Butterfly Program at Garden Club Meeting
The Palo Alto Garden Club members learned the tip of the month at their March 8 meeting: add one or two tablespoons of Epsom salt to the soil when transplanting tomatoes. Water the plants when in bloom with a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water. The magnesium in the salt is highly beneficial to the tomatoes and will increase the size of the fruit as well as the yield.
The Garden Club meeting was held at Lakeside Lutheran Home with guests from Lakeside attending.
Cynthia Berkland presented the program, “Butterfly Way Stations”. She likened the way stations to motels for humans. Butterflies, as they travel, also require food and water, shelter and safety. Since they cannot travel great distances without these things it is important that we plant for their needs. This is best done by providing native plants and flowers. Placed out of the wind, the plants also provide a place of safe rest, a crucial requirement for the butterflies. Besides nectar, some adult butterflies feed on animal droppings, rotting fruit, tree sap, and nutrients from the soil. They also need a warm, sunny place to warm up in the morning so a spot of bare earth or a large rock would be welcomed.
Cynthia encouraged us to leave ditches pesticide free, planting to wildflowers for even more butterfly corridors. We were encouraged to become Butterfly Garden certified by applying to the NABA, (North American Butterfly Association) a non-profit organization working to increase public awareness and conservation of butterflies.
Holly Bell presented a butterfly garden kit along with her thanks to the club for choosing Lakeside as a meeting place this month. Discussion followed regarding the possibility of partnering with Lakeside to create a wildflower garden on the west side of the building since the Victorian House grant was denied.
Dates for upcoming events: April 7-8 Gardening Study School in Madrid; April 23, District 6 Meeting in Algona; and May 14 our club plant sale. June 5-11 is National Garden Club Week. We will be hosting a coffee on June 10 at the Heritage Center. The state meeting is June 23-24 in Ft. Dodge.
The next meeting is April 12, 9 a.m. at the home of Sharon Hobart.