My tomatoes are turning red and delicious on their vines. For this novice gardener, it is a very proud moment. I took great care in choosing the right location for my seedlings, planted them with organic soil and food, gently tied their growing vines to their stakes for support and watered them daily. They are healthy, organic, and we grew them all ourselves. So, naturally I was dismayed when I read an article reporting lead in very likely the garden hose I have been using to water our food source! Lead. Wonderful. In fact, the study in the article reported that 70% of the 179 garden products it tested contained chemicals of “high concern,” 30% contained lead and 100% contained phthalates (a chemical linked to birth defects and breast cancer).
And, not only have we watered our garden with our lead-laden hose, we also fill the kiddie pool for our toddler – water that he inadvertently, or probably advertently, drinks. Perfect. The good news? 10 seconds of internet search uncovered many lead-free and phthalate safe hoses. I took a chance and visited my local chain retailer and found a good option there and we are back in business!
***Tip: Look for “drinking water safe” and/or “lead free”on the packaging.
Friends of ours joined us for brunch recently and, knowing that we are in the early stages of transforming our “can’t kill it/lowest of low maintenance/stuck in the 60’s (in a bad way)” garden, generously brought us a bucket spilling over with gorgeous succulents. These friends are serious gardeners, they know their way around a compost pile, and they told me that they broke off pieces of their various succulents and all I had to do was simply dig a hole and stick the succulent in. No need to “burn” the stem (something I’ve only heard referenced, but have no clue what it means) or watch it sit on my windowsill in a cloudy pint glass waiting for roots to grow. Stick it in the ground! That’s all! I can do this. And it got me thinking, why not have a Succulent Party? Think “Cookie Exchange” but instead of bringing 4 dozen baked items, bring a bucket full of yard cuttings? Take a look at one of my favorites from the lot – uphorbia tirucalli or ‘Sticks on Fire’