May 2018


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

I would like to encourage garden club members to be thinking about saving some seed for the Seed Share group. With the approaching warmer-weather the brassica plants will be setting seed.

If you plan to save seeds you need to let only one species bloom at a time. Saving seed from plants raised in a community garden may not work as the neighbor may also have a different brassica planted giving unusual (and not always satisfying results). Just remember this is possible if you are growing real, open-pollinated seed. You cannot do this with hybrid (F1) varieties.

Seed should not be saved from only one plant, six plants are a good number in most cases. This will ensure a reasonable amount of genetic diversity. Collect the seed pods before they are completely dry as they shatter easily when completely dry. Place them in a paper bag in a warm, dry space. After the pods are completely dry remove the seeds, place them in a container and donate to Seed Share.

My kale plants are already putting on seed pods. I'll be saving some of my Fava bean seed for donation. This is an easy one as no other bean plants bloom at the same time. It appears that flower seed is more easily saved than vegetable seed. Veggies need a longer time to flower and set seed than their prettier cousins.

I hope this topic will be of interest to some of you. A couple of reasons for doing this is you will be saving money and you will get great locally-adapted varieties.

Happy Planting... Lois Barber, Co-President

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Misc. Items of Interest

...the By Law change concerning the size of the Nominating Committee was approved at the April Regular meeting. Full text provided in April newsletter.

...June Meeting Location and Time ALERT!! The June meeting will be held at the Robertson Community Center on East Ave. in Livermore. Yearend Potluck starts at 6:30 as usual in June, but different location from the rest of the year as the Alisal School is closed by the date of our meeting, June 14th.

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May the garden

...such a fun time to be in the garden! Everything should be thriving. Many roses have had their first bloom and need some deadheading - cut short stems to encourage a second bloom and not tax the plant too much.

...Keep after weeds - they never seem to take a break so why should you. The soil knives that you can order at the May meeting are excellent for getting those deep rooted weeds that you somehow missed last month.

...if you had California poppies blooming, be sure to let them go to seed and then 'pop' out the seeds if you want them to replant themselves in the same area before you clear off the spent plants. If you collect the seeds to share with the seed share or a neighbor be sure the seed heads are pretty dry before you relieve them of their seeds. sure to nip off any shoots on vines, espaliered, or climbing plants that you want against a wall or fence if they start off in the wrong direction (like straight out to the path). I confess I let a climbing rose bloom that was going the wrong way but cut it back to the main stem when the bloom was done. Don't let the plant waste any energy in growing the wrong direction and be sure it is putting all its effort in the way you want it to grow.

...after iris bloom it is a good time to dig up and replant large clumps. Besides then you might remember what color they were and write it on the corm (Most leaves will fade and dry up and new leaves form before next year.) If iris haven't bloomed for a couple years they probably need more sun, need to be planted higher, or need to be divided.

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