- Garden Orientation
- Discussion about Crop Rotation
- Garden Cover with Reemay
The first class of the year at Ethan Allen Homestead was marked by beautiful weather, a sign that summer is really upon us in Vermont. As with most first days of class an orientation was in order. Lead teacher Denise Quick gave all the students a brief overview of what to expect in the coming weeks, and then she introduced our fabulous second-year gardening mentors. All the mentors and students said hello and shared their personal gardening interests and aspirations. After that it was time for our garden tour.
Denise led the group around the garden pointing out the various plots, then we all gathered for a talk focused on the importance of rotating plant families within your garden plot. Crop rotation is done to keep your garden healthy by preventing crop specific pests and diseases from building up and carrying over year after year in the soil. Vegetables that are members of the same botanical family are susceptible to the same problems and pests. By moving the crops the pest has no host on which to live making crop rotation an easy way to decreases the negative effects of diseases and pests within your garden. For more information about vegetable families and crop rotation visit the following web-sight… http://www.groworganic.com/organic-gardening/articles/quick-guide-to-vegetable-families-for-crop-rotation
After we finished our conversation about crop rotation we were treated to a surprise visit from Jess Hyman Executive director of The Vermont Community Garden Network (VCGN). Jess gave a warm welcome to all the students and a special thanks to all the people that make the Community Teaching Gardens possible. Highlighting just how lucky we all are to be able to share in the wonderful experience of gardening though this awesome course.
To close out the night we worked to cover our garlic crop with some agricultural fabric also know as Reemay. We are using the Reemay to protect against a pest that has recently made an appearance in Vermont called the Leek Moth.
Leek moth larvae cause extensive damage to garlic by tunneling mines and feeding on leaf tissue, and occasionally on bulbs thus ruining an otherwise healthy garlic crop. However, Reemay helps to protect the plant from the larvae by blocking access to the garlic and by providing a protective covering.
The sun went down and we put the garlic to bed, tucking it in under a protective layer of Reemay. Then the class parted for the night, but with eager anticipation of the exciting gardening season we have ahead.