October 2012

News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher and Ann Rivenes, Publisher

Co-President's Letter

I am submitting this letter after a day helping to prepare for the Fall Garden tour. It is going to be wonderful! The quilts are magnificent, the gardens sublime. Thank you to all the willing gardeners for sharing your lovely retreats. A great big thank you to all who helped with this ambitious project-the worker bees who sat in the gardens to greet our guests, the ticket sellers, and of course our chairs who spent hours upon hours of preparation for what we hope will be a delightful success.

As I was driven through the mountains in North Carolina last week the fields of bright orange pumpkins remind me that harvest time is on its way. Reaching for the extra blanket in the morning and hurriedly finishing my garden tasks before the sun sets at eight, I cannot help but remember that fall is just around the corner. I do hope we have an Indian summer as I want to enjoy those delicious veggies a few weeks more!

Our supply of LAVGC aprons is nearly gone. We have selected a sturdy canvas bag with two outer pockets which will be embroidered with our initials. This bag will be available in hunter green and navy. We will bring a sample to the meeting and will present the proposed expenditure of $468 for 36 bags to be approved so we can begin production. This is an item we did not approve during our July budget meeting. Some bags will be used as speaker gifts and others will be available for sale for $15.

We have already begun the season with lots of fun activities. I do hope you will all support our club by attending something new to you-perhaps an afternoon with floral design, lending a hand at one of our garden projects, going to a district luncheon, or having lunch with others on the fourth Monday. We have so many interesting people waiting to get to know you!

Looking forward to seeing you on October 11th, Tina Higashi, co president

October obligations ........in the garden

.........now is the time of year to buy bigger plants. Tiny plants will not have a chance to get a good root system going to help get them through the winter before the soil gets cooler and they go into neutral mode.

.........you can often find good bargains at plant sales and nurseries as they try to move on their stock so they don't have to care for them over the winter. Also, perennials that have bloomed and are looking a bit tacky will boom back next year so don't necessarily let appearance deter you.

.........do you want to save some seed from your favorite tomato or vegetable? 4th Mon. lunchers learned from Jim O'Laughlin to let the fruit get over ripe on the vine before you pick it and then even let the seeds sort of ferment in their slime. This is a good thing and sets the seed up to germinate. Dry seeds like onions and fennel should be left to dry in the bloom on the plant before you save them.

.........if you plan to move some good sized plants to replace or divide them, be sure to soak the area very well a few days before you plan to dig to make it easier. Or plan to do it after the first good soaking rain. This is also the easiest time to plant spring bulbs in the ground. Let's hope that soaking rain comes in October and then periodically over the Fall and winter. Such a good help for the gardener and so much better quality water!

.........if the rain comes and the weather cools it is time to stop watering your succulents. Elizabeth Judge has gorgeous succulents and cactus in her front yard, flat out in full sun, and she only waters them twice a month even during the summer and they sure look happy.

.........scatter wildflower seeds now and hope the rains come to germinate them before the birds get them.

.........if your compost pile is getting too much dry brown material from now on and not enough green (nitrogen) you can help the breaking down process along by adding nitrogen via alfalfa pellets or meal. You can get it at Feed Stores or pet stores; the alfalfa is loved by pet rabbits. Just layer it onto the pile now and then. If our soaking rains are late to appear, be sure to keep your pile a bit moist to also hasten the decomposing.

Livermore Valley Garden Club (LAVGC) serving the Tri-Valley: Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, and San Ramon