Photo : The dried seed head of a native twining brodiaea - late January.
This time of year always reminds me how amazing plants are – how resourceful and resilient. Even in this spare time of year they are working and growing. Each part of the whole working to progress the cycle of life – each part with a purpose – integrated: the roots, the stems, the leaves, the flowers, the seeds, the relationships with others: some, like the mycorrhizal relationships, are underground and out of our view. Others, like pollinator relations, are aboveground in plain sight. Many bees are already out in the warmth of the day – flowers are opening on the early bloomers, providing these bees food. Buds are forming and swelling on other plants, and young seedlings are slowly beginning to unfurl at ground level.
But under the ground, under the bark, and within buds – so much activity ensues – even when it looks dormant to the naked eye. There’s always more than meets the eye.
The same is perhaps true for us as gardeners: the chilly mornings, and the still early dark evenings might keep us from our full gardening activity level, but even we are never fully dormant – things are happening. Intentions and plans and dreams hover just below the visible surface. Seeds of all kinds are sown within and without. As the season moves along – our own resourcefulness and resilience will appear as needed.
Resourcefulness and resilience are hallmarks of the gardening activities on offer all around the North State in the coming month and beyond. Groups are preparing to help us gardeners prepare for the seasons (and even years) ahead. The annual return of these groups’ intentions, enthusiasm and generosity in encouraging a world built on resourcefulness, resilience and deep appreciation – always humbles me. And gets me back out into the garden – my own garden – and the greater North State Garden that is all of ours to enjoy - and to protect.
Photo : A stand of grey pine back lit by winter’s afternoon light.
WHAT TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN THIS MONTH:
February in the garden is an interesting in-between month. Keep pruning dormant trees and vines, and roses in the warmer sections of the North State. Bare root plants are widely available at our local nurseries and ready to be planted during breaks from bad weather if your soil is not too frozen or too wet. With continued dry weather, remember to irrigate new plantings as necessary. Keep in mind that while the dry weather might prompt you to irrigate your established plants - annual edibles and your perennials plants and trees - keep in mind that less is more. Daylight hours are still short and nighttime temperatures are still cool, so established plants might appreciate a deep watering once a week or once every other week, these plants are not yet in their real growing stage and do not require a lot. Overwatering now will only increase your fungal issues in the soil and on foliage.
Now is a great time to consider what plants (and lawn areas) require a lot of water to stay looking good and to consider how important these are to you. Perhaps this is the year to replace your unused lawn areas?
If you are going to start tender vegetable or annual seeds indoors, bad weather February days and early February evenings are good times to do this; some cold happy vegetable starts or seeds including lettuce beets broccoli carrots and chard can be sown outside already.
Photo: A frosty little oak leaf pinch-pot sculpture in the morning garden path.
Here is a MID-WINTER CHECKLIST from Wyntour Gardens in Redding:
FOR WATER GARDENS & FISH PONDS ˆ Check water-flow from pumps, check
intakes, leaf traps, skimmer nets, clean out all debris, and clear debris from filters. Check the health of
your fish, check water levels in your pond and overall pond area. It‚s time to add Barley Extract, or
Barley Straw, also beneficial bacteria. It‚s time to divide Lotus and Water Lilies. If you have any
questions, please give Sherrie, our Pond and Water Garden expert a call.
COOL SEASON VEGGIE STARTS Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage,
Cauliflower, Chard, Collards, Arugula, Red Sails, Mesclun mix, Joi Choi, Onions, Spinach, Kale and onion
starts of California Red, Italian Red Torpedo, Walla Walla and Yellow Sweet Spanish.
Now is a good time to plant SPRING PLANTED SUMMER BLOOMING BULBS: Gladiolas, Japanese Iris, Dahlias, Clematis, Tuberose, Begonias, Cannes, Oxallis, Peonies & Tree Peonies, and Oriental, Tiger & Asiatic Lilies.
While weather remains warm, dry and not windy, consider applying another dormant spray on your fruit trees and to give them a fresh coat of white latex paint to protect them from sunburn.
Photo : As the light lengthens a little each day, the hens begin to pick up in their laying.
The On-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events at jewellgarden.com adds events throughout the month. I do my very best to keep the calendar up to date and accurate, please confirm all events with the event host. If you have an event you would like listed or if you are aware of a mistake on the calendar, please send all pertinent information to: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com! Thanks!
Photo : A small Pacific chorus frog, waiting.
Feb 1 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Successful Seed Starting with Ferne 11 am, Presented by Ferne, who will teach you how to grow your own plant starts from seed. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Feb 2 – Chico: Cultivating Community North Valley Presentation: Sauerkraut making workshop + Cottage Industry & Value Added products from your garden 6:30pm – 8:00pm. Pre-registration required. Where: Chico Grange, 2775 Nord Avenue, Chico, CA 95973, United States. Description: Join us for discussion of Cottage Industry & Value Added Products in addition to hands on sauerkraut workshop led by Claire Hutkins Seda For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/
Feb 3 - FULL MOON
Feb 4 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Monthly meeting 7:30 PM. Josephine Guardino, Botanical Consultant. Effects of Rim Fire on Plants in Stanislaus National Forest. At: Chico Branch County Library, 1st & Sherman Ave. Chico. For more info:http://mountlassen.cnps.org
Feb 7 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS FIELD TRIP: The Guardian Rock Trail, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area This is a two-mile hike, fairly easy, but a few steep sections require agility and balance. The trail follows Clear Creek below Whiskeytown Dam near extensive gold rush era mining sites. Expect to see Pacific sedum and little Oregon grape (Berberis nervosa) under a mixed canopy of gray pine and canyon live oak. We will also walk along a section of Clear Creek where extensive sections of gravel have been placed to help spawning beds for migrating salmon. No dogs, please. Meet at the Mt. Shasta Mall near Chase Bank at 9 AM. For more information, call David Ledger at 355-8542. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org
Feb 7 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and His Friends 10:30 am. Join us the first Saturday of every month for an interactive program in the Gardens (or Greenhouse when it rains) for children, their siblings, parents and Grandparents. Join Charlie, our adorable jack rabbit puppet, in various gardening activities. Wear your favorite gardening clothes! Presented by Dennis and Sherrill Bambauer. Free with park admission! Meet at the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Office (1135 Arboretum Drive next to Nursery Greenhouse)
Feb 7 – Oroville: Cultivating Community North Valley Workshop: Planning Your Spring Crops 10am – 2pm. Pre-registration required. Where: Fresh Start Youth Farm, 42 County Center Dr. Oroville. Description: Learn about when to start certain vegetables in the greenhouse and when to transplant outside. Learn techniques for successful germination and care during the seedling stage. Learn to calculate how many plants you’ll want for a particular garden space. For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/
Feb 7 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Backyard Grape Pruning and Care 11 am, Learn when and how to prune your backyard grapes for healthier plants and better fruit production. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: email@example.com. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Feb 8 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Successful Seed Starting with Ferne 11 am, Presented by Ferne, who will teach you how to grow your own plant starts from seed. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Feb 10 - Chico: Chico Seed Lending Library - Lettuce Get Together 5:30 - 7:30 at the Butte County Library conference room in Chico. We’ve moved our work parties to the meeting room for more space and optional potlucks! For more Info: https://www.facebook.com/ChicoSLL
Feb 11 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Walk With Warren Noon, Arboretum Gazebo Join our Superintendent Emeritus Warren Roberts–famous storyteller and punster–for an always engaging noontime exploration of the UC Davis Arboretum’s West-end gardens. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
Feb 11 – Chico: Cultivating Community North Valley Presentation: Growing More from Scarce Water: Enhancing Water Efficiency for Fruit and Vegetable Crop Production 3:30 - 5:00. Pre-registration required. Where: OVP @ CSUC University Farm, Nicholas C Shouten Lane, Chico, CA, United States. Description: This is a presentation about water management for growing fruit and vegetables, Israeli style. By increasing the soil’s capacity for water infiltration, absorption, and retention, irrigation requirements are reduced and more efficient. Shahar will describe practical techniques for enhancing water efficiency and show pictures of his project in Oregon House, CA. The workshop will include a walk around the Chico State Organic Vegetable Project to discuss the irrigation and opportunities for improvements. Shahar Caspi has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Hebrew University. He was born and raised in a small village in central Israel. Since age 16, he has been farming in different parts of the world. In 2008, he moved to Oregon House where he is directing a community agriculture project. Direct questions to email@example.com. For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/
Feb 14 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Cane Berries Care and Pruning 11 am. Presented by Johanna Trennery, Trennery Berry Farm (Happy Valley Farm Trail) Learn when and how to prune your cane berries (blackberries, boysenberries and raspberries) for healthier plants and better fruit production. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Feb 14 – Chico: Cultivating Community North Valley Presentation: Soil Boosting–Compost and Natural Amendments (open) 1 - 4 pm. Pre-registration required. Where: Sky Creek Dharma Center, Chico, CA, United States. Description: We have great soil in most parts of the valley. Though after a growing season or more your soil will start becoming depleted of nutrients and there are quite a few ways you can help feed your soils, in turn feeding your plants that feed you. Learn techniques for composting and how to use some natural amendments that are on the market. All levels & abilities welcome For more info: http://cultivatingcommunitynv.org/events-2/
Feb 15 - Chico: Mt. Lassen Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Field Trip CSU CHICO Greenhouse Tour 10 am
Meet at the CSU Health Center parking lot at the corner of Warner St and College Ave. From there we will walk the short distance to the campus greenhouses. Tim Devine, the curator, has collected hundreds of unusual plants from all over the world and is eager to show them to you and relate their stories. In the tropical room he will show you vanilla bean orchid, coffee tree, and banana. In the aquatic room you will see many ferns, water lettuce, and blue-flowered water hyacinths. In the desert room there are usually a few cacti in bloom. Invite your favorite valentine’s Day partner to enjoy the show. Ends at noon. Leader: Tim Devine 530 345-8444
Feb 16 - Chico: Chico Horticultural Society Regular Monthly Meeting 9:30 am meet/coffee, 10 am program. Butte County Library - 1st Avenue, Chico. For more info: President, Susi G. at email@example.com
Feb 19 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Chapter Meeting. Linnea Hanson was hired as a botanist for the Plumas National Forest in 1979 and retired in 2011. In 2008, she received the first Agency Person of the Year Award from the California Native Plant Society. Linnea recently compiled information about fens in California National Forests for the US Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers website. In her presentation, Fens in California; An Overview of Fens in California National Forests, she will talk about the difference between a fen, a bog, a swamp, and a marsh; types of fens, where they are known in California National Forests; and some of the mosses and flowering plants found in fens. Meet at 7 PM at the Shasta College Health Science & University Programs building in downtown Redding, 1400 Market Street, Community Room 8220 (clock tower building at the north end of the Market Street Promenade; enter on south side of building). A Board meeting will be held before the regular meeting, at 5:30 PM at Angelo’s Pizza Parlour in the Foundry Square, 1774 California Street, Redding. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org
Feb 21 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens: Backyard Grape Pruning and Care 11 am, Learn when and how to prune your backyard grapes for healthier plants and better fruit production. Classes fill up fast, so please call or email to reserve your seat! 8026 Airport Road - Redding, CA. 96002 - 530-365-2256 - Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Feb 22 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum Native Californian Elderberry Flute-making Workshop 1-3 p.m., 146 Environmental Horticulture. People of all ages will learn how to make and play a Native Californian elderberry flute. East Bay Regional Parks docent Antonio Flores will talk about the culture of flute making and also about the endangered elderberry beetle. All materials will be supplied. Please bring a sharpened pocket knife if you have one. Adults will need to supervise their young children. All ages welcome. Sponsored by the Arboretum Ambassadors. The event is free;free parking is available in nearby Visitor Parking Lot 5. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
Feb 22 - Chico: Chico Permaculture Guild Monthly Meeting 1 – 4 at the Butte County Library in Chico. CPG EDUCATION: (Always free and open to the public) **We will be continuing our cycle of educational topics. I’ve posted the whole topic schedule for 2015 as a File for you to download/review [https://www.facebook.com/groups/chicopermacultureguild/10152453374217017/]** >>>DESIGN PROCESS #1: MAPPING <<< ** Please bring along a base map of your property that you created at some point last month. You will refer to this as we explore the topics of this month. ** Explore different observation techniques ** Find out how to analyze your property for available resources, water flows, soil conditions, plants, animals, solar access and much, much more. ** Learn how to organize your site information and ideas using mind maps. For more info contact Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper at email@example.com or 530-828-6390. WHAT TO BRING: **Please bring a small dish to share as well as your own dishes, utensils and cup for the POTLUCK at 3:15. There are limited dishes available in the library so please remember to bring your own if you can. **If you have anything in SURPLUS (vegetables, home preserved food, eggs, fruit, seed, plant starts etc.) please bring it along and we’ll ‘Share the Surplus’ after the Potluck.
Feb 22 - Chico: Perma-Fun-K Spring Hands on Workshop: Organic Fertilizers & composting 10 – 4 305 West Lindo Ave ( Community Garden ) Chico. Get ready for the growing season. This is a great workshop to learn how to utilize materials around you and make amazing organic fertilizers that you can apply to your vegetable, herb & flower garden, perennials and trees. All the activities will directly implement a real PERMACULTURE DESIGN for this property. We have hand outs for this class with compost recipes and ratios that you can take home. Previous registration required to get this hand outs. For more info: http://www.perma-fun-k.com/hands-on-workshops-2015.html.
Feb 22 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS Plant Propagation Session. Join us for our regular two-hour work session starting at 10 AM at the Shasta College greenhouses. The greenhouses are located toward the back of Shasta College, near the livestock barns. We will be potting up newly rooted materials from our December cuttings and seed trays. Bring clippers and any other tools you might need. Please call Jay & Terri Thesken at 221-0906 for further information. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org
Feb 24 - Chico: Butte Rose Society Monthly meetingButte Rose Society (BRS) Monthly meeting and Educational Rose Program 7 pm. Chico Veternas Memorial Hall 554 Rio Lindo Ave., For more information about BRS, visit: www.butte-rosesociety.org
Feb 28 - Redding: Shasta Chapter CNPS FIELD TRIP: Mule Ridge Trail. This will be a five-mile, out-and-back hike with a very gradual climb of about 1000 ft in the BLM Mule Ridge Trails area. This winding trail starts at the Oak Knoll Trailhead on Muletown Road and winds its way up to the top of a ridge. With the ample rains, we should see a number of early blooming wildflowers and shrubs along the way. There is a considerable amount of open grasslands and switchbacks into canyons along the trail. Meet at the Mt. Shasta Mall near Chase Bank at 9 AM to carpool to the trailhead. Well-behaved dogs on leashes okay on this fieldtrip. For more information, call David Ledger at 355-8542. For more info: http://www.shastacnps.org
Feb 28 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Walk with Horticultural Manager Lisa Endicott 10:30 am. Bring your notebooks and camera! We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at West Garden Entrance. Take N. Market Street, turn on Arboretum Drive. Take the right fork. Parking lot and entrance are on the left.
Feb 28 - Davis: UC Davis Arboretum All thing Acacia 2 p.m., Putah Creek Lodge. The late winter display of yellow blossoms in the Eric E. Conn Acacia Grove is spectacular! It’s a must-see event featuring over 50 different acacias from around the world. The event is free; parking is free on weekends in Putah Creek Lodge Visitor Parking Lot off Garrod Drive. For more information and directions, please call (530) 752-4880 or visit http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu/calendar.aspx.
March 1 – Chico: Sixth Annual Spring Seed Swap 2 pm - 6 pm, THE 6TH ANNUAL SPRING SEED SWAP ~ carpooling or riding bikes is encouraged~ WHAT IS PROVIDED >Seed Swap ‘Potluck’ Style >Speaker Presentations >Educational Displays >Seeds & Plants for Sale >Community Non-Profits >Food & Drinks for sale by Chico Natural Foods Cooperative >Lots of activities for all ages WHAT TO BRING >Seeds, bulbs, plants, cuttings or more to exchange >Used envelopes/containers and pens/pencils >Please label your items ~ you do not need seeds to attend ~ PRESENTATION SCHEDULE TBA TO VOLUNTEER Sign up online: http://volunteercpg.ivolunteer.com/6thspringseedswap FOR MORE INFORMATION >Sherri Scott (GRUB Education Program) 342-3376 firstname.lastname@example.org >Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper (Chico Permaculture Guild) 828-6390 email@example.com. HOSTED BY GRUB Education Program Chico Permaculture Guild SPONSORED BY Chico Grange Hall Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) Chico Natural Foods Cooperative ALWAYS A FREE COMMUNITY EVENT!
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To submit plant/gardening related events/classes to the Jewellgarden.com on-line Calendar of Regional Gardening Events, send the pertinent information to me at: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com
In a North State Garden is a twice-monthly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California. It is made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum - Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell - all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In a North State Garden airs two weekends a month on North State Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time.