New Westminster Horticultural
By Carole Forsythe
Every day there's a new initiative announced
on the environmental front. Just in case you missed it,
New Westminster introduced curbside collection of green
waste this month in order to reduce the amount of waste
going to the landfill. Every second week until September
19, the City will pick up an unlimited amount of clean green
waste along with your solid waste and recyclables.
- Clean waste includes grass, leaves,
flowers and plants free of soil as well as twigs and branches.
- Twigs and branches cannot be more
than four inches in diameter and three feet in length.
They must be tied together with biodegradable twine.
- Kitchen waste, soil, sod, rocks, stumps
or plants with soil still attached to their roots are
not clean waste.
- Whether you use kraft paper bags or
a standard 75 litre garbage can, receptacles can be no
heavier than 45 pounds. Plastic bags are not acceptable.
- Free labels are available at
the City Works Yard at 901 First Street or at the Recycling
Depot adjacent to Canada Games Pool.
Although there's no need to lug your
yard trimmings down to the Recycling Depot this summer,
you can recycle a long list of household goods, including
batteries, computer equipment, used motor oil and filters,
tires, empty propane tanks and paint. As you may know, the
above items are no longer allowed in our garbage cans. Is
there anything that can't be recycled? Call the Recycling
Council of BC at 604-732-9253 and find out before you toss
For many years, the City has provided
backyard composters to residents at a subsidized rate. If
you haven't got one, pick one up at the City Works Yard
for $30. For those members without a backyard, worm composting
kits are available from the City for $35. The kit includes
everything you need to successfully compost your kitchen
scraps. Rain barrels are also subsidized by the City for
$75. Collect and store rainwater for your garden and, thereby,
conserve drinking water. Unfortunately, neither are in stock
currently. Check with Engineering Operations at 604-526-4691
for availability. For more information on the City's environmental
initiatives, visit it's website at www.newwestcity.ca.
Pesticide use not only poses environmental
concerns, it is also linked to cancer and other health problems.
Tonight, the Canadian Cancer Society is holding a forum
on restricting pesticides for cosmetic use in New Westminster.
While many gardeners stopped using pesticides in favour
of organic practices long ago, some of us still use them
as a last resort. In the interest of the future health of
our planet and children, we might ask ourselves if perfection
really is in our interest. I can live with moss and dandelions
in my lawn, can you? Contact Ashley Duyker at 604-215-5212
or firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on pesticide
use in New Westminster.
|On Tuesday, July 8, Gwen Odermatt of Petals
and Butterflies Farm Nursery will speak on ponds, acquatic
plants and the wildlife they attract.
to the Community
The Donations Committee, made up of Lorna
Cloutier, Mary Davidson, Carole Forsythe, Aldina Isbister
and Ann Paisely, reviewed the applications submitted and
awarded three organizations in New Westminster funding.
For a second year, the 12th New Westminster
Scout Group, nominated by David Upham, was given a grant
of $300 to continue their work in removing the invasive
species that have overtaken the pond system in Queen's Park.
The funds will be used to purchase native plants and building
materials to replace vandalized bird houses.
Nina Osanic nominated The Royal Columbian
Hospital Auxiliary's gardening project. The award of $700
will be used to add annual and perennial colour to its new
low maintenance evergreen garden by the hospital's Intensive
Care Unit. The garden is visible to most and accessible
to all seriously ill patients and their families.
One thousand dollars was granted to the
The Biggest Little Garden in Town, one of many programs
run by the Fraserside Community Services Society to improve
the quality life of people overcoming challenging conditions.
Each balcony gardener is provided with a three-tiered container,
soil, vegetable plants and seeds, fertilizer, tools and
information. Participants agree to share excess vegetables
with their friends, neighbours or Plant A Row, Grow A Row.
Thank you to Jacqueline Shephard for nominating this project.
Last month's speaker, Brenda Faulk, will
take us on a guided tour of Tanglebank Country Gardens in Abbotsford
as will next month's speaker, Gwen Odermatt, the owner of Petals
and Butterflies Farm Nursery in Langley. Each garden has a nursery
attached to it so if you see a plant or two in their gardens that
you must have, you can purchase it for your own. In between gardens,
we'll stop for lunch. Carpooling is encouraged. We'll meet at
Tanglebank Country Gardens at 11 a.m. and be back in New Westminster
at approximately 5 p.m. Sign up tonight or contact Aldina.
Plant a Row, Grow A
Row opens this Sunday to receive rhubarb, beans, lettuce and any
other excess produce you can't eat. Recipients of the Food Bank
appreciate it. Drop it off between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. at St.
Aidan's Presbyterian Church on 7th Avenue and 14th Street. If
you'd like to volunteer packing the produce or delivering it to
the Food Bank, contact Eileen Sparrow at 604-526-4914 or email@example.com.
The Royal City Farmers
Market opens for the season on Thursday, June 26. Support local
farmers, food producers, artists and artisans every Thursday between
3 and 7 p.m. We'll be there to share our knowledge with fellow
enthusiasts and those new to gardening. We'll also be selling
a variety of sunflowers, squash and gourds with proceeds being
donated to Plant A Row, Grow A Row. Join us in Tipperary Park
just off Royal Avenue on 4th Street beside City Hall. If you'd
like to volunteer to staff our table at an upcoming market, contact
The date's confirmed. Next year's plant sale
is Sunday, May 3. How will you contribute to its success? Here
are a few ideas.
1. Identify perennials in your garden
that need to be divided in fall. Keep them in mind for the sale.
2. Take photographs of your plants in bloom. Pictures sell plants.
3. Bring your pots to meetings or to Audrey's home.
We also need help seeding
and caring for annuals. For many years, Patti and Ken Kemp, propagated
a significant number of annuals for the sale. Now that they live
in Courtney, we need members closer to home to continue where
they left off. Contact Carole if you've got both the room in your
basement or greenhouse and the desire to take on this responsibility.
Like painting? Outdoor
signs are needed for the sale. Contact Audrey and she'll fill
you in on the details.
In Your Veggie
by Roy Pegler
At last, we can
start planting and sowing our veggie gardens. If night temperatures
hold above 10 degrees Celsius, the early maturing veggies
will get a chance to flourish. By the end of the month,
we should be able to harvest radishes, Swiss chard, lettuce,
green onions and early potatoes. Continue harvesting rhubarb
until the end of the month. And, keep on top of the weeds
as they love this type of weather.
the main reason tomatoes are so widely grown is that homegrown
ones taste so much better than their store bought counterparts.
Now is the time to get tomato plants off to a healthy start.
Like all plants, a tomato is a solar powered sugar factory.
For the first month or so, all the sugar produced is directed
towards new leaf growth. Consequently, they double their
size every 12 to 15 days. Eventually, the plants make more
sugar than the single growing tip can use which signals
the plant to make new branches and to flower. The entire
character of the plant then changes.
efficiency of photosynthesis and minimize the risk of disease
by ensuring the plant has plenty of room and is supported.
If unsupported, the increasing weight of the fruit and multiple
side branches force the plant to lie on the ground. Many
of its leaves are then shaded, resulting in a reduction
in the amount of sugar the plant produces. To prevent this,
prune and support a single stemmed plant. Keep tomatoes
free of side stems below the first fruit cluster. (Determinate
tomatoes need no other pruning.) Most of the sugar is then
directed to developing large fruit until frost. In general,
more stems means more but smaller fruit produced later in
the season. To encourage a strong stem, don't tie the plant
to its support until the first flowers appear.
improves plant health. Leaves dry off faster so bacterial
and fungal pathogens have less opportunity to spread. Soil
is less likely to splash up onto staked plants. The bottom
line is that upright plants have fewer problems with leaf
spot and fruit rot.
Did you know
that the books Monica brings to each meeting is only a selection
of our library's collection? She's putting together a list
of the collection by subject. Once it's completed, it will
be available at our meetings and on our website. That way,
if the book you're interested in isn't available, you can
request for the next meeting. Books that aren't borrowed
on a regular basis are culled annually and donated to the
New Westminster Public Library.
Is there a book
you think every gardener should read? Monica is open to
suggestions for new titles and subjects to add to our library.
Garden Tour & Picnic
Our annual tour of members' gardens is
on Saturday, July 19. If you've got a garden you're proud
of and want to show it off, contact Carole. The tour is
followed by a potluck picnic that once again is hosted by
the charming Ellen and Nes Berg. Do you have a favourite
dish you'd like to share? Add it to the potluck list tonight.
Watch for details next month.
Saturday, June 21
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tours of Tanglebank Country Gardens and Petals and Butterflies
Register with Aldina Isbister
Tuesday, June 24
NWHS Regular Meeting of Executive Committee
Home of Sharon Seki
8707 Crest Drive, Burnaby
Thursday, June 26
3 to 7 p.m.
Royal City Farmers Market
Tipperary Park, New Westminster
Do you have a
question, comment or idea? Contact Carole.
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All Rights Reserved.