Luscher FarmApril 2012

Welcome to Luscher Farm's Community Garden Newsletter!


Spring weather has arrived with the usual rain, sun, wind and even a little snow. Work parties have braved the weather and continued to ready the garden for the coming season.  After all, we're Oregonians!


 Karen Davis

 Luscher Farm Coordinator


Things To Do This Month

  • Get out and weed while the soil is soft and the weeds are still small.
  • Vow to grow at least one new vegetable or flower this year.
  • Check charts and soil temperatures for the best time to plant those cool season crops.
  • Consider building a small cloch to give your plants a head start this spring.
  • Protect new plants and seedlings from those slimy slugs who love to eat tender new growth. Use iron phosphate based bait if needed. Check labels carefully.  Sluggo and Escargo are safe to use in our organic Community Garden. 
Missed the Required Orientation Meetings?
Another meeting is being offered, this one is at the Luscher Farmhouse. Don't miss it.
Wednesday, April 4, 7-8p
April's Work Party
Saturday, April 14, 10a-12p at Luscher Farm 


Classes at Luscher Farm
Organic Gardening 101
Learn about soil, plants, compost , beneficial insects and more from Oregon Tilth instructors. To register, click here.
Saturday, April 7 at 10-11:30a
Class #2326000


Old Fashioned Farmer's Cutting Garden
Discover interesting and colorful annuals and perennials to grow for  household  arrangements.  You'll learn when to pick and how to arrange them to extend their freshness. To register, click here.
Saturday, April 14 at 9:30-11a
Class #2325045 

Tomato Tips from Master Gardeners
Join Master Gardeners Bob and Karen as they share their knowledge and secrets of growing America's favorite vegetable. To register, click here.
 Saturday, April 14 at 2-4p 
 Class #2326680


 A Successful Community Garden Experience
Here's your chance to learn from Oregon Tilth how to get more produce from your plot by using succession planting, vertical gardening and other techniques. To register, click here.
Saturday, April 28 at 10a-12p
Class # 2326090


Lake Oswego Hanging Baskets
Love those beautiful hanging baskets on our city streets?  Create your own that complements your home's color scheme.  Fun and easy, all materials provided. To register, click here.
Saturday, May 5 at 10-11:15a      Class #2325050
Saturday May 5 at 1-2:15p            Class #2325051

To register for any of these classes and more, click here.

Transplanting Hints 


 Select transplants carefully. Look for sturdy rather than large/tall seedlings. Transplants should have at least three pairs of dark-green leaves. They should be well rooted, but not pot bound. (I tap one of  the starts out of the tray to check the roots). Ideally the roots should  just be reaching  the sides of their container. Most store-bought seedlings will benefit from a week of "hardening off" before planting, as they may be moving from a very warm greenhouse to your chilly damp outdoor garden. To help them through this phase, put plants outdoors in progressively brighter light each day, but bring them back in at night. Continue for about a week.   When ready to plant, scoop out a hole in your garden soil about 4 inches deep and mix in a small amount of organic fertilizer into the soil. Next, I like to set the transplant container into water up to the soil level and wait for the air bubbles to escape and the soil to loosen from the sides of the container. Then I carefully tip out the seedling, touching the plant as little as possible. Try to handle them from the seed ball or leaves, not the stem. Plant them up to their first two leaves so the plan won't fall over.  Press the soil gently around the plant, but don't squash the root ball below.  Water well with tepid water. Give them a bit of special care for the first week or so.


Much of this information is courtesy of fellow Community Gardener Dave Robison

What are Pelleted Seeds? 
seedsThey are seeds that have been coated with a clay-based material to form a larger, round shape.  This makes planting by hand easier and allows for more controlled sowing of small seeds such as carrots or lettuce. These hard-to-manage seeds can now be sown in a tidier row, using less seeds (which saves money) and greatly reduces the time consuming chore of thinning later. The color contrast of these seeds make them easier to see went you are planting.  Disadvantages are that they a bit more expensive, harder to locate to buy and seeds  need to be used in the same year they are purchased.  They won't be good next year. (In the process of being coated, the seeds get wet which shortens life of left over seeds.)  TerritoriaI Seeds sells pelleted carrot and lettuce seeds and  Johnny's Select Seeds sells lettuce, parsnips, and onion seeds.  You might want to give them a try.
Did you Know? 
Centipedes and millipedes may look similar but in fact, they are not! Click here for photos of a centipede and millipede.
I hope you find these new monthly newsletters interesting and informational. I hope by now you expect these monthly Community Garden emails. I plan to send them out the fourth Thursday of each month. Please tell me if there are any topics you would like me to include in the future and I will try to discuss them as they are necessary.
If you have any comments  or questions you may reach me at
or 503-638-0376.  

See you in the garden,
In This Issue
Things to do this month
April Garden Activitities
Transplanting Hints
What are Pelleted Seeds?
Discover Active Living!

To view the winter/spring 2012 catalog, click here. To register for Parks & Recreation programs, please call the registrar 503-675-2549 or visit
Luscher Farm
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- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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