Thursday, May 9, 2013

PAR Davies 5/8/13


Today was 'Ladies' Day.' Our guy workers took a break today, but we still got a lot done with Virginia, Suzanne, Mary Elizabeth, Susan Pam, Cathy, and another newcomer and intern, Lauren Bangasser. It was great to see you again, Lauren. We did have a harvest today too… romaine and leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, onions and herbs, and Cathy delivered it to the shelter. We now have a large box to put the plastic containers in to keep them dry and clean. The container box and the bag box are both over in the area were we weigh the produce.

The Harlequin bugs were much fewer in number today. The ladies attacked them first thing. We decided since they seemed to be diminishing, to leave the mulch down in the cabbage and broccoli beds. They have not found the kale in the opposite end of the garden, and kale is their favorite meal. Now we are wondering if the cabbage and broccoli will head up before the hot weather sets in.

The pole beans planted in the middle of the cabbage last week have not emerged yet, and I see evidence of some critter plucking out the seeds. If they are not peeking through by next week, we will re-seed. No planting was accomplished today except for three serrano pepper plants and two blackberry bushes.

Squash - recovered
We did uncover the squash and decided to go ahead and remove all the leaf mulch in that bed, so the squash bugs will not find an opportune place to hide. More cedar mulch was put in the squash bed and we covered everything back with a new cover. Something else I just read regarding the squash vine borer is injecting the squash stem with Bt using a hypodermic needle. If anyone has one of these needles that they care to donate, please bring it and we will try the injections. Below is a link that tells about how to do it (scroll all the way to the bottom).

We finally mixed up the Comfrey tea (and boy did this stink), and doused the squash with it in addition to half of the Beefsteak tomatoes. With the awful smell, maybe it will be an insect repellant too! This was a test, and if the plants seem to be happy with it, next week we will apply the tea to more tomatoes. Another harvest of the Comfrey was done and put into a bucket to start another 'brew.'

Several ladies got serious with the carrots and parsnips….thinning and weeding (below). The bed looks pretty now.

Carrots & Parsnips
Epsom salts were worked into the soil around pepper plants and the peppers, basil, tomatillos and the tomatoes in the pots were given some fish emulsion. We mixed up more potting soil to fill the last large container. The Minnesota Midget cantaloupes that were planted last week in the big pots did not survive the cold snap. We put in one last plant that we had, and will direct seed the others.

Below is our beautiful Italian Silver Rib Chard, looking like little soldiers marching. 

Italian Silver Rib Chard

The espalier pears are sprouting and are almost ready to start training on the wires. They don't look very pretty now, but I have hopes they will.

Pam brought us a big sack of really nice boxes that we will be able to use for the tomatoes. No smashed tomatoes this summer. She was also able to take some plant containers off our hands and deliver them to Lichterman. Thanks Pam.

We are starting to get peas and the fava plants have tiny beans (below), although not a good picture. We should be able to harvest some peas next week.

Fava Bean
There is still more planting and weeding to do Saturday. Right now there is a 40% chance of rain, so I will send out an update Friday on whether we will be able to garden Saturday.


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