Monday, July 15, 2013

Here is the Dirt July 16th

Here is the Dirt (News from the Community Garden)

Warm Weather
After a cool and wet Spring and cool and wet early Summer, the summer heat has finally kicked in. This is good news for many of the crops. The tomatoes doubled in size since last week. The peppers finally have started growing and have a lot of flowers (maybe fruit by September). The zucchini are starting to produce fruit and the cucumbers are not far behind. The onions are sizing up. The flowers are flourishing. The dry beans are growing faster than the deer can mow them down. The pumpkin patch has "vined out" and now we cannot do any more weeding. Disadvantages? A few. The weeds are growing faster than the crops in some places. The heat is drying things out and we need to gear up the irrigation if it doesn't rain again soon.

Woodchuck Relocation Project
A couple weeks ago, I noticed that something was eating our early cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli. I assumed that it was slugs, like a few years ago. You don't see slugs during the day, but you can just pick them off if you come at twilight when they come out. I went up to the garden one evening and I did not see a single slug. This was good news, but we were still vexed with the disappearing cabbage leaves. Then I noticed that the edamame, which had just come up, was getting eaten. In three days, it was all gone. And the beets were getting hit too. The first thing I thought of was deer, but there was not one deer print and our fence was working. I had seen a woodchuck in the garden, but we had never had any known damage from woodchucks, so it took a while for me to realize that the devastation was the work of woodchucks. Every year is different and this has turned out to be the year of the woodchuck. Maybe they had never noticed the garden before, or they had other things to eat. Or maybe the fox had been eating them. Whatever happened to bring them on, I decided we needed to take the offensive. So we set a live trap. The first night I baited it with chicken food. We caught a raccoon. The next night I decided to use beets. Success - a very angry woodchuck. I relocated him/her to a natural area south of us. Since then we have caught 2 more woodchucks using beets. Also one curious raccoon. The trap is still set, and when we stop catching woodchucks, I'll fill their hole with rocks and dirt. If it is not one thing, it is another.

Garlic Fest is on for Saturday July 20th
As of July 15th, the garlic was not ready. But if this weather holds, it will be ready. If it is almost ready, we will harvest a portion and leave some in the ground to size up. Saturday we will begin harvesting between 9 and 10 am, and if we run out of things to harvest, we will improvise other garden projects. Bring a potluck for a 1pm meal. We may have a little veggie harvest for garlic festers to choose from.

Upcoming Harvest Projection

Cut Flowers
Herbs (Basil, Parsley, Dill, Cilantro)
Lettuce Mix
Beet Greens


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