Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
16 July 2014
Khaki Weed Update
Khaki weed continues to thrive. If you're not familiar with this tropical weed there are several sites on the internet talking about it and identifying it. The main problems are the seeds which are small, spherical and covered in very hard spines, this is how it moves around the garden. Several pathways in the garden are infested with khaki weed. Get it now before it goes to seed.
One of the responsibilities of being a gardener at Sunshine is keeping pathways safe for our members and the public, including the differently enabled. This includes clearing the long weeds from the path and ensuring your garden doesn't stray into the path.
Hot Weather Gardening
There are several things a gardener can do to relieve some of the stress on plants during the summer.
Sunshine soil that has not been amended is basically black clay. Clay drains slowly, absorbs water slowly and if it dries becomes so hard that plant roots have a difficult time penetrating the soil. Compost dug in during the spring will help. If it's too late for that compost can be added to areas near established plants, (be careful not to invade established root zones). As the plants grow the roots will move into the composted area. Aeration is improved, internal drainage is enhanced and roots are able to more thoroughly fill the soil and mine its nutrients. Additionally soil will retain the moisture more easily.
The other factor to consider during summer is watering. A bed that is covered with mulch will retain the moisture much longer and help the soil stay a few degrees cooler. Water on bare soil evaporates rapidly, but water that filters through mulch will last much longer. There are many different types of mulches available but the leaves from Sunshine's leaf pile will do the trick. The advantage of the leaves (besides being free) is that they will gradually break down and add humus to your soil.
There is no way the garden will escape the hot weather in a Texas summer but by taking precautions we may alleviate some of the worst the summer has to offer.
Events of Interest to Gardeners
An interesting discussion of homemade weedkillers versus glyphosate found on the facebook page of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab. Something to think about in the long hot summer when it's too hot to garden. http://weedcontrolfreaks.com/2014/06/salt-vinegar-and-glyphosate/
19 July, Saturday, Zilker Gardens. 10 am - noon
Seminar presented by Travis County Master Gardeners, a volunteer arm of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County. Chris Doggett, of Williamson County Beekeepers Association, will share his knowledge and expertise in raising and managing bees. Learn how to provide a healthy and attractive environment for bees, whether you have a backyard garden or acres of crops needing pollination. For information, call 512.477.8672.
Rebates for Compost, Mulch and Aerating:
Great news! The City of Austin is offering rebates for things we should all be doing in our yards - mulching plants & trees, and aerating & topdressing our lawns. If you do all three things (according to their rules, of course) you can get as much as $180 back! Buy what you need, and be sure to keep your receipts. For rules and more details, visit the City of Austin's website.
A site with a multitude of links of interest to gardeners in Central Texas: http://gardeninglaunchpad.com/Aus.html
Vegetables to plant in July
Mid - Late Month: Amaranth, Okra, Chinese Long Beans, Corn, Eggplant, Peppers, Southern Pea, Tomatoes, Winter Squash.
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Garden
- President - Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice-President - Janet Adams email@example.com
- Secretary - Ginny Heilman firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer - Jack Reynolds email@example.com
- Director - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Director - Linda Francescone firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 1, Jody Trendler email@example.com
- Zone 2, Katy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 3, Ludmila Voskov email@example.com
- Zone 4, Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 5, Mary Gifford email@example.com
- Zone 6, Charlotte Jernigan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 7, Jing Li email@example.com
- Zone 8, Irina Kaducova firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 9, Cheryl Hazeltine email@example.com
- Zone 10, Christopher Schroder firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weekly Weeder Newsletter - Margaret Powis email@example.com
- Plant Sale - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- TSBVI Liason & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- Plot Rental - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Carpentry & Repairs - Robert Jarry firstname.lastname@example.org
- Water Leak Repairs - Stewart Nichols email@example.com
- Tools & Wheelbarrows - Bob Easter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website Coordinator - Sharon Rempert email@example.com
Record Service Hours Online - the Virtual Green Binder