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.