This newsletter is
morphing as you read this. We are going to have a local Chico
organic gardening events section, and a separate gardening tips
section, plus a few other sections yet to be created. For some of the
handouts, you will be able to click on links to take you to the handout,
or the class descriptions and sign-ups. Please email us any feedback
you have to offer as we improve the newsletter.
First, let me thank Jeff Armstrong
his presentation on drip (and sprinkler) irrigation. Jeff's wealth of
information and field experience made the talk very useful.
Events in Chico:
We are offering four excellent single
session classes in the next few weeks.
March 14: Beekeeping with Lee Edwards,
March 21: Raising
chickens with Carol Chaffin Albrecht,
March 28: Raising and preserving an
abundance in your home garden with Mary Berglund, and
April 18: Growing
heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables With Nancy Heinzel and Brian
Each of these
presenters is doing what they are presenting on a daily basis. To view
descriptions and find out how to register for these classes, CLICK
provided a helpful handout with many of her favorite fruit and
vegetable varieties and some further gardening tips. To open it, CLICK
newsletter, we will list all the varieties of organic starts of heirloom
tomatoes and other vegetables and herbs that Brian and Nancy will have
available for sale at their talk on April 18. It is quite a list. If
you got any of their plants last year, you know that these were strong
plants that produced very well. Expect the same quality again this year.
The link to register for this talk and the link to the variety list
will be set up in a few days.
If you are interested in possibly purchasing
a wheel hoe from Valley Oak Tool Company, you can call me to set up
an appointment on Saturday March 20 at my house. These will be half
hour appointments, starting at 10 AM.
Soil amendments: some organic
amendments are available at feed stores and nurseries.
can order gardening and health books from Nelson Books online (Cecile's
husband Dennis) or Lyon's Books downtown will have some of the titles in
stock, and can order pretty much any book for you.
There really isn't a
store in this area like Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply where you
can get a full line of organic tools, seeds, books, and supplies. Perhaps
someone will open such a business soon. The need is certainly
there. All the stores locally carry a mix of organic and chemical
gardening supplies, and they aren't very knowledgeable about organics.
We need a better alternative. I would be happy to brainstorm with you
if you are seriously considering opening such a store. Email me.
(Chico area timing)
This is a great time to plant potatoes.
Local feed stores have red Modoc and Yukon Gold seed potatoes. Loosen
and amend your soil and plant in a furrow about 4" to 6" below grade.
Cover with a couple of inches of soil. You will hill the plants when
they are about 8" tall. Add some compost before planting. Don't add
If you did a soil test, you know the
nutrients to add to your garden. If you didn't do a soil test, you can
go to the Peaceful Valley Farm Supply website or catalog (page 89) and
order a soil test. The booklet should help interpret the results so that
you know which organic ingredients to get, and how much to apply. The
lab results make recommendations for chemical fertilizer. This is the
same lab that Carl Rosato uses.
Cool season vegetables can be planted by seed
(carrots, beets, radishes, spinach, lettuce, mesclun mix, peas kale,
chard, etc.) and transplants (lettuce especially). Plan your beds so
that you have new places to rotate nightshade family crops. If you have
extra beds available, you could plant some fava bean seeds or pea seeds
if you have extra, and use them as a cover crop for your late spring or
This is a good time to spread the compost you
made last fall if it is ready. When the ground is moist but not too wet,
you can dig your garden with a shovel or a spading fork. The shovel
works best sharp and rust free.
Bareroot trees and container berry plants can
be planted now. For blueberries, make sure you amend your soil with peat
moss or some other acid-forming material if your soil is not already
Unless your soil is
already fully enriched, onions and garlic could use a side dressing of
composted chicken manure or your choice of a balanced organic amendment
(Mary likes feather meal).
Oak Tool Company
P.O. Box 301
Chico CA 95927