- Patty McHugh
“I once had a rose named after me and I was flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: No good in a bed but fine up against a wall.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Where/When: Tuesday, April 16th, Berger Center
Time: Tea and Social at 9:30am followed by speaker/presentation from 10:00 to 11:15am
Speaker/Topic: Becky Shirley, a Sonoma County Master Gardener and a food and garden specialist. Becky will speak to us on vegetable gardening, container gardening and soil. Soil is Becky’s particular passion, as it serves as the living source of the food we eat. This presentation is timely in that the second half of April is the ideal time to plant many vegetables for summer harvest. We’re always excited to have a master gardener speak to us; their mission is to provide sustainable, science-based horticultural information.
APRIL IN THE GARDEN
Spring – oh, glorious Spring! The weather is warming, buds are opening, and life is good. Nothing can boost our spirits as much as good old sunshine and dirt.
* Plant bulbs for summer bloom; check with your favorite nursery for suggested choices.
* If you didn’t do it in March, prepare your vegetable bed by digging in plenty of compost or other organic amendments. Dig the soil at least one foot deep. Add as much organic matter as you can – the more the better. Vegetables need plenty of nutrients.
* Sow seed directly for beets, carrots, chard, lettuce, cilantro, dill, potatoes, leeks and onions. Start frost tender vegetables indoors. Transplant starts of lettuce, leeks, onions and chard. Be patient – wait until the end of the month to put out transplants of tomato, eggplant, cucumber, peppers and melon.
* Fertilize citrus. By the end of the month you may prune out any frost damaged branches; otherwise, citrus don’t require much pruning.
* For larger, tastier fruit, thin tiny fruit on fruit trees to about four inches between fruit.
* Bait for slugs, snails, earwigs and sow bugs. If aphids and ants show up on your roses, think twice about bringing out the chemicals; most all are harmful to the pollinators that are crucial for a healthy garden. A strong spray of water over several days in a row usually gets rid of aphids. If that doesn’t work, water and insecticidal soap will do the trick. One long-held homegrown recipe for Aphid & Ant Spray is as follows: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid, ½ teaspoon eucalyptus oil, 1-gallon water; try it on a few leaves and if it doesn’t burn them, it’s safe to use on the entire plant (avoid blossoms).
IN MEMORY OF DAN MILHOLLIN
We are saddened that our very own Vice-President and Master Gardener passed away unexpectedly. The Board would like to continue a project close to Dan’s heart – annual sponsorship of a deserving candidate to train as a SC Master Gardener. We wish to honor him by awarding the scholarships in his name. Donations will be gratefully accepted.