The Soil3 Garden Show gave us all plenty of opportunities to learn more about gardening and to make new gardening friends. I had great conversations with fellow-gardeners, and the handouts in our “swag bags” contained helpful information.
Information from presenters
Night Song Native Plant Nursery in Canton, GA, provided a list of native edible plants. Many of these are lower-care fruits, like elderberry, paw paw, persimmon, and mulberry. Unlike most cultivated apples, peaches, and pears, these native plants need very little (or zero) pruning or spraying.
The handout provided by Brie Arthur contains a summary of the main points of her Foodscape Revolution. It also includes a short list of ideas for limiting mammal-damage in the garden – like from deer.
I am adding her favorite deer repellent, I Must Garden brand, which incorporates botanical oils, to my post about protecting plants from deer. Just so you know – I cannot find confirmation that the product is OMRI-approved; strictly-organic gardeners will want to try PlantSkydd deer repellent, instead, even though it will smell less pleasant.
On display at the Garden Show
Of course, Soil3 offered an attractive discount on its cubic-yard bags of OMRI-approved compost. The sales tent was a busy place during breaks between presentations, and the main vendor area was also busy with gardeners considering purchases of plants and other garden-related items, and asking questions of the expert gardeners on site.
Participation of local college students
Lanier Technical College horticulture program sold plants grown by its students, with proceeds supporting the program. Lanier Tech students also entered the Raised Bed Garden contest. They put together an “adaptive” garden space, for people with physical limitations.
The tilted container-beds that improve access to the far-side of the bed, the one container that rotates like a “lazy susan” serving tray, and the drainage system that keeps wheelchair-bound laps dry, were all impressive. I was told that the students took turns using a wheelchair and a walker to gain an understanding of the modifications that would be most helpful.
If you bought plants last weekend
I hope no one north of Atlanta planted the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, and other summer vegetables that they took home. North Georgia had a freeze warning Sunday night, and none of those warm-season crops takes well to temperatures in the low 30s.
Most of the other plants, though, should be planted soon, if they haven’t been yet. That includes the dill, borage, fennel, and bee balm (Monarda) that I saw at Lanier Tech’s booth, and the fruiting shrubs and trees offered at the Night Song Native Plant nursery booth.
I visited with many wonderful people, some of whom agreed to take home a tiny chicory plant – that I had brought to give away – to try in their gardens. For many gardeners, new crops are an adventure!
I also met a family that has a homestead business in Georgia, the Rehr family of Big Bear Homestead. We talked about gardening in Georgia, and I learned about their work with pastured animals and about rebalancing the local animal populations through trapping.
Best wishes for great gardening! – Amy