Saturday, July 31, 2010

In the area of the raised bed where we pulled out the last of the cauliflower, Marissa and I worked hard tilling the soil, breaking up the hard clumps and smoothing out the soil. Then Marissa planted two rows of broccoli, one rapini and the other regular broccoli. We watered first with Super Thrive, of course. While Marissa planted broccoli, I planted Flat of Italy red onions in the space between the basil in the raised bed. Still lots of empty spaces to fill. Must buy more Pak Choi seeds.

Then, Marissa worked up on the hillside tilling that soil. I brought her soil from the worm/compost pile and she mixed it in. I also added the same soil to the strawberries. We watered well.

Katherine arrived a little late, but I put her to work. She tilled the soil where the Scarlet Emperor beans were growing. Then she planted Royal Burgundy string beans. (They're purple, not green)
Afterwards, she tilled the soil all around so the water would sink in better. We both watered all the gardens well.

Harvested: cherry tomatoes, mache, rosemary, oregano, spinach, swiss chard and kale.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm starting to find tomato hookworms. Last year I called them caterpillars. Now I know better. I found 1 medium size and 1 tiny hookworm. Two days ago I found 4 or 5. I bought and put out the Trichogramma, but so far I haven't seen any results. In addition, I don't see any lady bugs. Maybe they flew away or maybe they're hiding, but I don't seem them. You hardly ever see the lacewings. However, I get two more shipments of them. Maybe future lacewings will help bring down the white fly population.

Sprayed Actinovate, especially over all the zucchini and squash. The powdery mildew is everywhere. I'm really surprised because I sprayed the Actinovate religiously and the mildew still appeared. Oh well.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not a bad harvest today!

Wow, did we work hard today! It was time to pull out the cauliflower and beans. The Scarlet Emperor beans weren't producing flowers or beans any more. Going to replant regular string beans. The cauliflower gave a few lackluster heads of cauliflower. Some didn't produce any cauliflower. Others were starting to bolt. Juna and I pulled out all the plants. I will plant broccoli where the cauliflower use to be.

Meanwhile, while pulling out the potato bin, I discovered 4-5 large red potatoes. What a pleasant surprise.

Juna planted mache and spinach in the rows where they already existed, but the plants hadn't come up.

Saturday we will plant the beans and broccoli.

Harvested mache, spinach, swiss chard, red potatoes, radishes, cherry tomatoes and the last of the green beans and cauliflower.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yes, I did it. I bought some small herb plants. I couldn't find seeds for Italian parsley and my last 2 attempts to start thyme and regular parsley failed. I don't know why. It's been a strange growing season this summer. Overcast in the morning, cold at night. I started everything else from seed, because that's how I like to do it. Then I know the plant is organic because I buy organic seeds. But sometimes you just have to buy the plant. So now I have Italian parsley, regular parsley and golden thyme growing in my herb garden. Yeah!

My flowering tree had spider mites so 2-3 weeks ago I cut off all the leaves and sprayed with Neem oil. The leaves are all back now and so are the spider mites. Not as many as before, but they're there. I sprayed the leaves, trunk and branches with Neem oil again.

Put out the rest of the lady bugs today. Hope they do their job!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday gardening

Small group today. Just Katherine and myself. Katherine watered with compost tea. I put compost which had lots of mycorrhizal fungi in a barrel with water and left it for 2 days. Take out the compost and use the water in the garden. It's very beneficial for the plants. This is the third time I have done it. No more compost tea for now.

I tied up more of the large tomato plants. Saw lots of droppings of hookworm, but only found one worm. Took photos of all the lady bugs in the garden. Cool to see so many of them there.

Spread my worm pile among the various gardens. There are still quite a few worms and compost left. I want to get rid of that blue tarp in my backyard which is holding all the worms and compost.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I wasn't planning on doing that much in the garden today. I watered in the morning--a very overcast morning, as we have had for a week. However, the products I ordered from an organic catalogue company arrived today and I couldn't wait to apply them. The products were alive--lacewings, lady bugs, nematodes and trichogramma pretiosum. More later.........

Lacewings-Chrysoperla rufilabris is a voracious predator for aphids, whitefly. I spread the eggs, which arrived in a small box, all over the tomatoes, eggplant and green peppers. The lacewings come in 3 shipments. Yes, you have to reapply.

Lady bugs- come in a soft cotton bag. They instruct you to put them in the refrigerator for a while to cool them down. Amazing. I opened the bag and spread them all around the garden, after misting all the plants. I guess the lady bugs do better on a wet leaf. Instructions say they will be ready to eat. What? White fly and aphids.

Beneficial nematodes- I sprayed this on the ground in the spring, but I guess I needed another dose. Some of the carrots were coming out deformed. That could be due to hard ground or pests that are causing the deformation. The nematodes come in a sponge. You put the sponge in 2 quarts of water in your backpack sprayer and spray the ground.

Trichograma pretiosum-I have never used this before. It supposed to be good for tomato hookworm and corn earworms. I don't have any corn right now. It's all bee harvested, but I do have lots of big tomato plants and I am starting to see the droppings and the hookworms. This product came on a brown card (eggs) in a plastic bag. You put the brown card in the small cardboard box all the products arrived in and put it inside the leaves of one of the plants. They are attracted to light and will crawl out of the box after hatching.

I was supposed to spray Actinovate today, but I can't do everything. Maybe Sunday. Plus, who knows if this fungicide is bad for all the insects I just put in the garden. Meanwhile, I am concerned about the DE I sprayed last week. Don't kill my good bugs, please!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yeah gardeners! We had 6 people today: Juna, Ginger & her mother inlaw, Becky, Katherine,Nancy & Marjan. Juna planted two rows of beets and 2 rows of celery. Nancy gardened for the first time. She cultivated and hoed. Katherine, Juna and Ginger moved earth to the hillside to cover the zucchini and cucumbers. Becky watered the tomatoes and strawberries. We harvested cherry tomatoes, kale, swiss chard, mint, mache, green beans, zucchini and cucumbers. Come on beefsteaks and brandywines--turn red already!

I don't know if the cucumbers and aluminum foil are working yet. I do know that Leelu is trying to eat the cucumbers!

Monday, July 19, 2010

White Fly

Just read an article about white flies. So exciting! They tap into the veins of plants and suck up the juices (phloem sap). Can't ignore them or you end up with an infestation you can't get rid of. I put up all the yellow sticky papers I had, but I don't have enough. I ordered more of the potstickers (yellow sticky paper), but they are on back order. Can't wait. I sprayed diatomaceous earth on all the leaves (top and bottom sides). Hope that helps.

Put sliced cucumbers on aluminum foil under and around the lettuce, cauliflower and swiss chard. The combination of the two is supposed to create an odor that slugs and snails don't like--hence, no more munching on my leaves!

Harvested a few more cherry tomatoes--not a lot, but they're coming. Some of the branches have 20 cherry tomatoes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful. This is swiss chard with a red vein.

Everything is doing really well in the garden. The 2nd set of corn and peas is coming up. The basil I started from seed is finally taking off. Just in time for all those tomatoes I am going to have. Even the arugula I just planted is showing its primordial leaves. Can't wait for the tomatoes. Meanwhile, it is very hot, so I keep on watering.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It is hot!

The garden is going to be so great this year. It's already great, but now we have the heat we needed for things to really get going. Starting to get cherry tomatoes. I had about 10 of them for dinner yesterday in a salad. Then I cut some zucchini flowers and small zucchini and sauteed them in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper--yummy.

Pak choi is done. Time to plant some more. Same with the broccoli and beets.

Ginger and a new gardener, Katherine came today. Katherine is a musician and composer. Katherine weeded, made wells around the tomato plants and filled them with water. Ginger journaled, took photos and helped harvest some vegetables: Swiss chard, kale, rosemary, oregano, lavender, two plums and a couple of cherry tomatoes. Come on, cherry tomatoes----turn red. We're ready.

The other tomato plants are full of green tomatoes. The bell pepper plants are flowering and producing peppers. The eggplant is also flowering--lots of eggplant this year. The peach tree is done producing peaches. I was a little disappointed with the peach tree. The peaches weren't that sweet, I didn't cover them and the birds took quite a few. Oh well, maybe next year will be better.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Watered early this morning and about 4:30 this afternoon. It's hot. Which is great f or the vegetables, but they need water. Added Fish Emulsion to water for one of the flowering plants.

This afternoon I added HB101 and water to the orange tree (20 drops in 5 gallons of water). The miracle food.


Got a lot accomplished in the garden today. Harvested the rest of the corn and cut down the stalks. I would have pulled them out, except for the fact that I planted new corn in between the stalks (pull out the stalks, pull out the new corn).

Pulled out the last of the pak choi, the royal oak leaf lettuce and the arugula. Where the arugula used to be (south side of the raised bed) we planted 2 rows of arugula and one row of green onions. Lauren, a new member, did the cultivating and planting.

We have potatoes. Can't believe it. I thought the plants died, but Rodney started digging into the mounds and found so many beautiful Yukon Gold potatoes--30 maybe? Spread the dirt from the potatoes around the garden.

Watered everything very well. The June gloom is over and the sun comes out very early in the morning. Hot, hot, hot!

Rodney basically built (I helped) the supports for the tomato plants. Just in time, I might add. They were getting so big. The stake I put in the ground for each of the plants has worked well so far, but soon it would not be enough. Thank goodness we have the supports now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ordered the Gardens Alive products to help keep my plants healthy. Beneficial Nematodes for the carrots, 10 packages of pot stickers, lace wings (to eat the aphids and white flies) (3 separate shipments) and Trichogrmma pretiosum which fights corn earworm and tomato hornworm. Never had anything to fight the big caterpillars on my tomatoes before. Hope this stuff works.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quite overcast again this morning. I hoed the garden today, loosening up the soil and watered well, including a mixture of water and mycorrhizal fungi. Good for the vegetables. Harvested more corn, beans and a beautiful squash.

Oh, and don't forget the peaches. I made a yummy peach crumble. I think I am going to have plums this year, too, even though it's just the first year for the plum tree.

I think I have to order more products to prevent corn earworm and tomato hornworm (Trichogramma Pretiosum), aphids & whiteflies (green lacewings) and root-knot nematodes on carrots (Beneficial Sf Nematodes)

Meanwhile, the garden is doing so well. Just flourishing! Must take some photos--tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's been so overcast and misty, no, I correct myself, I think it was actually doing more than misting. Anyway, the vegetables seem to love the extra moisture. Flora came today to work in the garden. She planted corn kernels in between the corn stalks so we will have a second harvest of corn. That corn is so good. I am having my 2nd day of corn on the cob with butter, cayenne pepper and lime, roasted on the barbecue--delicious.

I pulled out the last sage plant and planted thyme and more sage. I also moved my worm bin into the herb garden. To explain, I had a compost pile which was moved out of the compost bin into a blue tarp. Many months later, due to the dark, wet conditions, all these worms appeared. I have this huge pile of worms and compost--great for the garden.

Harvested corn, kale, pak choi, swiss chard and oregano. I prepared saueed kale for the first time. I think I added too much salt--way too salty. However, the addition of wine vinegar was good.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sprayed Neem Oil over all the vegetables. This product stops aphids and white flies, which I seem to have an abundance of in the garden. Turns out I should be spraying every 2 weeks and it's been over a month. I have some catching up to do. More sticky yellow patches to catch the little buggers.

Meanwhile, the powdery mildew on the zucchini leaves is going crazy. There is so much more today. I cut out a lot of the infected leaves, but there are still so many more. What to do????