27 February, 2020

Tomatomania 2020!

Tomato season is approaching. Rapidly. Nothing moves faster than the advent of Summer - it's three months away and the next time you look at the calendar, Summer will officially start tomorrow. 

That's one of the reasons Tomatomania is so cool! 

But you say, "I followed what you told me to do and I am growing tomatoes. Why should I go to a sale of tomato plants?" Did you say you are "growing all the tomatoes you want?" Nope. I don't believe so, because no one EVER has enough tomatoes! 

And, to seal the deal, Tomatomania has varieties you cannot believe even exist! Besides, Tomatomania has that "Old Time Fair" feel. So,yes, it's in Spring, which makes it really different from the Fair, but it's as much fun and you will find some varieties you can't go home without, thus completing the rites of Spring of too many plants to brag about to your neighbor (tho some of us call it complaining, you know what I mean)! 

But wait! There's more! I'll be there. Speaking! (As if I ever don't speak...) I'm not the only speaker - there are many wonderful people to learn from at these events, I'm in this batch, MARCH 13-15  Tapia Brothers, Encino • 5251 Hayvenhurst Ave, Encino, CA 91436 • 818.905.6155. Clicking on this date, will show you the calendar for all of this year's Tomatomania! 

And, there is also a Tomatomania book - if you buy it there, you can probably get it autographed! 

I'm speaking on March 13 (Friday...) in the 3 to 4 slot and on March 15, Sunday, I'll be on 2 to 3. 

I hope you can come on out and say hey at either or both events! This is an amazing offering of  a massive amount of diversity - which is one of the tenets of a strong and viable garden in which we live. Diversity is strength.  

See you on the 13th and/or the15th! Let's plant a different kind of tomato this year! 

                                                   Events for this coming season: 

26 February, 2020

Special Workshops for Gardeners

A sample of grafting knives - the key 
to all of them is "sharpness." The proper style
is the one that feels good in your hand! 

March is a glorious month to do some very special gardening and we are offering two special classes on plant propagation! All classes, unless specified otherwise are held at The Learning Garden, a non-profit on the grounds of Venice High School - please enter from Walgrove Avenue.

First class is on March 14th, 1:30 to 3:30. In this class, we will cover growing from seeds, air-layering (I can hear you say, "what's that?") and taking cuttings from perrenial plants. We will cover some California Natives, though the main concentration will be on ornamental plants and food plants. This class provides easily accessed data that can serve novice gardeners as well as experts - in fact, this class is about what makes an expert gardener. Cost for the class is $20 and a $5 materials fee. You can pay by PayPal to greenteach@gmail.com or by check or cash at The Learning Garden

We do another Propagation class on March 28th, 1:30 to 4:00 - it may not last that long, but I will work with folks to make sure they have everything down so I want you to be prepared to stay, if needs be. This class is $20 with a $10 material fee.  This class is on grafting. It is not hard to do, but it does require understanding of how plants work and attention to detail. Grafting is the reason I became interested in gardening as my employment. I'll tell the story in class!

If you have a grafting knife, bring it. I will have Victorinox knives for sale for those who wish to commit to grafting. These are not top of the line, but they are well made and will serve well. There are many knives in the world that do not come close to being usable for grafting. You should keep the grafting knife for grafting only and bring another knife for all other cutting work.  The first topic is safety! You can pay by PayPal to greenteach@gmail.com or by check or cash at The Learning Garden

Apples on a tree grafted about 15 years ago (the tag is long gone!), these are
Dorsett Golden , a low chill variety that produces grate apples..
Respond here with your questions and I'll see you at The Learning Garden on the 14th or 28th!


22 February, 2020

What To Do And When To Do It, March 2020

March is the month we delve into soil and what we need to make a good garden. Without all the hubbub and technical talk, we'll explore the soils we have in our gardens – there are few inherently bad soils. Most soils can be made garden worthy with a little help and attention.

No work is done, unitl the paper work is
done. Grateful to have help in finishing up. 

We'll also show you why you cannot depend on garden books from Europe and the US East Coast. Also I want to help you take a hard look at the coming summer garden which is going to be here in short order, whether we are ready or not! It's a good time of the year to be a gardener, but take a break to learn a few new things that will make your garden better! 

And, as always, your questions answered!

It's the same scheme, still only $20 (cash, check or PayPal), 10 to noon at The Learning Garden on the Venice High School campus, enter through the Walgrove gate.