Moreau Gardeners Met Today

We had a garden meeting today and talked about good and bad insects. In the next few days look for information on these insects on the bulletin board hanging on the recreation building near the garden.

In the garden we have discovered aphids, flea beetles, and cabbageworms. Right now Imported Cabbageworms (Pieris rapae) are present and creating small irregular holes on the leaves of cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. These holes are larger than the holes flea beetles make.

Cabbageworms are the caterpillar stage of the cabbage butterfly, which is a white butterfly with black spots. You may have noticed them in the garden. The butterfly deposits off-white bullet-shape eggs on the underside of a leaf and in a matter of days, the green larvae appear. Check your plants thoroughly. The eggs are small.

Once the larvae are present their appetites are enormous. They eat both leaves and will chew into the head. They will continue to grow – and eat for the next two to three weeks and then they will form a cocoon and when the butterfly emerges and the cycle begins again.

We, of course, want to stop the cycle and the damage. To do so use an organic product containing Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Bt works on all insects that ingest – chew or suck on – the plant.

For images and more information look at the Cornell website: http://nysipm.cornell.edu/factsheets/vegetables/cruc/icw.pdf

WIREWORMS

One of the gardeners told me that the garden had wireworms last season. If your plot had them, now is the time to bait the plot. Here’s what you do. Take a potato and cut it in half. Bury it a few inches into the soil and mark its location. Come back the following day and see if you have wireworms in the bait potato. If so, discard the infested half potato in the trash and rebait. Repeat as needed.

For images: http://web.entomology.cornell.edu/shelton/veg-insects-ne/pests/ww.html

BUG CONTAINER

For learning purposes, there is a large plastic container in the window box beneath the bulletin board. If you find an insect you don’t know in your garden or notice a damaged leaf, put a sample in the container and I will identify it and post the findings on the bulletin board.

We also talked about what gardeners need to know about watering. You can find information on this on a recent post.

The gardeners will meet again on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

I hope to see you then, Natalie

Gardeners Learn New Skills, Enjoy Salsa and Sunshine

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We accomplished so much in the garden yesterday and had fun too.

In addition to the usual chores of weeding – so easy with the stirrup hoe – I taught the gardeners how to thin Swiss chard, beets, cucumbers and how to trim tomato leaves to create healthier plants. We also transplanted at the proper spacing for continuous harvest throughout the season. Thank you Roger for your input.

I also planted a giant pumpkin. It doesn’t look giant now, but it was planted in a mix of composted cow manure and soil and I have high hopes. 3-mcg

The trellises for our vining plants were made by Bob and Gina LeClair and painted in bright colors. Thank you. They are sturdy and colorful. Soon they will be dripping with tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumbers and other climbers. 5mcg

Bill was there building teepee trellises for his tomatoes. Basically, you take three sticks and tie the tops of them together to form a support for all the juicy, red tomatoes we will have in the months to come. Bill MCGbill2mcg

Fran brought a jar of home-made salsa. Yummy. The ingredients came from her garden last season and she made and preserved the salsa. It was delicious. And best of all, Fran has agreed to teach us all how to make it when peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos ripen. Believe me, you won’t want to miss that demonstration.

The insects we covered in the lecture were aphids, flea beetles, squash bug and squash vine borer. Aphids and flea beetles are in the garden. If you find aphids in your plot – look on the underside of leaves – use a spray of water to dislodge the aphids. This should do it.

Flea beetles can be dealt with by knocking them into soapy water, spraying them with water with a drop of dish detergent added, or using a spray of tomato leaf water which is made by shredding two cups of tomato leaves in an equal amount of water and letting it sit overnight. In the morning, remove the leaves, and add a second cup of water. Strain into a spray bottle. I have read this works because tomato plants contain alkaloids in their leaves. When this compound is released through shredding and added to water, the spray becomes effective in flea beetle and aphid control.

Squash bugs and squash vine borer are more difficult. We haven’t seen them in the garden but mid-June is when they show up, lay eggs and do their damage. Be observant. If you find eggs near the base of squash, pumpkins, etc. remove them with your fingers and throw them away. It is the best way to keep our garden healthy.

If you don’t know these insects, come to the next meeting!

The group will meet next Thursday at 4 p.m. PLEASE NOTE Starting June 25th, we will meet at 11 a.m. Tuesdays since school will no longer be in session.

All community gardeners are invited to attend the lecture and work alongside other gardeners. It is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions of a master gardener and learn how to grow food.

I hope to see you next Thursday at 4 p.m.

Natalie

Moreau Community Garden Plans, Plants and Progress

MCG-3Gardeners from the Moreau Community Garden met Thursday for a garden seminar and hands-on planning and planting as part of the Family Gardening Program aimed at teaching parents and children how to grow food and flowers.

The Family Gardening Program is funded by the South Glens Falls Central School District which received a Carol M. White federal grant to promote fitness and nutritional programs over a three-year period. One of the programs is the Moreau Community Garden allocation of 15 plots to be used by families and their children. MCH4

The goal is to teach children and their families how to garden under the guidance of Garden coach Natalie Walsh, a master gardener and the writer of this blog. Each week, Natalie has been answering questions and coaching gardeners on organic methods of growing, disease and pest control.

For example, yesterday we discovered aphids on pepper plants. These appeared as small white specks on the underside of the leaves. This pest can usually be dislodged and discouraged with a strong spray of water. The proper way of fertilizing tomatoes, eggplants and peppers was demonstrated and proper watering techniques were taught. All of these things together are vital to healthy plants and an abundant harvest. MCG.6.6.13

In addition, the group weeded and reviewed the techniques of square foot gardening, a method of gardening that is especially helpful to new gardeners and gardeners with disabilities as each square within the bed has a specific number of plants allocated to it depending on what vegetable or flower is planted. This helps gardeners with plant spacing, air circulation around plants, fertilizing and weeding.
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In the beds, gardeners have planted tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, lettuces, endive, spinach, beans, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers as well as zinnias, sunflowers, cleome, and marigolds. These colorful flowers will attract beneficial insects. Summer plans include growing and then using vegetables in healthy, child-friendly recipes such as salsa, pizza toppings, refreshing drinks and a tomato taste testing in August when the tomato crop ripens. MCG5

There are still a few plots available. If you are interested click on Moreau Community Garden Application tab in the menu bar, print it and mail it to: Recreation Director, Moreau Town Hall, 61 Hudson Street, Moreau, NY. The program is free for residents and each Thursday in June at 4 p.m. there is a lecture and hands-on activity in the garden, which is behind the recreation building at the Moreau Recreational Park off Jan Avenue.

All Moreau Community Gardeners or any gardener from the community is welcome to come and listen to the garden lectures. Bring your questions.

We also invite you to follow our progress through my blog
“WhatsNatalieDoing.wordpress.com” where I will be chronicling the garden.

Natalie Walsh, Garden Coach