News from, “The Upland Gardener”

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by M. L. Wells, Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener

Every good gardener relies on the free labor of several helpers. We all know how more than half of what we eat is pollinated by our friendly bees and that they are having a hard time as of late. We can help by not using indiscriminate insecticides which kills them all; good and bad in equal measure.

Our friendly toads (unlike the fellow in the “Wind of the Willows”) began their trilling the first of May. After courting in the ponds, the moved up to our lawns and gardens to devour many undesirables – be glad they are small.

Our delayed spring has held up the first butterfly appearances – the mourning cloak and blue azure. All their kin will also help with pollination even if their caterpillars will munch on some of our leaves. Well, nothing is perfect; we lost that option when Eve ate that apple way back when.

Finally, there are the summer birds. They have been coming back since February’s redwings…. By early May, all the usual house and garden species are back: robins hop the lawn, bluebirds sit in the Lilac and inspect the birdhouse (so do the tree swallows which cause me to set up the four, 50-feet-apart, boxes in pairs). Like a two-year-old can be encouraged to share!! Lastly, the phoebes are looking over the mud puddles and eyeing the window ledges for a spot to affix their next.

Remember the insects outnumber us and we need all the help we can get. Build a birdhouse! Build a toad house! Have fun!


Thank you Tinkertown Hardware and Master Gardeners from M. L. Wells

Winter has come and gone and all those daffodils which spent their time growing in the fridge are now in bloom and have been passed on to the housebound! These and those bright yellow blooms in the window sills surely do cry out “Spring Time!”

Grow Your Own workshop series

with Master Gardener, Mary Lu Wells

The fifth session of “Grown Your Own” Zoom presentation from the Alfred Box of Books Library will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd.

We will go over your favorite topic – WEEDING – a must-do chore. June is also the time to put down your summer mulch; we’ll tell you what and when and how. We will also discuss what to stake and how.

Come June 17th we will diverge a bit and cover the butterfly garden, especially those edible flowers which fit right in with your veggies. The seventh session rolls over to July 1st: bugs – who are they (good or bad) and what to do about them – if anything. So mark down time and dates and remember to tune in. Please bring your topical questions!

These are online presentations offered free of charge through the Alfred Box of Books. For more details visit their event page: http://alfredboxofbookslibrary.org/events/. No pre-registration required, simply click on the link the day of the event.

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