My sweet potato slips are getting started in jars on my window sill. These were grown in my garden last year and have begun sprouting in the garage. They are the small ones that never got eaten.
Archive for the ‘Gardening Tips’ Category
The telltale signs of an infected plant: rotten stem, sawdust-like substance, and/or wilting leaves. Check the base of the stem. If it looks rotten or hollow or you see a sawdust-like substance, act quickly. If your squash leaves are also wilting, it might be too late to save the plant.
The adult moth resembles a wasp, and here in Georgia, has two broods a year, laying its eggs at the base of the stem. The egg hatches and then the larvae bores itself into the stem. The sawdust-like substance is actually waste from the larvae. The larvae, after doing a number to your squash vine, burrows itself into the soil and pupates the next spring, restarting the cycle.
How to save an infected plant: Slit the stem with a sharp knife and pull the larvae out. Cover the damaged area with plenty of soil to encourage root growth and keep it moist. With a little luck, the squash plant will perk up.
What to do with the larvae: Squish the sucker, but if you can’t stomach that, drop it inside a birdhouse. If you drop it into the soil, it will overwinter and pupate next year.
How to discourage squash vine borers:
- Till the soil to expose overwintered larvae.
- Rotate crops.
- Wrap the base of the stem with pantyhose or foil to prevent egg laying.
- Clemson Extension (Disregard any non-organic recommendations! But they have great pictures and descriptions.)
- ATTRA (Organic recommendations!)
We compost at our garden. Compostable waste is divided into two general categories: brown waste (carbon-rich) and green waste (nitrogen-rich). A good balance for compost is 70% brown waste and 30% green waste. This waste will break down into nutrient-rich “black gold” that you can add to your garden beds.
Several round wire cages are set up at the rear of the garden for compostable waste. Additionally, a large pile for “other” waste is located near the cistern. Finished compost is located in the brown trash can at the rear of the garden.
Our compost etiquette: If you use some of the finished compost in your plot, please volunteer to help turn the compost. (Send an email.)
Examples of Brown Waste:
- Dried leaves
- Wood chips
- Shredded paper (non-glossy)
- Washed eggshells
Examples of Green Waste:
- Spent crops (free of disease and without seed pods)
- UNTREATED grass clippings (pesticides can kill microorganisms beneficial to composting)
- Fruit and vegetable scraps (minimal citrus peels)
- Coffee grounds (no more than 10% of the compost pile)
How the Round Wire Compost Cages Work:
Cut waste into small pieces (finger-sized).
Place FOOD SCRAPS inside rat excluder (the cylinder in the center).
Add brown waste on top.
Replace the black pot-top.
- Place other waste inside the outer cylinder.
What to Toss in the Compost Pile Next to the Cistern:
- weeds, Bermuda grass, crab grass
- diseased plants
- seeds or fresh roots
- large woody stems
We Do NOT Compost:
- feces (That includes NO dog feces.)
- dairy, fats, or cooked food
- meat or fish
A team of cycling bandits were recently spotted in our garden swiping vegetables. It appears to be a random act of healthy eating. They reportedly stole red peppers, tomatoes, and squash.
What you can do to deter garden crime…
- Introduce yourself to possible bandits. Approach with caution; bandits may be armed with harvesting shears and vegetable recipes.
- Tell them about our website: www.dunwoodygarden.org where they can find membership and contact information.
- Direct them to the thieves’ beds near the front of the garden where they are welcome to run amok.
- Keep your plot well cared for. The Untended Garden Theory of Crime parallels the Broken Window Theory of Crime.
- Personalize your plot. Go right ahead: get nuts with the painted signs and water gnomes! And have fun releasing your inner artist.
Beans and peas produce seeds pods, but so do broccoli, cabbage and other brassicas. After the brassica plants reach maturity (after you’ve picked the broccoli head and plucked the outer cabbage leaves), if left in the ground, they will flower and eventually produce seed pods. The pods can be dried and the seeds then extracted and saved for next year’s planting.
ORGANIC GARDENING for Beginners Workshop
Where: Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run
Date: Saturday, June 5
Experienced gardeners will share information and answer questions in an informal, hands-on setting. Free for garden members. A $5 donation is suggested for non-members. Reservations required, space limited. Email us at: membership@DunwoodyGarden.org or Dunwoody Community Garden on Facebook
Dogwoods are blooming, and according to old southern tradition, that means it’s planting time! The number one way to kill those tomatoes and squash? Watering mistakes!
Your plot needs 1-2 inches of water a week. Water deeply and mulch. Also, don’t be fooled by leaves drooping in the hot mid-day sun. If they perk back up in the cooler evening hours, you don’t need to water. Click here for a brief set of watering tips.
This slushy, nose-nipping weather doesn’t have to win. Go ahead and plant your spring garden now. Check out this calendar to find more than a dozen tasty veggies that you can plant today. Yes, today. Our last frost date here in Atlanta is April 15th, so seeds and transplants for tomatoes, melons, zucchini and other flip-flop produce won’t go into the soil for six weeks or so. That gives you ample time to plant and harvest a variety of cool season veggies, such as baby lettuce, beets, spinach, radishes, and turnip greens.
Here’s the plan for my 4 x 8 plot: Dump more compost into my box. Scatter seeds for beets, radishes, baby lettuce, turnips, and sorrel. Break a head of organic garlic into cloves and push them into the soil pointy side up. Plant onion sets that I bought at a garden center. And finally, bury a handful of snap peas around the base of a tomato cage that will stand in for a mini-trellis. The whole process should take less than an hour.
And what if you’ve simply had your fill of winter greens and root vegetables? Well, get a head start on your salsa mix by starting summer seeds indoors. But what about your garden plot? Well, plant a cover crop, such as crimson clover or hairy vetch, to nourish your soil until it’s time to pull out the fly-swatter.