Gardening Tips to Spade in Spring--Happy Spring Equinox!
Happy Weekend, everyone, and Happy Spring!!
It’s finally upon us, although Mama Nature doesn’t seem to quite know if she wants to keep the ski slopes open on Tahoe all summer, yet…
I hope you all were more fortunate than I, and were able to experience the magnificent Super Worm Moon on Wednesday. As the last supermoon of the year, it fell right on the spring equinox. What incredible energy to ring in a new beginning. Here in Reno, just like the last supermoon, it was an extremely cloudy night—I could barely see the outline through the thick sky, but I can tell you I definitely felt it. I was up all night with restless energy and couldn’t fall asleep, to save my life…
I want to change up the posting, a bit—Spring and all, a good topic to touch on is blooming flowers, plant love, and the nature that goes with it. In particular—bees!!
Now is the time, if you haven’t already started, to garden and plant your seasonal fruits, veggies, and flowers. For me in Nevada, I’m trying to hoard more and more plants into my home because it helps with how arid this place is (my eyeballs have too much surface area). I’ve read that some of the best plants to increase your home’s humidity include the mini-tree Areca Palm (by mini, I mean it’s a tree that would do well to take up the corner of a room—one 6’ palm can transpire up to 1 quart of water every 24 hours), and English Ivy, a plant that also makes a top list in easiest to take care of. Both plants are relatively low maintenance, can be grown well together, like bright sunshine, and will be finding themselves in my home in the next month or so.
My brother has a spider plant, that also reached my top 5 for most transpiring and easiest to care for, but given that I have to trim the little babies off every so often, maybe it’s not the best for me…
While you’re doing your own research into what space you would like to create and what plants best serve you (I also have several tomato sprouts growing, because I love ‘maters), please remember the little critters that will also enjoy your green space. If you’re looking at planting veggies or herbs, sage, mint, marjoram, oregano, cilantro, thyme, and fennel are all bee-happy plants that provide tons of nectar to both season your dinner dish and keep the bees fed and coming back. Rosemary and lavender are great ones, too, whose oils are used for their stress-relieving and anti-anxiety affects, but also works as natural mosquito repellants!
Buttercup, hollyhocks, geranium, sweet alyssum, poppy, sunflowers, and zinnia are also great blossoming flowers that provide supple amounts of nectar—just remember, the bees will come! So be sure to plant them in an area where they won’t also get trapped in your bedroom! I plan on planting a handful of lavender seeds for my bedroom, and spreading the rest of the seeds in a window sill flower box to be kept on a window with a permanent screen.
Tying into the moons, the next new moon is scheduled for April 5th. New moons are great for planting seedlings on, because they exude the strongest levels of grounding energy—perfect for little plants taking root and starting their new beginning. So you have two weeks to collect your seeds and gardening supplies, and get to it!
The next full moon is scheduled for April 19th—4 weeks. If new moons are great for planting, then you betcha, full moons provide the strongest energy for transplanting (I’m serious—if you don’t believe me, walk into a kindergarden classroom the morning of a full moon and see how those rascals act! Or, read an edition of the Farmer’s Almanac and see when it recommends you to sow your crops ;))
If you’re transplanting seeds you’ve organically grown yourself into larger pots or into the wild outdoors, awesome-sauce. If you’re starting your spring-to-summer garden from starter plants purchased at your local hardware or home-goods store, one huge thing to be aware of is how that plant was grown and fed up until you purchased it.
If you’re like me and this is your first year really getting into the whole plant thing, then you also may never have heard of neonicotinoids. We’re going to get a little educational, here:
Neonicotinoids are insecticides, and the word directly breaks down to “new nicotine-like insecticides”. Like nicotine, it works on certain receptors in the nerve synapse, and is more toxic to invertebrates than it is to birds and other mammals. Neonicotinoids are super effective against sap-feeding insects like aphids due to how easily they dissolve in water and get sucked up and spread throughout the plant. Drinking the sap is like drinking poison-water.
You know what else is liquid-y and is produced by the flower? Nectar.
You know what invertebrate drinks nectar? Bees.
You know what’s been scientifically linked to the decline of the bee population? Neonicotinoids.
You know what’s (allegedly) illegal in the UK & Europe? Neonicotinoids.
You know what’s “FDA Approved” and still sprayed on plants you can buy from Home Depot, Lowes’, Walmart, etc., in the US? Neonicotinoids.
While I can keep that chain going all night, what it boils down to, is please, going into planting season for what will feed our friendly pollinators, be a conscious consumer. Plants treated with insecticides should be labeled with what they are treated with, but to be on the safe side, I would highly recommend buying local and to buy organic. Even if you can wash the poison off, it soaks into the fruit of the plant and all aspects of it. You’ll consume trace amounts, if it’s put into your edible herbs, and the bees take the toxic nectar back to their hives. The next step is an entire colony potentially sick due to returned visits to a single treated garden.
So please, be kind, and be organic with your plants, this year :)
Because I have the space, I’m working on getting a compost bin nailed together and up in the backyard, too, to help cut down both on food-to-landfill waste and to give me a plentiful supply of topsoil for later planting adventures. Once I get it all together, I’ll be sure to post plenty of pictures.
What garden adventures do you have planned for this year? What plants have you had success nurturing and sustaining, and what green space helps best to cultivate your energy? I’d love to hear in the comments and if you enjoy the content, please be sure to subscribe :)