GARDENING TIPS: If you didn’t get around to cleaning your gardening tools before putting them up this winter, do so now at the beginning of the season. Look them over and give them a good cleaning. Sharpen the business edges of shovels and hoes. Sand down wooden handles and then rub them down with linseed oil.
Here’s one way to keep trowels, shovels, and other tools from getting rusty: Fill a 5-gallon bucket with sand almost to the top and then sprinkle some motor oil over the top. Stick the sharp ends of your tools in there when they’re not in use and they won’t get all rusty.
The Weekend Gardener
WPTF’s Weekend Gardener radio show has been on the air since 1985 and is a wonderful 3-hour exploration of flower and lawn care, soil improvement and pest control ideas, and much more. It airs every Saturday, 8–11am, on 680am AND 98.5fm. If you were too busy to listen, you can always click here and listen to past shows.
Duke Gardens workshops, tours & shows
Sarah P Duke Gardens will host Ethnobotany: A Free Virtual Walk on the Wild Side on Thursday, June 4, 11am–noon. Enjoy a “stroll” through the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants and learn about many useful plants, including the endangered native sunflower. Click here for more info and click here to join the event on Zoom.
Sarah P Duke Gardens presents Seasonal Celebrities: Summer Plants for NC Gardens on Saturday, June 6, 10am–1pm. Jan Little will introduce the audience to all kinds of plants—including perennials, shrubs, and trees—that would work well in our gardens. Click here to register so you can get the Zoom link.
Additional sessions will be held on June 13, 20, and 27.
How to tell certain ‘flying things’ apart
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance will host Composting at Home: An Introduction to the Basics, part of the Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program, on Thursday, May 7, 1–2:30pm. North Carolina State University professor Rhonda Sherman and Brenda Platt, director of the Composting for Community Initiative, will teach how to enrich the soil in your garden with food scraps. You’ll also learn about vermicomposting, which is allowing earthworms to break down your food scraps in a special box or container. Click here for more info and to sign up for this free webinar.
NC State’s ‘Extension Gardener’
Here’s the Winter edition of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s online publication, “Extension Gardener”:
Digging Durham Seed Library
A creative partnership of the Durham County Library, SEEDS, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, NC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, and the Durham Library Foundation has resulted in the Digging Durham Seed Library. Now you have a place to get free seeds to start your garden, including flowers, vegetables, and herbs. The South Regional, East Regional, North Regional, and Southwest Regional libraries have seed libraries. Contact Margaret Anderson at 919-560-8598 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Tell us your success story about planting a garden using seeds from the Digging Durham Seed Library:
Main Library—300 N Roxboro St, 919-560-0100 [closed; under renovation]
South Regional—4505 S Alston Ave, 919-560-7409
East Regional—211 Lick Creek Ln, 919-560-0203
North Regional—221 Milton Rd, 919-560-0231
Southwest Regional—3605 Shannon Rd, 919-560-8590.