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End of summer

August 25, 2017
By H.I. JEANS SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

I know it is still hot and humidity is still hanging heavy on us, but check the calendar. Labor Day weekend will be happening in one week.

That holiday weekend will not be as exciting as the rare moon blacking out the entire sun event we just witnessed last Monday, however there will be hoards of people on the road and in tents all over the land, ready for one more fling before settling down to the business of life until the next big holiday.

I see that next big holiday will be about two months away. I wonder if we are having too many holidays. I hear people cutting back on this and that, flying away does not seem as friendly as it used to be, lots of bicycles nowadays but none to serve mom, dad and the 2 1/2 kids we are supposed to be bearing.

I guess that means stay home and plant some food, flowers, trees and maybe a little good cheer around town. I know for a fact gardening has heated up this past couple of weeks.

School children in the Cape are already dipping their green thumbs into starter pots and figuring out what their gardening mentors are going to let them explore out in the school gardens.

Of course, there were adults busy at school before school started, getting supplies ordered and plotting a course. In case you have not heard, gardening in the school system is a hot deal. Students from high school all the way down to the lower grades are busy little beavers.

Harvest time is exceptional. Thousands of pounds of food are given away to the local food bank. Watch the papers for a date when a school will have its goodies for sale. The food is sometimes turned into brownies, cookies and other savory treats. I had my first brownie with greens baked in it last spring at Trafalgar Middle School. It sure was good.

All gardeners are students in a way. We learn over and over again that just because we plant something does not mean it will grow. Remember, right plant - right place.

The Cape Coral fertilizer ordinance is still in force until Sept. 30. Copies of the ordinance are at City Hall in a large rack with a lot of other interesting things to know and do in the Cape.

It looks like there will be gardening pots available soon over on the north side of City Hall. They will be rented to residents, and have a few other rules. This is a Rotary project.

You can start prying away or breaking up all your old mulch. It is caked and too hard to let much rain through by now. There are about seven types of mulch plus gravel plus gravel of pebbles.

When we moved here, our home had a lot of pebbles. Seemed a little hot, but looked OK and stayed in place. When I joined the Garden Club, I was in hot water about those hot pebbles without any organic content. The pebbles did not hold any water either and every time we had a big wind, horticulture came from blocks around just to lay in the nice warm pebbles. I so needed a pebble vacuum cleaner.

Keep the suntan oil handy we still need hats and lots of water. Keep everything that holds water drained mosquitos are here!

Happy gardening till we meet again.

-H.I. Jean Shields is Past President of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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