Week 7: March 31, 2018

Hi friends! Hope everyone had a great holiday if you celebrate Easter. We had a really sweet little egg hunt last week – kudos to our awesome volunteers for helping make the garden even more fun than it already is. Y’all, last week in the garden was awesome! Our seeds have sprouted, our tomatoes are flowering and the good (and bad) bugs are on the prowl!

^^Bean and Squash Sprouts!!^^

We saw plenty of ladybugs and lacewings (our garden insect friends) but also a bunch of harlequin bugs, cabbage loopers, cucumber beetles and leaf-footed bugs (the bad guys of the garden).

GOOD BUGS WE SAW IN THE GARDEN THIS WEEK

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You’ll recognize some fabulous ladybugs, and then the harder to spot lacewing and lacewing egg. (I couldn’t actually get any lacewings on camera, so I used the above picture of an adult lacewing from the TAMU website). Ladybugs are considered beneficial because they feast primarily on aphids, and sometimes other soft-bodied insects and caterpillars. Lacewings are considered beneficial because their larvae are raging carnivores and will eat soft-bodied, insects, mites, eggs, caterpillars – you get the idea. You’ll notice the egg in the picture is laid on a stalk that extends out from the plant – this is so the lacewing larva don’t eat each other when they emerge. (Kids, amiright?)

BAD BUGS WE SAW IN THE GARDEN THIS WEEK

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Gotta take the bad with the good, and so it goes for the garden. The slideshow above details pictures of all the bad guys we found in our garden this past weekend. Starting out the wanted list is the cabbage looper. These guys will eat holes in all your cole crops, so if you find the little green worms on the underside of your leaves, pick them off and squish them. Hand removing them is actually a fairly good way to control their population. Next up is the leaf footed bug (the one in the napkin pictured above). You’ll notice some of their legs have a leaf like formation on them – hence the name. These guys like potatoes and tomatoes. Next is the infamous cucumber beetle – the small green and yellow striped one. Again, their name says it all – these guys like cucumbers – but also squash, melons and pumpkins. Finally, rounding out our garden villains we’ve got the harlequin bug. This bug may look like a pseudo-ladybug but don’t fall for it. They’ll eat tons of crops that you might grow in your garden so definitely give these guys the boot.

Week 6

After checking up on our current plants – and looking for any sprouting seeds!! – we moved on to planting our ‘Sweet Slice’ Burpless Cucumber. Our garden beds have support trellises for the cucumbers to climb up – they’re vining plants and do well growing vertically. Before we planted, we scratched 1 cup of organic fertilizer into the middle and front of our trellis. Plant your cucumber 2 inches away from the middle of your trellis, plant it even with the soil line and then firm-in the soil in and around your plant. Finally, we put in a support stake at a 45 degree angle to help train the plant toward the trellis – we placed it on an angle so the part of the stake that’s in the dirt won’t get involved in the root system.

Take a look at our fertilizing/Spinosad schedule for this week:

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That’s all for now, friends! Be sure to check back in next week to see how our eggplant and and jumbo jalapeño planting went!

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