Dear Garden Club,

It was great to see you and I wanted to follow up with how to care for your chive/herb penguin planters.  I wanted to remind you that the planters do not have drain holes.  So when you wet your planter, just use about 1/3 of the volume of the planter in water.  If you already put in too much water, the solution (no pun intended) is quite simple: place your hand over the dirt and planter and turn upside down.  The water should drain through your fingers while keeping the dirt inside*.

If you do poke holes in your planters, I recommend poking the holes on the sides (near the bottom) with a push pin.  You shouldn’t need to water the planter for the 7-10 days it takes for the seeds to sprout if you wrap the planter in a plastic bag.  The one you used to carry the planter home works well.  Simply make sure the soil is thoroughly wet, wrap the entire container in the plastic bag, and leave for 7 days. 

UCLADon’t forget to unwrap once the seedlings start poking out!**

I wanted to take this time to not only wish you a happy weekend, but to forward you a few links.  I also included an attachment for the 100th anniversary of the Master Gardeners.  The event and parking is free.

Here are the links about Gardening–

Gardening in southern California:

Integrated pest management (i.e., minimizing dependence on pesticides):

And of course, a cartoon about gardening with family and kids:

Green-thumbWhile a home garden can substantially subsidize your food bill, it requires an enormous amount of work (or $$) at the beginning before you become efficient.  My first year tomatoes were probably $50/tomato plant, but now in my 3rd growing season at the house, the only expense for tomatoes this year is water.  It takes awhile to figure out which vegetables do well in your garden and which vegetables are better off being bought at the farmer’s market.  The good which comes from gardening is of course, not only the food, but the sun exposure, being outdoors with Nature (even the Nature bits which wants to eat your garden down the stub), and peace from connection to the earth.  It’s always fun to watch your child eat strawberries, broccoli or tomato at the source.

There is no such thing as a black thumb, only the wrong conditions or giving up too early.  The garden club can help you overcome both of those issues!


*The compost for your seeds is: Bu’s Biodynamic Compost.  I’m a big fan of the compost.

**PLEASE tell me whether a project worked or if anything horrible went wrong.  I do the projects alongside you, but it’s really useful for future repeating projects to know if something just absolutely doesn’t work so we can change it so it does work.