Jr. Master Gardener Classes at Greystone Mansion Summer 2018

New gardening class for children ages 6-12. Everyone knows kids who grow broccoli eat broccoli. You don’t want to miss this.

Where: Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
** Entrance on Doheny Rd.

When: Sunday, July 15th and July 22nd

Time: 10:00 AM – 12 Noon

Cost: General Public $20. BH Residents $16.00

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday, July 15th): How to Start a Garden
Tool Safety, Intro to Soil (adding amendments and preparing the garden bed), Seed Starting (plant seeds in garden bed, make paper pots- everyone takes home a starter plant), Plant Selection: Winter Crops v. Summer Crops (make drawing of your home garden).

Week 2 (Sunday, July 22nd): How to Maintain a Garden
Irrigation, Transplanting, Intro to Plant Nutrition and Fertilizers, Mulching, Composting and Worm Composting, Intro to Integrated Pest Management (how to deal with bugs & insects). Seed tape (make seed tape to take home).

Registration must be completed through Beverly Hills Park and Recreation. See catalog here (page 9),

You will be confirmed registration once payment is made. See registration page here.

Any questions please contact:
George Pessin, Master Gardener Instructor
Email: gp305@yahoo.com
Tel: 310-779-8816

Gardening Makes You “Happy”

hand in soil

If you need another reason to get motivated for gardening, consider this, gardening makes you happy. It has now been scientifically proven that certain bacterium in the soil may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier.

Please review this fascinating article, Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy.

We always knew that gardening was beneficial for our our mental well being. Now we have proof!

The Edible Backyard Vegetable Garden

My long awaited gardening book, The Edible Backyard Vegetable Garden (including 35 Recipes), has finally been published. As a special discount for all of you, I am offering the e-book free of charge for five days beginning April 4th. Simply use the link above between April 4th and April 8th and you can download the book for free. In return, if you could write a nice review on Amazon I would be most appreciative.

Garden Book Cover

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Spring 2018

The University of California Cooperative Extension is organizing workshops in various communities throughout Los Angeles County to teach residents how to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

Romanesco Broccoli and the Fibonacci fractal

Romanesco Broccoli is a variety of the species Brassica oleracea. It is a cool weather crop that enjoys a steady diet of nutrients. We fertilized with fish emulsion every other week.

The beauty of Romanesco lies in its unique flower structure. When we consume Romanesco, other than the stems we are eating flower buds.

These flower buds are very well known in science circles for being a natural example of the Fibonacci fractal. In mathamatics a Fibonacci fractal will go on forever, ad infinitum. A broccoli plant obviously does not go on forever, but the pattern does repeats itself in every bud.

This article explains it well, Fibonacci-Shaped Romanesco Broccoli Is the World’s Most Visually Stunning Vegetable

See other natural fractals in this Wired gallery.

Other than being really healthy for you, Romanesco broccoli is a cool way to bring math into the classroom.

Here’s one place to purchase seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Purple Cauliflower

What a beauty- purple cauliflower. The variety is an heirloom called Sicilian Violet. Does not need to be blanched. Seed to harvest was 108 days. Purple cauliflower’s color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.

Winter Tomatoes – How to Clone a Tomato Plant

winter tomato

If you live in an area with mild winters, or if you are lucky enough to own a greenhouse, winter tomatoes can be easily grown. The trick is to clone a tomato plant from your summer crop. A clone is an exact replica of the parent. And since it is a clone hybrid plants can be used as well as open pollinated heirlooms.

Procedure

1. In the middle of July when your tomato plants are healthy and robust choose a side shoot that is without flowers and cut it about 6-8 inches from the top. Caution, do not cut the main grow tip.

2. Put it in water and allow the fine hairs on the stem to develop into roots. Cut off any existing flowers, at this stage we want the energy to go into making new roots and leaves, not flowers.

3. Once you see the roots developing plant them in soil so the new growth is just above the soil line. Keep it well watered during the early stages to allow the roots to develop. A little nutrient fertilizer would be good at this point.

Tips: Thicker stem cuttings did better than thinner stems. Choose smaller tomato varieties like cherry tomatoes or medium sized varieties. Since the daylight hours are shorter in the winter don’t bother with the large beefsteak varieties, they will never get that big during the winter.

Lastly, the tomato plant above is a Japanese Momotaro. In the early Spring we plan on taking a clone from the clone and seeing if it takes. We’ll keep you posted!

Notice the new grow tip in the center of the “V”