- Patty McHugh
“Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.” Jean Jacques Rousseau”
Where/When: Tuesday, February 19th, Berger Center
Time: Tea and Social at 9:30am followed by meeting from 10:00 to 11:15am
Topic/Speaker: CORRECTION TO FEBRUARY 1ST COLUMN: I mistakenly reported that Caerleon Safford, coordinator at Fire Safe Sonoma and member of the grant team of the Sonoma County Emergency Services Department, would be our speaker. This is NOT the case. Rather, we will be presenting a video of the talk Caerleon gave at the Berger Center last October, so while not in person, we will hear her speak. Caerleon conducted the Living with Fire Symposium at SSU and is a Cal-Fire fire fighter herself. In this video she provides useful information as to how to protect our homes from fire. She is a dynamic speaker with a touch of wit. The Oakmont Fire Safety Committee will be repeating this video here in Oakmont – times and place to be announced.
THOUGHTS ON FIRE SAFETY IN THE HOME GARDEN
Converting our landscape to a fire-wise landscape can seem like a daunting task. Many of us may even think we’re just not up to a big project like that. The start is often the biggest hurdle, but we need to start somewhere. If you divide your conversion plans into several small projects and take them one a time, it can actually be fun! A good place to start is to determine the worst culprits in your garden and be rid of them. Once those old, tired, woody plants are gone you’ll be surprised at how fresh your garden looks – and it will inspire you to continue. If you have mature plants that are crowded, remove some of them to allow space and separation between the plants. Wa-lah! – a much better look (and at very little cost). Don’t be alarmed by the resulting bare side – just trim up the plant and give it a season to fill in. Visit fire-wise demonstration gardens for ideas and incorporate your favorites into your garden. Remember the three R’s – Removal, Reduction, Replacement.
FEBRUARY IN THE GARDEN
More of the same – there’s plenty of work left to do before spring.
* Complete winter pruning of shrubs and trees.
* Apply slow-acting organic fertilizer and/or compost to perennials to give them a boost before spring.
* Cut back any remaining grasses. It won’t be long before new shoots appear, if they haven’t already. You don’t want to cut those off.
* In established beds, this is a good time to replenish plant-based mulch. By mulching as the winter rains taper, you can often delay watering plants for several weeks as the weather warms.
* In the vegetable garden, sow directly spinach, radishes, turnips, peas, beets and Asian greens. Start inside seeds of onion, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, leeks.
* Keep up with maintenance including pruning, dead material removal, cleanup and irrigation. Very important, not only for aesthetics but for fire safety!