Friday, November 29, 2013

Swag and Wreath Demo with Rena Large


Rena Large makes creating your holiday swags and wreaths easy.



In keeping with the holiday spirit we had Rena Large share with us an informative demonstration on how to effortlessly create Swags and Wreaths. Follow her guidelines to create your own.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Botanus Garden Club

Like most garden clubs, the ladies at Botanus Garden Club are taking a summer hiatus. 



The Powell River Garden Club looks forward to the Botanus Garden Club's return! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 19

Pam and Wendy discuss finding inspiration


Tip of the week:  "Don't be afraid, just start!  Start an order with things you really want and then add to it as you discover new things for your garden."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 18

Spring Bulb Clean Up with Pam and Wendy


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Botanus Garden Club - Episode 17

Planting a Peony with Pam and Wendy
 
Tip of the week:  Make sure you don't plant your peony more than 2 inches below the soil level! 

I was surprised to hear that peonies can live up to 50+ years! 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Botanus Garden Club - Episode 16



Today Wendy and Elke discuss planting bare root roses. 




Thursday, May 9, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 15

Bees and Butterflies



Pam wants to remind gardeners to be mindful of the bees and butterflies when watering. Make sure you don't spray directly on them.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 14

Wendy, with Pam's help, pots up a 'Sun Container' with 'Tywning's Smartie' Dahlias and 'Crystal Blush' Callas...it's going to be spectacular!



Tip of the Week:  Always make sure you have good drainage in your container. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Botanus Garden Club - Episode 13

Natural Garden Solutions with Pam and Wendy



The ladies at the Botanus Garden Club shared a Tip Sheet on Natural Solutions in the Garden...check it out.   http://www.botanus.com/ContentFiles/Natural%20Garden%20Solutions.pdf

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 12 Shade Container

Brighten up your shaded areas...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 11 Summer Bulbs




Ismenes, Calla Lilies, Dahlias and  Anemones...some summer bulb faves from the Botanus ladies. 

I must admit I am partial to the Ismenes...wait, I love the wonderful colours the Calla Lilies come in...but, the Dahlias put on such a show late in the summer...and the anemones are so cute.  It's hard to have a favourite! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 10

Tulip Arrangements with Elke
(of course, only possible if the deer haven't eaten your tulips)


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Feel like a walk through the garden...


Thursday, March 21, 2013

If It's Thursday, It Must Be Botanus Garden Club Time!

So what are the ladies up to this week?  Episode 8 Easter Deco with Elke



Tip of the Week:  for decorations, use what you have at home, like glasses, jars, baskets...be creative.  I like the idea of using Easter egg cups for small flowering bulbs like crocus. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 7 Grasses

Wendy and Pam discuss grasses...Wendy has four faves, one of which is Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'.  Enjoy. 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 6 Bulbs and Bare Roots

The ladies are at it again this week...talking about dinner plate dahlias, canna, begonias...and more. 


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 5 Elkes Faves

For your viewing enjoyment...


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 4 Wendy's Fave

Enjoy...


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tutorial on Pruning Blueberry Bushes

Please take advantage of our spring-like weather. 
Late winter to early spring, before bud break, is a good time to prune blueberries. You want to be certain the plants are dormant when you prune. 




Suggestions made during this tutorial include:

  • prune out old canes or weak shoots
  • when pruning out older branches, remove old canes as close to ground level as possible
  • blueberries fruit on one-year old shoots
  • swollen buds are fruit buds
  • smaller, pointed buds result in vegetative growth, which will be the fruit wood in the following year
  • best fruiting canes are three to six years old
  • removing at least 50% of the fruiting potential each year results in higher quality fruit and a longer, healthier life for the blueberry bush
Hope this helps when you head out to prune your blueberry bushes or inspires you to include blueberry bushes in your garden. 

A big thank you to the University of Maine for this tutorial. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Aconite and Snowdrops Dancing...

As daylight lengthens and the air warms, early spring flowers start dancing...are yours?



Special thanks to Neil Bromhall for capturing these flowers doing their spring dance. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 3

The ladies are dressed in red today to celebrate.
Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Botanus Garden Club Episode 2: Pam's Faves


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Introducing the Botanus Garden Club

The knowledgeable ladies at Botanus have created an online garden club.  In today's podcast, the very first, Wendy and Pam discuss amaryllis care.  Feel free to share with all your gardening friends. 

Information kindly provided by PRGC member, Sheila Noble.  Thanks, Sheila!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vicia fava

I was surprised to learn that some gardeners grow vicia fava, commonly known as fava, horse, Windsor, Tick, Pigeon or broad bean, as a cover crop.  A relative of vetch, also widely used as a cover crop, the fava bean is a cool season annual legume. 

I was also surprised to learn that fava beans are used as livestock and poultry feed. 

I was also surprised to learn that fava beans are not more commonly eaten.  If harvested young, these beans are delicious and nutritious!  For a complete nutritional breakdown, click here.

Facts about fava beans
  • native to the Mediterranean region, especially Italy and Iran
  • one of the oldest cultivated plants
  • in North America, Canada is considered the largest producer of fava beans
  • the large-seeded cultivars bear 1 or 2 pods at each node while the small-seeded types produce from 2-5 pods
  • stored properly, seed life is 3 years
  • the dry beans are about 24% protein, 2% fat, and 50% carbohydrate, and have 700 calories per cup
  • when growing for seed production, the crop matures in 4-5 months
  • resistant to frost damage to at least 21 degrees F but doesn`t thrive under summer heat
  • germination:  7 to 14 days
  • plant 1 to 2 inches deep, 3 to 5 inches apart; then thin to 8 to 10 inches apart
  • for eating fresh, harvest the pods when they are green, thick and have a glossy sheen (can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 days)
  • cook in boiling water 20 to 25 minutes
  • savory, an herb, pairs well with fava beans
  • fava beans are susceptible to aphid (in particular, black) and bean weevil attack
  • Favism, an inherited disorder found in some people of southern European origin, is characterized by an enzyme deficiency expressed when fava beans are eaten, especially raw or partially cooked. Symptoms commonly include acute toxic hepatitis and those similar to influenza. Males are more commonly affected than females; mortality is almost entirely confined to children. Fava plant pollen in the respiratory tract also affects these people.  I was surprised to learn this.
  • A simple way to prepare fava beans is to toss them with a little olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and fresh sage. Add salt and pepper to taste. For the best flavour, let stand about an hour to combine the flavours. Try adding them to pasta, rice dishes and soups.
  • For tasty fava bean recipes, check out this link and this one.
If you Powell River gardeners didn't get your fava beans sown in the fall, now is the time to do it!  Or maybe you will find these little treasures at Powell River's Seedy Saturday on Saturday, March 9th and can sow them in the fall.  Try 'em, you'll like them...

Crimson Flowered Broad Bean
Resources:  University of California, Marin Master Gardeners; Nutritiondata; Mother Nature Network; & Huffington Post

Monday, January 14, 2013

News from The Bulletin January/February 2013

As members of the BC Council of Garden Clubs (BCCGC) the Powell River Garden Club receives The Bulletin bi-monthly throughout the year. The Bulletin contains news and information from the Council as well as informative and interesting articles submitted by Club members.

Below, please find many of the articles published in The Bulletin, January/February 2013 edition. A printed copy of The Bulletin is available at Club meetings.

Article 1:    Kale: 2012 Wonder Food...by Marilyn Holt
Article 2:    Seed Germination Chart
Article 3:    Aeonium
Article 4:    Bismarck Palm aka Bismarckia nobilis . . .by Marilyn Holt
Article 5:    Kalanchoe Daigremontiana
Article 6:    Spotted Wing Drosophila...BC Ministry of Agriculture
Article 7:    What Plant Is This...Peter Gail
Article 8:    Best Tomatoes From The Pacific Northwest
 

Article 1:     Kale:  2012 Wonder Food...by Marilyn Holt
Kale will be know as the wonder food for 2012. It didn’t matter how many times I ordered replacement kale seeds for our seed racks, we always ran out before the week was out and we carry kale from five different seed companies. By the time mid-May arrived, even the seed companies didn’t have enough kale seeds to refill our racks, or anyone else’s for that matter.

So, what was the rush on kale seeds in 2012? Articles written by several health magazines, and especially Live-Strong on their website. The next step for me was to research what all the fuss was about. Yes, kale is healthy for you.  We’ve known that for years, but what did they write that made everyone want it? Now my interest was piqued, what a great marketing tool! So....

Kale - annuals or biennuals, raised from seed or starter plants. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.

Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in all of Europe. Curly leafed varieties of cabbage already existed along with flat leafed varieties in Greece in the fourth century BC. These forms, which were referred to by the Romans as Sabellian kale, are considered to be the ancestors of modern kales.

Today one may differentiate between varieties according to the low, intermediate, or high length of the stem, with varying leaf types. The leaf colours range from light green through green, dark green and violet-green to violet-brown. Russian kale was introduced into Canada (and then into the US) by Russian traders in the 19th century.

During World War II, the cultivation of kale in the UK was encouraged by the
Dig for Victory campaign. The vegetable was easy to grow and provided important nutrients to supplement those missing from a normal diet because of rationing.

Because kale can grow well into winter, one variety of Rape Kale is called 'Hungry Gap', named after the period in winter in traditional agriculture when little could be harvested.

A extra tall variety is known as Jersey kale or "cow cabbage".

Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being exposed to frost. Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly flavoured ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, tamari-roasted almonds, red pepper flakes, or an Asian-style dressing. When baked or dehydrated, Kale takes on a consistency similar to that of a potato chip, and is a much healthier alternative to regular potato chips. The chips can be seasoned with salt or other spices.

The best way to utilize all Kale’s health benefits is to juice it with other vegetables and fruits.

Article 2:  Seed Germination Chart

How To Test Viability of Saved Seed

Use a paper towel that has been moistened.  Place a few seeds on paper towel.  Insert to sealable plastic bag.  Label bag as to variety and date sown so the seeds won't be wasted if they are viable.  Place sealed bag in a warm area out of direct sunlight.  Check after 24 hours then daily for germinated seed. 




VARIETY
OPTIMUM SOIL
TEMPERATURE FOR
GERMINATION
DEGREE F
DAYS TO
GERMINATE
AT OPTIMUM SOIL
TEMPERATURE

Bean, lima   85 degrees F  7 to 10
Bean, snap 75 - 80 degrees F  7
Beet 75 degrees F  7 to 14
Broccoli 65 - 75 degrees F   5 to 10
Brussels sprout 68 - 75 degrees F  5 to 10
Cabbage 68 - 75 degrees F  5 to 10
Cantaloupe 80 - 85 degrees F 5 to 10
Carrot 75 degrees F 12 to 15
Cauliflower 65 - 75 degrees F 5 to 10
Celery 70 - 75 degrees F  10 to 14
Collard 70 - 75 degrees F 5 to 10
Corn 75 - 85 degrees FF 7 to10
Cucumber 70 - 85 degrees F 7 to 10
Eggplant 75 - 85 degrees F 10 to 12
Endive 70 - 75 degrees F 10 to 14
Kale 70 - 75 degrees F 5 to 10
Kohlrabi 70 - 75 degrees F 5 to 10
Lettuce 65 - 70 degrees FF 7 to 10
Melon 80 - 85 degrees F 5 to 10
Mustard Greens 70 degrees F 5 to 10
Okra 80 - 85 degrees F 7 to 14
Onion, bulbing 70 - 75 degrees F 10 to 14
Onion, bunching 60 - 70 degrees F 10 to 14
Parsnip 70 degrees F  14 to 21
Pea 65 - 70 degrees F 7 to 14
Pepper 78 - 85 degrees F 10 to 14
Pumpkin 70 - 75 degrees F 7 to 10
Radish 65 - 70 degrees F 5 to 7
Rutabaga 65 - 70 degrees F 7 to 15
Spinach 70 degrees F 7 to 14
Spinach, New Zealand 75 degrees F 10 to 15
Squash, Summer 75 - 85 degrees F 7 to 14
Squash, Winter 75 - 80 degrees F 7 to 14
Swiss Chard 70 - 75 degrees F 7 to 14
Tomato 75 - 80 degrees F 7 to 14
Turnip 65 - 70 degrees F 7 to 14
 

Article 3:  Aeonium
Aeonium, commonly called Houseleek Tree, is a genus of about 35 species of succulent, subtropical plants of the Crassulaceae family.  Most are native to the Canary Islands with some found in Madeira, Morocco and East Africa.

The rosette leaves are on a basal stem. There are also low growing species such as A. tabuliforme and A. smithii. There are large species such as A. arboreum, A. valver-dense and A. holochrysum.

They are related to the genera Sempervivum, Aichryson and Monanthes. This is easy to see from their similar flower and inflorescences. Greenovia has recently been placed into the Aeonium family.

Aeonium require little water and in winter can be reduced to help survive cooler conditions. In general, aeoniums that are green prefer some shade whereas the varieties with purple like full sun. In summer they can be moved outdoors to enhance plant growth but in the fall they cannot withstand temperatures below 10 degrees C.  Soil should be free draining.

*To see images, click on Aeonium above.

Article 4: Bismarck Palm aka Bismarchia nobilis...Marilyn Holt
The Bismarck Palm (Bismarckia nobilis) will turn heads and make you think of the Jurassic Age. Wherever this palm is planted, it will draw attention with its massive silvery blue-green fronds and its stout trunk. It certainly caught my attention on a recent vacation to Maui.
We Canadians can still grow this beautiful specimen by making it comfortable indoors during the winter months and moving it outdoors during the spring and summer months. Let’s face it, Canadians are adapting individuals with a high drive of ‘let ‘s give it a try’ and a tenacity to turn our ‘non-tropical gardens’ into the tropics for summer. To do this, our only option is to grow this beauty in containers where it will become a ’plant of distinction’. I have already ordered seeds for this palm which will arrive shortly. Unfortunately it takes an extremely long time to germinate - I won’t tell you how long in case it stifles your interest in this gorgeous palm. Just remember, all great things are worth waiting for and just imagine the feeling of accomplishment you will have when the first frond is sighted!

The Bismarck Palm is indigenous to the island of Madagascar, where unfortunately due to high agricultural land use, it is becoming extinct. However, in other tropical areas of the world, where the rainfall occurs in the spring and summer, they are doing extremely well. Unfortunately California is not one of those places as rainfall usually occurs in the cooler winter months.

The Bismarck Palm is a monotypic palm which means it is the only one in its genus. This beauty grows to an average height of 20 to 30 feet, but takes as many years (or more) to attain that height as the average growth is usually half to one foot per year under ‘optimal’ growing conditions. It enjoys full sun and space for the fronds to spread. At full growth, the fronds are palmate and reach almost three feet in diameter. The trunk will grow to two feet in diameter at maturity.

When planting in containers, choose a soil with good drainage but re-member to water regularly while outdoors in the summer months. The quickest way to kill a Bismarck Palm is to allow the roots to dehydrate. Try to mimic its natural habitat where there are distinct wet and dry seasons, for us lots of water in the spring and summer and not much in the fall and winter months. The temperature range it enjoys for optimal growth is from 4 degrees C to36 degrees C, being hardy to Zone 10-11.

If recently transplanted, make sure to keep the roots hydrated by watering twice a day for the first two weeks which should ensure successful transplanting. Once established, it will enthusiastically push out new fronds on a regular basis and if you diligently look after this palm, you will be rewarded with fruit for you to exchange seeds with other palm enthusiasts.

For those of you that are curious, three weeks is the germination time for Bismarck Palm seeds!
*For images, click here.

Article 5: Kalanchoe Daigremontiana *(see warning below)
Kalanchoe (kah-lan-ko-ee) daigremontiana, (aka Mother of Thousands or Mexican Hat Plant) is a flowering angiosperm in the family of Crassulaceae. It is a succulent with thick green leaves with purple splotches. As a succulent it retains a lot of water in its leaves and can survive in very sandy or rocky soil, preferring full sun to partial shade. Multiple spear-shaped plantlets form along the leaves' perimeter to provide the plant opportunities to propagate itself (asexual). These plantlets drop off with agitation or age and populate the soil nearby very quickly. For this reason, it is considered an invasive species in the United States, Caribbean territories, Australia, South Africa and Hawaii. It can reach a height of 3 feet, with an impressive 3- to 4-foot spread. Leaves range from 4 to 10 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide. When flowering, the central stalk elongates and can reach a height from 30 to 50".

This plant is a native to Madagascar and was first introduced into the United States in 1928 by Charles Swingle, a researcher with the US Department of Agriculture.

Warning:
Derek B. Munro of the Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre in Ottawa states this plant contains cardiac glyco-side daigremontianum, which has caused toxicity and deaths in chicks and mice during experiments. Common symptoms of poisoning include rapid and labored breathing, muscle twitching, convulsions and paralysis. The plantlets on the edges of a plant's main leaves have a tendency to fall off and collect around the base. For this reason, pets around its vicinity should be kept from ingesting them.
*For images, click here.

Article 6: Spotted Wing Drosophila...BC Ministry of Agriculture
*Please click on this link to access article.

Article 7: What Plant Is This...Peter Gail
Suppose your doctor tells you, on your next visit, that he has just discovered a miracle drug which, when eaten as a part of your daily diet or taken as a beverage, could, depending on the peculiarities of your body chemistry: prevent or cure liver diseases, such as hepatitis or jaundice; act as a tonic and gentle diuretic to purify your blood, cleanse your system, dissolve kidney stones, and otherwise improve gastrointestinal health; assist in weight reduction; cleanse your skin and eliminate acne; improve your bowel function, working equally well to relieve both constipation and diarrhea; prevent or lower high blood pressure; prevent or cure anemia; lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half; eliminate or drastically reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods; prevent or cure various forms of cancer; prevent or control diabetes mellitus; and, at the same time, have no negative side effects and selectively act on only what ails you. If he gave you a prescription for this miracle medicine, would you use it religiously at first to solve whatever the problem is and then consistently for preventative body maintenance?

All the above curative functions, and more, have been attributed to one plant known to everyone, Taraxacum officinale, which means the "Official Remedy for Disorders." We call it the common dandelion. It is so well respected, in fact, that it appears in the U.S. National Formulatory, and in the Pharmacopeias of Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union. It is one of the top 6 herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest.

According to the USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Minnich, in "Gardening for Better Nutrition" ranks them, out of all vegetables, including grains, seeds and greens, as tied for 9th best. According to these data, dandelions are nature's richest green vegetable source of betacarotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after codliver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein.

Recent research, reported in the Natural Healing and Nutritional Annual, 1989 (Bricklin and Ferguson 1989) on the value of vitamins and minerals indicates that:

* Vitamin A is important in fighting cancers of epithelial tissue, including mouth and lung

* Potassium rich foods, in adequate quantities, and particularly in balance with magnesium, helps keep blood pressure down and reduces risks of strokes

* Fiber fights diabetes, lowers cholesterol, reduces cancer and heart disease risks, and assists in weight loss. High fiber vegetables take up lots of room, are low in calories, and slow down digestion so the food stays in the stomach longer and you feel full longer
 
* Calcium in high concentrations can build strong bones and can lower blood pressure

* B vitamins help reduce stress.

To be continued in March/April issue.

Article 8: Best Tomatoes From The Pacific Northwest
Best tomatoes for the Pacific Northwest




SLICERS

CHERRIES

PASTE

Early Girl Super Sweet 100 Roma
Beefsteak Sungold San Marzano
Stupice Sweet Million Amish Paste
Big Beef Black Cherry Viva Italia
Cherokee Purple Gold Nugget Principe Borghese
LARGE

SALADETTE/PEAR

NON REDS

Brandywine Yellow Pear Green Zebra
Beefsteak Stupice Cherokee Purple
Mortgage Lifter Glacier Black Krim
Early Girl Juliet Taxi

‘Super Sweet 100’
55-68 days
This cultivar is an indeterminate hybrid that produces long fruit bearing stems holding 100 or more very sweet cherry tomatoes. Fruits weigh approximately 1oz. and are 1" across. Plants need caging or staking. Fruits are produced throughout the growing season. Super Sweet 100 is more resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt and nematodes. Super Sweet 100 are perfect for snacking, salads and even juicing.
 
 Early Girl’
60-62 days
Medium size, indeterminate, globe type, F1 hybrid tomato popular with home gardeners because of its early fruit ripening. It is tall growing and needs support. Matures from 50 to 62 days after transplanting. Fruit is the size of tennis balls and weighs about 4 to 8 ozs. Brightly coloured, good tasting. Early Girl VF is verticillium and fusariun wilt (strain 1) resistant. VFF hybrid is resistant to fusarium wilt strains 1 and 2.

‘Yellow Pear’
70-80 days
Yellow Pear is an indeterminate, heirloom tomato, originating in Europe in the 1700s. They are sweet and smaller than other plum tomatoes. In 1825 the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Vancouver, operated a seven acre farm filled with flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits – the yellow pear tomato was found on their farm.

‘Green Zebra’
75 Days
A beautiful chartreuse tomato with dark green and yellow stripes. Flesh is bright green, sweet with a sharp bite. A favourite tomato of many high class Chefs. Newer cultivars when ripe have blush red stripes instead of yellow. It is more tart than regu-lar tomatoes, being listed as ‘spicy’. Green Zebra was hybridized by Tom Wagner of Everett.

'Brandywine'
90-100 days
Brandywine id an heirloom cultivar with large, potato-leaved foliage. Fruit are large, pink beef-steak shaped fruit and considered among the best tasting tomato avail-able. Fruits can brow up to 1.5 lbs. each. Brandywine matures from 80 to 100 days. The fruit is pink and even when fully ripe can have green shoulders near the stem.

‘Roma’
70-80 days

Roma aka Italian, is a plum tomato that is mostly meat. It is a Fusarium wilt and verticillium wilt resistant cultivar and is probably the plum tomato you buy at supermarkets. Roma is available in red and yellow, has few seeds and is great for canning and tomato sauce. Even though it is an open pollinated variety (not a hybrid), it is not considered an heirloom.
 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A positive way to use those pesky invasive plants!

Heavy frost on the ground and zero degrees...not exactly gardening weather.  So stay inside and check out a couple of very interesting websites about The Urban Weaver Project and Urban Weaver Studio

Vancouver artists, Todd Devries and Sharon Kallis, collaborated with the Stanley Park Ecology Society and the Vancouver Park Board in an exploration of how invasive plants such as English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, and yellow flag iris  in the city can be used as urban substitutes for traditional weaving materials such as cedar and cat tails.    

Recommended by Liane, Past Secretary, PRGC

Thanks, Liane!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Herring Spawn Season


Just a heads up that herring spawn during Februay and March on seaweed. Their eggs are very tough and can be found on the actual shoreline attached to the seaweed. They look like small white dots attached to the seaweed leaves. The tide comes and goes, but the eggs survive! Thus if one harvests seaweed for the garden during this critical time, the eggs will die.

Submitted by Laura Johnson,
Director, Powell River Salmon Society
and PRGC Member

Thanks Laura! 

For an excellent image of herring spawn on seaweed, click here

Monday, January 7, 2013

What's Happening in January?

Do you furrow your brows in exasperation when you start thinking about organic fertilizers?  If you do, or if you just need a refresher on what to use and when, this month's guest speaker, Dave Murphy, will have you smiling once again!  Dave, founder and CEO of Welcome Harvest Farms on Texada Island, proudly produces fertilizers that are made from 100% natural organic materials

The series of three numbers, known as NPK Analysis, you see on organic fertilizer bags or containers represents the amount of each material contained in the product. 

Nitrogen (N)
Plants need an available source of nitrogen in the soil for supporting photosynthesis (make their own food by converting light energy into chemical energy) and protein production, or simply, to support cell growthBlood meal, fish meal and alfalfa meal are excellent examples and liquid fish fertilizer can be applied to your plants if they show signs of deficiency during the growing season.  Beware, though, too much nitrogen produces lush growth at the expense of fruiting or rooting. 

Phosphorus (P)
When you think about your plants' need for phosphorus, think 'fruiting and rooting.'  Phosphorus enables a plant to store and transfer energy, promotes root, flower and fruit development, and allows early maturity.  Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorous.  Rock phosphate, an excellent source as well, releases phosphorous at a slower rate and needs a somewhat acidic soil (5 to 6.5) to assist in the take-up by the plant.  Phosphorous-deficient plants appear stunted and have less fruit. 

Potassium (K)
Potassium is important for increasing a plant's resistance to disease and for stimulating rooting activity, photosynthesis, chlorophyll production and aids in the quality of fruit producedWood ash, high in potash/potassium, can be spread on the soil surface in a light covering, usually in autumn or spring.  Greensand and langbeinite are other fine sources of potassium. 

The above information is just a teaser...come learn about organic fertilizers from one of the best! 

Guest Speaker:  Dave Murphy
Where:                Powell River Garden Club Meeting,
                            Cranberry Seniors Centre, 6792 Cranberry    Street
When:                 Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 (Meeting begins at 7:15pm)

 





 

 


PRGC Calendar


Saturday, January 5, 2013

First Garden Tip of 2013!

Powell River Garden Club member, Claudia, has passed on our first garden tip of 2013!  She suggests recycling your old mini blinds by cutting them up into 6" plant markers. Cut one end to a point and then write the plant name on the tag. You can also cut them up into 3” rectangular markers and then put a hole in one end with a hole punch and tie them to a branch. Use a soft HB Pencil or a China Marker. Do not use a permanent felt pen as the sun just fades the ink and then you can't read what you've written by the end of the summer. This is an ideal winter project as you won't have time in the summer to patiently cut all these blinds up.

If you are interested in other repurposing ideas, just click on the following links.  

1.  The Micro Gardener  
2.  Junk Mail Gems   (doesn't everyone have a worn out pair of these?)
3.  Ideas from Tumblr  (wow...lots of ideas here!)


Fun ideas to pass the wintry days with.....sigh.