May 2014

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE:

Dear Club Members:
So far this has not been the “merry month of May.” Several of our club members have had medical issues: Enid fell and broke a bone in her neck, Shane fell and broke her arm, and Joanne is still recuperating from hip surgery last month.
With these key people not being available to help with the garden tour, and that we are also lacking a Treasurer, as well as a feeling that we are quite a bit behind schedule in some of the planning areas, the Board discussed the situation. It is our recommendation that we do NOT hold a garden tour this year. The Board, as well as other garden tour committee members, carefully reviewed if we could and/or should have a tour this year. The gardens (we saw more than 20) were nice, but not up to our usual “Wow” standard. Many gardens were immature and will look much better in another year. Rather than have a tour that would be disappointing, and perhaps have less attendees in the future, the best thing seems to be to postpone until June 20, 2015 (proposed date). We plan to keep in contact with the gardens we liked, as well as continue to recruit more in the next few months. This will hopefully ensure a quality garden tour next year. I realize many members will be disappointed. As Ann Long said, maybe the weather will be lousy this year and that will be the nail in the coffin!
Financially the club can survive. We will be reviewing the budget for 2014-15 at this month’s meeting. Of course, not having a tour means we will have to cut back on our donations to the community.
I want to thank Sharon for rectifying the accounts as acting treasurer and do appreciate her attention to detail. Unfortunately, she does not want to continue in this position – or would like another member to help. This is vital to our club business, and Sharon is willing to train. Anyone interested?
Mike & Paula Pinelli have graciously agreed to have the July social at their house on Sunday, July 20. Details and sign up at the meeting. We also thought we could have a plant sale for our members at this event, since Michael and a few others have been propagating. Dorene has made the hanging baskets which we will also sell and raffle off one at the May meeting for $5 a ticket.
It is also the month for renewing your membership ($30/year). Please bring your checkbook to partake in the plant sale, raffle and pay your dues!
Your comments, ideas, and suggestions are valuable to the functioning of PGC.
Happy gardening!
Karen
 

Meeting Refreshments
Snacks: Dorene & Joanne
Dessert: Floran

 

Dues Are Due!!

Bring you checkbook to the meeting and renew your membership.
$30 per year.
or mail a check to:
Pacifica Garden Club
PO Box 594
Pacifica, CA 94044
 
 

MEET NEW MEMBER:    MARY PETRILLI

Mary has lived in Pacifica for 27 years and has been helping to restore the dunes at Linda Mar Beach for 17 of those years! She loves the outdoors and helping others, and that’s why she also volunteers at the Sanchez library garden growing food for those in need. She recently became a Certified Master Gardener. At her home, she has a raised bed with veggies and herbs, plus as many native plants around as possible to provide food and shelter for wildlife.
Although she and her husband grew up in The City, they have a great love for “P-Town”. She is still raising her four boys and is busy with that more than anything else.
Mary joined the club to continue learning new things within this wonderful community.

Welcome Mary!!

 

IT’S SPRING ~ TIME TO GET GROWING!!
Go shopping!
Buy herbs, lavenders, and salvias Find an extensive range of culinary and medicinal herbs, 40 varieties of lavender, and 60 -varieties of salvias at Morningsun Herb Farm in Vacaville (707/451-9406).

Shop for kousa dogwoods These shrubs (which can be trained as trees) have delicate-looking flowers in late spring and stunning red fruit and foliage color in fall. Sara Monte of Wildwood Farm Nursery in Kenwood (888/833-4181) recommends these from its long list of in-stock kousas: white-bloomed ‘Angel Wings’, pink-flowering ‘Satomi’, and ‘Wolf Eyes’, which has cream-edged leaves.
Planting

Back-of-the-border blooms Sunset climate zones 7-9, 14-17: For vertical accents in borders, grow tall, upright bedding plants behind shorter ones. Good choices include green-flowered Nicotiana langsdorffii and fragrant N. sylvestris, ‘Aztec Sun’ and ‘Goldfinger’ Tithonia, and tall-growing varieties of cosmos (such as the Sensation series) and sunflower. All grow 3 to 6 feet tall.

Grow a fragrant low-water shrub A scented greeting, familiar from year to year, at a garden seat or along a path boosts the spirits and draws us to the garden. Sweet-scented, white-flowered bush anemone (Carpenteria californica), a native that needs little water and care, ranks among the 100 tough and reliable plants chosen as Arboretum All-Stars by the University of California, Davis Arboretum. Find other scented shrubs on the Arboretum All-Stars website (arboretum.ucdavis.edu; click on “Arboretum All-Stars”).

Ornamental grasses With their flowing habit, grasses lend a sense of movement to the garden. The following species are also drought-tolerant, take full sun to part shade, and thrive in Northern California (in zones 1-2, treat them as annuals): Elymus glaucus, E. triticoides, Festuca paniculata, and Pennisetum messiacum. If you can’t find the plants locally, order from Greenlee Nursery (909/629-9045).

Summer annuals  Zones 7-9, 14-17: May is the optimum planting month for annuals. In sunny beds, plant cosmos, Madagascar periwinkle (Vinca rosea), marigolds, nasturtiums, petunias, salvia, and zinnias, from either sixpacks or 4-inch containers. In shade, grow coleus and impatiens. Zones 1-2: Plant after danger of frost has passed.

Continue sowing salad greens Plant a small batch of seeds every two weeks until daytime temperatures reach 75°, when it’s too warm for these cool-season crops. To beat advancing heat, choose fast-growing arugula and leaf lettuce, rather than slow-maturing head-forming greens such as radicchio and romaine.

Veggies for containers Zones 7-9, 14-17: If you don’t have space to grow vegetables in the ground, plant them in containers. Tried-and-true favorites that do well in pots include ‘Blue Lake Pole’ beans (train them on obelisks), ‘Giant Marconi’ pepper, ‘Early Girl’ and ‘Sun Gold’ tomatoes, and ‘Eight Ball’ or ‘Spacemiser’ zucchini. Seedlings are available in nurseries now. Choose a container at least 18 inches deep and wide, and use fresh potting mix. Place the pots in full sun. Fertilize and water regularly.

Aerate lawns Lawns that get a lot of heavy foot traffic may have compacted soil, making it difficult for water, fertilizer, and oxygen to reach the roots. If you can’t push a screwdriver up to its handle into the turf, it’s time to aerate. Use a manual aerator to punch holes in small lawns. Or you can rent a power core aerator from a landscape equipment supplier (look in the yellow pages under Rental Service Stores & Yards) or hire a lawn professional. Aeration works best on a moist lawn.

Thin fruit   Sunset climate zones 7-–9, 14–17: Before apples, Asian pears, nectarines, and peaches reach an inch in diameter, gently twist off enough fruit to allow 4 to 6 inches between remaining fruit. (Zones 1–2: Do this in early summer.) This improves the size of the remaining fruit, reduces the risk of broken branches, and keeps trees producing well annually rather than in alternate years. Master Gardeners at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center in Fair Oaks (cesacramento.ucdavis.edu or 916/875-6913) will demonstrate fruit thinning at a free class on May 16. They also have detailed thinning info on their website.

Outsmart pests Control aphids Strip aphids from plants by hand or dislodge them with a blast or two from the hose.

Plant a bean tipi. Gather twine, a packet of pole beans, and three to eight bamboo poles each 6 to 8 feet long. Arrange the poles in a circle and tie them together at the top. When the weather has warmed, plant the beans 6 inches apart, four per pole.
Maintenance

• Aerate lawns Lawns that get a lot of heavy foot traffic may have compacted soil, making it difficult for water, fertilizer, and oxygen to reach the roots. If you can’t push a screwdriver up to its handle into the turf, it’s time to aerate. Use a manual aerator to punch holes in small lawns. Or you can rent a power core aerator from a landscape equipment supplier (look in the yellow pages under Rental Service Stores & Yards) or hire a lawn professional. Aeration works best on a moist lawn.

Thin fruit   Sunset climate zones 7-–9, 14–17: Before apples, Asian pears, nectarines, and peaches reach an inch in diameter, gently twist off enough fruit to allow 4 to 6 inches between remaining fruit. (Zones 1–2: Do this in early summer.) This improves the size of the remaining fruit, reduces the risk of broken branches, and keeps trees producing well annually rather than in alternate years. Master Gardeners at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center in Fair Oaks (cesacramento.ucdavis.edu or 916/875-6913) will demonstrate fruit thinning at a free class on May 16. They also have detailed thinning info on their website.

• Outsmart pests Control aphids: Strip aphids from plants by hand or dislodge them with a blast or two from the hose.
NOW……GET GROWING!!
FROM SUNSET MAGAZINE, MAY 2014

Every Flower Must Grow Through Dirt!
              Lauri Jean-Sennott
 

Plant Stunning ContainersUnknown

images        What separates gorgeous containers from average-looking ones? Follow these tips to make yours the best.
        Select compatible plants according to the amount of sun or partial shade they will receive. One formula for eye catching color is to plant two bright same or similar colors.
        Include plants with graym yellow or variegated foliage, and different leaf shapes, to make the arrangement more interesting Select enough plants so they are tightly packed into the container to give a full display of color. Group several colorful containers for maximum impact.

 

GROWING ZUCCHINIUnknown-1

Baby zucchini start out pale green with tender skins. With lots of regular water they’ll just keep getting longer and bigger like a water balloon. Harvest when small, before they develop seeds- or you will run out of neighbors to give them to!
Try to keep the blossoms dry, and avoid overwatering- if the fruits rest in mud, they may rot. If needed, improve drainage or raise fruits off the soil with mulch or a board.
Don’t underwater them, either: the moment you fail to water zucchihi, the rind gets hard and dark to prevent water loss, the fruit stops growing bigger, and the plant shifts its energy to seed production. Small fruits with dark skins may signal that the plant needs more water.
Sometimes irregular watering will produce a funny shaped squash, as if one end stopped growing befoe the other. (Of course, this could be a fun summer experiment for kids!)

~Mulching~
Saves Water & Makes Plants Happy

Mulching is one of the most important practices. It’s a simple and quick procedure with many benefits. Plants love it because it reduces evaporation and keeps the soil more evenly moist, prevents weed growth, improves soil quanity, and moderates soil temperature.
Mulched areas also look much more attractive than bare soil and because of the amount of moisture retained, and your soil will require less watering. This is especially important during our current drought conditions.
Mulch around trees, shrubs, and vegetable and flower beds.
When the mulch begins to break down, simply add a new layer to cover it, or cultivate the existing mulch into the soil Most mulches should be about 2-4 inches thick. Be sure to leave an inch or so gap around tree and shrub trunks to discourage decay fungi in the trunk.
Compost makes the best mulch, but you can also buy bags of commercially made mulch-materials from your local nursery.

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”

Robert Browning

Happy Mother’s Day to all you garden loving mothers.