With spring underway, the grass turning greener and the plants blooming, many of us are heading outdoors with our gloves and radio to plant flowers and tend to our gardens.
To get you in the gardening spirit the San Francisco area puts on many events throughout the spring:
Garden for the Environment offers a plethora of classes this spring and summer to get your green thumb in shape. This weekend, learn how to start your own organic garden and the following weekend, learn how to raise your own chickens and ducks (also beneficial to a good organic garden and tons of feathery fun). Classes run through August, so get your calendar out and reserve your weekends for gardening.
Farm School is an opportunity for you to get your hands dirty and immerse yourself in 10 classes that will teach you the life, economics and labor of small scale organic farming. Farm School includes lectures, five full days of farming in Sonoma and by the end you will learn how to start your own rural or urban farm! Visit 18 Reasons’ website for more information on this great experience available or learn about other amazing opportunities.
To set you off in the right direction Landscape Designer Louise Hodges offers some great gardening tips.
• Most perennials prefer sun. Planting anytime the soil temperature is above 40 degrees means the roots will be growing. The more root growth you can get before the spring flush of top growth the better, but don't let that stop you - you just may have to monitor the water a little more in the heat of the summer.
• Take special care to note the mature size of a plant and makes decisions accordingly. A 4 ft. plant needs to be behind a 2 ft. plant, not vice-versa. Try to also plant flowers that will spread out your color season and have a variety of evergreen (has leaves year round) and deciduous (either drops leaves or disappears completely during the winter) so that you maintain some structure in the garden even in the lonely months of cold.
• Most reputable nurseries will have tags on the plants that share the sun/shade, wet/dry conditions or they can at least tell you what to expect. Bulbs typically must be planted in the fall for spring blooms and they must be in colder areas to make sure they get a good freeze in. Unless they are tropical bulbs like Caladiums that can't handle any cold.
• A great new product for all your pest control needs is Greenbug. It safely wipes out all pests using green, eco-friendly ingredients so for the Gardener, you don't have to worry about mosquitoes, ticks, or fire ants. For your flowers, you don't have to worry about aphids, thrips or Japanese beetles.