Monthly Archives: May 2010

Weekly Harvest Report

Even though we only have a few rows of lettuce, spinach, and mustard greens, we ended up with a lot of salad this week!

From the Asian Garden:

  • 3 small heads of Chinese Cabbage, with the extra bonus of a few slugs and roly polys.
  • 3+ bags of mustard greens and mizuna
  • 1 bag of watercress
  • 1 bunch of Hon Tsai Tai (Broccoli Raab) I still haven’t gotten around to cooking last week’s bunch! I promise I’ll post a recipe and pictures soon!

From the Family of 4 Garden:

  • 3 lbs of mixed spinach and lettuce @ $7.00/lb = $21.00
  • Weekly Total = $21.00
  • Yearly Total = $83.13

We harvested the Family of 4 Garden pretty heavily, since I wanted to make sure there was plenty of air flow for the plants. Since we’ve gotten so much rain recently, the leaves were going to start getting slimy and rotten near the soil. Yuck!

Keeping Insects Out – Literally

This morning in the Demonstration Garden, we implemented 2 1/2 methods of insect control that are maybe something different from what you’ve seen before.

The first thing we are trying out is bagging our apples. We have all of 3 apples on our tree, so it wasn’t too labor intensive!

We just took 3 sandwich bags and zipped them over the apple, enclosed on the stem of the apple. Then we put a staple on either side of the stem to help hold the bag in place. The idea behind this is to prevent most of the insects that infest apples from laying their eggs on the apples. This method is supposed to work very well against apple maggot, but I don’t know how effective it will be against codling moth. It will be interesting to see how the apples do!

We also put up this pheromone trap for the Squash Vine Borer. The intent of this trap isn’t to catch every single Squash Vine Borer moth so that they don’t lay eggs on the squash plants. The goal is to catch some of the moths so we know when there are squash vine borer moths out flying around and laying eggs. When we catch a moth or two, we know that it is time to spray the plants to kill off any larva that are hatching. The general recommendation to prevent squash vine borer is to spray every 7-10 days! The trap could help us only spray when we really really really need to. (This is the “1/2” of a method, in case you were curious.)

The other thing we are doing to try to outwit the squash vine borers is to use light weight row covers on hoops (low tunnels) over our new squash seedlings. Similar to the apple bagging, this method is trying to exclude the pests in question. By putting on the row covers, the moths won’t be able to lay eggs on the plants. The only way this method works is if you are rotating where you plant your squash, because the pupae of the moths overwinter in the soil near where the plants were the previous year. The moths hatch out when it gets warm in early summer. Obviously the row covers would be a bad idea if the moths hatch out under the row covers!

Strawberries!

I went out to the garden this morning and scrounged around in the wet, soggy strawberry patch until I found a handful of mostly okay strawberries. Between the roly polys enjoying the wet weather and munching on some of the berries and a number of berries that are bright red on one side but not on the other side, it was actually kind of challenging to find these 8 berries.

They certainly aren’t spectacular, and the flavor is nice, but nothing to write home about. I’m getting very close to writing a discussion of whether or not I would recommend this variety (‘Eversweet’) for planting. I’m tempted to just give you my complete analysis now, but in fairness to the variety, I want to give it another couple weeks of spring production.

Local Food Survey

Here at the Sedgwick County Extension Office, we’ve been noticing the increased interest in local foods in our area. We also know that agriculture is getting more attention, in part thanks to Food, Inc., Fresh the Movie, Michael Pollan, etc. We really want to get a feel for the local foods interest in the Wichita area so that we can plan some events and programs that are beneficial for both local farmers and local consumers.

Please take our survey and pass it on to your friends! (You should still take the survey, even if you think the local food movement is nuts!)

Click here to take the survey: http://tinyurl.com/KSLFsurvey

Enough Rain for Awhile, Thanks

The rain gauge says that we had a hair over 3 1/2 inches of rain last night. Added to the 2 inches from Monday, that’s 5 1/2 inches…plenty for one week! Things in the garden look a little bit the worse for the hail and rain, but it doesn’t look like anything got completely flattened by the hail.