September is a transitional sort of month – has a difficult time making up its mind – am I Summer? Am I fall? Am I hot? Or am I cooling? No matter what the weather and the inevitability of the quite beautiful waning light of September making our way towards the Autumnal Equinox on the 22nd -– it is one my favorite times in the garden. Plants have mostly set their seeds – and we gardeners are ready to plant them once more – giving us a happy feeling of anticipation for the rains and fall and winter gardening seasons to come.
There’s lots of work to do out there still, keep watering but be careful not to overwater at this time of year. Cut back spent flowers and keep weeding and mulching. As you work, look around your ornamentals and make your lists of plants to add, transplant or edit out all together – and don’t forget your fall bulbs. In just a month or so you’ll be ready for this kind of planting in earnest.
In the edible garden, Market gardener and author of “Sacramento Valley Feast,” (available at Lyon Books in Chico) Wolfgang Rougle advises that ‘as soon as it cools down here, which it seems about to do, direct seed beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, choy, lettuce, etc. and to start in cells (or buy as transplants) kale, cabbage and broccoli. You can wait to sow cover crop, garlic and shallots until just before the first rain. Other than continual summer harvesting (still plenty of time to save seeds, even make crosses) it’s really just plant, plant, plant until early November! (garlic and cover crops can be last to go in.)”
Pam Geisel, Statewide Coordinator of the Master Gardener Program reminds us to: 1. Harvest and cure green ripe olives later in the month. You can salt cure, brine cure, lye cure and water cure olives. For complete instructions on safe pickling of olives and the details on all these methods, download our free 26 page publication at: http://ucanr.org/freepubs/docs/8267.pdf.
2. Fertilize your fall garden two times this month lightly (every other week) to promote good growth of the vegetable plants prior to flower formation. Most people plant their gardens and then don’t fertilize until it is almost too late in the season to gain much effect. You can use any material that contains nitrogen such as manures, composts, fish emulsion, blood meal, or synthetic fertilizers etc. The key is that the plants must have adequate nitrogen to increase the vigor and size of the plant prior to colder weather setting in and before the spring flower development.
3. Plant garlic and onions. Some of the best varieties for our climate zone include: California Late White and California Early white http://vric.ucdavis.edu/pdf/garlic.pdf
California Late is particularly good because it stores well. However, personally, I really like the flavor and color of “Music”, which has large reddish tinged cloves.
In the Monthly Calendar of Regional Gardening Events – August is not quite done with us and September has a lot in store:
August 27 – 28 – Corning: Corning Olive Festival! Friday night kicks it off with a parade down Corning’s main drag, Solano Street, at 6pm and don’t forget the bed races! Saturday continue the festivities all day at Wodson City Park with vendors, food, talent show, cook-off, music, arts & crafts, and much more. 530-824-5550 email@example.com.
August 28 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Cedar Basin Shasta Trinity National Forest 8:00 am meet at Chico Park and Ride (Hwy 99/32). ADrive I-5 north to the Lake Siskiyou exit near Mt Shasta and up into the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Cedar Basin contains the highest stands (up to 6400 ft) of Port Orford-Cedar. Lakes, bogs and open forest give a nice variety of species including the insect eating pitcher plant, (Darlingtonia californica) and the sundew, Drosera. Also see Sierra laurel, Leucothoe davisiae, and American twinflower, (Linnaea borealis). Walking distance is 3 to 4 miles. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection and money for ride sharing. Call for an alternate meeting place. Leader: Marjorie McNairn 530-343-2397.
August 28 – Redding: Shasta Community Teaching Garden: Edible Native Plants 10:30am to 12:30pm, Room 822, Shasta College Main Campus. Ted Dawson will present information on how to identify and find native edible plants, as well as go over some herbal preparation information. Based on Wintu tradition. 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.
August 28 – 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
August 31 – Chico: Butte Rose Society Regular Member Meeting: 7:00 pm Regular Member Meeting, Little Rose Show and Program by Joan Goff on Shady Ladies – good roses for partly shady locations. Goff is past president of the Marin Rose Society, a rose and gardening consultant and coach. Public welcome! Chico Veterans’ Memorial Hall on Rio Lindo Avenue. More Info: www.butte-rose-society.org
September 1 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society, Regular Member Meeting 7:30 pm Butte County Library. Begin our new season with a program of member photos as well as an overview of desertland plants of the South Western US. Public welcome! More information contact President Janna Lathrop: email@example.com
September 4 – 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
September 4 – 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
September 5 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Green Lake Island 8:30 am meet at Chico Park and Ride (Hwy 99/32). OR meet at 10:30 at the Sunflower Flat trainhead (Jonesville, Humbug Summit Road, LNF Roads 26No2 and 26N31.) We will see many asters as we hike down to Soda Creek and then to a beautiful little lake with a unique floating sedge island. Lake is rimmed with huckleberries, potentilla, and buckbean. On the way back we stop at tiny frog lake – we have seen Pileated Woodpeckers on this hike in the past. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection and money for ride sharing. Call for an alternate meeting place. Leader: Leader: Wes Demspey: 530-342-2293
Monday Evening September 6, I will be hosting Northstate public Radio’s I-5 LIVE! Featuring Pam Gesiel – Statewide Coordinator of the Master Gardener Program talking all about bugs – We can’t live without them! But sometimes it helps to get thoughts on how to live with them more peacefully.
September 8 – Magalia: Magalia Beautification Society Regular Member Meeting 1:00 pm POA Racine Center at Wycliff Way and Racine Circle in Magalia; 12:30 for lunch, 1:00-3:00 for business. For more information: http://magaliagardeners.webs.com/
September 10 – The Gateway Science Museum is opening two new ehhibits – Natures Numbers and A forest Journey in which visitors will will eplore the amazing math built into nature.
September 11 – Sacramento: Fair Oaks Horticulture Center/Sacramento County Master Gardeners OPEN GARDEN 8:30 am – 11:30 am. Drop in to see the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center gardens on your own. Ask Master Gardeners questions about the FOHC and see how we make every drop count. Fair Oaks Park, Fair Oaks, Ca. More info call: 916-875-6913. Or: http://groups.ucanr.org/sactomg/Fair_Oaks_Horticulture_Center/Workshop_Schedule.htm
September 14 – Sacramento: North Valley Orchid Society General Member Meeting 7:30PM CARD Center “Arts & Crafts Room” 545 Vallombrosa Ave., Chico Marni Turkel – Miniature Orchids. More Info: North Valley Orchid Society NVOS2010@gmail.com
September 15 – Chico: Chico Horticulture Society Regular Member Meeting 9:45 – Noon. Regular Member Meeting and Program. Chico Library 1108 Sherman Avenue in Chico. More info: email President Jon Bennet at: ChicoGardenClub@yahoo.com.
September 15 – Redding: Shasta Rose Society – Regular Member Meeting and Mini-Rose Show, Public Welcome! 7:00 p.m. City of Redding Corporation Yard On Viking Way. More Info: http://www.shastarosesociety.org
September 16 – Redding: Shasta Chapter Cal Native Plant Society: General Member Meeting Chapter Meeting: Welcome back to the first meeting after the long summer! Meet Greg Suba, Conservation Director for CNPS. Greg will come up from Sacramento to inform us of some of the statewide conservation programs and conservation goals of CNPS, including the progress of the proposed massive renewable energy projects on thousands of acres in the Mohave Desert and other areas of California. Greg may also address a proposed wind generation facility on Walker Ridge, where north state Chapters of CNPS conduct fieldtrips. Greg has strongly and effectively represented CNPS at all levels of government, with politics and the media, and we appreciate his willingness to travel to the north state to share his knowledge and experiences. Meet at our new time and location: 7 PM at the Shasta College Health Science & University Programs building in downtown Redding, 1400 Market Street, Community Room 8220 (clock tower building at the north end of the Market Street Promenade; enter on south side of building). A Board meeting will be held before the regular meeting, at 5:30 PM at Angelo’s Pizza Parlour in the Foundry Square, 1774 California Street, Redding.
September 18 – 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
September 19 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Field Trip: Forest Lake Lassen Volcanic National Park 8:30 am meet at Chico Park and Ride (Hwy 99/32). We will follow a small creek bordered by mountain alder into a magnificent old growth red fir and western white pine forest to a small lake at the base of Mt. Brokeoff. Salt lupine, aster and arnica should still be in bloom. Only 1 and 1/2 miles but at that elevation (7300 ft) we will take it slow. Bring lunch, water, sun/insect protection and money for ride sharing. Call for an alternate meeting place. Leader: Wes Demspey: 530-342-2293; Gerry Ingco: 530-894-5123.
September 23 – 26 – Red Bluff: Slow Food Shasta Cascade’s Olive Festival at the Tehama County Fair’s 90th Anniversary Come celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the fair with, among other great displays, Slow Food Shasta Cascade’s 1st Annual Olive Oil Festival and Tasting of regional oils and olives. Yum. Tehama District Fairgrounds Antelope Blvd. Red Bluff. More info: http://www.slowfoodshastacascade.org/5.html or http://www.tehamadistrictfair.com/
September 24 -October 3 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens ANNUAL FALL Sale! All nursery stock in one-gallon size and larger is 40% off! Shop early for the best selection! 8026 Airport Road (1 mi. S. of the Redding Airport, next to Kents Mkt) Redding, CA Phone 365-2256 visit us on the web @ wyntourgardens.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 25 – 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
September 29 – Chico: Chico Horticulture Society Evening Gardeners 6:30 pm. Evening Gardeners Program. Chico Library 1108 Sherman Avenue in Chico. More info: email President Jon Bennet at: ChicoGardenClub@yahoo.com.
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.
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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.