Saturday, April 6, 2013

April Showers bring more than Flowers!


Planting Your Dinner
Are you hungry to get your vegetable garden growing?  Me too!  Now is a fabulous time to sow seeds or plant starts of your favorite spring greens like Chard, Kale, Spinach, and Lettuce.  It's not too late to plant seeds or starts of Snap Peas either, but you should definitely buy starts of Broccoli, Cauliflower, or Cabbage if you want to be able to harvest some of them this spring.  

Resist the temptation to plant any summer crops yet though, as beans, corn, squash, and tomatoes need the soil to warm up significantly and nighttime air temperatures to stay above 50 degrees before they will thrive.

If you are intrigued by the idea of making your own back yard an inviting and nurturing place for children, and incorporating child-friendly food gardening as part of your regular family activities, the 3-class series I will be teaching this month for the UW Botanic Gardens will inspire and inform you. I'll also be teaching about how to create unique places for nature exploration and play that fire your child’s imagination and “grow up” along with them, and mesh well with other back yard needs. Here are the details:  Thursday April 18th, Saturday April 20th, and Thursday April 25th: "Creating a Child-friendly Garden". Fee: $85  Location:  Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98105For more information or to register, visit this UWBG webpage
 

The War on Weeds
 The first two weeks of spring have brought sun and warmth as well as torrential rain to our gardens.... and we're not the only ones with spring fever.... plants are starting to grow like mad, including the weeds!  
 
If you don't have time to dig all your weeds out before they flower (I'm in that club myself), make sure you at least stop in your garden for a few minutes to pluck the weed flowers off before they set seed.  This is especially true the prolific and aggravating shotweed, which the saying "one year's seeds, seven years of weeds" must have been written about!  If you don't believe me, just look at this wheelbarrow's worth of shotweed from my little p-patch one spring morning a few years ago... I've learned my lesson well and have never let it go to seed since!

 
Feed Your Hea
d with an Edible Gardening Class

I'm happy to be teaching about growing your own organic food again this spring.  These classes will teach you how to make your yard produce great tasting, nutritious home-grown vegetables, berries, and fruit trees:
  • Tuesday April 16th from 6pm-7:30pm: "Sustainable Veggie Gardening" for the Savvy Gardener Program. Location: Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE, Bellevue 98009. FREE for all King Co. residents, but pre-registration required, visit the Savvy Gardener webpage for more information.
  • Tuesday April 30th from 6pm-7:30pm: "Sustainable Veggie Gardening" for the Savvy Gardener Program. Location: Skyway Water and Sewer District Office, 6723 S. 124th St., Seattle 98178. FREE for all King Co. residents, but pre-registration required, visit the Savvy Gardener webpage for more information.
  • Thursday May 2nd from 7pm-8pm: “Edible Gardening” for the City of Auburn's Natural Yard Care Program.  Location: Northwest Family Church, 3535 Auburn Way S., Auburn 98092.  FREE for all City of Auburn residents, pre-registration required.
  • Wednesday May 15th from 7pm-8pm: “Edible Gardening” for the City of Bothell's Natural Yard Care Program.  Location: Northshore Senior Center at 10201 E Riverside Dr Bothell, WA 98011. FREE for all City of Bothell residents, pre-registration required. 

Gardening Classes for the Whole Family: 
  • Sunday April 14th from 1pm-2pm: "Creating a Snacking Garden" a FREE class for the whole family on growing tasty treats that kids will love, at Molbak's Garden + Home, during their Edible Gardening Weekend celebration! 13625 NE 175th St., Woodinville 98072.  No registration needed.

  • Sunday April 21st from 1pm-2pm: "A Bird's Eye View" a FREE class for the whole family on attracting songbirds and hummingbirds to make beautiful music and hover like flying jewels in your garden, at City People's Garden Store, 2939 E. Madison St, Seattle 98112. No registration needed.







Going Native
Learn about Pacific Northwest native plants that are beautiful, easy to care for, and thrive in our unique climate and soil conditions.  Natives can be the foundation for a new landscape or incorporated into an existing landscape! 
  • Tuesday April 23rd from 7pm-8:30pm: "Native Splendor in the Garden" for the Savvy Gardener Program. Location: Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE, Bellevue 98009. FREE, but pre-registration required, visit the Savvy Gardener webpage for more information.
  • Saturday April 27th from 10am-11:30am: "Native Splendor in the Garden" for the Savvy Gardener Program. Location: Magnuson Community Center, 7110 62nd Ave NE, Seattle 98115. FREE, but pre-registration required, visit the Savvy Gardener webpage for more information.
  • Saturday, May 18 from 10am-11:30am: "Native Splendor in the Garden" for the Savvy Gardener Program. Location: Tukwila Community Center, 12424 42nd Ave. S, Tukwila.  FREE, but pre-registration required, visit the Savvy Gardener webpage for more information.





Are You a Delridge or Rainer Beach Resident? The Natural Yard Care Neighborhood Series of FREE classes are sponsored by Seattle Public Utilities, for residents of the neighborhoods within the Delridge and Rainier Beach "RainWise Program" rebate areas.  Visit their website for more info.
  • Wednesday April 10th from 7pm-9pm: "Choosing the Right Plants" and "Natural Pest, Weed, and Disease Control. Location: Chief Sealth High School, 2600 SW Thistle St  Seattle, WA 98126.  
  • Monday April 29th from 7pm-9pm: "Choosing the Right Plants" and "Natural Pest, Weed, and Disease Control.  Location: South Shore School, 4800 S. Henderson, Seattle, WA 98118