Stay informed with practical gardening information from the University of Maine's Cooperative Extension. The "Maine Home Garden News" provides seasonal and timely tips written by horticultural professionals, specialists, educators, and Master Gardeners from Maine. extension.umaine.edu/gardening/maine-home-garden-news/
Early season flea beetle control will kill most of the pests, and physical barriers (or even sticky traps) can take care of most of the remaining pests. The following linked article will give you guidance on how to battle this pest.
Some members who planted eggplant this season are having to battle potato bugs. Be sure to check your plants, pick the bugs off, check the underside of the leaves for any egg cases, and destroy any that you find. For gardeners dealing with potato bugs, the following links provide information about these pests, including mitigation.
So this year I thought I would get ahead of the season and plant some cole crops. I planted some Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi as well as sugar snap peas, lettuce, and kale seeds. The peas are coming up great and I don't seem to be having the cutworm problems that I had last year, so far. My lettuce is beginning to come up. And I also put in some zucchini which is coming up nicely. BUT, my Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi are plagued with flea beetles and have taken a beating. Not sure where they came from. All of the information I have been able to find suggests that they overwinter in the soil, but I have never seen them in my garden bed before. I did use some straw from old bales that I grew green peppers in to mulch the plants and wondered if that could be the cause, but I have used that same straw in other places and have not seen beetles there. When I bought the flat of seedlings I felt that I had too many plants so I gave three of them to a fellow gardener whose bed is at the opposite end of the community garden, and his plants look great. Go figure. I have already purchased another six pack of seedlings to replace the ones that I don't think I will be able to save and will plant them in my garden bed away from the ones I now have and see what happens.
In the meantime - here is some information that I have found about Flea Beetles: http://www.planetnatural.com/pest-problem-solver/garden-pests/flea-beetle-control/
Time to buy your seeds, plan your garden and start getting excited about digging in the soil and growing some amazing vegetables. Sign up for your own 10 x 20 garden bed in the Windham Community Garden today!
Sorry for the late post about the winners of the Windham Community Garden Great Chili Challenge 2014. This year our winners were:
First Place - Rustler's Steak House
Second Place - Portland Arts and Technical High School (PATHS)
People's Choice - St. Joseph's College - Pearson Cafe
Thank you to all the competitors and participants at this year's Chili Challenge. We appreciate the support that helps us keep the garden going. Next year we are planning on adding some new elements to this competition to bring in new competitors and appeal to wider audience. Stay tuned!
Due to a conflict with a large event here in Windham the Harvest Dinner planned for Saturday, October 12, 2013 is regretfully cancelled until a later date.
The Windham Community Garden will be offering a series of garden lectures starting in May. All gardeners are encouraged to attend these sessions. These are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:
Thursday, May 23rd at 6:00 PM - Dick Brzozowski from the Maine Cooperative Extension Service, subject will be whatever the group would like to talk about. Great opportunity for new gardeners to ask questions.
Tuesday, June 18th, 6:00 PM - Dick Brzozowski, subject to be announced
Tuesday, July 9th, 6:00 PM - Dick Brzozowski, subject to be announced
Tuesday, August 13th, 6:00 PM - Dick Brzozowski, subject to be announced
Tuesday, September 10th, 6:00 PM - Dick Brzozowski, subject to be announced
All educational programs will be held in the garden. Please bring bug spray, your own chair if you want to sit, and water to drink. If it rains, bring an umbrella. It there is a threat of severe rain and/or thunderstorms, we will try to get another space to meet in.
The general meeting for the Windham Community Gardeners has been changed to Saturday May 4 from 9:30-11:30 at the Windham Public Library. This change is due to a lack of meeting space on the April 27th date. Please mark your calendars as we really need a good turn out for this meeting as we have much info to share.
This is an important meeting that will get the season off to a smooth start.
As web master for the Windham Community Garden site I am here to keep you updated on what we are doing.