Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wapahasa Community Garden
Open House and Social Gathering
Sunday, August 14, 5:30-7 p.m.

Tomato tasting-bring a sample of your harvest and your favorite tomato-cutting knife
Rain Barrel construction-brief presentation by Matt Cyert, around 6:00
Music by our own Tom Dukich.
Everyone is invited
Bring your friends and family
Beverages provided

In order to have our garden looking its best for this event
Sunday, August 7, 1:00
There will be a work day
We will focus on weeding the paths and adding chips where needed
If you are unable to make it to the work day,
try to spend an hour or so weeding the paths around your plot

See you in the garden

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fundraising Project

A request from Jennie and Joyce:

The fundraising committee is planning a fundraising project to create a set of blank notecards. Each card would have a photo of a different beneficial plant that provides food for pollinators, with a short description on the back. 

We are in need of photos of plants, including herbs and vegetables, especially if they include any pollinators (bees, moths, butterflies). If you have any photos you would like to donate, please contact Jennie or Joyce. Electronic versions are best, but we might also be able to use prints. 

Thank you,
(edit email addresses with the @ symbol)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

At least it isn't bind weed...

Last year I decided to plant pole beans on the fence panels supporting my tomatoes. The tomatoes had a head start and the beans didn't take over the space until the tomatoes had slowed down. It worked well so I followed the same plan this year. One of the three squares of tomatoes was starting to be overtaken this year by the beans. Those beans seemed much more aggressive than I remmembered. I planted beans late again, and I noticed a bunch of them self seeded and came back on their own. I let this go thinking at least I'd have lots of beans, until the beans started to flower. Morning Glories! The leaves are very similar, but the morning glories are heart shaped versus spade shaped. I remembered that I had a couiple of rogue morning glories in that square last year too. They must have self seeded and overtook the tomatoes. I spent a half hour tearing out the morning glories. At least it's not it's ugly cousin bind weed!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

JULY 7, 2011

Pest Department:

Japanese Beetles-have arrived. These are the pretty green and gold bugs that eat EVERYTHING. Pick them off every day wherever you see them in the garden and smoosh them or drop them in a pail of soapy water. Morning is the easiest time to catch them because they don't move so fast when it is cool and the dew is still on their wings.  Lay a tarp or old sheet down under an affected plant, shake them off onto the ground, wrap them up and have a stomping party. Every day. 

I just came across another suggestion-spray them with soapy water (castile soap, not insecticidal soap). It doesn't kill them, but they can't fly (or eat, presumably). I don't know if this works, but it would make them easier to catch. I'll bring back my bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap and leave it in the shed. 

Rotenone is an organic pesticide that is often recommended for Japanese beetles. PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS. It also kills bees and other beneficial insects. Neem oil is an alternative organic repellant which does not harm humans or wildlife. It can be ordered online. I don't know of a local source. Birds are natural predators of the Japanese beetle, especially starlings, grackles, cardinals and catbirds. Invite them in. Other controls include parasitic wasps and milky spore disease. The wasps will find the beetles on their own if we give them a chance. (i.e., don't kill them). Milky spore is a long-term treatment (over several years). If any of you knows a source, let me know. We can begin treating our soil, where they overwinter. The final suggestion is to tolerate some minor damage. I know, these are really nasty bugs and can do big damage. But last year our invasion was relatively mild. Maybe with diligent picking we'll be lucky again. 

Potato Bugs-also need to be picked daily. Squash them or toss them into a pail of soapy water. Also watch for their eggs on the underside of leaves (gold clusters) and the larvae, which eat, eat, eat.