August/September 2022


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

Greetings LAVGC Members

I hope you have all had a lovely summer and are anxious for things to get back to normal, or at least the new normal. Kids are going back to school, it's hot, and we need rain.

Our September meeting will be via Zoom only with a presentation by Rebecca Sweet and there is more information below in this newsletter.

Starting in October we will hold what we are calling a Hybrid meeting, in-person and on Zoom. Graham Stott and Beth Clark have worked hard to put the process together and we think we have all our ducks in a row. In order to accommodate people online and in person, we will hold the social part of our meeting from 7 to 7:30, Business meeting from 7:30 to 8 and presentation starting at 8. We will have this in place for October and adjust as needed. The in-person portion of our meetings will be held at the Livermore Library. Members who prefer to gather together for the meeting can meet at the Livermore Library. Optionally, members can attend only the meeting via Zoom.

Attached to this newsletter is a copy of our budget for 22/23. (See page 6-7) The file has been compiled with the actual of 20/21, Budget and actual of 21/22, and the proposed budget for 22/23. Also attached is our Balance. These documents should give you a picture of our finances and allow for an educated approval of the new budget. Try to review this proposal before the meeting on September 8 and forward any questions you have so that we can respond as needed. We will of course be open to any questions you may have the night of our meeting.

I am still working on job descriptions for our club and expect to have them completed by the October meeting and uploaded to our website

Thank you to all the members working behind the scenes to help us make 22/23 the best year ever for Livermore-Amador Garden Club

Best, Jeri

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Misc. Items of Interest

...Member Alert: Please contact Molly Fisher, Publisher if you have changes to your contact information. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.

...Newsletter questions or changes? Please contact Molly Fisher, Publisher. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.

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2022-23 Budget

On the following pages are the proposed budget for next year which will be up for approval at the September meeting, and a Balance Sheet listing Assets and Liabilities as of June 30, 2022.. Please review them and if you have any questions, please send them to our Treasurer Norma Foss or our President Jeri Stark. See the year book for additional contact information

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Timely Tips from the past .............. from the Sept., 2009, newsletter, but still valid

.....if you use a long lasting slow release fertilizer like osmocote, late in Sept. is a good time to put it all around the garden and let the rains (don't we hope we get them!) wash it in well.

.....later in Sept. is also a great time to divide perennials, especially any that have not been blooming well or have a big void in the center. Dig up the clump (again so much easier after a rain but water well before you dig if we don’t get one) and take out dead debris and cut apart with your soil knife or old kitchen knife. Replant a piece with the crown above soil level so when it settles in it will be at grade level. Water it in well after you replant too.

.......I just gave all my daylilies a "Marti" - that is cut them back to about 6 inches and cleaned out all the dead foliage. I just grab the top and use clippers or electric clippers to lop them off. By Oct. they will have all new foliage and be fresh and green again. I do this almost any time of the year and they just pop right back lusher than ever.

.....If you have something in your garden that is definitely NOT the right plant in the right place, now is the time to move it and replace it with a more appropriate plant. If it's been wrong all along it will undoubtedly still be wrong next spring so take it out and move on. If it is a really special plant you can advertise it in the newsletter (or on our Facebook page) to go to a good new home. 'to do' calendar says to 'stop feeding azaleas and camellias'. Oops! I never started since they last bloomed so maybe if I feed them quickly and then stop they will have the food and energy to set a lot of beautiful buds for next year.

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Note from now ........

We talk about "drought" but I think we should start thinking about this weather as our normal weather and start planning and planting our gardens accordingly.

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September the garden

.....this month is our "second spring" and time to think about some fall planting. If the prediction is for more really hot weather, it is best to time any planting or moving plants for cooler spells. And we usually do have some really, really hot weather in Sept. You can plant fast growing flowers from 4 inch pots like impatiens, marigolds, and zinnias to give you bloom through the fall. Calendulas. Coneflowers, primroses, pansies, and Iceland poppies from six packs should give you color long into the winter. Planted in pots by the back door or front entry they will be easy to water and you can easily enjoy the blooms.

...... feed roses for their last round of blooms before you prune them in January. can prune many garden shrubs for shape and to control size now so that any new growth will get set before our winter. As usual, cut out any dead stems and any branches going in a direction you don't want. If the shrub is getting way too big or is in general a shape you don't like, maybe it is time to admit it is the wrong plant in the wrong place and find a new home for it and replace it with something more appropriate to the space. If the shrub blooms in the early spring, wait to do any pruning until right after it blooms because now you will probably be pruning off the developing buds for next spring.

......this is the time that fall starts falling and a good time to begin a compost pile if you don't already have one. You can break down leaves by running over them with a lawn mower. The green trimmings off the shrubs (see above) will add green matter to the brown leaves to start the decomposing. As you prune, cut the stems into six inch or less pieces and then you can toss them on the compost pile and not have to worry about a shredder. You can bury kitchen compost in the pile and worms will come out of nowhere to feast and break down the moist kitchen debris.

.......There was an interesting article in the Sept./October issue of Garden Gate magazine about whether you should clean up your garden beds or not titled "The Lowdown on the Big Cleanup" where 6 professional gardeners gave their thoughts on whether it was necessary to clean our garden beds or leave the debris where it falls. You have to remember that these gardeners are working in many different climates than ours, but their points can be well taken. As usual with almost any gardening practice, there are different views on how to handle it and part of it depends on exactly where and what kind of bed it is. Are you preventing possibility of pests? (David Tinlein) Nurturing beneficial pollinators? (Sarah Foltz Jordan) Preventing Diseases? (Barbara Pleasant) Clean up the garden over Time (Alan Branhagen) Leaving the spent plants so you can enjoy them over the winter (Bobbie Schwartz)- although this last probably works better when they are covered with snow but she likes the golden grasses.

......start thinking about any bulbs you want to plant for spring color. Maybe you've already ordered them and they will be arriving soon and the tulips will expect to be refrigerated for a period before planting for best results. Catalogs will have last minute sales but this is sort of the last minute so if you haven't ordered yet, get on it. Try some new and lesser known bulbs. Very successful and repeating for years for me have been camassia, freesia, galanthus/snowdrops (I have some that are over 50 years old and still coming up faithfully), hyacinth, ipheion (this can be almost too successful but its small and dies back quickly), and wood hyacinth. Remember apples and tulips don't do well together in the frig because of ethylene gases. If somehow you don't get your tulips in the frig - plant them anyway whenever you can get to it because they may not be quite as fabulous but they will grow and bloom and they won't do well at all if you never get them planted.

......if you are seeing bare spots in your garden but hate to add to your water needs with plants, try a pot or statue. They will look good and may add a new dimension to the garden. You can fill empty pots with holes in the bottom and it will drain and water deeply plants that are near it. Statues can be realistic or abstract. They can add a kinetic feature to the garden if they move and might add sound. I'm not a huge fan of wind chimes because on a breezy day they can drive you and the neighbors nuts.