January 2014

News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Ann Rivenes, Publisher

Co-President's Letter

Of course, Happy New Year. I trust you enjoyed our annual potluck at December's Club meeting and, hopefully, all your other Holiday festivities, too.

January brings many fun opportunities for volunteer pruning and cleanup, both for LAVGC and other organizations. To make time for those opportunities, my wife, Karen, and I pruned our own roses in December. Every week I made full use of our large green organics container by using the "climb in and stomp" technique.

December's very cold weather appears to have taken quite a toll on our citrus trees and, perhaps, yours too. Let's hope for the best when warm weather returns.

Some time ago I heard Dan Resor's terrific presentation to the Edible Gardening Group on maintaining gardening tools. So, I am really looking forward to hearing him again, this time to talk to us at January's Club meeting on Pruning Fruit Trees.

Finally, please let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Happy gardening, Tom Jefferson

Misc. Items of Interest

...we need a couple more houses in Pleasanton for the Spring Member Garden Tour. If you would be willing to share your garden with members and their guests on Sunday, April 27, please sign up at the meeting or contact Betty Nostrand, or Sandy Yamaoda.

...A note from CGCI President, Rita Desilets...while at a Calif. Garden Club event Dolores Moffat suffered a fall on ice as she was attempting to help a friend who had just fallen on the ice. Her friend was not badly injured, but unfortunately Dolores broke her right leg. She is at home recuperating (probably for 8 weeks) and I know she would appreciate your cards. (ed.note: Dolores is so busy can you imagine how backed up her schedule will be if she is out 8 weeks?!?)

January Jobs........in the garden

....well, didn't the December cold spell (too long for a cold snap) turn a lot of our plants to mush! But I'm sure you've read - don't cut anything that got frozen back yet! You can cut your roses because they are supposed to be cut back and pruned this time of year. But all that mush may harbor and protect new growth for the spring and summer. If you cut it all back now and some new growth is stimulated it will be very, very vulnerable if we get another cold snap or spell. It's not too hard to not cut it back now, but by March, our usual last frost date, it will be driving you crazy but don't touch it for as long as you can stand it until then.

....now if the plant is totally mush or is a very common plant, you can take it out and view it as a buying opportunity at our plant sale or the nursery when you fill in that spot.

....this is a good time to clean out beds if you didn't get it done earlier. Most trees have shed their leaves and pods so won't mess up what you've just cleaned. If you have home made compost, spread it on thickly when the beds are cleared of debris. Otherwise buy some. Theory is that the rains will wash it into the soil over the winter. That is assuming that eventually we do get some rain! But even if we don't, the mulch will help to retain any water that we do get.

....yes, yes, now is the time to prune your roses. If you aren't sure what you are doing, come to one of our workparties and learn from our more experienced members or take a class at one of the local nurseries. You may be surprised to learn there are many, many philosophies on the correct way to prune roses, but roses, bless them, are so hardy in this climate that they usually survive happily no matter what we do to them. Or even if they aren't pruned at all!

....as you clean out beds you can divide crowded clumps of perennials like Shasta daisies, chrysanthemums, day lilies, and agapanthus. Re-plant a few plants around your garden and then pot some up for our plant sale in April. They should have great roots by then.


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