22 May, 2022

Use Less Water Now, Before You HAVE To

 

Water Wise Gardening in Los Angeles

David King, Gardenmaster at

the learning garden


If you listen to the news, you know California is in desperate drought and officials from all kinds of government are holding press conferences stressing the lack of water and everyone with a garden is being begged to use less water. Yet, if you want a garden producing food, how do you make the compromises needed to get some tomatoes or cucumbers without being guilty of over doing the water situation?


Weeds

Weeds are drinking water in your garden. You don't need that. Get the weeds out and 'they don't worry you no more.'

Time your Watering

Water later in the day so the water has a much smaller window in which to be evaporated. No matter the condition of your soil. Water later at night rather than earlier. If you water as the sun goes down, the plants will remain in the area of the roots longer.

Interplant

Put drought resistant plants between the less resiliant so the hardy plants shade the less tolerable.

Monitor

Keep your eyes on your plants, watch them with more diligence, with taller plants (tomatoes, climbing beans, squashes) allow some covering some of the more sensitive plants – it will cut down your yield, but it will also cue your water usage. Be diligent with all your food plants, you'll get more harvest. Keep a journal. Allow the garden to teach you.


Mulch your pathways with chipped wood; the larger pieces are great for putting on pathways, the semi-large pierces that once were the bigger plants are lovely in the beds; the sunshine breaks the chips into smaller and smaller pieces; and finally rake the almost disintegrated wood chips around the plants in the beds. This material finalizing the breaking down of the wood chips and are mutually helping one another in breaking down these bits of organic matter that feed your plants over a longer period of time.


Most important for getting organic matter into your garden bed, is to introduce organic mulch and the critters that are the life in the soil. “Organic mulch” somewhat saying the same thing twice, is anything that can be broken down in our gardens while making the soil more rich.

I haven't included several other ways to grow plants, including “hydroponics” which ditch the soil altogether and grow the plants in water. I'm not particularly enthused with using a lot of plastic in my garden or in anything I'm going to be eating. Call me superstitious...


On the other hand there are other ideas that I do believe might have merit our attention; the use of ollas is the same idea as drip, but instead of plastic, the garden has underground clay pots that “leak” water into the soil, cutting out the need for plastic hoses and the like. They still need some research before they'll be accepted at large, but I see a lot of benefits in the mindset that brings changes in our vision and new ways to solve old problems.

17 May, 2022

A King's Vision of a Greek Salad

It might be a bit early to think of the tomato harvest, and my admonitions to... but shucks! Those ripe and delicious tomatoes and cucumbers sing the early summer songs and I drift away with visions of previous Summers blessed with these delicious. This recipe (not really a recipe in the strictest of ways), is a part of Summers since childhood. 


Close to equal amounts of fresh tomatoes and fresh cucumbers. Do not slice neatly, but quickly and crudely chunk them into more or less bite sized pieces. I will be using San Marzano tomatoes and Armenian cucumbers for most of these this year. I love it! Greek salad with Italian tomatoes and Armenian cukes! Life in America.

Besides cukes and tomatoes, you will need a bit of everything below – keep them on hand throughout the summer and you'll be grateful more than once.

Olive oil – enough to generously coat each bite, not so much as to float anything

Pepper to taste

Small slices of red onion for a some zing (the Italian 'Torpedo,' or Tropea onions are one of my favorites) – the zing really brings out the lusciousness of everything else. The onions should not be the main attraction.

Crushed dried oregano (I like the Greek oregano)

Homemade or a really good store bought feta cheese also cut into chunks.

Mix them all together with laughter; the actual order things are placed in the bowl is not all that important, it's a forgetful, or disorderly, cook's dream!

Serve with:

Homemade bread yummmm – homemade bread!

Herb tea or lemonade

Good friends...

Change it up as availability of ingredients dictates.

Eat till you're full then take a nap in dappled sunshine!

But to have this party in your own back yard, you need to get going now! Our next “What To Do and When To Do It” on the 4th of June. Only $20 (still) and full of humor, to mix wisdom and get your garden ignited. Still the 4th, 10 AM to noon. We are outside, let that be your call for how you dress.. We'll post where we will have the class, check here or email David, greenteach@gmail.com!

Enjoy this summer all the more!


David King

Gardenmaster

Enjoy this summer!

David King

Gardenmaster

03 April, 2022

April 2022; Soils and Tomatoes in Your Garden

 



Fresh Tomatoes from Your Garden

Welcome to the return of What To Do & When To Do It; Tips for a Gardener. Every class features a garden plant and a gardening technique and – most importantly, we take time to answer questions in our intimate classes, usually less than 20 people. Combined with garden knowledge that spans over 40 years gardening and 20 years of teaching join us at 10 AM April 2. (Note we cannot process credit or debit cards.)

My outline for the class includes some soil fundamentals that are always on our mind as we tend our gardens. At any rate, there is probably no better place to start than with the soil. Bring your questions and we'll get them answered.

Join us Saturday, April 2, 10, o'clock at the Alumni Association House (across the street outside - sun glasses are advised) until Noon and you might want to bring a jacket/warm vest. Just as easily though, we could all be overheated: if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes. 

We'll do some soil basics and we'll do some tomato starts - we have several varieties that do well here in LA. I chose these varieties because I think they do better than most tomatoes here. Because tomatoes are such the rage in our gardens, we'll spend time on what varieties and why I didn't choose some of the others. It'll all come together

Any questions, email me at greenteach@gmail.com! Excited to be back with everyone!

david








Welcome to a new Spring beginning/intermediate class series. I hope you'll join us in a new series . This season's first meeting April 2 (the first Saturday of the month). Our classes run from 10 AM to Noon. Every class features a vegetable and we talk about how plants fit together as plants in their world world interacting with us. We are celebrating by workshop will be held on Walgrove at the Venice High School's Alumni's drive way/back yard... this is a new adventure for us.


Our first class will be on. You'll be able to choose a couple of tomato varieties and you'll care for them as they grow.


Welcome to the return of What To Do & When To Do It; Tips for a Gardener. Every class features a garden plant and a gardening technique and – most importantly, we take time to answer questions in our intimate classes, usually less than 20 people. Combined with garden knowledge that spans over 40 years gardening and 20 years of teaching join us at 10 AM April 2. (Note we cannot process credit or debit cards.)


My outline for the class includes some soil fundamentals as that are always on our mind as we begin our gardens. At any rate, there is probably is no better place to start than with the soil. Bring your questions and we'll get them answered.


Join me Saturday, April 2, 10, o'clock at the Alumni Association House (across the street outside - sun glasses are advised) until Noon and you might want to bring a jacket/warm vest. Just as easily though, we could all be overheated: if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes.


Any questions, email me at greenteach@gmail.com! Excited to be back with everyone!


david