I hope your garden is doing better than mine this year. The tomatoes and peppers started to grow as soon as I planted them, but with the unexpected cold weather, they stopped growing and seem to be sulking. The cucumbers and squashes are threatening to die. Well see how the season turns out.
There are two new books on the shelves at the Boise Public Library and an online magazine that gardeners will be interested in reading.
The first book that gardeners will want to read is Decoding Garden Advice The Science Behind the 100 Most Common Recommendations, by Dr. Jeff Gillman.
Dr. Gillman is a horticulture professor at the University of Minnesota.
One of the mysteries unraveled in the book is why grass dies when dogs do their business on the lawn. Its a matter of fertilization. Or more precisely, overfertilization. Urine contains a high concentration of nitrogen the N in NPK on fertilizer packages.
Nitrogen promotes growth of leaves and stems. However, the nitrogen content in urine is so high that it burns grass. In order to use urine as a fertilizer, it needs to be diluted with water: 10 parts water to 1 part urine. Unfortunately, pets dont come with a warning label!
The second book is American Grown, by first lady Michelle Obama. I havent read it yet but Im on the librarys waiting list. Reviews of the book say that its inspiring for novice gardeners and the photos alone are worth the price of the book. One review suggested that parents read this book with their children.
Theres a new free online magazine for gardeners and anyone else who enjoys being outdoors in their garden. The quarterly magazine is simply called Leaf.
So far, there are only two issues, but theyre full of landscaping ideas and articles.
The photos are eye candy for gardeners.
Foothills Learning Center
Last summer, a beekeeper brought a hive to the Western Idaho Fair so people could see what went on inside one. There were crowds of people around the hive and it was hard to get a chance to see the bees activity.
Now the Foothills Learning Center has an indoor hive thats easy to see. Its made of sturdy plexiglass and the bees are easy to see. Theres a hole in the wall so the bees can access the many plants of Hulls Gulch. If you havent been to the Foothills Learning Center lately, plan on visiting soon. Theres a program every second Saturday of each month.
The Garden Professors: https://sharepoint.cahnrs.wsu.edu/blogs/urbanhort/default.aspx
The Foothills Learning Center: http://bee.cityofboise.org/Foothills/index.aspx
If you have questions about gardening for Master Gardener Elaine Walkers column, send them to email@example.com.