March 2022 E-Newsletter
Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring? -Neltje Blanchan
Featured Instagram Photo of the Month: A Beautiful Chamomile Bush
Upcoming Garden Events:
Mar. 19 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM
Mar. 27 - Sunday Workday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Apr. 2 - Greenhouse Fundraiser - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Apr. 9 - Saturday Workday - 9:00 AM - Noon
Apr. 9 - Potluck Lunch - Noon
Apr. 9 - General Meeting - 1:00 PM
While spring may still be a few days away, the garden is already started to transistion. Flowers are blooming, I see gardeners walking in with transplants, and the days are getting longer. Don’t forget to change your clocks and spring forward this Sunday! Once the time change kicks in, sunset won’t be until after 7pm and it we’ll really feel like we’ve entered a new season. If you haven’t already prepped your beds for summer planting, now is the time to do so. Pull and compost the old plants, dig up the weeds and add a little compost if you didn’t do that in the fall. Once your beds are prepped, you’ll be ready for the April Greenhouse Fundraiser. The April fundraiser is my favorite sale of the year. I love the assortment of flowers and crops that one can plant in the spring. We’ve got more information about the fundraiser in the newsletter below. In the meantime, here is your regular list of things to do in March around the garden.
Springtime is election season at OVF! Serving on the Board of Directors is a great way to give back to the garden and contribute to our community. Every member is eligible to join the Board. Board members commit to a minimum of 36 hours of a year (although conscientious board members spend considerably more time!).
Board members are elected for a two-year term. Half of the seats are up for election in odd-numbered years, and half are up in even numbered years. There are nine positions up for election in April:
- Education Chair
- Phase Rep I-Middle
- Phase Rep I-Lower
- Phase Rep II-Lower
- Phase Rep III-Lower
- Phase Rep IV-Lower
If you are interested in running for a seat, please email email@example.com.
News from the OVF Greenhouse
Greenhouse Keeper Nina Rumely wants to remind members of the April 2nd Greenhouse sale which will feature many of gardeners’ favorite warm season vegetables, herbs and flowers.
The greenhouse will have 4 different kinds of eggplant, both Italian and Asian types, 11 kinds of tomatoes and 5 kinds of peppers, including the popular shishito. There will also be many types of basil, especially the downy mildew resistant variety Prospera. There are flowers galore, with 3 varieties of zinnias. A pollinator friendly new flower is Hyssop ‘arcado pink’ (see photo) which is a great cutting flower too. Melons, cucumbers, squash, beans and mixed summer lettuces round out the offerings.
Be sure to check the website in mid-March for a detailed variety list to help you plan your summer garden
Basil Downy Mildew
From Greenhouse Keeper Nina Rumely
If you’re growing basil, a common fungal disease to keep on the lookout for is “basil downy mildew.” It is common in the U.S. and is now at OVF. I’ve lost several basil plants to it. Downy mildew spreads from plant to plant and by wind borne spores. This disease is specific to basil.
You can recognize it by the yellowing on the upper side of leaves and the purplish-gray spores on the underside of leaves. The older leaves near the bottom of the plant are more likely to be affected.
If you find basil downy mildew, there is no treatment to stop the disease. The only real option is to remove the infected plant. To avoid spreading the disease in the garden, the infected plants should go into the dumpsters, not the shredding pile.
The OVF Greenhouse grows a downy mildew resistant basil variety Prospera. Purple, Thai and lemon basil also appear to be more resistant to downy mildew.
Whatever basil you plant, keep the foliage dry and use drip irrigation or bottom-watering. Space the plants so there is good airflow.
Cornell University has a very useful blog post that has photos of the progression of downy mildew on basil.
Garden Variety Book Launch Recap
If you missed the book launch party for OVF member Christy Wilhelmi’s debut novel Garden Variety, there is now a video of the day you can view. At the beginning of the launch, Christy dedicated the book to Garden Master Ed Mosman. While the novel may be fiction, the books setting is based heavily on Ocean View Farms and several of the characters are based on garden members past and present. The turnout for the launch was excellent and two excerpts from the book were performed by “The Ocean View Farms Players.”
As always: we want to hear from you! Send us an email, reach out on Facebook, or tag us on Instagram @oceanviewfarms.
That’s all for now. Happy gardening!