People aren’t the only animals that like to be in the garden during spring. The following post/tip comes from my friend and master of horticulture Chris Corby (owner of Texas Gardener magazine). His advice is a gentle reminder to keep your eyes peeled when you are in the garden this time of year.
Snakes in the Graden-While deadheading one of our Belinda’s Dream roses (which, by the way, are just gorgeous this year), my good dog Katie found a large rattlesnake. Mind you, I believe that all snakes are useful and have a purpose in nature—just not in my rose bed three feet from my boots! Anyway, I dispatched this four-footer with one shot to the head. My Dad taught me not to waste anything you shoot so I skinned the snake and cooked the meat for the grandkids. I then sent the skin to my brother in Corpus Christi to go on his new cowboy hat. The moral of this story is “Be on the look-out for snakes this spring and don’t kill one unless it is threatening you”. And, if you do shot one, don’t let it go to waste. –Chris Corby
This is a great tip. Last year, I was “attacked” by a very large and very unhappy chicken (or rat) snake while picking tomatoes. I also personally know two people in Brenham that were bitten by copperheads in their yards last year. Our unseasonably warm weather has the snakes out a little earlier than usual. They also appear to be a little more active than is normal for this time of year. So wear your boots and take a stick with you each time you go into the garden.
After publishing Texas Gardener for 31 years, Chris is full of great gardening tips. If you don’t already subscribe to his magazine, you should. As an added benefit, subscribers receive his weekly newsletter called “Seeds” that gives you a new tip every week and covers timely topics of interest to those of us that love to grow things.