Thursday, July 25, 2013

News from the Edible Landscape Demonstration Garden

The sweltering heat of the last ten days has made work in the garden a challenge. Luckily, the staff at the Horticulture Center arrive at the crack of dawn and the gates are open shortly after 6am. July can be a cruel month for plants and humans alike. One can count on certain visitors to the garden, however... Japanese and harlequin beetles. Despite the fact that we saw zero grubs in the soil of the beds this spring, the Japanese beetles have swooped down on the grapes climbing the arbor and are feasting on their leaves. Bag traps are encircling the garden, fifty feet or more away from the beds. They are filled with bead bugs. But still they come to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. This week, we soaked the grapes with garlic spray, a potential deterrent to beetle activity. The scent was incredible, so strong that one's eyes would water. We'll see if that helps to solve the problem.
The harlequin beetles, so colorful but so nasty, have found the kale to their liking, but, interestingly, not all of the kale. They seem to like two cultivars -- Red Russian and Lanciniato. They ignore the curly kale. Go figure! The two favorites have been relegated to the compost pile.  Good looking white eggplant starts will be taking their place tomorrow.

The City Gardens Contest judging date has been set -- Friday, August 2nd. We're busy staking errant plants, deadheading blooming herbs and generally tweaking an already well manicured and beautiful garden. Please stop by for a visit and be sure to sign in at the visitors' box. If you're there at 6:30 am, we'll treat you to coffee!

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