March 2013

News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Ann Rivenes, Publisher

Co-President's Letter

Spring Fever! I have it, do you? This is the most exciting time of the year with so much to do in the garden as the weather warms and the frosty nights subside. I savor every minute I get in my garden on a sunny dry day as winter leaves us behind. Today I checked on my seedlings and transplants for the Plant Sale, which are doing well. Is it just me or do you also get excited, like an expectant mother, as the seeds germinate and grow into seedlings? Each one is such a precious miracle of nature. Last month's presenter on hydroponics vs sanctuary soil was very interesting and this month is Robin Parer. I'm eager to learn more about the Geranium family. I'll see you on the 14th!

Karen Abbruscato


March the garden

....the daffodils are blooming! Have you seen Boot Hill in Livermore (Wall St. and Stanley Blvd.?) lately? Great rewards from the work of Jack Pons and his gang last Fall.

...watering this time of year is tricky. Will it rain or are we the water provider for our gardens? Until the soil warms up a bit then it will stay damp for quite a while. Use your soil water tester (otherwise known as your finger) to see if it is damp or dry underneath the surface a bit. Pots and containers will need watering if the days are warm. Be especially careful of Australian and Mediterranean plants that don't really like to be in damp, warm soil. Usually better to err on the side of dryness for them, rather than wet. you continue to prune and divide plants, don't forget to pot up a few for our Plant Sale in late April. If potted now they will develop a nice root system and be plants that we can be proud of in the sale. Or maybe there are plants that didn't work in your garden or you just don't care for even if they thrived. Great time to pot them up and move them on to someone who will love them.

...if you are putting mulch or compost on your beds - and now is an excellent time to do it - be sure that it is not right up against the trunk or stem of a plant. Especially if you are using wood chips. The mulch/compost/chips hold water, which is what you want it to do, and can rot the plant over time with the constant moisture.

...this is a great time to feed everything as plants start their new spring growth. Don't get caught up in getting a different fertilizer for every type of plant. They all have pretty much the same thing in them - nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. At the 4MLB lunch, Leta Gates of Western Gardens Nursery, recommended putting iron on your beds to green up plants and help them resist burnt leaf tips on sudden hot days. Gardenias especially like a dose of iron.

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