How To Use This Blog

We have set up this blog as a way to share with the community what we are up to and so members can see what needs to be done in the garden week to week.

How to use this blog:
We will post the to-do's and you simply write in the comments what you will be taking care of so we know it's getting done.
  • After you have entered your comment, simply hit the arrow next to profile, select anonymous and make sure you write your name in the comments section so we know who you are!
  • To make sure you don't miss an update, please enter your email address in the "Get Alerts for New Posts" form on the right column of this blog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Are They Friends of Yours?

You know that as a gardener you are doing something right if you are greeted by a few of your friends while in the garden:
Above: baby praying mantis
Below: monarch butterfly caterpillar

Praying mantids are extremely carnivorous: they will eat almost anything insect-wise, good or bad. I recommend them highly if you don't spray with pesticides in your garden  and you have a bug problem. You can purchase egg cases to hatch in your garden at this time of  the year.  This is the season for monarch butterflies to move through our area. If you would like to assist these beautiful creatures during their 5 generation migration from Canada to Mexico, plant milkweeds in your garden: this is the only plant that the caterpillars feed on. If you would like some seeds, please come see me in the garden at Greystone next Wednesday, 10 a.m. Below: we have covered our baby plants with a "low hoop cover" system.  
We are all planting out our little baby veggies at this time of the year. If you have noticed (as I have in my home garden) that your young "starts" disappear over night due to snail/slug predation, try covering them with a homemade "cloche" made out of a recycled take out container:  
See you in the Garden! I am planning on being there next Wednesday, 10 a.m. Barb 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Troop 110 had a big day in the garden

On Saturday March 22d, Stanley Wu, with the assistance of his Boy Scout Troop 110 Beverly Hills, installed fruit trees and "intelligent" pest repelling shrubs around our brand new beautiful fence. The troop also helped me to complete the raised beds by hooking up some of the irrigation and topping off the beds with soil.

I continued working on my latest theory for keeping grasshoppers and birds away from the young vegetables: it's called a "low hoop house" and involves hanging pvc hoops over pieces of rebar, and then draping the pvc with lightweight crop cover fabric. This will remain in place (I hope there are no awful wind storms) until the vegetables have bloomed, then you need to roll back the fabric so that the flowers can be pollinated.

While the scouts worked on the fruit trees and shrubs, my group of faithful volunteers planted 6 beds with tomatoes, basil, marigolds, summer squash, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, radishes and beets. Thank you Steve, Jean, Skip, Christie, Lisa and Judy. The High School ecology club, including my niece Charlotte, planted 2 beds with a traditional American Indian combination: corn, beans and pumpkins. The corn stalks support the bean vines, the roots of the beans supply an extra source of nitrogen to the corn via their mycorrhizal exchange system, and the spiny leaves of a pumpkin vine discourage predators from raiding the corn!

Jessica from Armstrong Garden Centers was on hand to show the scouts how to properly plant the trees, which were a gift to us from Armstrong!  I will be in the garden on Wednesday morning around 10:00. Come up, you can help water the new plants.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

this week in the garden and at the B.H. Farmer's Market

Today Stanley Wu and Troop 110 were at our own Beverly Hills Farmer's Market, raising money to support our garden. They looked very professional and Stanley had made a really beautiful poster showing all the  plants they will be planting around our new fence on Saturday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. until compete. I congratulate them for their efforts, I know they raised a good sum!

Please join the troop and my merry band on Saturday. While Stanley is planting the trees, I will be installing a "low hoop cover" to protect our raised beds from attack by flying insects and birds. The covers will be removed when the plants are big enough to defend themselves so that pollination can occur. We will also be planting some seeds and young vegetables. Please come up and help!

Following is a picture taken by Stanley of our brand new fence! Thank you Armstrong.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Come to the B.H. Farmer's Market This Sunday, March 16th!

Troop 110 will have a table at the B.H. Farmer's Market (Civic Center Drive, behind the Courthouse and will be raising funds for our demonstration garden projects. Please come and support us! I understand that the Library parking lot will be closed, but you can park close-by: look for signs as you approach the area. See you there. Barb L.
Troop 110 building our new raised beds a few weeks ago.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bed Filling Day by Akiva Leyton

Today, Sunday March 9th, Akiva Leyton and his fellows from Troop 613, Shaarey Zedek in Valley Village came to our garden and worked very hard most of the day filling all 6 of the new beds with a blend of top soil and compost. It was a pleasure to meet these young men and their leaders, Mr. Leyton and Allison Friedman. The job was pretty strenuous in the 85 degree weather we had today, and they really did great. The troop expressed interest in returning to our garden in the future to help with more projects. Yay!

Next up, Stanley Wu from Troop 110 will be in the garden on Saturday, March 22d, planting espaliered fruit trees and herbs along our new fence. Please come up on the 22d and help me to start planting the new raised beds. With Love, Garden Girl

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Rainy Day in the Garden

Sunday, March 2d, 2014

I went up to the garden this morning with Stanley Wu and his father to check out the progress on the new raised beds and to investigate some suggested Eagle Scout Projects. The beds that Oliver Patterson installed last weekend look great as you can see below. The contractors have been putting them into the ground and will continue during this week. Next Sunday, March 9th, Akiva Leyton will fill the beds. Fortunately his troop is based in The Valley, so the L.A. Marathon won't impact them.

Following Akiva's project, Armstrong's contractors, the Tokiwa Company, will continue their work on the drip irrigation lines and will build our beautiful fence. Please plan to join Stanley Wu on Saturday, March 22d as he plants Armstrong's espaliered fruit trees inside the fence and some animal resistant, pollinator attracting herbs on the outside perimeter.

I hope you have been enjoying the rain along with all the rest of the desperate gardeners, including me, a.k.a. Garden Girl Lives Here.

 Next weekend, Patrick Raske will be in the garden pruning the pollinator habitat, see below. He has been researching the proper pruning methods for our plants.