The first full moon of summer hung in our night skies last weekend – ripe with the promise of the coming full summer season. After our long, cool and damp spring, the North State is slowly heating up – but again nice and slow – the heat so far is being almost gentle with us. With the long spring and easy entry into summer, wildflowers generally associated with spring on the valley flower have given us an extended show, we have enjoyed spring vegetables a little longer as well, and the summer vegetables are are also beginning to show their ripe promise. I have not had a ripe tomato from my garden yet, but my green ones give me much to look forward to and my basil, cucumbers and squash are coming in nicely. Photo: Native Collinsia in bloom in Upper Bidwell Park, late June.
In the edible farm and garden report David Grau of Valley Oak tool and the Chico Organic Gardening Class series writes that “July is the time to work up soil for planting your early winter crops out in August. He points out that cool season crops like broccoli, cabbage, beets, spinach, and onions often go to seed instead of producing a crop in our climate often because they were planting too late the fall before. We don’t naturally think of planting cool season vegetables in July or especially August, but that is the best time. September is too late. Transplants should be planted in early to mid August here in the north valley. The plants need a lot of sunlight to size up before the days turn short and cool in October and November. If you get your plants in late, they will overwinter, but in the spring when they start to grow, they go directly to seed instead of producing nice big heads of broccoli. Broccoli raab is grown for the leaves and small florets, but you won’t get much if the plant is put in late.” Photo: Ripening plums, late June.
Jolene Queen of Dairyville Nursery in Red Bluff writes that: “Weeding and watering are threatening to take over life at this point, and it seems, we are building the other events of life around these two functions. Getting the corn taller than the Johnson grass, so you can tell which is which, and not overwatering the tomatoes so they will set more fruit. These are everyday concerns for the July gardener. If you are fairly new to vegetable gardening, or your garden plot is fairly new, these two things can be overwhelming. I have re-discovered an old method of mulching that I am pleased to tell you is bringing these two tasks together into one and is working very well to accomplish my goal of no herbicides in the garden, and less water usage. I simply pile my mulch all around the plant base to discourage the weed growth, in between the plants to cover the soil and prevent that drying out of the top soil, and in the walkways, so I can walk in the garden after watering and not get mud on my feet. The mulch I am using is rotted grass hay which is available around town, potentially for the price of hauling it away. As the hay breaks down it is an excellent source of organic matter to compost your soils, also by not pulling the weeds the decomposing weed roots will aerate the soil and provide for better root growth for the plants you want to thrive.”
Brian and Nancy at Sawmill Creek Farms in Paradise are all about the many varieties of tomatoes this month and remind us to keep giving your plants support and fertilizer – they like a fish emulsion about once a month right now. Many market growers including Wolfgang Rougle of Twining Tree Farm outside of Cottonwood and Nancy Schleiger of Native Springs Nursery in Durham take the month of July off from the markets – their “winter dormancy” as Wolfgang describes it in her book “Sacramento Valley Feast”. As all gardeners know, there is never really a time off, just slightly less pressing time.
Given the abundance of events these past few months, the monthly Calendar of Regional Gardening Events seems pretty laid back this month as many horticulture clubs and plant societies settle in for a long summer’s nap – they will all be back by September. Until then, there’s plenty do and learn, and the native plant societies especially have some amazing field trips planned in the coming months. If you are interested in our regional events, be sure to check the On-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events at jewellgarden.com regularly – events are added everyday! I do my very best to keep the calendar up to date and accurate, please confirm all events with the event host’s contact information. If you are aware of a mistake on my calendar, please send me corrected info: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com! Thanks.
July 3 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and Friends 9:30 AM. An interactive program in the Gardens (or Greenhouse in rain) for children, their siblings, parents and grandparents. Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
July 3 – Durham: The Worm Farm – Build Your Own Worm Bin Workshop 10 am – 1 pm; $50. Information provided at The Worm Farm workshops include, construction of your worm bin, instruction on proper drainage and ventilation techniques, covering the bin, identifying the best location, prevention of pests and parasites, and selecting the best bedding for your worm bin. Other knowledge you will obtain is the anatomy, regeneration, longevity, and feeding of your worms. The Worm Farm, 9033 Esquon Road, Durham, CA 9593. Price includes materials & 1 pound of special composting worms by The Worm Farm. More Info: www.thewormfarm.net/workshops-build_bin.html or call: 530-894-1276
July 4 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: John Copeland’s Jonesville Meadows Walk 9 am meet at Chico Park and Ride (Hwy 99/32), or 10 am at Historic Jonesville Hotel Site, about 5 mile past Butte Meadows on Humboldt Road. We expect to see a great variety of wetland flowers like camas, leopard lily, little elephant heads, veronica, Tofieldia, and bog orchid. Bring shoes suitable for slogging around in marshy ground and for short hikes. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Leaders: Janna Lathrop 530-893-2886, and Emilie White: 530-894-8057.
July 7 – Dunsmuir: Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens: All About Bats 6 pm Local bat researcher, Ray Miller, will discuss bats during a special program at the Dunsmuir Community Building, 4821 Dunsmuir Avenue. Although bats are poorly understood and seldom seen there are probably more bats in this area than any other type of animal. Mr. Miller’s presentation will touch on the various species found locally, their habits and the myths associated with them. There will be time for questions.This presentation is part off a series of educational opportunities offered by the Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens’ Education/Outreach Committee. Admission is free for those attending. For more information call (530)235-2219 or contact the Botanical Gardens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 10 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Babbitt Peak Resource Natural Area, Tahoe National Forest 7:00 am meet at Chico Park and Ride (Hwy 99/32). We will drive up the Feather River Scenic Byway (US 70) following the wild and scenic North and Middle Forks of the Feather River to Sierra Valley, one of the largest mountain meadow complexes in the Sierra. Babbitt Peak, 8700′, is located 16 miles by road southeast of Loyalton, in NE Sierra County. The peak is the highest in the Bald Mt. Range, it is California’s representative of the Great Basin Mts in Nevada. We will find plant species endemic to the Inner-Mountain Semi-Desert Province, including pure stands of the uncommon Washoe Pine, and pure Western White Pine Forest. We will drive directly to Babbitt Peak and walk 1 mile along a ridge top to the Washoe Pines where we will lunch. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Individual options include camping overnight, dining or lodging in one of Mohawk Valley’s many resorts. Leaders: Gerry Ingco: 530- 893-5123.
July 10 – Dunsmuir: Window Box Nursery – Mini Bonsai Chrysanthemums Workshop 9 – 12 noon, $20. Instructor Cheryl Petty. These darling flowering bonsai are easy for the beginner, yet offer some challenges for the advanced student. These colorful mums are very miniature in every aspect, leaf, branch and flower. They can be formed into all the classic styles and will quickly reward with a colorful display in late fall. Since class participation is limited to six participants, please call ahead to register. Pre-payment is required and is non-refundable. 530 235-0963. 5817 Sacramento Avenue, Dunsmuir
July 10 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay Sustainable Landscaping, A Healthier Garden and Yard 10 am – 12 noon. Stewardship and Sustainability Series Learn some easy and practical ways to make your landscape sustainable from Master Gardener Doug Mandel. This broad-ranging program will cover many topics, and give you practical methods on improving urban water quality and conservation, using safe pest management practices, recycling and composting, reducing energy, and encouraging wildlife in urban areas – all while still having a beautiful landscape! You will be offered a chance to participate in a special survey being conducted by the Statewide UC Master Gardener Program. Members and Turtle Bay volunteers FREE, nonmembers $3 Meet at Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Office – 1135 Arboretum Drive (Next to Greenhouse in Nursery) Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Nursery on immediate left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
July 12-15 – Chico: Gateway Science Museum – Kids Summer Discovery Camp: Birds, Bugs & Habitats 9 am – 4 pm From life in the leaf litter to wildlife in the tree canopy, each day we will investigate different habitats. Through observation, field collection, and hands-on activities we’ll explore how each habitat provides food, water, cover, and a safe place for wildlife to raise young. Project activities include designing and constructing of bird feeders, investigation of native plant habitats, and conducting experiments using museum gardens. Camps are for children entering 4-6th grades. Pre-registration is required. To enroll, fill out and return (all four documents) the application, the informed consent document, the medical release, and the image release from: http://www.csuchico.edu/gateway/explore/summer-camp.shtml
July 13 – Chico: North Valley Orchid Society: Regular Member Meeting and Program 7:30 pm Arts and Crafts Room at the Chico Arts and Recreation Department Community Center located at 545 Vallombrosa Ave. in Chico. This is a new meeting place for us! Alan Koch will present the program,” Orchid Growing 101 and Compact Cattleyas”. Cattleyas are what most people think of when they hear the word orchid. Producing large and fragrant flowers with vibrant colors that are commonly used in corsages, Cattleyas are a popular choice for beginners and experts alike. These plants are very sturdy and can take a lot of abuse from those who tend to forget to water. They are also tolerant of several temperature ranges. Miniature Cattleyas are also available, which are great for those with limited space. Alan will also be giving tips on repotting, fertilizing, watering, pest control, and general orchid care. Alan Koch owns and operates Gold Country Orchids where he specializes in miniature and compact Cattleyas. We look forward to seeing you at our new location! Please join us. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, contact Tricia Edelmann @ 891-4224 or Erin Pelfrey [email@example.com]. Directions: www.chicorec.com/Parks–Facilities/Community-Centers/CARD-Community-Center/index.html
July 17 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay Fearless Pruning 9 am – 11 noon. Core Gardening Series: Are your plants growing amuck? Knowing how to prune plants for structure, strength, and overall health is an essential gardening skill! Join us as we practice specific pruning techniques for both young and older plants. Members and Turtle Bay volunteers FREE, nonmembers $3 Meet at Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Office – 1135 Arboretum Drive (Next to Greenhouse in Nursery) Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Nursery on immediate left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
July 17 – Dunsmuir: Window Box Nursery -Sedum Wreath Workshop 9 – 12 noon, $45/$65. Learn about hardy succulents and how to use them to make a wreath for all seasons. A living wreath can be a focal point in your garden design, transforming a bland wall or fence into a dimensional space with interest. Although the sedum wreath needs to be wintered over carefully, it will reward you with fascinating textures and colors throughout the growing season. Two sizes of wreath forms will be used. The cost of the workshop is $45-$65, depending on the size of the wreath, $45 for the 11-inch wreath and $65 for the 17-inch wreath. Since class participation is limited to six participants, please call ahead to register. Pre-payment is required and is non-refundable. 530 235-0963. 5817 Sacramento Avenue, Dunsmuir
July 17 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery Vermiculture Workshop. With Joanne Steele – Please call for times and registration: 530.926.2565 1234 Nixon Road, Mt. Shasta, CA
July 19 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Warner Wilderness, Modoc National Forest PLEASE CONTACT LEADER BEFORE JULY 19 IF YOU ARE ATTENDING 9:00 am meet at trailhead adjacent to the Pepperdine Campground (7,200′) Tucked away in the northeast corner of California, the Warners are an infrequently visited mountain range. This moderate hike will be mostly above 7,000′, hiking over open ridge tops, and through flower filled meadows. See spectacular views east and west. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Individual options include camping overnight at Pepperdine Campground or lodging in Alturas or Cedarville. Leaders: John Whittlesey 530- 533-2166 or 530-774-4955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 19-22 – Chico: Gateway Science Museum – Kids Summer Discovery Camp: Creekside Discovery 9 am – 4 pm We will explore riparian communities of Big Chico Creek at all levels. From collecting aquatic macro-invertebrates, to examining the plants, trees, and wildlife that live in the creek, children will discover the important role of creeks in natural landscapes. Project activities include examining creek environments and the plants and animals that occupy those habitats, paper making, and a plant press for preserving the specimens. Camps are for children entering 4-6th grades. Pre-registration is required. To enroll, fill out and return (all four documents) the application, the informed consent document, the medical release, and the image release from: http://www.csuchico.edu/gateway/explore/summer-camp.shtml
July 24 – Redding: Shasta Chapter Cal Native Plant Society: Field Trip in Trinity Alps Meet in Redding at 7:30 AM at the back side of City Hall (Parkview Avenue side), 777 Cypress Avenue, or meet at the Rush Creek Visitor Center (kiosk) at the intersection of State Highway 3 and Rush Creek Road in Trinity County at 9 AM. Susan Erwin and Shauna Hee, botanists with Shasta-Trinity National Forest, will lead us on fieldtrip to the beautiful Parker Meadows/Fosters cabin in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. This will be a moderately strenuous hike of up to 9 miles roundtrip, at the 5,000- to 6,000- foot elevation. Be prepared for an all-day hike. There will be open meadows with lots of wildfowers and an old historic cabin. Bring lunch, water, sun protection, and sturdy boots. Call Susan Erwin at 778-9884 for more information.
July 24 – Chico: The Plant Barn – ANNUAL SUMMER SOIREE (you don’t want to miss it!) All Day: Music, refreshments, entertainment and of course your very very own fairy flower floozies will regale you with wit, charm, beauty and fabulous plant deals throughout the day! Attendees sporting feather boas, diamond tiaras or old prom outfits get extra special deals! 406 Entler Ave; 530-345-3121. www.theplantbarn.com
July 24 – Redding: Shasta Community Teaching Garden: Backyard Chickens and You 9 – 10:30 am, Shasta College Farm Shasta College Main Campus. Join Casey Schurig and Nancy de Halas. Topics covered will include housing, feeding and caring for your flock. How many chickens to start, proper care, integrating them into your gardening strategies, bring notebook and be prepared for FUN! Fee $15. For registration information call: 530-225-4835. Register by going on-line to: www.shastacollege.edu/EWD and then click on Pathways. For workshop information: 530-242-2248 or email: email@example.com.
July 24 – Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Guided Tour: Meet the Mighty Oaks 10:00 a.m., Arboretum Gazebo, Garrod Drive, UC Davis. The UC Davis Arboretum contains one of the nation’s largest collections of oaks, and a free guided tour on Saturday, July 24 will highlight an astonishing variety of tree and leaf forms along the new Oak Discovery Trail. The tour guide will discuss oak ecology and the importance of oaks in human culture through time and around the world. The tour will leave at 10:00 a.m. from the Arboretum Gazebo, on Garrod Drive on the UC Davis campus. There is no charge for the tour, and free parking is available along Garrod Drive and in Visitor Lots 50 and 55. For more information, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
July 25 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Sifford Lakes Lassen National Park 8:00 am meet at Chico Park and Ride (Hwy 99/32). This 5.2 mile roundtrip hike starts in Lassen Park at the Kings Creek Trailhead, about 15.5 miles from the park’s south entrance station. We descend, hiking .o5 miles along a flower sprinkled meadow that lines Kings Creek. The trail then veers and descends 460 feet into a series of sparsely timbered benches to a point 1.6 miles from the trailhead. Then it’s another mile, climbing 240 feet to Sifford Lake. It is the largest of a cluster of shallow glaciated lakes. Soils here are very shallow and exposed to extreme winter weather: observing plant life here is to study how plants adapt in order to endure. Waters are warm. Views are broad and spectacular. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection, and money for ride sharing. Leaders: Gerry Ingco: 530- 893-5123.
July 31 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay 9:30 am. A Walk with the Horticulture Manager, Lisa Endicott. Bring your notebooks and cameras for this participant-driven program. We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! There’s something new to see every month! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left. More info: 530-242-3178 or www.turtlebay.org/nursery
July 31 – Mt. Shasta: Spring Hill Nursery Compost Tea Workshop With Gabriel Hoff – Please call for times and registration: 530.926.2565 1234 Nixon Road, Mt. Shasta, CA
July 31 – Redding: Shasta Community Teaching Garden: Insect Management 1 – 3:30 pm, Room 812, Shasta College Main Campus. Join Jim Collins and learn how to control insects naturally without pesticides, herbicides or other toxic chemicals. Emphasis will be on the role insects play in keeping the ecological balance in the garden. Fee $20. For registration information call: 530-225-4835. Register by going on-line to: www.shastacollege.edu/EWD and then click on Pathways. For workshop information: 530-242-2248 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo: A Praying Mantis egg case in Nancy Schleiger’s Native Springs Nursery in Durham.
Jewellgarden.com’s new line of lovely little note cards are bite sized and ready to enjoy on-line or at local fine shops near you. As spring turns to summer and summer to fall, look for Edibles in the Garden blank journals, note cards featuring seeds and fruits as well as 2011 calendars and blank journals. A portion of all sales of the Edibles in the Garden note cards goes to Slow Food Shasta Cascade and the many projects it supports. All of Jewellgarden.com’s cards are printed in Chico by Quadco printing using 100% recycled paper and vegetable-based ink. Yum.
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In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California and made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In A North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time. Podcasts of past shows are available here.