Starting your journey to gardening can be difficult, but everyone has to start somewhere! This week, I gathered some information about the rare and unusual questions we encounter here at the Denver Extensions Office for this weeks’ edition of:
Planting Seeds of Humor – A Growth Spurt out of Bashful Gardening.
As a once novice gardener, I understand how hard it can be to envision greatness from a plot of seemingly dull, uncultivated earth. It takes a lot of imagination, creativity, and humility to open yourself up to asking questions and brainstorming what your dream garden can look like. Questions like: Should I get my soil tested? What type of trees would thrive in my yard? Or, how should I seed my lawn? All of these are great questions to investigate when designing the foundations for your soon-to-be flourishing garden. Let’s take a look at other items to consider before digging in this spring.
If you are at all concerned about décor or landscaping, you may inquire about different color schemes in the garden. We recently received this question about pine trees, “do pinecones come in different colors? My pinecones don’t match the color of my home.” Although pinecones may change color during their maturation phase, sadly no, they do not come in different colors just different sizes.
Other common considerations would be insects. Questions related to the insects in Colorado are a big source of concern, rightfully so. Consider the plight of the Emerald Ash Borer, which has been hitting Boulder County – you can find more information here. It’s important to know what insects prefer certain plants and how to create bio-defense systems in your yard to ward off aphids and bugs, especially if you’re opposed to insecticides. Take this scenario about ants we received via email a few months back: A lady was setting out a bowl of honey every night in her backyard. Every morning, she would wake up and find it covered with ants. Her question was, “why are there always ants in my bowl of honey?” Turns out she was setting the bowl of honey out just for fun without realizing the tantalizing effect it would have on the ants.
Or this scenario from a scoleciphobic, “Recently, I had a worm land on my arm and the worm juice burned me.” His question to us was, “have you ever studied the effects of worm juice on human skin?” I can say with certainty that I personally have not, but maybe we can send this potential thesis gold to the CSU Agricultural Department and see who bites. He may also want to commiserate with a woman who wrote us saying with the warming weather, the worms in her yard have recently come alive and the noise is deafening. Lastly for entomology, a recent inquiry about stomach bugs (no pun intended), “Do you know what kind of insect to swallow to cure intestinal problems?” No sir, we are not doctors, but maybe it’s time to see your local physician. I hope you get better soon.
Many know what a dirty business gardening can be. You have mud, and bugs, and it’s hot. Not for the faint hearted, so if you’re prone to cleanliness, you may want to consider gloves and veggie wash if you intend to eat what you grow. This advice was given in response to an inquiry we received asking the best way to get all of the germs out of the soil.
So folks, the moral here is this: Master Gardeners are very well equipped to answer all sorts of garden and plant related questions, however, if the issue persists we would recommend seeing a doctor. Come visit us at our upcoming Plant Sale on May 14-15 at Harvard Gulch, 888 E. Iliff Ave., and get face time with us for all of your gardening and planting needs. Another wonderful opportunity to catch us is at the Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market every Saturday, April through October. And don’t forget, the more detail and photos you can provide about a current issue or problem area, the better.
Happy Gardening and remember the more you know the more you grow!
Submitted by Rikki Ruben, a Denver County Master Gardener