Archive for March, 2014

They’re on Their Way!

One of our Advanced Master Gardeners sent this article to post:

As of Wednesday, March 26, migrating hummingbirds have moved into lower Tennessee and into North Carolina. You can follow their progress on this website: http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html.

For our area, the rule of thumb is to put out feeders on Tax Day and remove them on Halloween. The last hummingbird I saw was on Oct 1, 2013, but I kept the feeders up until Oct. 31.

Remember to use a 4:1 ratio of water to sugar: Add ¼ cup white sugar to 1 cup of boiling water and allow the nectar solution to cool before filling the feeders. Any leftover solution can be refrigerated for up to a week, but try to change the solution in the feeders every few days.

DO NOT add food coloring or dye to the solution! Studies have shown that food coloring can be detrimental to the hummingbirds.

Providing this food for them as they migrate through entices them to stick around until they can supplement their food source with nectar from Cardinal Flower, Columbine, Coral Bells, Guara, Liatris, Rose of Sharon, Zinnia, and many other flowers.


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Posting a Question:

By Winnie Webb

What do you do when you hold a class and the people the class was designed for do not attend?
The Basic Home and Community Gardening class was held at the city of Monroe recreation department on January 10,2014. Bob Bransky, the garden liason for the community gardens at Munson Park in Monroe, was very well prepared with a great power point. He intended to cover the many facets needed to plan, plant, and maintaining a home garden. He also brought several various sized containers demonstrating composting and some interesting handouts. The next portion of the program was planned around community gardening, specifically to the Munson Park plots. This garden off of North Custer road has access to running water now. Plots are rented out by the season for a nominal fee. There is a storage shed on the property and there are informal day events planned to help with plot prep, planting and harvesting. This would be a great way for someone who had very little or no gardening space to not only raise home grown food but meet some interesting new friends. Another idea would be for someone who wanted to raise a large amount of tomatoes, beans, or cucumbers for canning or freezing and didn’t have space. Information on renting plots can be had by calling the City of Monroe Park and Recreation manager Loretta LaPointe at 734 384 9156 orwww.monroemi.gov.
To answer the question posed by the article title “What do you do when people don’t show up for a class: be flexible and share information! The attendees were Mr. Branskys friend Lisa, Loretta Lapointe, Michelle Buberniak and myself. So we weren’t exactly new gardeners! What we did find out was that Bob was active now in Wayne County MG programs because that’s where he took classes a few years ago when our local MSUE MG program did not offer classes. He actually thought there was no master gardener program in Monroe and that the Extension office was closed. How happy was I to inform him differently! Then I invited him and Lisa to start attending our meetings and functions. We were also able to tell him and Ms LaPointe of various other community gardens and planted areas around the county that we knew of that they had no previous knowledge. Programs at the Bedford Library, Arthur Leslow Community Center raised garden beds, Extension display gardens and several others. In turn, they shared with us the ideas the city has to create garden areas in various city parks for the public which may very well add to opportunities for master gardeners to teach and assist others and gain volunteer or education hours in the future. We had a great time that night turning what could have been a “disappointing turnout” into a wonderful opportunity to meet these new friends, network, and share interesting ideas and information. The following Saturday at the Bonsai class held at Flower Market, Bob and Lisa attended and met more local master gardeners and hopefully will continue to be a part of us for years to come. Every opportunity is an invitation for a positive outcome.

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