2016, May

Farm update – 5/15/2016

More of our summer veggies are getting close to harvest time – won’t  be long until we’re fully stocked with squash, cucumber, and zucchinis of all sorts. Check out what else is currently available this week.

The main news of this week is that we had an insect explosion! The culprit was mainly the flea beetle, a small black jumping beetle that loves eating plants in the plant family Brassicaceae (kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, etc.). Luckily, our floating row covers mostly protected those plants – the purple top turnip greens were skeletonized, however. A few of our cabbages had long ago been excluded from the floating row covers, and those few made it clear that without the row covers, everything would have been lost.

In addition to the floating row covers, there are some control methods for the flea beetles – sticky traps, soil nematodes that eat the flea beetle larvae – but because the season for most of the beetle’s favorite treats is almost over, we won’t initiate any other treatments against them.

However, one thing that should help is the major cleaning/weeding program we undertook today. We pulled everything that was no longer productive, including the cabbages that were too beetle-damaged, any remaining broccoli and cauliflower plants, and then we weeded each and every row, top to bottom. Well, that was the plan and we came close to achieving it. We completely ran out of steam after five hours of hand weeding, hoeing, and raking, just about 15 feet short of the goal. It would have been so nice to complete the job, but we were beat. Plus, we need something to do during the week, right? I couldn’t be more proud of the way the garden looks however, and I’ve posted a walking tour video of the garden, below, so you can see. Look for the green patch toward the end, that’s the spot we couldn’t bring ourselves to finish.

Also noteworthy this week is the planting of two rows of sweet potatoes, with one more to go in soon. Next it’ll be peanuts, and since we cleared some space at the front of the garden, we may add some beans. And probably as soon as we finish that it’ll be time to start thinking about fall!

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