little-boy-gardenerDear Garden Club,

We finally get down to some planting and getting our hands dirty! This week we’ll be pulling our peas, fertilizing, and making room for a few new seedlings.  You are welcome to take home any leftover plants for your own gardens.  February is the last chance for planting winter crops for Southern California–our warm weather tends to ruin peas and make lettuce bolt (go to seed and become bitter) starting as early as April/May!

February is also a good season to clean around your garden (if you have one) and to add some fertilizer as well as worm castings.  Worm castings are a slow-acting pest control, and spreading it now will help prevent the explosion of pests as dirtthe weather warms up.  For those of you scratching your heads (how does worm poop tell the bugs to get packing?), the current hypothesis is that worm castings contain chitinase, an enzyme that can break down chitin.  Chitin is the major component of insect exoskeleton, so the insects which don’t want to have their armor dissolved tend to avoid your plants.

So come join us this Friday at 9:30 to do some dirty work in the garden.  Please, please don’t dress your children in the finest fresh-pressed white shirts/dresses.  I’ve always wondered why brochures feature children in gardens with bright clean clothes…perhaps they Photoshop them in.

ELC Mom, Master Gardener, Parent Ambassador & Garden Club Coordinator