Friday, July 24, 2009

Garden Bulletin

First of all, wasn't that a nice feast we had! I really enjoyed all the food. Thanks everyone!

Anyway, we've been blessed with a lot of rain recently and that is good, but... actually we are getting a bit too much water on the gardens. There are a few things to watch out for:

(1) there has been quite a lot of erosion. This is especially problematic in clay-heavy soil because the clay stays put and the good stuff just runs out. So we need to replace what is lost as best we can. Over the next few weeks, it'd be good to bring down some compost and put it around the new plants, mixed in with topsoil. It'd be especially good to distribute some topsoil around the new winter squash plants, which could be productive into November if we take care of them. A dilute mix of coffee, topsoil, and compost would be helpful there, just please try not to put it directly on the plant. Too much coffee can burn the plant.

(2) if you see areas where dark topsoil has run off, please scoop it up and replace it. We have to do this continuously when we have a lot of rain!

(3) about the squash and cukes, they are getting some powdery mildew. It looks like white powder spots on the leaves. I have been treating it nightly with water and milk spray, which works well and it is staying under control. But... I have to spray again it every time it rains or after we water. So... please let's not water the squash or cukes for a day or two, they need to dry out some. If you do water at all over the next 2-3 days, please water low to the ground (do not use the sprinkler) and generally we should only water in warm sunlight- that keeps the humidity lower around the leaves. In a drought we might water at night to prevent evaporation, but now that it is so humid and moist, there's no reason to do that and it's better to water in sunny weather so the water can evaporate off the leaves- the plants like that. Most of the water will run off down into the soil anyway. In any case ground watering is a very good solution whenever mildew comes in and if you want to invent some kind of ground irrigation lines that'd be great.

(3) In the near term, we really need to try to clear out any weeds or overcrowding (dead leaves, brown tomato branches, whatever). We have to be especially ruthless in the top garden, there is much too much crowding there. It's okay to take out borage and whatever if an area is too crowded. I took out quite a few marigolds. The more air gets in there and the drier the leaves stay, the less mildew damage we will have. If we don't clear things out then we will have all kinds of diseases come in, on the tomatoes too. Generally if you see mushrooms then chances are that that area is too wet and not draining quickly enough. Especially at the top of the top garden, the carrots are overcrowding the tomatoes and basil and they need to come out. Tomatoes *really* need to be pretty dry from the soil up. The carrot patch on the west side is fine and very productive, but the area near the sunflowers is way overcrowded and it will just become a big mess if we don't take action!

It's an unusual problem for us, to have too much moisture, but it won't be too much of a problem if we are extra careful to avoid over watering. If we have a good rain then we don't need to water for two days at least.



No comments:

Post a Comment