Photo via http://ow.ly/10CGdb
April is National Gardening Month, and I’ve started the celebrations by planting flowers to attract butterflies to my garden, and also planted a small herb garden to cook with. This week, I dug a little deeper into National Gardening Month and all of its celebrations. Enjoy!
The Beginnings of National Gardening Month
National Gardening Month actually began as National Gardening Week. It all started with an idea from the people at the National Gardening Bureau. They wanted to create an official celebration of gardening. With the support of 23 other national horticultural organizations, the National Gardening Bureau took their request to Washington to turn their idea into reality. In April of 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation making National Gardening Week official. The National Garden Association took the reins in 2002 to turn that week of celebration into a month. The first official National Gardening Month was celebrated in 2003!
Create a Window Box for Pollinators
One of the most exciting activities you can participate in to celebrate National Gardening Month is to create a window box for pollinators. Pollinators including butterflies, bees, birds, and bats play a major role in the growth of many of our crops. Creating a window box that attracts pollinators that live in your area or ecoregion gives them easy access to the nutrients they need to do their work. As an example, a person who lives in Ohio can attract butterflies by planting purple coneflowers, marigolds, zinnias, and asters in a window box. You can support pollinators and enjoy watching their activities at the same time!
Photo via http://ow.ly/10CJcO
Ways to Participate in the Celebration
There are several ways to participate in National Gardening Month even if you don’t have the space for a garden or even a window box. One idea is to volunteer to help plant a community garden. These gardens are usually located in urban areas where many families get to enjoy them. Another idea is to grow a few herbs in small containers on your windowsill. Mint, lavender, basil, and oregano are all herbs that are right at home on a sunny windowsill. Other ideas include helping a family member with their garden, starting a gardening project at a local elementary school, or volunteering to work in a greenhouse.
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Unusual Gardening Tips
Here are some fun gardening tips that you may not have heard of:
- Warm up your plants by placing buckets of water in your garden during the day. The sun will warm the water, and at night, the heat will emanate out to the plants in your garden.
- We know that seeds can’t grow without sunlight, so try tilling your garden in the moonlight to discourage the growth of weeds around your plants.
- Plants need iron to grow. Supply them with the iron they need by putting a gathering of rusty nails into a coffee can full of water. Then, dump the water onto your plants.
- Did you know you could use beer to get rid of slugs in your garden? Simply fill a jar halfway with beer and put it near your plants. Slugs are attracted to the smell of beer and will crawl into the jar and drown.
Happy National Gardening Month!