Aspirin For Your Garden
by Charlie Nardozzi
The next time you have a headache and reach for the bottle of aspirin, consider sharing some with your garden plants. Tests last year at the Organic Vegetable Garden at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston showed that spraying a water solution containing aspirin increased yields and the quality of tomatoes, eggplant, basil, and other vegetables.
The vegetables were grown in compost-amended soil with drip irrigation. Beds were sprayed every 3 weeks with aspirin water (1.5 aspirins per 2 gallons of water). Its thought that the salicylic acid in aspirin trigger the plants natural defenses and boosts the plants growth rate. Not only were the aspirin treated plants healthier, than produced better than those plants treated with a commercial bio stimulant. The plants grew larger and produced more than in the control beds.
For more information about the demonstration vegetable garden, contact the University of Rhode Island Demonstration Vegetable Garden at http://www.uri.edu/ce/healthylandscapes/cecenter.html
Worked in the garden from about 7 till 8:30. Will do more later. I have to avoid the sun. I'm sitting in the shade in my backyard at the moment. It has been a hard week for me, emotionally, since I got some bad news about a loved one that I am having a bit of a hard time getting used to. I find peace in the garden and I like to think of how Jesus did, too. It is definitely springtime. The birds are singing, the trees are mostly leafed out or are blooming. The stately sycamore in the back corner of my yard is never in a hurry to leaf out. The wild (and sometimes weedy!) violets are carpeting the lawn, especially underneath the sycamore and around the swingset. I always enjoy the purple and occasionally whilte blossoms of these sweet little flower. I do love the heart-shaped leaves, as well. I am sorry to have to pull it up and throw it away when it grows where it isn't wanted. I even find it in my hanging strawberry planters. How??? I finally dug up what I think are the last of the raspberries I will try to save and share with friends. I must discipline myself to be ruthless in keeping them mowed down or pulled up from where I don't want them. At the moment, I feel like the patch is manageable.
I found 3 asparagus spears peeping up from their bed this morning as I pulled back the pinewood mulch. My, how full of life the soil is! There are always many unwelcomed seedlings that pop up, I guess from the compost. I should figure out some way to stop that, I guess. Not sure how to. The seedlings come up easily, but there are hundreds of them. I probably picked up 20 or more at one time....they were growing in an eggshell fragment that was still holding a bit of compost. There is one spear that is very fat and the other 2 look like they may be spindly. I planted 2 different kinds of asparagus spears last year. I tried to load them up with compost earlier in the year. I am not very happy with how they did last year. I do think they came up earlier last year, but I will have to check my records to be sure.
The last of the daffodils are still blooming. I see the necks of the stem of some of the flowers Dilara picked and brought in are swollen as the seeds are becoming ripe. I suppose we have nothing to lose by planting some. Of course, we can't eat them, but the spring flowers do brighten our hearts, and that is no small thing. I have some iris plants, multicolor beared iris that were shared by Hannah, the next door neighbor of David when he lived on Raywood land. I think she and her husband were Polish. Her husband had lost a leg in the war, I think, and we often saw him roaming around their yard in his wheelchair. David and the children all liked them. Anyway, I planted a few iris rhizomes (I guess that is what they are) by the fence on the east side and some in the back, but they don't get enough shade. I see no sign of the iris at the east fenceline, but they may be buried by leaves. I tried to pull some of the leaves back, but I didn't see the iris leaves. I am not exactly sure where they are, but they are south of the blackberries. I suppose i should move the iris...Perhaps I will do that today. It may not be the best time, but I think they will be happier in the long run. Actually, I think I shall do that now.
There...4 "fans" of bearded iris planted in what I hope will be a happy home. In that "bed" there are a Therese Bugnet rose, fragrant daylily-- including Stella D'oro brought from Autumn Ct, if I am not mistaken, speedwell, and siberian iris (from the Gordon residence, if I am not mistaken), orange daylily from Howard Moore Lane. I suppose I should be making a bed for the cutting garden, annual flowers. There is no grass where Perdy (the dog) was, and I suppose I should loosen it up and plant something nice. I was thinking of planting this Brunswick (?) fig that I got from the property at Blackman Ct. over in part of the bare spot. The ground is very uneven where the dogs have dug it up over the years.
The wild grapevines are having the tiniest little leaf buds. They will grow fast. I never finished cutting the grapevine back as much as I wanted. At least I got it away from the Triple Crown thornless blackberries. I really want to protect and nuture them. They are nicer to be around than the raspberries. I think the breeding (making them thornless) must have made them a little more delicate. The raspberries would take over my whole yard, I believe. I am surprised at how little the blackberries have spread.
So, I should note if the grapes and asparagus both start waking up at the same time. The raspberries have been leafed out for a while. I did not cut back the ones I dug up to share as much as I should have, but they seem to be adjusting. One was wilted for several days, but the leaves did not die.
I am enjoying eating from my garden what has been ready. Onion chives are making flowers...they are always so pretty, but so SPICY! Dilara has been eating wild onions from the garden. She loves eating from the yard. The onions I planted did not do so well. The radish seeds I planted still have a long ways to go. I suppose I should plant more radish and carrot seeds. I have 3 earthboxes to plant. The one the raspberries were in, the one the sugar snap peas were in last year (still 1/2 full, just needs topping off), and the earthbox that held parsley and a serrano pepper last year. It still has some thyme in it. I really should make a herb bed. I could easily do that over where the dogs were. I need to have the mint and rosemary in pots (maybe in a pot inside a pot, so the pot directly in the ground can be a place holder! I have lots of bricks. I have several burlap bags. I really do need to take advantage of the sunny spot where the dogs were to make a good planting bed. I could take all my leaves over there and cover them with burlap sacks...start a kind of lasagne garden. Dilara's sunflower house would go well there.
I still need to renovate my water lily container. I have that blue half-barrel I got from the side of the road. It needs to have the holes plugged. I am assuming there is nothing that would harm fish....My dream is to have a pretty container garden with a couple of shubunkin....I should be able to get some free from David.
I need to set up my rain barrels.
I pulled up so many Tristar strawberry plants. I need to be ruthless about cutting back runners. I want more fruit! I put the plants in a bucket of vermiculite. The green onions I bought fro K and S...3 bunches for $1 are keeping very well in a flowerpot of damp vermiculite. They are staying alive, making new roots, rather than slowly turning to mush in my refrigerator. I like to always have green onions on hand, and it looks like I figured out how to do that. It may be that I can grow new green onions from the ends, but I don't know if it is worth the trouble. I have 2 bunches of onion plants that I think may dry out before I get a chance to plant them. I put the in a flowerpot with damp vermiculite, in hopes that they will keep better there than in a paper bag.
I hope this evening to plant some things in my community garden plot. w