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Home&Real Estate OPEN HOME GUIDE 41 Also online at Home Front SHARE THE WEALTH ... Neighbors may bring food (fruits and vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey) and flowers to a free “Garden Shareâ€? from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, at Common Ground, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. Bring something to share; take home something you don’t raise. Information: 650-493-6072 or www. MAPLE CARE ... Bruce Andrews of Grateful Gardens Landscaping Company will talk about the care and pruning of Japanese maples at the next meeting of the De Anza Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The group meets in Room 12 of the Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos. Information: FILOLI VOLUNTEERS ... Potential volunteers will meet from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 (with reservations required by 4 p.m. Jan. 11) at Filoli, 86 CaĂąada Road, Woodside. Volunteer opportunities range from house and garden self-guided docents to working in member or visitor services, public relations, the cafe and the garden shop. Currently, more than 1,300 volunteers help Filoli, an historic site of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Information: www.filoli. org, click on Volunteer. N Be’eri Moalem IKEBANA BEGINS ... Kika Shibata will teach a class on “Ikebanaâ€? for beginner, intermediate and advanced students from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Jan. 15 to March 19, at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, 700 Alma St., Menlo Park. Students should bring a shallow container, scissors and frog (needle-point holders). Cost is $112 for nonresidents, $84 for residents, plus a $95 materials fee payable to instructor on first day of class. Information: Noreen Bickel at 650-330-2209 or P Be’eri Moalem ROSE PRUNING ... Horticulture consultant Carole Kraft will offer a class on “Rose Pruning and Careâ€? from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Common Ground, 559 College Ave., Palo Alto. Kraft will talk about soil, soil amendments and mulches, then demonstrate pruning at the nearby demonstration garden. Cost is $38; pruning shears optional. Information: 650-493-6072 or www. by Be’eri Moalem Cold nights bring danger to fruit, plants ... even in Palo Alto TREE WALK ... An arborist will lead a tree walk through the Southgate neighborhood from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 12. Meet across the street from Palo Alto High School, at the corner of Churchill and Castilleja avenues. Expect to see Blue Atlas Cedar, Little-leaf Linden, Silk Tree, Black Locust, Canary Island Date Palm, Scarlet Oak and others. Information: Canopy at 650-964-6110 or Brussels sprouts, top, do well despite the cold; kale also survives the frost. alo Alto gardeners should feel lucky that we can grow winter crops. In a typical winter there are usually only a handful of really cold days below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (friends anywhere else in the country other than Florida would scoff at that). In the past weeks we have seen belowaverage temperatures and the forecast is for more sunny but crispy-cold mornings on the way. These nights are more dangerous for your garden than a winter storm. Protecting your garden is easy and you probably already have the materials at home. Any tarp or cloth covering will go a long way towards protecting vulnerable plants. Tuck them in with an old blanket. You can secure it with rocks so it doesn’t fly off and prop it up with large sticks so it doesn’t break the branches. Don’t forget to remove the cover in the morning to allow the plants to breathe and get some sun, then cover them up again at night. If this is too much work, a clear plastic tarp will work like a mini-greenhouse, but make sure you leave holes for ventilation. Christmas lights emit a little bit of heat — just barely enough to protect young saplings from our mild winters. LED lights do not give off enough heat. A bush or a tree can provide significant protection. A layer of mulch (dirt, bark dust, dead leaves) will also provide insulation. The plants that are out in the open are most vulnerable. Citrus trees will survive a freeze but their fruit might not. Some farmers spray oranges and tangerines with water in anticipation of a cold night. An ice coating forms around the fruit, insulating it like an igloo. A greenhouse is a great way to grow veggies in the winter. They run from about $100 for a plastic tent-like canopy to several thousand dollars for larger structures with wooden frames and glass panels. Recycling enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers can build their own greenhouses out of old windows and tarps. But even a greenhouse is not enough for tropical plants that would die at anything below 50 degrees. For that, a thermostat-controlled heating lamp is needed. Frost-prone plants include hibiscus, bird of paradise, orchids and hoyas. Some succulent varieties may suffer also. Older plants that have developed a hard layer of bark usually do better while fresh green stalks, waxy-leaf and broad-leaf species are in danger. Water inside those leaves expands when it freezes, breaking cell walls and causing the plant structure to collapse. For many gardeners all of the above information might be a little bit too late for this season. If you already woke up to find droopy, wrinkly, brown and black plants covered in frost, don’t despair. Prune off the afflicted branches or leaves, water lightly and the plant just might recover. Some plants might look dead but as long as the roots are intact, they can flourish again come spring. Crops that do particularly well in cool weather include kale, broccoli, radishes, turnips, green onions and carrots. Brussels sprouts even benefit from a light frost. Snap peas enjoy the winter while fixing nitrogen in the soil for next season’s round of veggies. Potatoes are tricky because they like cool weather (they will die if it gets too hot) but suffer when temperatures dip into the (continued on page 31) ĂœĂœĂœÂ°*>Â?ÂœÂ?ĂŒÂœ"˜Â?ˆ˜i°VÂœÂ“ĂŠUĂŠ*>Â?ÂœĂŠÂ?ĂŒÂœĂŠ7iiÂŽÂ?ÞÊUĂŠĂŠ>Â˜Ă•>ÀÞÊ££]ÊÓä£ÎÊU Page 29

Palo Alto Weekly 01.11.2013 - Section 2

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