April 2019


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

By the time members receive this Newsletter the LAVGC annual Plant Sale will be just a few days away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed hoping for a sunny day! The Plant Sale and the days leading up to the Plant Sale depend on the cooperation and hard work of many club members to make the event successful. Even though it is a lot of hard work, I look upon the Plant Sale as a tremendous social event with 60 - 70 - 80 members all working together toward a common goal. During pricing, and at the sale, we can look at the fruits of member's labor, the many plants grown and nurtured so carefully, and be impressed at the number, diversity and quality of the plants. Many hands always make light work so if you haven't let our Fearless Plant Sale Gurus, Bill Tallon and Daniel McCright, know you are available to help, please do it now. A final tip to help make the plant sale a success - use your social media to let local family members and friends know about the sale.

A Nominating Committee was appointed at the March meeting: Mary Davis, Lori Martin, Valerie Morrow, Vicki Cunniffe and Diane Coffee. Between now and the April meeting they will be contacting members to serve on the Executive Board for the coming year. Should you get a call from one of the committee members, please appreciate the fact they are contacting you as it means they have confidence in your leadership ability. Be willing to seriously consider a leadership position. Why not give it a try? Your new ideas and leadership skills may be just what the Club needs.

See you at the Plant Sale!!!!! Dolores Bengtson, Co-President

Dolores Bengtson, Co-President

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Misc. Items of Interest

...we are saddened by the news of member Marjorie Bowles' passing. As per our new Standing Rules, a Penny Pines Plantation will be given in her honor.

...Alden Lane provided the Plant of the Month which was won by Beth Clark.

...On Sat./Sun., April 13,14, the annual Mt. Diablo Iris Society Spring Show and Plant Sale will be held at Alden Lane Nursery, 981 Alden Lane, Livermore, CA. This is a judged show and will feature flower arrangements, demonstrations, and a photo contest open to public contributors. Admission is free. For additional information, email Mary Sindicic.

...Member Alert: please contact Molly Fisher if you have changes to your contact information.

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April Antics.................in the garden

...Spring has definitely sprung!! The weather seems to be warmer and the sun is out now and then. Plants have loved all this rain and are growing by leaps and bounds. And of course the weeds are not about to be left behind. If garden beds are still wet, try not to walk on them while weeding or grooming plants. As we keep saying, you tend to squish out the oxygen from the soil and the plant roots need that to thrive.

...Weeds are much easier to remove when the soil is damp and of course you are trying to get them out before they flower or go to seed. If you have wild onions it is a really good time to get them with your soil knife or digger so you get the whole bulb out. If any is left you will still have wild onions. Wild onions have kind of a cute white, bell shaped flower and smell just like green onions when you pull them. They are edible but they are also terribly invasive and will choke out other desired plants if not dealt with. Most organic or other liquid pesticides don't really work on these plants and you need to remove them by hand (and soil knife to get deep in the soil). <

...soil temperatures will be warming up with the warmer nights and this will enable seeds and young plants to really start to grow. A great time to start your vegetables and our speaker last month said he doesn't plant his dahlia corms until late April.

...this is a good time to feed almost everything. A fertilizer with phosphorus in it will help promote blossoms and of course the nitrogen promotes the green. Homemade compost seems to have in it what your soil will need. Our speaker this month will help us learn how to put the magic in our soil.

...if you hesitated pruning back plants like geraniums because it was so cold and wet, you should be safe giving them a strong hair cut now. All the frosts and freezing are supposed to be over by mid-March. The only plants you don't want to prune now are spring flowering shrubs since you will be cutting off the blooms. Wait until the bloom has faded and then give them a good shaping and remove any dead or diseased parts. If what you trim off seems too wonderful you could plant them in little pots to root well and grow for our plant sale in 2020.

...you can still be 'finger pruning' your roses. Any shoots or stems starting out towards the center or any direction you do not want them to grow can be nipped off by hand while they are still young and tender. If aphids start to munch on plants, they can be wiped off too or sprayed with water. If they come in enough numbers the birds and other bugs will take care of them for you.

...ah yes, and that spring bulb foliage. Remember not to cut the plants to the ground after they bloom but to snap off the flower stem and leave the foliage to gather nutrition for the flowers next spring. If the foliage flops all over and is really offensive you can sort of loop it around in a tidy clump so it is more contained. You can braid or put the foliage in rubber bands but this is supposed to inhibit the fueling process. When the foliage finally yellows or turns brown it should pull off quite easily. Most bulbs prefer little or no summer water. Many tulips don't flower well (if at all) the second year so don't worry about what you do to them. If you had daffodils in pots, as soon as they finish blooming you can take them out of the pots -roots, dirt and all - and plant them in the ground for next year. Just treat the foliage as above.

...I hope you have signed up to help out at the Plant Sale in some capacity, or if you can't be there that you have taken your donations to the drop off spot and are telling all your friends and class mates about it. Take a look around your garden and see what kinds of plants you should look for at the sale. It's fun to work there but it is really fun to buy some plants too! As if you needed me telling you that!

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