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Squash vine borers are native to the eastern US, and by this time of the year, they’re munching on our plants and causing damage. Squash vine borers are different from squash bugs, by the way.

Squash Vine Borer

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.

Larvae

Adult Moth

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.

Further reading:

  • Clemson Extension (Disregard any non-organic recommendations! But they have great pictures and descriptions.)
  • ATTRA (Organic recommendations!)
Do you have squash vine borers in your garden?
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This is a three minute clip from an episode of TrustDale TV. The clip stars four of our garden members: Tracy, Ann, Sally, and Don, and highlights our food pantry initiative.

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Our garden is expanding! Yesterday, Don Converse, Shawn Bard, and Jim Hines expanded the perimeter of our existing fence to make room for a couple dozed additional garden beds. It looks like we’ll have enough room for every person on our waiting list to be offered a membership!

Click here for Farmer Bob’s recap of the expansion.

Click here for Tom Oder’s article in the Dunwoody Patch.

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Dunwoody Community Garden at Brook Run
Board Meeting Notes
September 20, 2010, 10:00 – 11:30 am
Meeting held at the picnic tables at the Garden

Board Present:
Rebecca Barria
Don Converse
Angela Minyard
Page Olson
Adrian Bonser, Honorary Board Member

Absent:
Rod Pittman
Bob Lundsten

Guests:
Ann Devaqoy
Maria Barton

Chair Report: We had four open memberships/plots, but two people accepted the invitation to join. Their payments are pending. Response is pending from two people on the waiting list for the other two open memberships/plots. We continue have approximately 20 people on the waiting list.

Water: We discussed the new faucets that the city plans to install inside the garden fence, a possible future irrigation system, the need for plot holders to water their plots and not rely on an automatic system, and the possibility of the city funding our water bill with park funds. Angela, our treasurer, will tally up our first year water bills to present to Brent Walker, the city’s parks director.

Teams: Rebecca is creating an information sheet to share with members about our volunteer teams. We currently have members committed to the pantry team, flower team, pumpkin team, and water team. We are actively looking for volunteers for the rain garden team. The goal is to get every member to commit three hours to a team project per year.

Treasurer’s Report: All membership dues have been paid for renewing members. We have approximately $2500 in the bank. We will set aside a small budget for the rain garden, but the amount is pending Don’s research on what is needed. We will donate $100 of non-earmarked funds to the garden beds at Malachi’s Storehouse. We will maintain $500 in reserve for water bills and another $500 for maintenance and repairs (i.e. fence). $300 is reserved for possible future ADA beds because these funds were an earmarked donation.

New Plantings: We discussed planting some combination of pear, winterberry, plum fruit, and fig fruit trees. We also discussed planting a bamboo forest and the steps necessary to keep the bamboo from invading other areas.

Food Pantry Report: We helped spread the word about the project at Malachi’s to build new garden beds on the church grounds. We helped them raise $1000. Ann, an active member of the pantry team, reported that all pantry beds at our garden have been planted with fall vegetables. Some of the pantry beds need signs (i.e. Promise bed). We will find out the names of the other beds from Pattie Baker, the pantry team co-leader.

Pumpkin Patch: We discussed the possibilities for the pumpkin patch. We will consult with Rod Pittman for recommendations. We plan to have the soil tested as a starting point. We will explore possible donations for soil amendments for that area. The county compost is not recommended for that area if we plan to make that into an edible garden.

Social: We will publicize Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings at “Garden Gathering” times in order to promote social interaction between members. October 2nd is the proposed date/deadline for a garden clean-up. This will be a time for members to clear their plots and prep for a fall garden or plant a cover crop. Rebecca will contact the new members to set up a meeting with them.

Web Presence: Rebecca will update the website and blog with current information, including our newly revised bylaws and Facebook group. Since the ning social network now requires fees and was not utilized well by members, we will close that site and instead urge members to join our Facebook group.

Scout Projects: The scout working on the sensory path has a couple more big workdays planned and will likely be finished by mid-October. The scout working on the toolshed has to submit his plan to his scoutmaster for approval and will likely complete his project in 60-90 days. Page’s son’s troop is looking for ways to volunteer 1000 hours to the community and has expressed interest in donating significant time to the garden. Don will come up with a list of grounds maintenance that the boys can complete on their own time.

2nd Year Vision: We discussed the need to pace ourselves according to manpower when pursuing our 2nd year vision goals. Don Converse will set up a meeting with Brent Walker, the city’s parks director, in order to find out the status and future of the greenhouses.

Master Planning: Don Converse will represent the garden at the city’s parks master planning meetings.

ADA Beds: Maria Barton shared an “E Bed” design used at a place where she volunteers. She is going to try to get a copy of the plans for us.

Clean-Up Dunwoody: We discussed the city event.

Music Festival: Adrian Bonser has about 150 okra drying for a collaborative project with the Dunwoody Nature Center for the city’s music festival.

New Membership Level: We discussed the possibility of creating a “Friends of the Garden” membership level. Those members would not have voting rights or plots, etc., but it is a way to acknowledge their donations and involve them in our social activities.

Next Board Meeting: The proposed date is Monday, October 18th from 10:00 – 11:30 am at the garden or Goldberg’s if it’s rainy or cold.

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This week was our largest donation to date. We donated more than 83 pounds of fresh produce to Malachi’s Food Pantry. A big thanks goes out to Sally M. and Rod P. for scale-tipping donations from their home gardens. We donated cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, buckets of fresh blueberries and more.

Also, we donated 22 bookbags and a several bagfuls of school supplies–glue sticks, calculators, binders, markers and much more. A big thanks goes out to Stephanie R, Sally M., and John Heneghan for generous donations.

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We’re looking forward to participating in a Dunwoody parks master planning process. We plan to advocate not only for a presence of our existing garden in the Brook Run plan, but also advocate for the five enhancements that we proposed in our community garden master plan.

  • Vegetable Grow-Space Expansion Area
  • ADA Accessible Beds
  • Linear Orchard
  • Bridge-to-Bridge Woodland Path
  • Greenhouses

Why a Dunwoody parks master plan? Dunwoody recently purchased Brook Run Park and other city parks from DeKalb County, and new ownership often means new ideas.

When will the master plan process begin? After city council gives the thumbs up and allocates funds for it. The topic is on Monday night’s agenda.

What was the original plan for Brook Run? Click here.

Where is our garden located in the original plan? Our garden is located across from the Nature Education Center and near the Picnic Meadow in the space indicated as a parking lot. The original plan does not include a community garden.

Got ideas to share? Email us and/or email our the city council.

UPDATE: The Dunwoody city council has approved the parks master planning process to move forward immediately. Public meetings will be announced in the coming weeks, and we will have an opportunity to contribute our ideas, not just for our garden or Brook Run, but for all parks in Dunwoody.

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Consider contacting our mayor and council members to voice support for our community garden and its master plan.

Click here to view the complete master plan: Dunwoody_Community_Garden_Master_Plan-1

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