9:00 to 5:30
was a regular writer and hortipersonality at BHN for many years until his retirement in 2011. Because his last column was exactly one year ago, and as a way to flashback to the 1980's, we are herein reprinting some of his articles from another era.
DEAR DR. CHLOROPHYLL:
“What’s the deal with planting by the light of the moon or during certain phases of the moon. Does it make any difference? Do you do it? Is it a crock?”
Dr. Chlorophyll has better things to do in the moonlight than work in his garden. As to whether or not planting by the moon is a crock, Dr. Chlorophyll’s cosmic co-worker Kevin Lee says that anyone with an IQ equal to their belt size should know that plants respond to light and gravity. The moon’s gravitational pull is greatest during new and full phases. It reflects a lot of light when full. According to folk wisdom, seeds sprout better during the moon’s first quarter, leaves grow best during the second quarter, roots grow fastest during the third quarter, and the whole plant rests during the fourth. Go figure. Perhaps you should try this method of planting in your garden this spring. Don’t worry about what your neighbors will think. I'm sure their opinion of you was formed long ago.
DEAR DR. CHLOROPHYLL:
“Please settle an argument between me and my beloved. How did Strawberries get that name?”
Would that all domestic disputes could be so readily resolved. Strawberries (hybrids of west coast and east coast natives, did you know that?) get their common name from the material once widely used to mulch them. Thick layers of straw or hay covered the plants to protect them from freezing in cold winter areas and lighter mulches of the same were used to keep the fruit clean and off the ground during the growing season. As a mulch, straw is relatively inexpensive but usually unsatisfactory, given the number of weed seeds it contains. FIR MULCH or SHREDDED CEDAR BARK are better choices. ‘Sequoia’ is the most popular hybrid, everbearing in this area, of outstanding flavor. ‘Quinault’ produces enormous berries for dipping in chocolate or boggling minds at the church social.