We are extremely proud to have a monthly column in The Black Mountain News. The column is titled Gardening in the Valley and the author is a member of the committee. Typically the column is the third Wednesday of each month. So pick up a copy of the paper.
Also want to thank Rhonda Reedy for her behind the scenes management of the column and working with the paper. For being a relatively new member, she has already done so much for our committee.
Committee members interested in writing an article, please contact Rhonda. If you are wondering what to write about, select a month and we can offer you some suggestions.
Scroll down to read this month's column.
Are you thinking about making a few resolutions for the coming year? Instead of making a resolution to better yourself, why not make some to better the world around you? Your garden is the perfect place to start! To help you get started, here are some gardening resolutions that all gardeners should consider:
Did you hear that big noise outside? It was the mailman delivering more seed catalogs. Now is the perfect time to look through the new seed catalogs and purchase flower, herbs and vegetables seeds for your garden. Did you also know that we have our own local seed store? Sow True Seeds in Asheville has a wonderful catalog which is an everlasting source of information and carry a variety of seeds that do well in our area.
Birds are such welcome tenants and we need to be good landlords. Just like us, they need food, water and shelter. Make time in your morning schedule to refill the feeders and to give them fresh water. From time to time clean the feeders and bird baths as it will help decrease the possibility of spreading sickness among the flock. Shelter can be as simple as allowing them space to build their own custom home and/or installing ready-built houses.
Sure you recycle glass, plastic and newspaper but how about vegetable scraps, leaves and plant waste for composting? It's easy enough to do, plus it reduces the amount of trash sent to the landfill. Leaves can be raked or collect them with a bagging mower which breaks down their size quickly. The bonus of building and maintaining a compost pile is it will soon be transformed into rich, dark and crumbly soil for your garden.
Whether just starting or been gardening for years, expand your “green thumb” knowledge by attending locally sponsored courses. A variety of courses are given at The NC Arboretum, Organic Growers School and Botanical Gardens at Asheville. The Buncombe County Extension Master Gardener volunteers offer two free gardening series called "Gardening in the Mountains" and "Saturday Seminar".
By increasing the native plant selections in your garden, it will attract and support many pollinators species beyond bees. It will also improve the overall health of your ecosystem. But do some research on your native selections as some can be evasive ~ just like those relatives that come for a short visit and never want to leave. Just sayin'!
Yes, you do have enough room to grow food! Vegetable and herb plants can be intermingled in your landscape beds, in plant containers and can be grown vertically. Just think how nice it would be to go pick fresh greens and veggies from your garden. Plus, if you’re hoping to lose a few pounds there’s nothing better than homegrown vegetables to meet that resolution, too.
How about giving back to the gardening community by volunteering! The Black Mountain Beautification Committee always has the welcome mat out. We have a wide variety of activities from getting dirt underneath your finger nails to paper cuts! Come join us as we have fun together by making the town a more beautiful place to live and visit.
No matter what your gardening resolutions will be, make sure you get outside and enjoy our beautiful valley that we call home. Happy New Year!
Bio: Lyndall Noyes-Brownell is proud to serve as co-chair of the Black Mountain Beautification Committee and is a Buncombe County Extension Master Gardener. She also is the webmaster for blackmountainbeautification.org and cares for plant containers in Black Mountain.