Valley Gardening: Where there's a Willie Wade, there's a way


Life is good in the neighborhood! Is not this weather so wonderful? And so warm? Maybe too warm?  

Unless you are positive that your grass is dry, please don’t start watering yet. It seems dry, because it has been so warm, but I believe you can wait at least 2-3 weeks before watering is necessary. We all need to hope (and/or pray) for some more moisture. It’s March 17th as I write this and if the weather continues as it has been we will all be complaining big time come May. It’s such a vicious cycle.

The other reason I don’t start watering yet is I’m certainly not ready to fertilize and mow or anything else. If I mow by the end of May that is soon enough for me. Plus…water is such a precious, precious resource I just don’t believe any of us need to waste it.  

Saying not to water is a judgement call—such as if you have a south side that is very warm, then water once deeply and then relax for a week or two. I have a spreading Artemisia in front of the store that is about out of control. I am going to water deeply, so that I can pot some shoots up and transplant in a month or two when spring is really here.  

Slowing down on watering doesn’t mean you have to give up beauty and color—your shrubs and perennials! It means you water right—deeper but less often! I will be ordering my Netafim irrigation supplies in the next week. Please come in and take a look at the system--I believe it is the best in the world. Actually comes out of Israel, and they really treat their water like gold. I highly recommend drip irrigation for any kind of garden—flowers, vegetables, shrub beds.

Many of you know Willie Wade. Willie has a really nice low-income apartment from the Alamosa Housing Authority. Willie just got permission to build a cold-frame in the front of his apartment. All I have to do is find the business card of the gentleman who said he would build it. I will furnish the plastic, and Dan Russell has donated the hydraulic lift to open the top when it gets too hot. Pretty excited about this project—especially because it was Willie’s idea and not mine. Originally, he just wanted to grow an eggplant, but I think he will also be able to do greens, and maybe a smaller cherry tomato.  

Can you just imagine half the low income housing units in Alamosa having cold-frames and/or gardens?  If we could figure that out…we just might accomplish something good.  

What I can’t figure out is why…in all the years of building low-income housing…. we haven’t figured out how to build them with the kitchens on the south side, instead of the garage. How many days of sunshine do we get in Alamosa—over 300 I am sure. Shouldn’t we be utilizing that free heat?

Can you imagine the good press, nationwide, that we would get if we helped build low-income homes that actually were energy efficient and designed with the sun in mind. It would also be truly wonderful if more were spent in the beginning with in-floor heating. How great for young children to crawl around on warm floors! And maybe even a community garden in each housing complex—WOW—that would be something!

Meanwhile…I have had a number of people trying the Diatomaceous Earth that I wrote about last week.  One gal, Pat, came in and told me she has been taking it for over a year! She recommended looking at a website by Dr. Axe. Many, many articles on natural health, not just information on DE. I have upped my intake just today and will keep you posted. The quest to stay healthy as you get older is an ongoing project—that’s for sure.

A huge thank you to those who came in to the Green Spot to inquire about the family support group that will help folks deal with the aftermath of the drug epidemic. More information later—but hoping to start up in May.

It’s a little early for Mother’s Day, but just recently my nephew and his wife experienced the birth of their first child. My brother Teddy mistakenly referred to her as Megan Elizabeth. I had to correct him and say, “Teddy, my daughter’s name is Megan Elizabeth and my granddaughter’s name is Peyton Elizabeth. Taylor and Vashti’s new baby is Regan Elizabeth.” A day later a niece chimed in and said, “my daughter’s name is Sadie Elizabeth”! Such a tribute to my mom, Elizabeth Jean Meyer Iveland! It’s going on seven years since she began her final journey and not a day goes by when I don’t miss her. I am proud to be her daughter.

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