A Story About Thugs

Kathleen
Lang was the guest speaker at the May meeting of the Tweed
and District Horticultural Society. Kathleen, a graduate of Algonquin College
Horticulture and Landscaping Program is also a Master Gardener with Lanark County.
Her presentation entitled “Poison Ivy and other Thugs” informed the audience
about poisonous plants in our communities.
The
audience was astonished to learn the dangers of wild parsnips. The sap from
this plant gives an acid-like burn and can scar for life! Kathleen drew gasps
when she stated that a man had died within 4 days due to toxic shock from this
plant.  How do we get rid of it? Cut the
plant in June and again in late August/early September before it flowers. Since
it is an annual, with no seeds from the flower heads, there will be no plants
the next year. Since many municipalities have cut back on mowing the sides of
the rural roads, this plant is invading our landscapes. Kathleen suggests that
the cuttings need taken to the dump to ensure that they seeds do not spread.
The
motto for poison ivy, “leaves of three, let it be!” Not all poison ivy looks
the same so beware!
Other
poisonous plants Kathleen shared in the power point presentation included Queen
Anne’s lace, cow parsley, poison hemlock and stinging nettle.
Kathleen
suggested tips to prevent injury…
– Never
weed or use string trimmers without covering up…long pants, long sleeve shirt,
gloves and eye protection are a must!!!!
-Wash
garden clothes thoroughly after gardening to remove potential nasty plant
compounds-this is what Kathleen called “secondary transfer”.
– If
you develop a rash or blisters, seek medical help immediately.
Websites to
check out….
– Agriculture
Canada
website
– University
of Guelph’s
agricultural information website
 Kathleen
shared a recipe for getting rid of garden pests like slugs, beetles.etc….shred
rhubarb leaves into a bucket (do not use the bucket for anything else). Add
boiling water. Leave to steep overnight. Keep mixture in a well labeled bottle.
Mix “2 fingers” with 2 gallons of water and spray. Do NOT spray on any fruit
trees or vegetable crops….very toxic.
June Meeting:
Guest
speaker, Donna Fano will give a slide presentation on the mushrooms of the
Quinte region.
Looking Ahead:
May
18…Plant Sale at Tweed Memorial Park. Please have plant material at the park by
7am. If you have a large quantity of one plant, having a colour photo wrapped
in plastic will help to entice the buyers!!! For more information or if you
need your plants picked up,  please
contact Joan@613-478-6115
May
29…Bus Trip to Ottawa…opportunity
to explore several nurseries and shop, shop, shops for plant materials. Cost is
$45.00 per person. For more, please contact Linda @613-478-6850.

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