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Edition 6.35
EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!
September 1st, 2006

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SEPTEMBER

Now is the time to plant or repair lawns. Use Grangetto's Tall or Dwarf Fescue Seed , 1 lb covers 100 sq. feet. Top seed with Kellogg's Topper to keep seed bed moist.


Learn how to Plant a Lawn from Seed.

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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:

"As one grows older one should grow more expert at finding beauty in unexpected places, in deserts and even in towns, in ordinary human faces and among wild weeds. "
—    C. C. Vyvyan

Manager's Corner

 
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This Month - "Meet the Manager"

Learn more about Kyle Hawkins,
Manager of Grangetto's in Encinitas.

Our September Specials

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Learn a Little Bit about Rats

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Rats are some of the most troublesome and damaging rodents in the United States. They consume and contaminate food, damage structures and property, and transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans. Rats live and thrive under a wide variety of climates and conditions; they are often found in and around homes and other buildings, farms, gardens, and open fields.

Click here to learn more about rats from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

IDENTIFYING RATS
DAMAGE CAUSED BY RATS
MANAGING A RAT PROBLEM
RODENT PROOFING YOUR HOME
TYPES OF BAITS AND BAIT STATIONS
AND MUCH MORE……

Learn a little about Pocket Gophers

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Pocket Gophers are burrowing rodents that get their name from the fur-lined external check pouches, or pockets that they use for carrying food and nesting materials. They are well equipped for a digging, tunneling lifestyle with powerfully built forequarters, large-clawed front paws, fine short fur that doesn’t cake in wet soils, small eyes and small external ears, and highly sensitive facial whiskers to assist movements in the dark. An unusual adaptation is the gopher’s lips, which can be closed behind the four large incisor teeth to keep dirt out of its mouth when it is using its teeth for digging.

Click here to learn more about pocket gophers from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

IDENTIFICATION OF POCKET GOPHERS
DAMAGE CAUSED BY POCKET GOPHERS
MANAGEMENT
EFFECTIVE METHODS OF TRAPPING
OTHER CONRTOL METHODS
AND MORE…

Preserving Your Harvest: An Overview

Food preservation techniques are ways to stop or greatly slow down spoilage while keeping flavor, texture and nutritional value as much as possible. If you don't preserve your food somehow, it will start to spoil soon after it is harvested. The most common ways to preserve food that will keep food safe are canning, freezing and drying.

Other methods that both help preserve food (and also add flavor) include pickling, salting, preserving in syrup or alcohol, and sugar crystalization.

Canning

When thinking about preserving food, most people think of canning. Canning is done by preparing foods, sealing them in sterile cans or jars, and boiling the containers to kill or weaken any remaining bacteria and create a vacuum seal. The two main types of canners are boiling water canners and pressure canners. Each method is best used with particular foods. Pickling and the creation of jams, preserves, and jellies also use canning techniques.

Drying

One of the oldest and most reliable methods for preserving food is drying. Since ancient times people have dried foods to store them for later use. Drying reduces water activity and delays or prevents bacterial growth. Many fruits can be dried; drying is often used to preserve apples, bananas, mangos, papaya, pears, and others. Currants, raisins and sultanas are all types of dried grapes, for example. Drying is also the usual method for preserving cereal grains. Tomatoes are also commonly dried.

Freezing

Another very old method to preserve food is freezing. Many Arctic communities preserved food in holes dug into the ice. Scandinavians preserved fish (especially herrings) this way. Freezing provides long-term storage for strategic food stocks held in case of national emergency in many countries. Some foods, including many raw vegetables, do not freeze well.

This newsletter is not big enough to provide specific information on preserving specific foods - we can only provide an overview of possible techniques. However, there is a lot of online information on the subject. We would recommend checking out the National Center for Home Food Preservation which has specific information on canning (click here), drying (click here) and freezing (click here), as well as other methods such as pickling, fermenting and making jams and jellies (see the menu to the left at any of the previous links).

It's Time for Bulbs!

One of September's most important and exciting jobs is to start buying and planting spring-flowering bulbs. Bulbs are easy plants to grow and will provide you with early spring color and bloom.

Buy Bulbs Now to Plant Later

Begin purchasing spring-flowering bulbs as soon as possible. They soon get picked over and sometimes put back in the wrong bins. A reliable local nursery is the best source of varieties that will do well in your climate zone, though some rare varieties can only be bought from catalogues or online. Choose the largest and fattest bulbs, because they produce the biggest blooms.

Among hardy bulbs some of the most popular are daffodils (Narcissus), hyacinths, Dutch irises (Iris xiphium hybrids), tulips, and crocuses.

Look for daffodils with three or more divisions. Don't pull them apart. If they're still connected, each point will produce a bloom. Feel them gently to make sure they're firm to the touch; softness means rot. Hyacinths perform best and give the most bloom if you buy large bulbs. Tulips have to be bought yearly. Don't buy 'naked' tulip bulbs, ones that have lost their tunics (the brown papery skin), as they might be dried out.

Take your bulbs home but don't plant them yet. Getting them in the ground too early is a big mistake. Keep them cool and dry. Most spring flowering bulbs can be planted after the first frost - but wait longer for tulips, which may sprout if planted early.

Where To Plant

Most bulbs need full sunlight. Find an area that will provide them at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Early blooming bulbs may be planted under the canopy of deciduous trees or around deciduous shrubs (where they will get full sunlight until the leaves come in again). Combine bulbs with low growing groundcovers, or plant in the perennial border.

How To Plant

Most bulbs prefer a soil that drains well. Before you plant, we recommend working the soil deeply (or using a raised bed) and adding a good amendment to the soil. Also add a bulb fertilizer to promote root growth and spring flowering. Fertilize again in spring, just before flowering, to support foliage and increase bulb size - giving the plant more energy to produce beautiful blooms.

In general, you should plant bulbs twice as deep as their greatest diameter in a medium or heavy soil. In sandy soils, plant them about three times as deep. Put them in the soil with the pointed end up and the flat side down. To encourage root development, water them in well.

Bulbs to Plant Now

While most daffodils (Narcissus) are best planted in November, Tazetta and Tazetta hybrids should be planted in September. These superb polyanthus or bunch-flower daffodils include paper whites, Golden Dawn, Soleil d'Or and Matador. These daffodils readily naturalize and often spread over a large area. Also purchase and plant in September the many wonderful drought-resistant bulbs and corms from South Africa that are so well-adapted to our climate such as freesia, sparaxis, ixia, tritonia, watsonia and nerine.

Bulbs to Plant Later

Daffodils, anemones, ranunculus, Dutch iris, muscari (grape hycinthia), tulips, spring-blooming crocus and hycynthia should be brought home and stored in a cool dark place; The garage usually works well. Most of these should be planted in November except for the tulips, crocus and hyacinths which need to be refrigerated for 6 to 8 weeks before planting. If you garden inland, start chilling in October for December planting. If you're along the coast, start chilling in November for January planting.

Sweet Peas

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There is nothing quite as satisfying as the sweet peas. The striking colors and spectacular fragrance is impossible to resist. This is a great area to grow sweet peas and they do quite well when planted while the days are still warm. If it is too cold or the soil is kept too damp, the seed will rot.

I have found there are 3 reasons people are sometimes not successful when planting sweet peas. First, most people plant too deep. Plant the seed approximately ¼ inch deep and 3 inches apart.

The second reason for failure is keeping the seed too wet. After planting, water the soil well. DO NOT water again until the plants have sprouted (unless we happen to have a warm drying wind).

The third reason some people do not enjoy a long bountiful display of flowers is they plant too late. Now is the time to plant your sweet peas. They do not sprout well when the weather is cool. If you wait until next spring to plant, the roots will not have sufficient time to develop and support a vigorous blooming plant.

Come on in, we carry quite an array of sweet pea varieties. For the novice, the Royal series or the multiflora selection will give almost fool proof results. For the more adventurous, try some of the specialty varieties such as the lovely Knee Hi or the spectacular Winter Elegance. For those who do not have a convenient fence or trellis, the dwarf varieties such as Bijou work great

 

The History of Labor Day

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"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."


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History of the Chrysanthemum

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"If you would be happy for a lifetime, grow Chrysanthemums."
Chinese Proverb

The chrysanthemum was first cultivated in China as a flowering herb and is described in writings as early as the 15th Century B.C. In fact, Chinese pottery depicted the chrysanthemum much as we know it today.

As an herb, it was believed to have the power of life. Legend has it that the boiled roots were used as a headache remedy; young sprouts and petals were eaten in salads; and leaves were brewed for a festive drink. The ancient Chinese name for chrysanthemum is "Chu." The Chinese city of Chu-Hsien (which means Chrysanthemum City) was named in honor of the flower.

Around the 8th century A.D., the chrysanthemum appeared in Japan. So taken were the Japanese with this flower that they adopted a single flowered chrysanthemum as the crest and the official seal of the Emperor. The chrysanthemum in the crest is a 16-floret variety called "Ichimonjiginu."

Family seals for many prominent Japanese families also contain some type of chrysanthemum. This is called a Kikumon — "Kiku" means chrysanthemum and "Mon" means crest. In Japan, the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum is the highest Order of Chivalry. Japan also has a National Chrysanthemum Day, which is called the Festival of Happiness.

The chrysanthemum was first introduced into the Western world during the 17th Century. In 1753, Karl Linnaeus, the reknowned Swedish botanist, combined the Greek words chrysos (gold) with anthemon, (flower). Linnaeus was the founder of that branch of taxonomy dealing with plants and including the science of classification and identification. Experts say this is probably an accurate description of the ancient species, as it also points out the mum's need for sunlight.

The earliest illustrations of mums show them as small, yellow daisy-like flowers.

Source: National Chrysanthemum Society USA

For more on the history of chrysanthemums, click here.

Community Spotlight

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The History of Escondido

Most California Indians lived in crude huts that were grouped in small villages. In northern San Diego County, the Luisenos were found above the San Luis Rey River near Mission San Luis Rey and the Dieguenos were close to the San Diego Mission. The Native Americans were content to live on what nature gave them. Game was plentiful and they skinned rabbits to make blanket-like coverings for the women to wear. Their diet consisted of woodrats, ground squirrels, rabbits, deer and vegetables that grew wild. Acorns from the oak trees were a staple food and were plentiful in the mountainous areas.


Read more about Escondido history by clicking here.

Editor's Note:
Special thanks to the Escondido History Center for this informaton!
Escondido History Center, Grape Day Park
Open Tuesday – Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm.
To learn more click here

 

Recipe of the Month: Tomato, Cucumber and Green Pepper Chopped Salad

Chef Mr. Gimage

What You'll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head of romaine lettuce, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 3 green onions,chopped
  • 2 cups fresh whole mint leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Step by Step:

Mix lemon juice and garlic in a large bowl. Whisk in oil.

Add remaining ingredients; toss.

Season with salt and pepper.

Yield: 6 servings.

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