Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kitchen garden update - July 30


This Saturday's gardeners were Iris, Marcelo, Blanca, Laura, and Gabriela.

We continued watering, weeding and harvesting mother earth's beautiful and healthy bounty.

Bad bug: Squash bug eggs, nymph, and adult. If you see them, squish them!
We removed many squash leaves that were affected by white mold (likely powdery mildew) at the back by Oak St. Gabriela will be spraying a mixture of milk and water (recipe provided by Suzi Novak during our monthly classes, although it's best to use before an outbreak). We also saw some tiny eggs under one of the squash leaves and a white bug that turned out to be the aptly named squash bug. These are sap suckers; but the main reason why they are damaging is because as they feed they inject a toxic substance into the plant that causes it to wilt. More info here. I believe that, as long as we don't see them in large numbers, we should be fine by squishing any bugs or eggs we see around. We've also seen predator bugs (robber flies, I believe) that may be helping us keep pests in check (hopefully a sign that we're doing things right and attracting a diversity of life!)

Good bug: Robber flies have been seen at the garden and may be helping us keep pests in check.

We keep seeing signs of a larger critter chomping the crops. We initially thought it may be deer jumping up the fence at its lowest point, but on Sunday, Iris noticed some of her low-lying, ripe tomatoes eaten halfway through. She's convinced it's a groundhog or something similar, and she found plenty of breaches in the fence where they could be getting in. We're looking at whether this is something that we can repair, or whether we need to rebuild the fence, or part of it. If you have any ideas, please share them!

Chomped leaves and one of several potential entry points for groundhogs and such.

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 23rd at the Kitchen Garden

In spite of the heat wave, a large crowd gathered at the garden: Linda M, Els, Linda H, Iris, Blanca, Laura, Marcelo and Gabriela.

We continued watering, weeding, and harvesting--various squashes, zucchini (a huge one!), cucumbers, various greens, and the first peppers and tomatoes.

Marcelo planted the sage that Susan left in the garden (I have the container and will bring it back when Susan returns).

We also bought some more tomato cages and a "watering wand" that we hope will make watering much easier and effective while we look into feasibility of a drip irrigation system (again, if anybody wants to be part of this conversation, just let me know). It has a long handle (length can be adjusted) that allows watering close to the roots without having to bend. There are several spray patterns but only one or two are really suitable for watering. The small handle regulates water flow.

Watering schedule this week (**given the heat wave, additional watering would be really beneficial; if you can stop by and give the plants a soak, that would be much appreciated, and please let the group know so we're all aware**):
Monday: Iris
Tuesday: Gabriela
Wednesday: Iris/ Linda H
Thursday: Marcelo
Saturday: group

See you next week!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 16 at the Kitchen Garden

Present at the garden this week were Iris, Linda H, Blanca, Mark, Marcelo, Laura, and Gabriela.

Things continue to grow and mature, with lots of squash and greens, and some cherry tomatoes starting to ripen. This week we continued weeding, watering, pruning tomato plants and harvesting. We got plenty of collards for the food pantry and squash, lamb's quarters, and a few cherry tomatoes. Mark weeded and tidied up the external border.

We noticed a few plants seemed to have been chewed by some critter--maybe chipmunks or squirrels? Also, if you notice any weed with flowers, please remove it immediately to minimize seed production.

The watering schedule for next week:
Monday: Blanca
Tuesday: Gabriela
Wednesday: Iris/ Linda H
Thursday: Marcelo
Saturday: group

See you next week!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 9th at the Garden

We had a nice crowd at the garden this Saturday with Marcelo, Linda M, Laura, Iris, Blanca, Susan and Gabriela joining. MJ stopped by later to discuss watering at the garden.

Laura pulled out peas, which were finished. Blanca keeping weeds around the beds under control. 
Marcelo sifted the compost and Linda applied to the collards, tomatoes and other plants. Please note that there is some more compost ready to use in a pink round bin near the tools.

Marcelo at work sifting compost. Iris dwarfed by her sun gold tomato jungle.

Things are growing beautifully and the various squash are full of flowers and some fruit at various stages of maturity. Activities at the garden included weeding, watering and harvesting kale, collards, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, and some squash flowers among other things.

Susan proudly displays her prize spaghetti squash. She later devised a sling to support it.

MJ Wilson joined Gabriela later on to talk with the lawn care company to explore irrigation options for the Kitchen and Labyrinth Gardens. We'll ponder the different options in more detail once we receive the quotes. Please let me know if you are interested in being part of the "Irrigation Subcommittee".

Gabriela, Linda M and Marcelo confer about the arugula and collards. Part of the colorful harvest.

Next Steps: Let us know if there are any gardening supplies you think we should get (tools, amendments, etc.)

See you next week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 2nd at the Kitchen Garden

People at the garden: Marcelo, Iris, Laura, Blanca, Els, Susan.

It was a busy Saturday morning at the garden! Everything is growing wildly and beautifully and so we harvested kale, various lettuces, and nasturtium flowers. There are tons of flowers on all the plants and lots of green tomatoes and small squashes. The peas are coming to the end of their season (or are beyond it). We did some weeding and staking and/or tying up of floppy branches. We didn't need to water because it had rained heavily recently.

Iris planted three of the little watermelon seedlings outside the front fence. We discovered some breeches in the fence near the driveway and a few chomped squash leaves and, fearing intrusion by some critter like a groundhog or rabbit, Iris tied up all the holes she could find. Marcelo worked on the compost as usual and found that the compost in the middle bin seems to be ready for use.
On Sunday, Marcelo harvested a good amount of collards and kale for the food pantry which was taken by Lyn.