell walls/stronger stems. When I water my plants around town with my 55-gallon tank, I usually add about 4 gallons of tea to every other filling. I’m thinking the Silica is making a huge difference.

I will be planting the beds behind the First Southwest Bank this weekend. It is really, really hot in that corner. Will see what the Silica does in this heat situation. Seems like I could almost get a zone 5-7 plant growing there, if it would survive the winter. I will be loading them up with lots and lots of perennials and then sprinkle in some annuals for all summer color. I found a nice concrete border block over at Absmeiers Landscaping, and finished that chore this week. I have always used railroad ties, but I got tired just thinking about lifting the ties, and cutting them to fit etc. These blocks turned out pretty nice.

Before I forget, again…I had some of my ornamental cabbages come back in Mom’s Garden. Amazing! I also had them come back at the Bistro—where they have already gone to seed. I have either not seen this before, or forgotten, or pulled the plants up before they had a chance to grow. Plants are so much fun.

A number of folks have expressed displeasure at the hockey rink being built—especially when there are so many other needs around town. I have been promised that any child that wants to play hockey or ice skate will get the equipment needed at no charge. Time will tell. Months ago I asked how many ADA swings/equipment there are in the city parks and received no answers from anybody. Time for a drive this weekend, I guess.

I’ve said it a hundred times (maybe exaggerating a little), but it bears repeating. Do not water your lawn MORE if it begins to turn yellow. Apply a fertilizer with Iron in it! Mow HIGH! Water more, but LESS often! PLEASE. Thank you.