Week 10: July 9, 12

 

Topics:

  • Urban gardening
  • Fungal disease in the garden: powdery mildew
  • Natural fungicide

 Summary of week’s activities:

  • HARVEST!
  • Building a self-watering container garden
  • Spraying squash leaves with natural fungicide
  • Weeding
  • Potato beetle battle continues

 

These weeks in July are the push time for gardeners: fighting weeds to give our vegetables the advantage, being sure to water, fighting pests and disease. But, as gardeners know, the rewards are worth the effort. In the Community Teaching Garden we are preoccupied with a nasty potato beetle infestation on the potatoes. We have had to resort to the tactic of killing the young. Every class we peruse the potatoes and remove the larvae and egg clusters. We put the larvae in a soapy water to drown them.

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We also are seeing a lot of powdery mildew on the squash leaves. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease which appears as a white spotty fuzz on squash leaves. To try and save the squash plants we cut the most infected leaves off and spray the rest of the leaves with a natural remedy. (Be sure that you do not put diseased leaves in the compost as this will risk contaminating next years compost). WE used a solution of milk and water, at a ratio of 1:9. The protein in the milk serves as a deterrent to the production and spread of the powdery mildew. We also created a spray of baking soda and water. We are conducting an experiment to see which will be most successful (we sprayed the milk solution on squash plants closer to the beltway side). 

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On the more positive report, the garden harvest is increasing each class! This week we have harvested raspberries, shelling and snow peas, zucchini, radishes, and lettuce.

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If you have not been at the garden in the past few days it is important that you water, weed and harvest. Also, be sure to check the group peas and raspberries!

Next Monday we are going to be pulling the garlic! Come to class and reap the bounty! 

 

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