News of Note from the President:
October 8, 2021
A Huge Thank-You
On September 29 we held a photo shoot for the upcoming new Membership Directory. Lisa Eastep provided her professional photography and Gail Whitehead supplied membership information and a wonderful assortment of safely packaged refreshments. It was great to see some of our newest members as well as some long-time members. It was a “whisper” of better times to come!
When our new Membership Directory is published, there will be a new password required to access the “Members Only” portion on our website. Members will be given the new password in the newsletter prior to the distribution of the Directory. As always, the password will also be printed in the Directory booklet. Information will be forthcoming regarding distribution of the Directories.
With this issue of the newsletter, we welcome our new Horticulture Chairperson, Holly Kennell. Botanist, teacher, Master Gardener and former WSU Extension agent, Holly has been a FJGC member since 2007 but now spends more time in Hansville. How wonderful to have the benefit of Holly’s background!
Communication in the time of COVID is more challenging! We generally try to limit e-mail communication to our members to the two monthly newsletters so wonderfully managed by Susan Harrington. Until we resume customary meetings, you may see more communication in the form of surveys or announcements. This will enable Committees to facilitate activities for members, as well as respond to opportunities with shorter notice.
As crop production in our vegetable gardens starts to decline, the idea of fall or winter gardening may sound appealing. Even though winter temperatures in the north Kitsap are relatively mild, we are far enough north that our days get quite a bit shorter. Plants don’t really grow much once the season turns cold and dark, so “winter gardening” is a bit misleading. Actually, “garden storage” and “winter survival” might be more accurate.
Crops to be eaten in late fall, winter or early spring are planted in summer with time to mature before the days turn short and cool. The garden acts as natural cold storage. Some vegetables are planted in summer to over-winter as small plants that mature the following growing season. These hardy crops survive the cold and may even grow a bit over winter. As soon as the weather warms and the days get longer, they really take off, producing an extra-early crop.
Although it is too late to plant most crops, there are exceptions:
- Corn salad (also called mache) produces mild salad greens for spring use.
- Fava beans can be planted through November for a May-June harvest.
- Mustard and onions can be put in now, if you can find healthy transplants.
- Garlic is best planted from late October through the first week of November.
In the ornamental garden, fall is perfect for planting. October-planted trees, shrubs and perennials have cool, moist soil to settle in and start to get established before they have to face heat and drought. For plants that have colorful fall foliage, choosing them now guarantees good color in the future.
Every spring I wish I had planted more bulbs the previous fall. This year I’m keeping the hungry deer in mind and going for snowdrops (Galanthus sp.) and daffodils (Narcissus sp.), which they ignore. I may also put in some ornamental onions (Allium sp.), to add more deer-resistant, spring and summer color.
Heaths and heathers (Erica sp.) are another group of plants that appreciate fall planting. They often die when their fine root system dries out after spring planting. Besides not being attractive to deer, many start flowering in the middle of winter, when a bright spot in the garden is most welcome.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
We have NEW members this year: Wyn Abbott, Barbara Robert, and Kathy Schoenduve. We look forward to meeting them in our activities and when the FJGC meetings resume.
Gail Whitehead and Nancy Peregrine Co-Chairs