The May Regular Meeting of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club included an outstanding presentation on Gardening with Native Plants given by Carol Bangs, Landscape Design Horticulturist, MATC. Carol shared some tips for eliminating "opportunistic" (native, aggressive plants) and "invasive" (non-native, aggressive plants) from our gardens. The tools she recommended for this task included the Parsnip Predator, the Weed Wrench, and the Weed Torch. Click on the tool's name for a detailed description and purchasing information about each tool.
Carol also recommended two resources that every gardener should have in his or her library: Invasive Plants of The Upper Midwest by Elizabeth J Czarapata and The Wisconsin DNR Publication on Invasive Species. Clicking on either resource will take you to a website with more information.
Once the "opportunistic" and/or "invasive" plants are under control, Carol suggested a trip to the Prairie Nursery (or their website) to select the native plants appropriate for your soil and growing conditions.
At the Garden Club's April Regular Meeting, Marilynn Cech and Niedra North gave a very informative and educational presentation on Adaptive Gardening. Marilynn has worked as a Surgical RN for the past 39 years and has also served as a Wisconsin Master Gardener volunteer for the past ten years.
Niedra works as a Life Coach and has volunteered as a Master Gardener wtih Ozaukee County for the past four years. Both Marilynn and Niedra work on the Lifelong Gardening Committee. Together they presented tools, tips, and techniques that will help gardeners adapt to physical limitations and advanced years.
Highlights from the presentation include:
Getting started - Start with warm-up exercises, switch tasks every 30 minutes,
rest 15 minutes of every hour, hydrate, plan ahead, use a cart to transport materials
Hands - good grasp, prolonged pinching, pressure on pads of thumbs- use wide
handles to ﬁt your grasp; OXO tools; Homemade tools- foam pipe insulation can wrap
around handles to make wider, increase leverage on hose shut-offs; choosing hand
pruners, anvil for dead materials and anvil for living materials; recruit more muscles to
do the job (Garden’s Pride tool by Union tools)
Gloves - Bionic gloves (available on amazon.com); proper hand positioning-radius tools (Peta-UK.com); Telescoping tools; Sure Grip tools-arm support
Choosing a Lopper - consider weight of tool, width of branches to be cut, telescoping handles, ratchet system
“Leverage handles” as back savers - attach to handles on your own tools, diamond hoe, Hula Hoe, Fiskars, Oswego’s Grandpa’s weeds, and the Garden Rake offer outstanding options
Garden Seating/Kneeling - “the Garden rocker”, knee/stool combo, some have bags for hand tools, some collapse for storage, gel knee pads (Ace Hardware), use 2 kneeling mats to move along the garden
Planting - use a garden seat, use proper ergonomic tools, don’t lean too far forward, use seed tapes, use seeding augers
Raking/Shoveling - “Garden Shark” for raking mulch; "dance" with your rake (walk forward, walk back, don't twist); O-handled tools; don't bend your back; don’t lift and twist. Use a smaller face on the shovel so the weight is reduced
Energy saving tools - garden vest; 2 wheeled garden carts (not wheelbarrow); self watering pots; hydro powered auto re-wind hose reel; raised bed gardening; use heavy lifting tools to reduce strain; ergonomic water cans (Fiskars); “Gator-Grabber” clean up tool (Garden supply.com)
Please see RESOURCES page on the WFB Garden Club website for links to websites with additional information and tips.
Handouts from Meeting:
Small yard? No yard? No problem! A vertical garden could be your answer. At the regular monthly meeting of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club, Lisa Nieske from Bayside Garden Center presented several options for creating a vertical garden.
Modular vertical gardening containers are available for purchase at many garden centers or on the internet and provide a quick and easy way to plant succulents, herbs, and flowers. These containers fit together in any configuration to make a garden wall. Vertical gardening systems can also be created from items as simple as wood palates or hanging canvas shoe storage. Attach landscaping fabric to the back and sides of a wood palate, fill with soil, and plant between the slates. After the roots have taken hold, attach the palate to a fence, garage, or trellis. Hanging canvas shoe storage systems have large pockets perfect to hold pots of favorite vegetables.
Vertical gardens can be any size and shape and are a great way to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, or succulents no matter what size your outdoor space!
The Lawn and Garden Tips page is updated by members of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club.