Gardeners of Somerset Valley
September 2009					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 16, 7:30 PM
North Branch Reformed Church

Integrated Pest Management
Questions & Answers
Elect New Trustee

Welcome back after the long break. Borrowing a line from the Star Ledger in the day after Labor Day edition, this was one ‘schizophrenic’ summer season. NJ experienced highs and lows including torrential rains, uncommon chill, a smattering of normal heat and humidity and at least two wind events that acted every bit like twisters. To use an old cliché, you can’t control the weather but there are some ways to bring sanity and order at least into the garden. One of those techniques, Integrated Pest Management, which encompasses insects, fungi, critters, weeds and just about anything thought of as a pest, is this month’s topic. Presented by the Speakers Bureau of the Master Gardeners of Somerset/Hunterdon Counties, IPM has been around a long time and sounds complex. In actuality, this program relies on relatively simple common sense practices starting out with vigilance and setting tolerances, and then using a combination of preventive and eradicative strategies with the last step some type of spraying. Though not quite organic, it incorporates many natural approaches and can easily be modified into Organic Pest Management by substituting biological materials in place of synthetics. By learning about this program and finding the discipline to make IPM an everyday activity, we can control some of the variables impacting our gardening world. As for next summer, a few more weeks of bright sunshine and less rain and wind certainly would be nice.

Just a reminder, the meeting program starts at 7:30 PM sharp. From an insect and weed standpoint, this was a banner year, and you are encouraged to ask questions right after the presentation. On the business side, there will be a vote on the open trustee position and an overview of the recently concluded audit of the GOSV financials. After a nearly three month hiatus, gardeners tend to be chatty, so expect some lively discussion during the snack break.

President Susan Dodge has asked me to attach the following document covering a variety of topics including a suggestion for an autumn outing to the NY Botanical Gardens. It also includes a list of upcoming events in our area.

Summer’s just about gone. Let’s hope for an even keeled fall season filled with many clear days and crisp nights, and no hurricanes.