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Edition 6.30
August 1st, 2006

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Protect yourself from the sun this summer. Wear sunglasses, hats, and sunblock. Work early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. Consider using shade cloth for protection against intense sun for sensitive plants.

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Thanks for taking the time to read the Grangetto's Garden Gazette. If at any time there is a topic that you would like to see in the next newsletter or you have a gardening tip you would like to share, please feel free to email us.





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quote of the week

Quotation of the Week:

"I haven't much time to be fond of anything, but when I have a moment's fondness to bestow, most times...the roses get it."
—     (William) Wilkie Collins

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Start Your Winter Squash

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By Tamara Galbraith

Good things come to those who wait, right? Well, winter squash will keep you waiting, but when ready, it is definitely a good thing.

The time to start seeds of winter squash is now, so that it's ready in the fall. Most types of winter squash take about 85-105 days to mature when grown from seed. As is the case with all members of the cucurbit family, give your squash lots of compost, along with regular waterings, throughout the growing period.

Winter squash differs from summer squash in that it must be harvested and eaten only in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. At this stage, you can even store it up to six months for use throughout the winter.

There are several different varieties to choose from that are either vining, semi-vining or bush types. Choose whichever kind suits your taste buds and is appropriate for your garden size. Acorn, Delicata, Spaghetti and Butternut are just a few examples.

Most winter squashes, when cooked, are a tasty, highly nutritious treat. Cooked squash also freezes well. Hey, you waited a long time for that squash...make it last!

Battling Powdery Mildew

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By Tamara Galbraith

It's the middle of summer. The heat is on, and while you're sporting a nice tan, your plants have suddenly taken on a pale, pasty look. What gives? Say hello to the fungus disease known as powdery mildew.

A common condition found on plant life throughout North America, powdery mildew is characterized by spots or patches of white to grayish, talcum-powder-like growth. Fortunately, it is usually more of an effect than a problem itself. In other words, in addition to treating the plant, you'll probably want to take a look at the surrounding conditions and make some adjustments.

First and foremost is to make sure you give plants plenty of room. Good air circulation goes a long way. Trim plants that have gotten crowded or bushy. Avoid overhead watering, and don't make late summer applications of nitrogen fertilizer, as powdery mildew loves to attack the newest plant growth which, of course, nitrogen encourages.

To halt the fungus in its tracks, spray with a good fungicide. We recommend you use Ortho Rose Pride, Greenlight Rose Defense or Spectracide Immunox. And next time around, try to choose the more mildew-resistant cultivars of plants that are most susceptible to powdery mildew, like zinnias, bee balm, crape myrtles, cucumbers and squash.

Beat The Heat

Heat-related Illness: What to Watch For

The impact of the heat can vary from person to person. It’s important to know who is most likely to be affected and to know the signs of heat-related illness. The very young and very old are most susceptible, as are family pets.

We all need to take proper precautions to safeguard against heat-related illnesses, which are very serious and even life-threatening.
When temperatures rise, be sure to watch out for others, as well as yourself:

  • Check on elderly neighbors.
  • Bring your children and pets inside.
  • Make sure everyone stays hydrated.

If you are spending time outdoors, be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is characterized by:

  • Cool, moist, pale skin (the skin may be red right after physical activity)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness and weakness or exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • The skin may or may not feel hot

To read this entire article please click here.

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Fire Protection

There's no sure way to protect your home from a raging fire, but there are some things you can do to minimize the risk. If you live next to native brush or chapparal - near a canyon, for example - take these steps to protect your property.

• Keep the landscape close to your home well-watered. Don't grow flammable plants such as pine trees close to your home or allow them to overhang your roof. (Shrubs and trees with lush green leaves, like pittosporum, are recommended for green belts.)

• Don't mound shrubbery close to your house. Shrubs should be spaced apart from each other and kept low. For safety from fire when houses are close together, it's best to have no shrubbery between them.

• Create a buffer zone. A well-watered green area of low-growing plants can act as a firebreak between you and the chapparal. The buffer zone should be at least 30 feet wide on flat ground and progressively wider as slopes get steeper. Walls, rocks, patios, rustic seats, and wandering paths can be part of the landscaping. Use plant materials that have proven their ability to withstand some fires, such as succulents and cacti. Coarse carpobrotus iceplant is not recommended, but rosea iceplant is. (Ask your local UC Cooperative Extension Office or the California Department of Forestry for additional information and plant lists.)

• Manage the existing brush. Go right down into the chapparal and remove the fuel load from inside. (Be on the lookout for poison oak, rattlesnakes, and sudden drop-offs in the terrain.) The buildup of dead leaves, twigs, branches and weeds in the understory is what makes the hottest fires. You may have to use a chain saw. (Keep a fire extinguisher and a shovel close at hand in case of sparks.) Cut out and haul away or chip and compost all of the dead stuff that builds up inside native shrubs. Leave all the green growth on the outside. When you're finished you'll have a wonderland of usable space for birds and other wildlife that inhabit our precious chaparral.

Lawn Destroying Pests

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We suggest, 'Ortho Max Insect Killer Granules.'

Pool Safety

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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 260 children under five years of age drown each year in residential swimming pools and spas. The Commission estimates that another 3,000 children under age five are treated in hospital emergency rooms following submersion accidents each year. Some of these submersion accidents result in permanent brain damage.

Nationally, drowning is the fourth leading cause of death to children under five. In some states such as California, Florida and Arizona, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death to children under five.

CPSC offers the following tips for pool owners:

  • Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.
  • Instruct babysitters about potential hazards to young children in and around swimming pools and the need for constant supervision.
  • Completely fence the pool. Install self-closing and self-latching gates. Position latches out of reach of young children. Keep all doors and windows leading to the pool area secure to prevent small children from getting to the pool. Effective barriers and locks are necessary preventive measures, but there is no substitute for supervision. Do not consider young children "drown proof" because they have had swimming lessons. Young children should always be watched carefully while swimming.
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • Never use a pool with its pool cover partially in place, since children may become entrapped under it. Remove the cover completely.
  • Place tables and chairs well away from the pool fence to prevent children from climbing into the pool area.
  • Keep toys away from the pool area because a young child playing with the toys could accidentally fall in the water.
  • Remove steps to above ground pools when not in use.
  • Have a telephone at poolside to avoid having to leave children unattended in or near the pool to answer a telephone elsewhere. Keep emergency numbers at the poolside telephone.
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool.

Community Spotlight

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First Settlers
The earliest American settler in the Fallbrook area was Vital Reche. Although a native of the state of New York, he came here from Pala in 1869. His homestead was a square 160 acres lying southward from the Reche Club (the old school) to, and including, Live Oak Park. Vital’s brother, Anthony Reche, came the next year and homesteaded land directly to the north.

The third one to settle here was Henry Magee, whose first home was near where the town of Fallbrook now stands.

The fourth arrival was my grandfather, Frederick Fox, who came from the East Coast in January 1875. The land that he took was that lying directly north of Anthony Reche’s property. My grandfather was in the bee business, having three or four hundred stands of bees. The white sage honey brought a premium price and some was shipped as far as England.

Of interest is the fact that these first three settlers, along what is now Live Oak Creek, all took their land along the course of the stream and timber. The hill or mesa land was considered of no value, mainly because of the lack of water. However, the Reches did “log off” many acres of fine oak timber so that they might cultivate the land.

Other early settlers who came here, probably before the start of the town of Fallbrook in the middle ‘80s, were Henry Gird, J.V. Hicks, Mitchell, the Martin brothers, Joe and Tom Howell, William Ellis and George Clark.

Henry Gird, a cattleman from further north in the state, came here in 1880 and bought the Serrano part (nearly 5,000 acres) of the Alvarado Grant (Monserate). He soon divided it among his four children--son, Will Gird, and daughters, Mrs. Shipley, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Lamb.

J.V. Hicks settled on what is now Red Mountain Ranch.

Mitchell homesteaded along what is now Reche Road, where Potter Junior High now stands. He was credited with having the first citrus orchard in this area.
The Martin brothers got possession of considerable land along what is now Gum Tree Lane and East Mission. They were the first ones to plow the hill land for dry farming.

Howell settled in what is now the Willow Glen area and did freighting to and from San Diego with a six-horse team.

William Ellis came here with his family in 1884. He, and later, his sons were among the largest grain farmers here. He was at one time owner of the hotel and left many descendants here.

George Clark was Fred Fox’s brother-in-law and came here with his children in 1882. He built a log cabin along lower Sandia Creek.

Early Reche Community
Some of the present-day sources of Fallbrook history portray the early Reche community as practically a small town. This is an exaggeration of what actually existed. My source of information was my mother, Frances Fox White, who lived here at the time.

The Vital Reches’ home and buildings were between the Reche Club (old school) and Live Oak Park, on the east side of the road. They had a fairly good-sized dwelling house and one other smaller building. They also kept summer boarders from San Diego in what room they had to spare in their dwelling house. This, along with the school, was the extent of the “town.” The school, however, was not built until 1886, and by that time the Post Office, at least, had been discontinued.

California Southern Railroad
San Diego had long been anxious for a railroad and finally in 1880, with the Santa Fe Railroad as a silent partner and subsidies of money and large amounts of land from the San Diego businessmen, the California Southern Railroad was incorporated. The road started from National City, the steel rails being brought around the Horn by ship and the ties from Oregon. The road was built northward along the coast to where Oceanside is now located. Here it turned inland, following the Santa Margarita River as far as Temecula, and from there by way of Elsinore on to San Bernardino, which was reached in September of 1883.

The Fallbrook station was located where the present road to De Luz reaches the floor of the river canyon directly north of Fallbrook. There was a De Luz siding where the De Luz Creek reaches the river. However, the engineers, not familiar with the river’s flooding capacity, surveyed the roadway too low, and it was badly damaged in the high water of 1884. At this time, the Santa Fe took over the road, repaired the flood damage, and extended the road from San Bernardino, through Cajon Pass, and on to the Colorado River at Needles where they connected with their road coming from the east.

Again in 1891, floods washed out the road along the river, but by this time San Diego had rail connection with Los Angeles along the coast. So the gap between Fallbrook and Temecula was not rebuilt, leaving Fallbrook on the end of a spur coming from the south, and Temecula, the end of the line from the north. This was the railroad condition I first remember, having taken the train from the old river station several times myself.

History repeated itself again in 1916, leaving an engine and a number of cars marooned at the station. The old roadbed along the river was abandoned, and a new one was built across the mesa where it ran through Camp Pendleton with Fallbrook still the end of a spur line.

The marooned engine and cars were brought up the hill to Fallbrook on a temporary track laid on the road that now goes to De Luz. The moving was done by cable and capstan turned by horses.

To the best of my knowledge, the only stagecoach coming to Fallbrook was one operated by Will Crane around 1891-92. The reason for this was probably the railroad washout of 1891. My father, Harry E. White, told of coming on this stage from Oceanside at that time, when he first came to Fallbrook. Of course, both passengers and freight were always conveyed by horse-drawn vehicles from the station up to the town.

Some Early Incidents
The Howell family, previously mentioned, lived near the junction of Rainbow Creek and the Santa Margarita River. When I was young there were graves of some of the family there. Their road going down into the canyon was about where Riverview Drive now is located. A daughter of the family, Ida Howell, when going home down this grade one time, stopped for some reason when part way down, and got off her horse. Suddenly a mountain lion appeared in the road behind them. The horse took fright and started to run – she could not get back on, but held onto the saddle and ran beside the horse clear home, with the mountain lion close behind. As they approached the house, the dogs ran out and chased the lion away. I can remember Ida Howell as an elderly lady.

The first settler in Rainbow Valley was Mr. Rainbow. It was said that he was with Fremont’s army during the Mexican War when they marched through Southern California. He was so impressed by this valley that he decided to come back and make his home there, which he did after a number of years. My mother often visited with the Rainbows when she was a girl. She said that Mr. Rainbow told of one time attempting to scale Rainbow Peak at the north end of the valley. But when he was almost to the top, where the climbing was very steep, he was driven off by a pair of eagles that had their nest there.

About the worst tragedy in Fallbrook’s past was the food poisoning of the Martin family in 1914 or 1915. Five members of the family died – Mrs. Martin, two daughters, one son and a grandson. The cause was definitely traced to a jar of home-canned apricots that they had for Sunday dinner. Joe Martin, the father, was the only one that escaped. He was teaching in Temecula at the time and, through being offered a ride back to Temecula, he left before finishing his meal. Mrs. Martin was a daughter of Vital Reche, Fallbrook’s first settler.

Stories originally printed in the Village News. They can currently be found in the “Fallbrook in Review” series found at the Fallbrook Historical Society.

Recipe of the Month:
Peach Crisp

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What You'll Need:

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 6-8 peaches depending on size
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats (quick oats)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 lb butter (about 1 1/2 sticks))
  • * Ice cream

Step by Step:

Cut flour into butter as you would in making a pie crust, until it is sandy in texture, with some small pea sized lumps remaining.

Cut in brown sugar, and then oats. Mixture should be able to form clumps when squeezed together.

Peel and cut fruit into wedges (about 6-8 peaches depending on size).

Toss fruit with 1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar that has been mixed with 2 tablespoons of corn starch.

Place in 9x13 pyrex baking dish, top with topping (clumps are nice!).

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven (350 degrees if in convection oven).

Bake for 20-30 minutes until fruit bubbles a lot.

Serve with ice cream.

*You can substitute with berries when it's not peach season.



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