Gardening in a Changing Climate

As gardeners, it’s hard not to notice our changing climate. Cooler, wetter springs and drier, hotter summers. We will need to adapt what and how we grow but we also need to do everything we can to slow climate change and mitigate its negative impacts. We’re not powerless: we can act. We can conserve water, stop using gas-powered tools, protect biodiversity through native species, use organic fertilizers and adapt by growing plants more suitable to our changing climate.

It’s easy to say “the small things I do won’t change the world”, but in fact they will if enough of us take heart, get serious, change our behaviour and demand our governments act now.

Elizabeth Cull, Franchise President

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Make a Tuteur

This month’s newsletter has a link to an article about building a rustic tuteur from branches, screws, glue and string. Very simple, but very effective … and oh, so pretty.

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Time to Think “Winter”

It’s June and that means it’s time to think about your winter garden. Yes, that’s right: if you want to extend your vegetable harvest into the fall and even right through the winter, you need to start planning for it now. The biggest mistake new gardeners make is not starting early enough.

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June

If you’re wondering why there’s a picture of snow on vegetables in the June newsletter, it’s because now is the time to plan for your winter garden. If you want to harvest food throughout the fall and into next year, you need to plan and plant now.

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May

The eight basic warm-season vegetables should go in later in May or even early June when the weather is (hopefully) reliably warm: beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.  Buy plants for eggplants, tomatoes and peppers, but you can still grow the rest from seeds.

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Want More Food? Grow More Flowers!

We all know that flowers attract bees and other pollinators, so it just makes sense to include flowers in or near your vegetable garden.

Planting flowers that attract bees will help fill the gaps when vegetables are not blooming keeping them fed and happy until your edibles bloom. More bees in your garden means more pollination means more fruits and vegetables!

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April

April is the month gardener’s wait for – this is the month you can really get planting in earnest. Click on “April” to get the full to-do list for this month.

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Time to Force Bulbs Indoors

It’s that time of year again – time to force bulbs to bloom indoors. Huge, gorgeous amaryllis bulbs are always popular in the winter months when little else is in bloom. If you pot up bulbs now and place them in a warm place, many will be in bloom at Christmas or shortly thereafter. They make a wonderful gift as they need little care except for occasional watering.

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December

Clean your gardening tools. Wash off the soil, dry them, sharpen them, and then apply a light coating of oil. Here’s link to a 49 second video that shows a neat trick for cleaning tools. If you want to learn to clean your own pruners and loppers, watch this video from the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County. I particularly like it because it shows how to use different types of sharpening stones. Click on December above to read more.

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October

Plant garlic. You’ll find local, organic garlic available for planting at all Victoria area Dig This stores. For the rest of October’s To Do List, click on “October”.

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