Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 5 Newsletter July 15, 2010

What do I put in my garden?

Time, mostly.

I use organic practices, and age old gardening wisdom to reduce the time I spend in there. Although I am not certified organic (for a myriad of reasons we can talk about later), I do use organic practices in the garden. No Miracle Grow, no Sevin.

Each year I use rotational planting, so the soil doesn’t get depleted by having the same crops in the same place each year. I also use companion planting to the mutual benefit of crops, and to try to deter pests (Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte). I use floating row covers - the long white ‘blankets’ over some of the rows. These covers provide extra warmth, as well as an additional barrier from bugs looking for a good meal. I also use plastic mulch to suppress weeds and add a few more degrees of warmth to the soil for plants such as eggplant and tomatoes that prefer warmer soil. For supplemental nutrients, I use compost to side dress the rows and fish emulsion fertilizer.

Black Fly, Deer Fly, Horse Fly – Oh My !

No matter what, the bugs will come – plant it and they will come. Early on, the rose chafers were munching on the apple trees and peonies – I am okay with that, they are easy to pick and squish, but pesky when they land on your back. Next came the flea beetles, making swiss cheese out of the radish and turnip tops. Then arrived the squash bugs – they crawl and fly erratically, not so easy to squash, but combined with a spray to slow them down or knock them off, then they are sitting ducks (so to say). But 2 days ago the big guns arrived: the potato beetles, the cabbage worms and the Japanese beetles. It’s like the trifecta of gardening pests. I do use organic sprays such as Bt, Spinosad, and neem oil products. Although sprays help, the immediate satisfaction of just squishing them is right up my alley.

If you see me biting my nails this summer - smack me, will you please?

Inside your basket this week:

· 5 Star Lettuce Mix

· Mesclun Mix

· Shell Peas

· Sugar Snap Peas

· Green Beans

· Tat Soi

· Beets

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