What is that beetle?

Jap Beetle

For the person who put the beetles in a jar asking for identification. These are Japanese Beetles.

An easy way to battle them without pesticides – which we don’t use in our community garden – is to get a pail of soapy water and put it directly under the plant being bothered. If you tap the leaf, the beetle drops into the water and drowns.

If you do this early in the day when the beetles are the least active, you will greatly reduce the number of beetles in short order.

 

We Made A Scarecrow Today

You know the expression, it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it took a village to make this scarecrow.

Bob LeClair made the frame. The clothes came from the thrift shop. The houseplants we planted in the shoes came from my son,  Gina found the straw hat at a garage sale. The scarecrows’s stuffing was wood wool – packing material donated by Rocky Dale Nursery in Bristol, Vt.  and the buttons, felt and muslin came from the generous ladies in the craft room at the community center.  Thank you all.

The kids…about 60…  who are part of the Family Gardening Program participated in his construction.  It was a hot day but groups of kids worked hard to make him come alive. And, he looks darn good.

Here are some photos so you can see for yourself.

Here is the finished scarecrow.  That fine friendly face was made by Miss Nancy and her helpers.

Here is the finished scarecrow. That fine friendly face was made by Miss Nancy and her helpers.

We stuffed him with wood wool. It is easy to work with.

We stuffed him with wood wool. It is easy to work with.

We couldn't find boots so we laid his shoes with soil and planted two spider plants in them.

We couldn’t find boots so painted shoes purple,  filled his shoes with soil and planted two spider plants in them.

In the end he looked pretty darn happy.

In the end, he looked pretty darn happy and so did we.

Luna Moth

Luna mothI was very lucky this morning.

I was running errands and picking up groceries. Nothing special. I got talking to a friend who was checking out my purchases at the cash register.

She told me she saw something yellow in the parking lot and it turned out in was this moth. Some co-workers picked it up and moved it to a safer place behind the building, she said.

We went around to the woodsy area were it had been freed and it was still there in all its glory.

These moths live a very short time and I have only seen two in my lifetime. What a treat. Thanks Laura!

Garlic Scape Pesto

While working in the garden I remembered that it’s time to harvest the garlic scapes.

Why do we harvest garlic scape? So the plant puts it energy into make bigger bulbs and not seed heads.

The scales are tasty…like a mild garlic. Everything tastes better with garlic, right?

I made a pesto that I can use on meat or fish, as a dip for crudités, on pasta, or I can make a butter of garlic scapes, thyme with a little lemon to slather on toasted bread and add to other recipes.

Here’s how I make pesto. Harvest and wash a dozen scapes before they flower. Chop into manageable lengths and add them to a food processor along a quarter cup pistachios, a quarter cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and about the same amount of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Process until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste.

To make the butter, I let butter soften to room temperature and add the finely chopped garlic scapes and thyme. Squeeze half a lemon into the mix and let it harden in the refrigerator. I use a glass container with a lid. When I want a garlicky flavor on whatever I am preparing…I scoop a small portion out.

Happy eating from the garden. Don’t you love this time of year?

Swallowtail caterpillars

If you’ve never seen a swallowtail caterpillar, look on the dill in plot number 34. They are there in all their glory.

Leave them be, maybe they will cocoon nearby and we can watch them transform into butterflies.

Someone put one in the Bug Jar to be identified and there was also a beetle that needed identification.

The beetle is a Chafer beetle, which has a mottled brown back. They are more of a problem in the grub stage when they eat vegetable roots in the garden. If you found the beetle in your plot, keep an eye open for whitish grubs. These are what do damage to our crops. If you find them, destroy them.

June 22: In the Garden

The Moreau Community Garden was very peaceful this morning. I could hear turkeys off in the distance and that’s about it.

I went about my business of taking care of the 10 plots I maintain for the Family Gardening Program that begins soon. And, I made some notes in my journal of what I did, what I saw, and any other information that helps keep track of what’s happening in the garden.

WEEDING

It’s a toss up right now for which is our most prevalent weed. It might be smart weed. It’s everywhere. Fortunately, it is easy to spot as it has a distinct reddish mark on the leaves.smartweed

I swear this weed can hide because when I am done weeding and start to water, I always find some that escaped my first round of weed patrol.

Our next most prevalent weed is this one. Lamb'squartersKnow what it is?

If you said Lamb’s Quarters, you’re right.

We also have red root pig weed and pictured below, crabgrass. crabgrassStay on top of the weeding and please pull out weeds from pathways, this is a favorite hiding place for insects.

INSECTS

I refreshed the spray bottle of neem oil this morning. I saw that some of you have cucumber beetles on your squash. Remember to spray the adults directly to eliminate this problem. Don’t spray when it is above 80 degrees. And check for reddish eggs on the underside of leaves. If you see these, remove them immediately and destroy.

GROWING STRONG

Here are some pictures to enjoy.

Kitpeas

6.22.14

kale.spinach

carrots6.22

tomato.peas

Thank you to Sara McKay for her help spreading wood chips. It is appreciated.

Hope to meet you in the garden, Natalie

Moreau Community Garden Gardeners

Your help is needed.

While in the garden this morning I notice that we need to spread the wood chips over the cardboard by the squash mounds near the picnic tables, the mounds need to be weeded, too. Anyone who can give a hand, it will be appreciated.

Also, when you weed your plots, do not leave the debris in the pathways. There is a bin for plant material. Pathways should be just wood chips. Thank you.

cuke beetle damageThe Neem oil is doing its job on the cucumber beetles. The plants are looking better now. If you notice yellow and black beetles on your cucurbits, spray them directly with the neem oil. You need contact to kill. And don’t spray if the temperatures are over 80 degrees.