Time for gardeners to give thanks | THE COMPLEAT HOME GARDENER

Gardeners in Western Washington can adapt an attitude of gratitude each time they look outdoors and enjoy the reason we call this the Evergreen State.

The third week of November is the time to give thanks. Gardeners in Western Washington can adapt an attitude of gratitude each time they look outdoors and enjoy the reason we call this the Evergreen State.

Here are a few more tributes to our climate and things not to worry about if you’re lucky enough to live here:

Be thankful for our weather.

We don’t lose giant trees or small houses to tornados, cyclones or hurricanes. Our windstorms can be fierce but they don’t pick up houses and transport them over the rainbow.

Be thankful for our mountains.

We live on the green and wet side of the Cascade Mountains and this range provides more than just beautiful scenery. They also supply the region with plenty of clean renewable water.

There is no danger of our area turning into a dustbowl, thanks to ocean storms and the barrier of our beautiful mountains. Sure we must still conserve our liquid assets; but even without supplemental watering, our lawns would stay green (except in late summer) our fruit and flowering trees would still produce and there are plenty of flowers that thrive on our rainfall alone.

Be thankful for the updated gardening information that has made home maintenance easier.

We no longer need to paint cut tree limbs – science proves they heal best when exposed to the air. We don’t have to collect the lawn clippings – science proves they will decompose and return nitrogen to the soil. We no longer need to burn piles of leaves when they clog the streets in the fall – cities now collect yard waste and turn it into compost. We no longer spray toxic poisons all over our gardens to destroy all insects – science shows heavy use of pesticides does more harm than good.

Be thankful for the Master Gardener Program

Washington State University gets credit for planting the seed of the first Master Gardener program more than 40 years ago. The idea of training interested citizens with science-wbased gardening information that they then share with the public has now spread to all 50 states and many foreign countries.

In exchange for training the Master Gardeners give back to the community by donating thousands of hours to answering questions, maintaining test gardens and teaching others how to compost, mulch and control garden pests. Every community has been enriched by the Master Gardener Program.

Ready to give back? If you love gardening and are ready to give back something to your community, learn more about becoming a Master Gardener at www. mastergardener.wsu.edu You’ll thank me.

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