Posted on: May 2, 2016 | Written By: Doug Oster |
Gardeners see the world a little differently than “normal” people. We’re watching the signs that nature provides to see when we should plant. “If you hear the spring peepers three times, it’s time to plant early crops,” the saying goes. “When an oak leaf is the size of a mouse’s ear, it’s time to plant tender crops,” is another.
While planting some ‘Simpson Elite’ lettuce plants I stumbled on to such a welcome sight, the first big fat toad of the season. Even though it’s great to see the little guy hopping around, I know it’s too early to plant those tender crops. There’s always the possibility of a late frost through May.
Toads are great for the garden, they eat lots of slugs, other pests and it’s always great to have a companion in the garden. Don’t worry, they won’t give you warts either.
A garden in balance will take care of itself for the most part. I would never want my friend the toad to crawl through a chemical that could harm it. I’ve got a red bellied woodpecker that follows me around in the spring too. I hear the shrill call from the trees and I wouldn’t want that bird to eat anything bad either. That’s just one of the reasons I’m an organic gardener.
As the days get longer and warmer, I’m looking forward to seeing all my other friends in the garden appear. They give me a good idea about how the garden is doing.
Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”