- Patty McHugh
“A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.”—Mary Sarton
JANUARY MEETING WHEN AND WHERE: Tuesday, January 21, Berger Center TIME: Tea and Social at 9:30, followed by speaker from 10–11:15 a.m. Marjorie MacLeod from MacLeod Family Vineyards will speak on grape-growing and winemaking, as well as the history of the vineyard and the family’s passion. MacLeod Family Vineyards is a fourthgeneration family-owned vineyard. The winery was begun in 1974 with the clearing of ancient fruit trees, rocks and scrub on the family ranch in Kenwood and today produces award-winning wines.
UPCOMING February: Denise and Renee from Prickets Nursery will speak about indoor plants and their care. March: Sonoma County Regional Parks presentation by Irma Cuevas, Community Engagement Coordinator.
THIS MONTH IN THE GARDEN: If you have roses, fruit trees or deciduous trees/ shrubs, there is much to be done this month, even if the weather is uncooperative. While there are usually some rain-free days, January is also often our coldest month, making venturing outside not a priority. And let’s face it, after the hectic holiday season, staying inside curled up with a good book is so tempting. Still, there are things you can do in anticipation of the warmer months.
• Danger of frost is great so be diligent in protecting your non-hardy plants.
• January is a good month for perusing garden catalogs. Look only for plants that are compatible to our climate and disregard those that are on the very edge of our planting zone. Oakmont is generally a few degrees colder than other areas in our zone.
• Shop for bare-root plants. In the nurseries there should be roses, fruit trees, vines and berries. Plant when the soil is moist/dry but not heavy. Keep the roots covered and moist until you can plant. Follow the instructions carefully—usually they need a good soak, roots splayed over a cone of soil, and planted with the bud union just above the soil level. For a plant to be happy for years to come, use the soil you dug from the hole for the cone and the backfill. Using amended or potting soil will make the plant’s roots hesitant to grow into the less desirable native soil.
• It’s time to prune hybrid tea roses, fruit trees and many dormant deciduous plants. Pruning is an art, so read up! If you’re new at it, attending a pruning demonstration is helpful. And, of course, there are many online demonstrations.
• The first application of horticultural oil dormant spray for roses and fruit trees should be done this month. Other mineral solutions like sulfur, lime and copper sulfate can be combined with the oil. Use manufacture’s measurements.
RENEW MEMBERSHIP: January is the month we ask that the annual dues are paid. Dues are $15 per household; pay at the January meeting or place your check in the Garden Club folder at the OVA. Thank you for your membership!