I will be exploring the most important topics to gardeners today that can help you grow the best and healthiest garden possible.
Keep checking back to see what new topics I have added to keep you informed on the newest trends in gardening.
Hot Gardening Topics to Get the Best Information For Gardening & Gardeners
- This is one of the most important topics to all gardeners and farmers across the U.S.. How to keep your soil from being contaminated and either stunting the growth of your vegetable and fruit plants or killing them and damaging the soil for years to come.
- First, what is Grazon? Grazon is a herbicide that is used to control weeds developed by Dow Agro Sciences that were and are used by farmers today. It can take years for it to break down in the soil.
- Unfortunately, it can be transferred into the compost you buy either by plants that were sprayed with Grazon being introduced into the garden compost or by animals eating the foliage of plants that have been sprayed with Grazon and their manures being mixed into the compost you buy. It can also drift in the air from one yard, garden, or farm to another so it is important to know your neighbor and what chemicals they are using.
- How to identify if you have an issue with Grazon? You will notice the leaves of the plants twisting and cupping up, low germination rates with seeds you planted, or seedlings you planted dying. It impacts many vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers that we grow so it is something to take seriously since there is not an easy fix if your garden has been contaminated.
- If you believe your yard or garden has been contaminated contact your local extension office to see if they can test the soil that you believe has been infected and where it may have come from.
- How to treat the infected plants and areas? They do not quickly degrade so there is no quick solution. If you have plants that are severely impacted by Grazon dig them up and throw them in the garbage (Do Not Compost the Plants) they can spread the contamination if you try to compost the plants. If you believe the contamination was due to wind drifting the herbicide you may be able to save your plants (Give it time to watch and see).
- You can neutralize the herbicide contamination by using activated charcoal but this will take possibly months or years and you will not be able to grow plants in that area during this time period. You can try to remove the infected soil and dispose of it and new soil that you know is not infected to try to grow a new crop.
- Lastly, you can grow some grass crops that will help to draw out the herbicide in the soil for a few years and dispose of the grasses that will allow the soil to mend over a few years.
- Bottom line is to avoid Grazon by talking to your neighbors and ask questions before adding any compost or manures to make sure they are Grazon-free to allow you to grow a healthy and productive garden.
- Around the world, we are losing a huge number of our pollinators such as bees, and butterflies that are essential to pollinating the food we grow. Today the population of bees that not only produce honey but also pollinate our flowers, vegetables, nuts, and fruit are dying off in huge numbers. This can also be said for our friends the butterflies like the monarch.
- What is the impact to these crops? It is estimated that 5% of our crops have been lost to a lack of pollinators and that number will grow if we do not do something to protect our pollinators.
- Honey bee populations have dropped over 39% in just the past year and since 2006 we have seen a steady decline in their populations due to pesticides, pests, and lack of landscapes to support them.
- Bumble bee populations are declining so rapidly that they may be put on the endangered species list to keep them from extinction.
- Monarch butterflies have also seen a huge decline in populations with a decline of over 85% in the past 2 decades.
- Where we used to see thousands of monarch butterflies migrating on the west coast we now are lucky to see even 1 in your yard.
- What can you do to help these and other pollinators survive and thrive? Stop using pesticides in your yard and encourage your city to find alternative ways to control diseases and pests other than using harmful pesticides. Plant flowers to provide a habitat that will support them such as milkweed, zinnia, lilacs, bee balm, black-eyed susan, cone flowers and others that will attract and feed the bees and butterflies to your neighborhoods.
Gardens have evolved
- Gardens today are more than just planting a few flowers, trees, and a vegetable or two, here are some of the new ways people are enhancing their garden space to meet their family’s needs.
- One of the greatest changes we are seeing is the move to homesteading to use the yard to produce the food their family will use year-round. One area that has seen a huge growth in is raising chickens in your backyard to have a steady supply of eggs.
- These chickens need housing so there is an abundant of housing that people are providing their chickens from simple to complex chicken cottages.
- Others have built a complete kitchen outdoors to take the indoors outdoors with elaborate stoves, grills, barbecues, and even pizza ovens to make it an entertainment center for family and friends.
- There are elaborate gardens that provide families with all the essential vegetables, herbs, and fruit to be preserved for year-round supplies. Even allowing people to open up selling some of their produce to neighbors.
- Gardens have evolved to be more than a patch of grass with a few shrubs planted. They are now a blend of edible vegetables, fruit, nuts, and herbs with companion plantings of flowers with areas designated for sitting and relaxing to enjoy what you have built and grown.
- Your yard surrounding your home is now used for entertainment with covered seating area to eat and watch the big game on large television screens. With areas designated with a putting green, basketball court, corn hull game, and much, much more.
- Whichever direction you decide to design your yard for, now is the time to start your adventure to build the dream yard that will expand your living and entertainment space.
Reaction to Pandemic
- Since the pandemic caused people to stay at home more we as a world have decided to make the space outside of our homes more useful. People have spent considerably more to make their yards a place that can be there retreat.
- The yard has become a place for people to make a statement just like the inside of their home, using the yard as a palate of colors, and textures to state who they are. Colors are much more bold when choosing the plants and trees they plant.
- Growing food that their families eat is now popular not only because people are at home more but because the food supply chain was disrupted and got people thinking about how they could be more self sufficient than before.
- Homesteading became a popular topic even if you home had a small yard, it is amazing what you can do with less than 1/4 an acre to produce food year-round for your family. From vegetables and fruit to chickens to produce eggs to eat.
- Expanding the garden to grow more exotic foods such as figs, pomegranates, olives and berries of all kinds.
- Growing flowers, vegetables, herbs in small spaces and growing them vertically to maximize the plants they can grow.
- Growing more plants indoors, even adding grow lights to grow leafy greens and herbs inside their homes.
- Replacing their lawns with zen areas that they can relax making several zones with different views.
- Attracting birds and pollinators to yards with plants and feeders to bring them closer to nature.
- Making yards more sustainable reducing the need to waste water and reducing the chemicals used to make it more organic.
- Finding new tools and ways to garden that can make the work more enjoyable.
- Introducing children to the joys of gardening and the importance of growing their own food.