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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
May 2013					From: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT "MEETING": Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 PM
at North Branch Reformed Church

Dear GOSV:

Something amiss occurred this month. Normally as soon as the first day arrives a battery of subconscious messages alert me to start thinking about the upcoming meeting. Not so this May even though itís the annual plant exchange and usually the second most important and well attended activity next to the Charter Night Dinner. Please accept my apologies for this very late reminder.

After the anguish of Hurricane Sandy, Mother Nature continued to test the mettle of the mid-atlantic region with a dreary winter that likely rivaled the ones in Seattle that often drives its inhabitants into the depths of sun starved depression. Then as what seems to be the norm, most of April was unseasonable cold until the very last week and through early May where finally clear blue skies lifted spirits and brought forth growth from the earth even though many of the plants were annoying weeds. What this all means, is that the conditions are perfect for the GOSV annual plant exchange. Are you ready to rumble (dig holes and plant)? An obvious guess would be an enthusiastic ĎYesí. Based on previous years, you can expect to find ornamental grasses, herbs, peppers and tomatoes, canna, house plants and all types of gardening paraphernalia. If I heard correctly, and based on the thousands of plants surrounding her house, Marty has a car full to give away. Avid seed starter Fred Yarnell usually comes with an abundance of vegetables and all kinds of annuals like begonia, nicotiana and coleus. The one sure thing is that thereís always an element of intrigue and you never know what to expect, so try to arrive around 6:45 PM. This will also provide plenty of time to pick up the Ace hanging baskets and flower/vegetable flats.

Following the browsing, collecting and socializing, around 7:30 PM we head inside for a short meeting where retired Rutgers entomologist Stu Race (and former GOSV President) talks about eradicating bad bugs and attracting the good ones. Like weeding, pest management represents one of the least desirable aspects of gardening, yet without either an organic or chemical strategy, not much good is going to come out of the garden. With loads of hands-on experience, Stu can help.

Thanks again to Fred Yarnell for planning another great Charter Night Dinner and to Lorri Lindsay our Rutgers scholarship recipient for preparing a very interesting presentation providing a glimpse of some of her challenging and important school projects. She also made us realize that the GOSV scholarship does matter and her grace and sincere appreciation was a fitting end to a lovely evening.

As we begin to dig deep into the 2013 gardening season, letís also welcome the incoming management team of mostly incumbents and prepare for a great year with many new members and a high level of enthusiastic involvement.


Best regards,