Less Noise, More Green: May 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Organic Pest Control:Cabbage Moth Decoys

Organic pest control: Cabbage Moth Decoys

My broccoli and cabbage plants had been growing quite happily in the ground for over a month. Perfect little specimens with not a nibble taken or a hint of disease. Then right on cue spring temperatures started to rise and the bugs made their entrance. One of the first threats to the garden are cabbage moths, dancing through the brassicas, depositing their eggs full of tiny eating machines.on the undersides of the leaves.

As an organic gardener, I'm always looking for ways to minimize the impact of pests in my garden without upsetting the balance of my backyard ecosystem. I'm trying a very low tech method to deter cabbage moths this year - decoys!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Frugal and Sustainable Gardening: growing sweet potato slips

Growing sweet potato slips

I'm trying to keep my gardening expenses under control this year and one of my goals in this area is saving seeds and propagating new plants from old plants.  Seeds and plants can be a major line item in a gardening budget, but with a little knowledge you can coax a garden into being quite self-sufficient! Sweet potato slips are one example of how I intend to save some cash.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Making Garden Teepees

Garden Teepees

I didn't grow enough green beans last year and it is killing me to have to buy bags of frozen beans to get us through to this year's harvest. To prevent another green bean-less late winter, I am growing a lot more beans this year. As I am short on bed space, the solution is to go up. On top of the usual bush beans, I'm planting plenty of pole beans which means I need lots of teepees.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Foraging at Home: Eating Daylillies

Edible daylillies, foraging

My personal experience with foraging for edibles is it can be very hit or miss. Just because a particular plant is edible, doesn't mean it is tasty! Many of the edible wild greens you can find in the woods or road side are too bitter for my palate. After the apocalypse and food is scarce, I'll be glad to have my list of wild greens but until then I'll stick with foraging for the tasty treats. One such treat might take no foraging at all. In fact you may have it in your garden already, masquerading as an ornamental. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Edible Landscaping: Berries in Bloom

Lingonberry flowers
Lingonberry Flowers

The berry bushes in my edible landscape are loving the heat we had this week. The plants have turned their faces to the sun and bloomed.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pruning Black Lace Elderberry Bushes

Pruning Black Lace Elderberries

One of the plants in my edible landscape I'm most excited about seeing mature and thrive is the Black Lace Elderberry. This variety of elderberry is a gorgeous plant with deep purple foliage and pink flowers. It is also less wild in appearance than traditional elderberry bushes which is perfect for their location next to my neighbor's drive way.

As I entered year two of this garden, I knew I had to prune these year old bushes which had grown to about six feet tall but in a spider-like fashion with long unruly branches. Pruning is always a little intimidating but the rewards can be worth the angst.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bolting Rhubarb Deja Vu

Victoria Rhubarb, bolting

I've had a case of deja vu in the garden this week. Just like last year, my rhubarb was off with a bang, growing a foot a minute ( OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration!).  Then seemingly overnight it all bolted - just like last year. At least this year I know why the rhubarb is behaving the way it is and what to do about it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

New "For the Love of Gardening" Podcasts

WADK 1540 AM out of Newport, RI has released more "For the Love of Gardening" podcasts, the URI Master Gardener gardening show for which I am one of the hosts. Below are links to two new shows:

Home Composting
Part 1
Part 2

Crop Rotation in a Home Vegetable Garden
Part 1
Part 2

To hear all my shows, click here. To hear the entire show collection released so far, click here.