Has anyone noticed anything odd this spring? I am not talking about the record breaking temperatures either. I asked a horticulture college professor the precise question recently and he could not give me an answer. So before I let you in on it, I was wondering if anyone else had noticed. If you have noticed or you think you know what I am talking about, write in and tell me what you are thinking. I’ll give you my answer in the next blog. I look forward to your diverse borage of answers!
Until then, I’d like to catch up on some questions that have been piling up in the spring madness:
- Why are some Hosta slug resistant?
A slug’s taste requires tender green leaf tissue. If the leaf tissue is too thick the slug cannot enjoy a meal and will travel onto easier prey. Some variety of Hosta have been engineered for a thicker leaf tissue – hence the “slug resistance”. When I was a little girl I use to scout the neighborhood and collect slugs so I have a certain novelty for them – Their little Gary eyes…Though, if you’d rather not have them sliding around on your delectable plantings then spread a small ring of vermiculite under the plant anywhere they could gain access up a stem. Keep leaves from touching the ground or spread more vermiculite. The slugs will not pass over this “ring of terror” as it may cut their tender bodies.
- What are Fiddleheads?
Fiddleheads are a term to describe the fronds of a fern as they are just emerging and unfurling. When fern fronds are young and tender they take on the shape of the head of a fiddle.
- They sell Fiddleheads in the grocery store, are all ferns edible?
I would not recommend it as most ferns are full of carcinogens, which is not something you want to consume. The fiddleheads sold in the grocery store are more than likely from the Ostrich fern, which is very common in our area. The Ostrich fern has much lower carcinogen content so they are more digestible. Cinnamon ferns are consumed in this way as well. You can pick the fronds of the Ostrich fern as they are just beginning to unfurl approx. 4-8” with the fiddlehead appearance. Clean them well and remove the leaflets and hairs. Boil them in water or sauté them in olive oil just like asparagus. I caution you to not make a frequent meal of them as they do still contain carcinogens which may build up in your system with time.
- Why is a Chicago Hardy Fig hardier for our climate than other fig trees?
The Chicago Hardy fig acts more like a perennial than a fruit tree. Most Fig trees need to be buried in the late fall so they will survive our winters. This consists of basically digging a grave beside the tree, tipping it into this hole and burying it completely. That is a lot of work! The Chicago Hardy fig dies back to the soil line in the late fall just like our perennials. Once it is established for over three years the fruit production is phenomenal. If you like figs you need this “tree”.
- Can I use Rabbit Poo as a fertilizer in my landscape?
This is the first time I have been asked this. Upon asking someone in the know about this I have found; yes, you can use rabbit poo as a fertilizer. Some rabbit poo lovers will grab it by the handfuls and spread it around the garden fresh from under the rabbit cage. Others worry about pathogens so they add it to their compost to make sure it is safe. And still others will place some in the bottom of a five gallon bucket, add water, let it stew and stir for a few days and viola Rabbit poo tea for your plants. It is also safe to use in the veggie garden and it is high in nitrogen.
So see, the Easter bunny is good for more things than just bringing us chocolate!!