Fifteen very cool "Gardening with the Experts" tips. Might even save your garden this year! Today is the 103rd anniversary of the Boy Scouts, at least the official incorporation date. The very first scout troop was organized in Pawhuska, OK. Read on...

8 February 2013 Blog

We are in the midst of several rain chances.  With luck, we might top up to one inch of moisture! 

Today is Boy Scout Day.  The BSA was officially incorporated on the 8th of February, 1910.  Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas, but the National Scouting Museum, established in 1959, is also in Irving.  There are old uniforms, Norman Rockwell pictures, re-created campsites, and areas set up for visitors to try out their basic camping skills (tying different knots).   

The Woodcraft Indians (1902) and the Sons of Daniel Boone (1905) preceded the BSA.  British General  Baden-Powell founded the Scouts in England (1907), incorporating the ideas of the Woodcrafters and Sons.  A publisher in Chicago, W. Boyce, was responsible for starting the Scouting program here in the USA.  It took a few years to fully organize and develop the program, but it worked, and Scouting is alive and well today.  Each scout learns and knows by heart the Scout law and Scout oath, as well as the motto and slogan.  These instilled codes of conduct are followed throughout a lifetime.  Everyone should at least follow the Scout Motto:  Be prepared! 

The very first Boy Scout troop in America was organized (May 1909) in Pawhuska, Oklahoma by Reverend John F. Mitchell.   He was an English missionary priest sent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church by the Church of England.   A life-sized bronze statue of a boy scout was dedicated in front of the Osage County Historical Museum in 1976.

I am partial to the Boy Scouts of America.  Both my sons are Eagle Scouts, and I was Nature Director at BSA Camp Freedom for several years in Germany, as well as being a member of Order of the Arrow.  It humbles one to camp out in nature and become a member of the outdoors.  Go try it and you too may experience the plants (and animals) up close and personal.

Speaking of plants, the successful “Gardening with the Experts” program has come and gone this year, but it posted (January 26, 2013) some helpful hints our Multi-County Master Gardeners have sent out.  Read and heed:

Gardening Tips:

 Put coffee filters in bottom of plant pots (Sue Nelson).   Keeps the soil from leaving along with the drainage water!

Use fish pond water for indoor and outdoor plants (Phyllis Ford).  Use your aquarium water when changing that water. 

Recycle your K-cups:  Plant seeds in them.  They have a filter and drain hole and plants love coffee.  Place the cups in an egg carton (Nancy Sheppard).  I had to think on this one.  K-cup?  Oh yes, the other coffee maker with its own pre-measured containers for making the perfect cup.  I do not have this.  I actually take the coffee grounds and toss them around the plants, along with water.  My plants have not objected yet.

Save shredded office paper and use for mulch.  Breaks down in about 6 months (Becky Long).

Recycle plastic blinds into plant name tags.  Use a Sharpie to write with (Rose Craig).

Mona Haig mentions to put a 5 gallon bucket in the shower to water the plants with.  OK, but I would probably fall over the bucket.

Refresh your big planters by adding a few inches of fertilizer granules and some new potting soil (Nancy Ford).

Cattle or hog panels, 4 feet x 17 feet, can be bent with one person on each end walking toward each other to create an arch 6 foot tall.  Paths can be made, and your vining plants, such as cucumbers, beans, morning glories, whatever, can climb to their heart’s content (Joyce Spencer).

Allow “travel” area around the trees and shrubs when planting (Pam Rodgers).  I assume that means breathing room for water or mulch around the plants.

Tip for planting tiny dark seeds in soil.  Line the furrow with toilet paper and plant seeds on the paper.  Mist the seeds, cover with dirt, and, voila, the plants will be in a uniform row with no spaces between (Dee Lowery).

Teach the grandchildren to water and care for your garden.  When you travel, they can care for your plants.  Cheap labor.   My one grandchild is nearing 2 years old and lives in Baltimore.  This could be a challenge.

Keep one plant label from each plant and put in a gallon Ziploc bag for future reference for care (Mike Harrell).

Leftover or out of date veggies can be composted in cans and packages (Iven Lindgren).   I think the containers must be opened first.

Plant herbs in raised beds about knee high.  Can sit on side to work and drainage is better (Brother Isidore).

Water plants now (Phyllis Ford).

Good luck all.  Spring is getting closer!