Valley Gardening: B&B is not bed and breakfast for trees


What’s great about this small town is the people!

First…I closed up for an hour or so yesterday to go with Willie Wade to the doctor’s office. He’s not sick, just getting a yearly checkup. The visit lasted a bit longer than expected. When we got back to the store, not only were folks waiting to come in, they had also moved two pallets of freight into the courtyard!

I think I will go on longer errands more often.

As long as I mentioned Willie Wade…..his bike was stolen from behind Society Hall last Saturday. Talk about JERKS! I ranted a bit on Facebook about wanting to break legs, etc. and then here come the phone calls and texts. The first call was from Jeff and Kyle Woodward and they wanted to donate $50 and Early Iron wanted to donate $100 and Regina Rice pledged, and so did Teri McCartney and Carol Russell and Steve Sussex, and Brad Wilcox. In came Deb Barron and Natalie Rogers and Bonnie and Scott Schweizer and Matt Abbey.  The $100 from the Green Spot ‘Charity Jar’ will help, as well as that donation from Vickie Archer in Denver.

Even my daughters offered to help, because Willie is “Uncle” to my grandchildren. It says a lot for our community that someone like Willie is so loved and respected! He will never leave his bike unlocked again, that’s for sure.

Why do folks get the idea that if something isn’t locked it must be free? I still want to break legs! Willie had the idea if he just walked around town he would spot his bike…and maybe that will happen. In the meantime, with the help of those great folks at Kristi Mountain Sports, he has picked out a beautiful lime green, with black trim bike. It’s awesome!

In wanting to keep Willie safe, I would ask that if you ever notice him not riding his bike in the right lane, or cutting across traffic, please let me know. Every once in a while he gets sidetracked (like all of us) and needs to be reminded of the bike laws. That being said, he certainly does better than many riders in town. You know, all those riders on the sidewalks!

Okay…back to a bit about gardening. You CAN plant trees (and shrubs and perennials) this time of year—if you can find good ones. My preference has always been for container grown trees, whether they be in a 5 or 10 or even larger pot. I like to know that when I pull that tree out of the bucket, they will have a root system that I can see.

I try and not get something that is girdled or overgrown with roots, because you really have to tear them up at that point. Anything planted this late in the fall really needs to be watered thoroughly. Not flooded, but damp. Sometimes it is better to water some when planting and then go back the next day or two and water again.

Personally I do not like B&B trees. B&B stands for Balled and Burlap. Usually they are freshly dug in the spring and then sent to nurseries. The aspen and evergreen trees you see being sold on the side of the rode are usually B&B. They will tell you NOT to take the burlap off when planting and that is because the dirt will fall off, because there is no established root system. Again…I like to see the root system.

Maybe you have had luck with B&B, but I have not.

When planting trees, the root ball should be big enough to compensate for any wind. You should not have to stake a tree if the root ball is sized right. I have never staked a tree in my 30 plus years of planting. I hate staking, and I hate how it looks! If you do stake, it should be loosely and mostly on the SW side—the prevailing winds! 

As nice as this fall has been, you need to keep an eye on watering your lawn and flowerbeds. I don’t see any forecasts for the next couple of days that are going to give us any moisture. 

Meanwhile, a good friend’s daughter passed away this week. She didn’t live here. She was only 28. It shows me again how fragile life is. So very fragile. 

Please become involved in your community—especially when there are meetings on the meth, heroin, and opioid crisis. The Valley is not immune and I believe it is already horrible, more than most people think.

We have to join together to see if anything can be done. We need to save the children!