September 2018 E-Newsletter
"When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow, but the gardeners themselves."
- Ken Druse
Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: Grapes: A.K.A. Garden Candy
Upcoming Garden Events:
Sep. 8 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM – Noon
Sep. 15 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM
Sep. 30 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
- Happy unofficial end of summer! While fall doesn’t technically begin until September 22nd, most people say their goodbyes to the season on Labor Day. That said, September can still pack in the heat. In fact, the hottest temperatures of the year are generally found in September. October isn’t usually too far behind. This can be a frustrating time for the gardener: when your summer crops are pretty much spent, but it’s too hot for fall planting. So what is there to do? It is a great time to start cleaning up your plot, for one. Once you pull up your summer plants, consider adding some manure or compost to the soil. Remember that diseased plants (and all tomato plants) you pull need to go in the dumpster and not the compost. If you’re really itching to plant, you can start some seeds indoors or in a shady area. The next greenhouse fundraiser will be the first Saturday in October, so seedlings will be coming soon enough.
- Anyone care to make predictions for our fall and winter weather? According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac Southern California is due for a “normal” winter (whatever that means) with temperatures that could be slightly cooler and slightly drier than average. Meanwhile their direct competitors over at the similarly named Farmer’s Almanac are predicting a mild winter with average rain. As long as it’s not another dry-as-a-bone winter, sign us up!
Safety and Security.
OVF President Frank Harris has spoken at several recent general meetings about the importance of keeping the garden gates locked. We are still getting numerous reports of gates being left open, non-members roaming around the garden and missing produce and personal items. Unfortunately, while all of the reports of theft may not be directly related to the gates being unlocked, please make sure that you lock the gates each time you use them – even if you are just leaving for a minute to get some mulch at the top of phase 3 or taking a load of weeds to the dumpster above phase 1. If you arrive at the garden and see a gate open, lock it. If you are having a difficult time locking the lock, or it does not stay closed; please leave a note for Ed in the Garden Master mail box in the wheelbarrow shed. You may also email Ed from the Contact Us page on the OVF website.
We have also experienced several instances of large piles of trash being dumped inside the OVF fences and other transient-related disturbances. The dumped trash appears to come from the older motor homes that are prevalent throughout the westside and often park in front of the garden for the day on Centinela. If you happen to see this happening and can get a description of the person or vehicle (license number, if possible), WITHOUT getting into a confrontation that would be very helpful. If you can get a photo, WITHOUT getting into a confrontation, that would be good also. If you see something happening that should not be, do NOT get into a confrontation with the person! If they do not leave or stop after politely telling them OVF is for members only, walk away. If you do not feel threatened, or fear immediate damage, you may call the Los Angeles Police Departments’ NON-EMERGENCY number, 1-877-ASK-LAPD. Only use 911, if you feel you are in immediate danger.
Thank you for your help in trying to make OVF a safer and more secure place.
Please Observe Gate Closing Times
The official closing time is listed on the home page of the OVF website and is updated every day.
OVF hours of operation are dictated by our operating agreement with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Failure to adhere to this may jeopardize our use of the property.
Don’t let this happen to you…
Amazon Smile is an Amazon.com program that donations a small percentage of each purchase to a certified 501©3 non-profit corporation. If you are a regular Amazon shopper and aren’t already helping another non-profit, please consider selecting OVF as a recipient of your Amazon Smile purchases.
Yet Another Tomato Plant Pest
Here's a summary of the new pest from our resident tomato enthusiast Dean Cleaverdon:
One more pest to add to the list: Tomato Psyllids.
We noticed that several of our tomato plants had small leaves which gave them a "feathery" look. The fruit was small and stunted. Symptoms of tomato Psyllid infestation. An article dated July 2014 in the San Diego Tribune described how this pest was starting to make an appearance in San Diego County. Four years later....
The insects over-winter in warm climates. Most of the articles I read referenced Texas and Mexico but I bet the little bastards would be just as happy in Southern California. They like a hot environment and we have had some doozy heat waves this year (along with cool, chilly, overcast weather). The best article I have read so far is from the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Prevention seems difficult as they are very hard to see and the damage to the plant has already happened by the time symptoms appear. I am guessing the best defense is keeping the plant as healthy as possible with healthy soil to help the plant fend off the toxins. Not every leaf turned "feathery" and not every fruit was small and deformed; our plants did the best they could considering the circumstances. Production was definitely impacted though.
More photos available here.
That’s all for now. Happy gardening!