Garden Activity October 9, 2012: Ken Brizzi Community Garden
Fruit trees were pruned to 9’ tall right after harvesting. Also, we removed crossing, sick and severely lopsided limbs.
Harvest pumpkins, strawberries, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Tomatillos, Quince, Peppers, and your other crops to keep them from feeding pest populations.
For Fall Plantings
Prepare ground for fall/winter/early spring crops. Incorporate 3 cu. ft. of compost per square yard of soil along with 5 pounds of gypsum. Also add a handful of Groganic fertilizer. Dig this mixture into the soil deeply. If your compost is ready from your pile, it will be very rich and black. Level and plant the following:
Plant cabbage, broccoli, Kale, potatoes and garlic from starter plants.
Plant carrots, beets, edible pod peas, onions, lettuce, spinach, chard, leeks and other winter crops from seed.
Place rolled up newspaper throughout planting area to catch earwigs, pill bugs, sow bugs, slugs and snails. Check newspaper each morning for pests. Throw away entire newspaper if you are afraid of bugs. Otherwise, shake paper over trash can and be sure they don’t make their way back to your garden. Reuse rolls of newspaper until no pests are caught. Bird netting over the new plants will stop birds from feeding on your seedlings. If you have a rat problem, seal the sides of the bird netting by laying down boards, rocks or bricks.
Spray cole crops with Bacillus thunguriensis (B.t.) to kill cabbage moth larvae. They are the same color green as the food they are eating. They make holes in leaves and flowers. B.t. is harmless to everything except worms that feed on foliage and flowers. If a bird eats the dead worm, it is not harmed. B.t. is considered organic and is naturally occurring. It does not harm humans, but wash foliage of your crop before eating. Another good method for controlling snails and slugs is to surround your garden with copper strips. As the slug or snail tries to move over the copper, an electrical current from the ground deters them. Copper flashing is sold for this purpose and can be reused for many seasons.
Cover unplanted soil with 3-4 inches of free mulch from your local arborists or tree service.
To kill aphids, spray with a natural, organic oil labeled as a pesticide. Neem oil is commonly used and very effective. Until you have time to spray, you can blast the aphids off your plants with a very strong stream of water. This method works throughout your garden. In summer, control spider mites with blasts of water. Spider mites attack the underside of leaves mostly, so be sure to blast there. Spider mite infestations are favored by hot, dry, dusty conditions.
Even though the weather in the Sacramento valley will be cooler and often overcast, watch the soil moisture so that the plants are not stressed for water. If the weather is ideal, you’ll be eating Broccoli for Thanksgiving.
Happy, Healthy Gardening,