Stillwater News Press

Garden

February 15, 2014

In the Garden 02-16-14

Clean water, air sustain life

When I consider the foundation of life, plant or animal, physical or spiritual, I keep coming up with the basic elements air, water and food.

Plants and people need clean air, clean water and nourishing food. Life can be sustained for a time with tainted water, polluted air and mere caloric intake, but under these conditions health is compromised.

If the quality of these basic elements is compromised, optimal health and ultimately fruit, flower or harvest will also be lacking.

Little can be done to improve air quality in an outdoor garden. Luckily, we do not live in a city that experiences air pollution alerts, though many cities add this to their local weather reports in the same way ours reports on mold and pollen in the air. We don’t really consider pollen a pollutant because it comes from a natural source, but many parts of the country prohibit or restrict the planting of certain trees because of the amount of pollen they produce. If it blocks our sinuses and airways, it can block the stomata — plant “pores” that open and close to transfer air and water to and from the plant.

Water is another life giving element that we have little control over. Most farmers and many gardeners rely on rainfall alone to irrigate their plantings.

Savvy homeowners may collect rainwater from a roof to supplement or supply their garden’s water. With the rising cost and restrictive use of municipalities’ water this will soon become more commonplace. Can we contribute to our water’s cleanliness? I believe we can by properly disposing of chemical, paint and other toxic household waste. We can also take the time to educate ourselves concerning the products we purchase and use in our landscapes. Resist believing sound bites used to market a product.

They are contrived to sell you on the product. Dig a little deeper, please.

Nutritious food is the last element to consider. I am reminded of a line in a recent article regarding a broken oil valve coating a neighborhood overnight with a layer of oil. It may have been an unforeseen accident, but after the company sent in a clean-up crew, the spokesperson stated something to the effect that a layer of oil acts as fertilizer to a lawn.

Really?! I may have been able to swallow a stretch that oil would act as a fungicide or pesticide, but fertilizer?

It’s like smoothing yogurt over a Twinkie to sell it as health food. We know people need fiber as well as vitamins and proteins; plants need organic matter, humus, not just soluble blue fertilizer.

LeeAnn Barton has worked with nurseries for more than 20 years. She digs in the dirt in Stillwater. Direct questions to her by emailing leeannbarton@sbcglobal.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Garden
  • Farmers Market

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park at the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Main Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What’s at market this week?

    July 23, 2014

  • Grow! 07-20-14

    Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden and landscape. They come in a variety of colors that enhance your yard. However, like other plants, roses are susceptible to disease. One that seems to hit roses the hardest is rose rosette disease caused by the rose rosette virus.

    July 19, 2014

  • Seed to Table 07-20-14

    Weed control is an important part of food production. So, I recently undertook an effort to rid my pastures of a particularly noxious weed.

    July 19, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-20-14

    Mulch is full of purpose. What it lacks in mystery, it makes up in function. Mulch contributes to healthy gardens. No one ponders or debates it, yet many do not take the time to mulch.

    July 19, 2014

  • Farmers Market 07-17-14

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • Grow! 07-13-14

    If you have no space outdoors for a garden, don’t despair because you can still grow something consumable. Bean sprouts are the easiest and fastest crop to grow.

    July 13, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-13-14

    “Where’s the relief?” That is what I’ve been thinking all week in the garden. I water, wondering if the mist is going to cool or cook the plants. I assumed the last thing anyone would consider this week is planting — anything!

    July 13, 2014

  • Farmers Market 07-10-14

    What’s at market this week?
    Fruits and veggies: Bell peppers, beets, blackberries, cabbage, carrots, collards, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green beans, jalapenos, leeks, new potatoes, onions, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelon
    Baked goods: Biscotti, cakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, muffins, pies, scones and turnovers

    July 10, 2014

  • Grow! 07-06-14

    Sometimes it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone. This is true for clothing selection, restaurant choices and even the types of plants and shrubs you put in your landscape.

    July 5, 2014

  • Seed to Table 07-06-14

    One bright spot on the farm this spring is the vegetable garden. Because I was able to irrigate, it is thriving. We are at the height of the spring harvest period; and so far I have harvested the beets, carrots, onions, and cabbage – and will soon start on the potatoes.

    July 5, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Stocks
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Must Read