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Hello Fellow Gardeners,
This is a quick reminder about the Guilford Horticultural Society’s annual Symposium coming up this Saturday, Feb 23rd, 8:30 to 3:45, at the Emerald Event Center on Wendover Ave. It will be a day full of excellent speakers, plants from local growers, food, door prizes and an opportunity to spend the day with fellow gardeners. What better way to spend a cold winter day? It is usually sold out by now, but there are still a few seats left. This is my 11th year to attend and I would not miss it!
Bryce Lane who does the weekly garden shows on UNC TV will be the keynote speaker. Registration is only $45 incuding lunch. Even if you could only stay for the morning presentations, the price would be worth it! Here is a link to the website where you can view the whole agenda and registration form: http://www.guilfordhorticulturalsociety.org/symposium/ For more information and to register, call Sue Hughes at (336) 292-0227 or email her at email@example.com.
Questions have come up as to whether animal manures are still as safe as they once were given our use of broadleaf weed killers, chemical fertilizers and now GMO pasture grasses. It is a known fact (Ask our Extension Agent, Karen Neill) that if horses graze on pastures that have been sprayed with common broadleaf weed killers such as 2-4D, the chemical does not break down as it goes through the horse. Horse manure tainted with 2-4D can kill your tender vegetable plants, annuals and perennials. ANY animal manure that is too fresh can burn your plants as well. Well-aged manure (9-12 months) usually resolves both problems.
I called Donna at the Garden Outlet this morning to inquire about the source of her horse manure. She says it comes from a farm that raises grain-fed show horses. The manure has composted at high temperatures and is well aged. It is probably it is OK. There are no guarantees.
Please recognize that we no longer live in a chemical free world. The safest source of compost is making your own from shredded leaves and grass that has not been chemically treated. If you are buying it, you will want to be a cautious consumer – test the pH, check for a pleasant earthy smell and inquire about the source. Activated charcoal or “Bio-char” has many benefits including helping to remove toxins from your soil (more details in class). I will be getting some soon to share with you.