Green Bean Connection
Happy Late Summer, First Fall Plantings!!
September Change of Season!
More on BAGRADA BUGS
Planting in Pallets! Why and How!
Events! Natl Heirloom Expo, SOL Food Festival, SB Botanic Garden Fall Plant Sale, Home & Garden Expo, Avocado Festival!
Dear Pilgrim Terrace Gardeners, Garden Friends,
Happy Labor Day Weekend Planting! Here's what caught my eye, click here, of what was growing at Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden August 2014! We have had warm weather, some marine layer mornings. We are one mile from the beach, and in a record drought. There have been gazillions of thirsty ants on ALL our plants, and the Bagrada bugs have arrived in force, yet we persevere.
A continued request to gardeners with Bermuda grass! Please. Clear it out from your spot and the surrounding pathway, it goes into other gardeners' plots. Lots more work for many of us, not just you. Thanks!
If you or a friend would enjoy gardening at a community garden, get going right now - fall planting time from seeds started at the end of July! Labor Day weekend and September are perfect for transplants! 'Buy one 10 X 20 spot for $64/year, get another one 1/2 price!' YES! Go directly to the Louise Lowry Davis Center, Parks & Recreation office, to sign up. That's at 1232 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara. We'll be delighted to be in your good company!
September Change of Season!
Love your Mother! Plant more bee food! Eat less meat. Grow organic!
Bountiful fall crops are on their way! Labor Day weekend is the favorite fall planting time for many gardeners. Some like it even more than spring planting! Fall is cooler, slower paced, quieter. When and where there isn't a drought, there is less watering.
If you want specific varieties, not standard fare at the nursery, you plant from seed. Plant them in a 'nursery' area in the shade of finishing summer plants, in 6 packs, under the grow lights, in the greenhouse! Plant your fall seeds outdoors a tad deeper than you would in spring; soil is moister and cooler an extra inch or two down. It's the law to keep them moist. If you plant successively for steady fresh table supply, plant a batch in September, again in October. Days will shorten and start cooling, but you are taking advantage of a fast start because your plants will grow quickly in the warmer weather now than later on. Sep plant from seeds, Oct from transplants.
Tasty morsels to plant!
- If you have plenty of space to accommodate a bad weather 'error,' and anticipate an Indian Summer, you can chance plant bush beans, summer squash, container type varieties of small tomatoes. At least plant earliest in Sep .
- Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, are a big yes! And carrots, celery, leeks!
- Colorful Chard is the 'flower' of your winter garden! Mid-August is one of the best times, Sep certainly is good too! Marigold don't mind cool days; lovely on a dark day.
- Plant more heat tolerant lettuces.
- It is so easy to sprout peas! Dampen the paper towel; spray the towel to keep it moist. Pop them into the garden by the trellis - if it is hot, devise some shade for them.
- Onions For the biggest, sweetest harvests, late summer and early fall are the prime times to sow seeds of short- or intermediate-day onions. Fall-sown short- and intermediate-day onions tend to yield more and are larger and sweeter than those seeded or transplanted in early spring.
I like what Better Homes & Gardens has to say - Sown in September, sprinters such as arugula, mustard, spinach, turnips, and crispy red radishes are ready to pick in little more than a month. Also try pretty Asian greens, such as tatsoi or mizuna, which grow so fast that you will have baby plants to add to stir-fries and soups just three weeks after sowing. If you would enjoy a quick payback on your table, select the earliest maturing varieties available.
Plant Sweet Peas for Christmas bloom! Plant gift plants or bowls or baskets for the holidays!
Keep letting your strawberry runners grow for Oct harvest.
Brassica Companions (that's your broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, B-sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, collards, turnips) are aromatic plants like sage, dill, chamomile. Carrots, chard, beets, peppermint, rosemary, celery, onions, potatoes, spinach, dwarf zinnias. Brassicas are helped by geraniums, dill, alliums (onions, shallots, garlic, etc), rosemary, nasturtium, borage. Dill attracts a wasp to control cabbage moth. Zinnias attract lady bugs to protect plants. Avoid nightshades and strawberries. Notice there are contradictions – potatoes are in the nightshade family. And usually we would avoid mustards, but now we have Bagrada bugs, we use the mustards as a trap plant for the Bagradas.
COMPANIONS! Cabbage babies need to be planted 12 to 28" apart! A healthy plant will take up much closer to that 28". They take a long while to grow, head, head tight! Plant carrots, or other fillers, that mature sooner, in the space between them. You can do this at home amongst your ornamentals, and/or in containers too! Fillers can be onion/chive types to repel Bagrada Bugs, beets. Short quickest growing winter radishes can be among the long slower growing carrots among the slowest growing, your cabbages.
- Brassicas are the very favorite of Bagrada Bugs. Keep a keen watch for them especially when temps are above 75°F. Bagrada bugs tend to be most active and visible during the warmer parts of the day, so that's when to look for them. Bagradas make white spots on the leaves as they suck the juices out of your plant. They carry diseases and overnight the leaves start to wilt. If you don't get rid of them ASAP, you lose your plant in short order. And that's when they are polite. A plant can be so infested it is swarmed and it looks like the plant is moving.
Per UC IPM, as an alternative to greenhouses, screened tunnels or floating row cover fabric can provide plant protection in gardens. The mesh of the screening material must be fine enough to exclude the Bagrada bug nymphs and should be elevated so that it does not touch the plants because the bugs can feed through these coverings. The edges of protective covers must also be buried to prevent the bugs from crawling underneath to the plants, and they must be applied before Bagrada bugs get into the crop.
- Lots of ants and lengthwise curling leaves are the giveaways for aphids. Aphids carry viruses. Aphids come in fat gray or small black. Avoid over watering that makes for soft plants, tender leaves that aphids thrive on, and ant habitat. Spray the aphids away, make the ants leave. Get up under those leaves, and fervently but carefully do the tender growth tips. Do it consistently until they don't come back.
Make your fall planting beds
extra yummy - add compost, worm castings, manures. We want rich soil for those big plants. We want lots of those marvelous leaves for greens. Winter plants like brocs, collards, cauliflower, chard, are heavy producers, need plenty of food.
BUT NOT CARROTS! Too good a soil makes them hairy and they fork. And over watering, irregular watering, can make them split. Build your beds up so they drain well, are above the coldest air that settles low down. PEAS, the winter legume, make their own Nitrogen, so feed only lightly if at all
Keep your water steady for plants still in production. Remove mulch habitat in areas where Bagrada bugs have been seen.
Build your new raised beds. Install gopher barriers!
RESTORE OR REST AN AREA Plant some hefty favas or a vetch mix for green manures and to boost soil Nitrogen. Plant them where you had summer's heavy feeders like corn, eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes or where you will plant heavy feeders next summer. The vetch mix can include Austrian peas and bell/fava beans, plus oats that break up the soil (they have deep roots). Favas are big, produce one of the highest rates of compostable organic material per square foot! If you change your mind, you can eat them! :) Or cover an area you won’t be planting with a good 6″ to a foot deep of mulch/straw and simply let the herds of soil organisms do their work over winter. That’s called sheet composting or composting in place – no turning or having to move it when it’s finished. If you are vermicomposting, have worms, add a few handfuls to speed up and enrich the process. Next spring you will have rich nutritious soil for no work at all!
Pest and Disease Prevention Drench young plants, ones you just transplanted, with Aspirin solution to get them off to a great start! One regular Aspirin, 1/4 C nonfat powdered milk, 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap (surfactant), per gallon of water. Aspirin, triggers a defense response and stimulates growth! Powdered milk is a natural germicide and boosts the immune system.
September is Seed Saving time!
Make notes on how your plants did, which varieties were the most successful. These seeds are adapted to you and your locality. Each year keep your best! Store your keepers in a cool dry place for next year's plantings.
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More on BAGRADA BUGS
Please reread, scan this, for the many updates I have made. The Bagradas are now here in force, many plants have been swarmed and already lost, including seedling mustard and radishes. YUK and bummer!
California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas gardeners alert!
Brassicas are their favorite, and Brassicas, that's broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kales, Brussels Sprouts, cabbages, are THE SoCal winter garden plant!
- Per UC IPM, as an alternative to greenhouses, screened tunnels or floating row cover fabric can provide plant protection in gardens. The mesh of the screening material must be fine enough to exclude the Bagrada bug nymphs and should be elevated so that it does not touch the plants because the bugs can feed through these coverings. The edges of protective covers must also be buried to prevent the bugs from crawling underneath to the plants, and they must be applied before Bagrada bugs get into the crop and soil.
- What some of the local organic farmers are doing is planting mustards, the Bagrada's most favorite Brassica, as a trap plant. Giant red mustards give them plenty to munch on. If you find mustard transplants at your nursery, buy them without delay! The Bagradas prefer them, so they go there rather than your brocs. You can also plant radishes, another Brassica, as a trap plant. Don't harvest them, just let them grow to full size.
Plant your trap plants so they are well up BEFORE you put in your broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale or cabbage.
If you are planting from seed, immediately securely cover with a floating row cover or the babies will be eaten. Recent seed plantings of giant red mustard and radish have literally been mowed by the bugs. If you can find transplants, get them and do the same, cover immediately with a floating row cover. Once the cover is off, keep a dedicated sunny midday watch and remove any Bagradas. You may save your transplants and your other plants. Or, grow transplants at/in home, away from the pest, then keep a keen watch when you plant them out.
If you are a mustard greens or radish eater, you must plant enough as trap plants plus what you hope for to eat. I highly recommend you plant them in various areas well separated from each other. At the community garden I see patches that have been infested, mowed, and areas that haven't been touched at all. Hope that's just not a matter of time until they get those next.
- Mind you, you still have to REMOVE BAGRADAS by whatever means you prefer, or the brocs are next. Bagradas not only move FAST, but are fast growers and reproducers. They make virtual swarms, and when they suck juices from your plant toxic disease producing stuff gets in your plant. In hot temps, I've seen a 1 1/2 foot tall plant go down in 1 to 3 days. White patches start on the leaves, they wilt and the plant dies.
PLEASE Remove infested or diseased leaves immediately. Hold a large bucket lined with a plastic or tightly closeable bag underneath the area you are going to clip. Bagradas instantly drop to the ground the moment you disturb the plant. So you can't sneak up on them and cover the plant with a plastic bag. The bucket catches them and the leaves. DO NOT lay the leaves or trim on the ground. They lay eggs both on your plant and in the ground. Eggs you might not see hatch quickly, defeating your clipping. Securely tie the clippings and bugs in a plastic bag so they can't escape, and take them to the TRASH. Do not put them in compost or green waste. Simply moving Bagradas doesn't work. They fly.
If the infestation is lesser, in my case, I hold a large tray under an area of the plant, then tap gently, I schmush the ones that fall into the tray. I keep doing it in stages until there are no more. Then I come back in about five minutes and do it again. The ones that fall to the ground quickly go back up the plant. And don't let the little round black/red instars get away either. They mature quickly and lay more eggs.
REMOVE MULCH HABITAT from around infested or susceptible plants until the Bagrada season is OVER. They hide out in the mulch, mate like crazy, lay eggs in the ground. They are expert at playing dead, and once you are gone, quite quickly climb back up on the plant. I've seen it. Stand very still and wait...sure enough, there they come. That's your second chance to remove, euphemism for kill, the ones that escape the first round.
- PLANTING TIPS I highly suggest biodiversity, interplanting - that's mixing it up, even interplanting different varieties of the same plant (especially broccoli), rather than monoculturing - a row of a single kind of plant. With rows of a single plant, the pest or disease simply goes plant to plant and you lose the whole row. This also stops leafminers (typical on soft leaved chard & beets) from going plant to plant. Slows them way down.
Plant so mature plant leaves don't touch! Stop the ease of transmission. If you can't help yourself, and go monoculture, plant too close, clip back, harvest, the between leaves so they don't touch. More is not always better. Dense plantings can literally starve plants that get rootbound, that have less access to a healthy allotment of soil food and soil organisms that tickle their roots. Jammed together leaves are not able to get the sun power they need, so there are smaller leaves and less fruits. Snails successfully hide out; mildew and leaf miners can ruin the crop. There are so many reasons to give your plants ample space to live and breath.
Use mycorrhizae fungi when you plant. The fungi network linking your plants is proven that when one plant gets a disease or pest, it warns the neighbor plant. That plant then boosts its own defenses!
You could wait and plant your Brassicas late, from transplants, in October, when the weather has cooled.
Here is the link to some additional really excellent information at UC IPM
(Integrated Pest Management) published Jan 2014.
You have choices!
- Persevere, plant and do what you can. Pray for survival.
- Wait until the weather cools, plant late, October works well.
- Mix it up! Plant a few Brassicas/mustard/radishes now, some more later. Succession plantings are a wise gardener technique! If a first planting fails, plant another round when conditions have changed. If both plantings succeed, YES, you have a continuous fresh table supply!
- Don't plant over winter; rest your soil, or plant soil restoring cover crops!
- Only plant what Bagradas don't care for and doesn't attract them. Greens are super healthy ~ just don't plant cruciferaes (cross) like Mizuna, mustard or turnips, not any of the plants with four (cross) petal flowers. Better not to get those mixed mesclun 6 packs at this time.
Good luck, Dear Gardeners, be fearless and strong!
Planting in Pallets! Why and How!
Pretty! Make the most of your space! For us veggie gardeners, best plants are dwarf or bush varieties of vegetables and herbs, compact fruits like strawberries, patio/container types or determinate tomatoes! Plants that produce many fruits or flowers per plant are ideal. Little flowers get planted tight and snuggly. Veggies need more room between, access to more soil, to grow bigger and fruit well.
Sam West's flower Pallet Garden in Sydney Australia
Where will your pallet live? Be sure balconies are safe for the wet weight and your neighbors won't be bothered by your dripping! If you are a renter be sure it's allowed, or that your owner association approves.
WHY pallet garden?!
Space saver if used vertically
More production per space available
Less water use
Avoids soil diseases
Schools, apt dwellers with only a balcony, everyday gardeners with limited budgets and/or space can grow pallet gardens!
No expensive lumber costs. Pallets are often free!
There are start up costs. Sometimes the pallet. Landscaping cloth, the best potting mixes.
Maintenance can be intensive.
Flowers or Veggies, vertical pallets need a little organization!
Joe Lamp'l's Garden Pallet at Mother Earth Living
Tall plants on top.
Vining types like lemon cucumbers, mini melons, at the bottom! If you aren't doing veggies, put sprawling ground cover types at the bottom.
Choose it to use it! HT, Heat Treated (not chemical,) pallets are made from the best quality wood, so they have knots in the wood.
Pallets come in different sizes, weights and variable construction! They can be rectangular or square, long and narrow, small or large.
If you will be growing edibles, fruits, veggies and herbs, be sure your pallet is food friendly.
What was it used for? Is it imported? Chemical treatments to avoid bacteria and molds, prevent insects and fungi, aren't good. Pallets made of wood dust and composite wood block contain formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Avoid stained pallets. When in doubt, don't!
If you get your pallet from a company, ask if it is ok to take it. Some pay a deposit and can only get it back when the pallet is returned. Check out your local recycling center first, your garden supply, Craig's list.
Pathways with Purpose! This size, long skinny pallets with wide spacing, are great for pathways with a worm farm underneath! Next season you can plant directly in the space that was previously your walkway or move the rich soil where you want it and do another path where you will plant next! Great for muddy terrain. If deeper mud, just lay pallets on pallets to get the height you want!
Chris Cano's Worm Walkway in Gainesville FL
Vertical gives more space! Safe from bunnies but easy munchies for deer!
bSq Design manages & revitalizes the life cycle of humble pallets!
Successful Veggie Varieties!
Determinate Tomatoes: Celebrity, Fresh Salsa, SuperTasty, Tiny Tim, Small Fry, Patio Hybrid and Toy Boy are all great selections!
Peppers: Sweet Heat, Great Stuff, or Baby Belle. Candlelight hot peppers
Eggplant with smaller fruits, Okra
Lettuce mix: Healing Hands, Alfresco, or City Garden Mix. Spinach.
Herbs: Red Rubin or Genovese basil, sage, spearmint, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and cilantro
Summer squash: Saffron or Dwarf Summer Crookneck, bush varieties
Cucumbers: Bush Champio, Salad Bush, or Spacemaster
Watermelons: Bush Sugar Baby or Golden Midget. Any mini melons.
Not good! Root vegetables like carrots. Carrots usually don't have enough space.
The standing, movable A-Frame! Some pallets are smaller, more lightly planted, less heavy, easier to move. Don't water on moving day!
The ultimate space saver, the Wall or hang them on your fence! If you are growing veggies, just be sure they are reachable for tending and harvesting!
Let's Plant These Babies!
Get out your gloves! Nail bites and splinters are no fun. Hose down your pallet, maybe give it a scrub. Let it dry. Make any needed repairs. Sandpaper if needed.
Veggies do best in full sun! Make your pallet garden very near or at where it will live. They are heavy, especially with wet soil!
Make pockets or cover the pallet back with doubled landscaping fabric or shade cloth. Leave a longer length at the bottom so you can fold it up around the bottom like wrapping a present ~ to keep the soil from oozing out the bottom. Staple it to any place it touches wood to keep the soil where you want it. Some pallet gardeners like pockets with airflow between them, others just cover the back, fill with soil, and plant away. Some don't trust the staples and fabric, so use a second pallet for parts, and build wooden pockets that won't fail! Drill drain holes in the bottom pieces.
Choose the best organic potting mix enriched with tasty nutrients and that have good water holding capacity. Super ones oriented to container gardens will do the job!
The easy way to plant is just lay the pallet on the ground and plant into it as usual. Fill it with premoistened potting soil, install your plants. Starting at the bottom, lift and shake a bit at each layer to settle the soil. Make sure soil is firmly packed as you move up. Fill in spots that settle.
Get out your staple gun again, and staple the landscape fabric over the top of the pallet. This lets you fill the pallet completely with soil. It keeps the soil from falling out each time you water, and prevents weeds from growing around the plants in the top section of the pallet garden. Cut X holes where you will plant the top plants and plant them.
Leave your planted pallet laying on the ground for three or four days. 2 to 3 weeks is much better though, to let the plants get established and hold the soil in place. Depends on you, your plants, your pallet and patience!
Carefully and slowly, gently water so the soil won't wash away. Add more soil if there is settling.
You can run a drip system through the planter if you like, especially if you planted densely. Water won't get from the top to the bottom of a densely planted pallet. You can put the drip in at anytime, but it's easier before you plant. Just drill holes in the side and run your line through side to side. One way or the other, water thoroughly. Check the bottom rows to be sure they are moist.
Water as needed. If you planted densely to prevent soil loss, there are a LOT of thirsty roots all packed together. Water frequently. And all those roots are hungry! Feed them, liquid fertilizer. Right?
Paint ‘em or stain ‘em! Pocket Pallet Garden of Strawberries is attractively stained and vertical. It is not needing to be tightly planted because the soil is safely held in the pockets! Each plant has plenty of soil.
Lay-down pallets! Rather than going vertical, many gardeners lay their pallets right on the ground! Strawberries and lettuce worked best for this gardener! And strawberries and lettuce are great companions! The boards act as mulch, keep the soil moist and protect the roots from losing their surrounding soil. There's less weeding! When you are done at that location, pick up your pallet and move on! Make a strawberry pallet planter, or chard, or lettuce!
Mavis Butterfield loves her pallet gardens!
Save your back raised bed pallet! Ideal for growing gourmet mesclun mixes to mow and munch!
Make a statement, tell a story! Leaning learning pallets! This one features bee friendly plants!
Pallet gardens are as variable as the creativity of the Gardener! Pallets can be used as privacy walls, borders, dividers, compost enclosures, garden furniture, a potting bench, tool rack/holder, to build structures! They enhance the art of gardening and can be garden art!
This beautiful pallet garden was at the 2012 Canada Blooms National Home Show!
bSq Design manages & revitalizes the life cycle of humble pallets!
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Upcoming Garden Events!
Walk or bike to events as possible!
Plan for this fabulous event September 9, 10, 11, 2014 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California! Please tell your dearest family and friends about it. ONLY $25.00 – all 3 days!!!
The National Heirloom Exposition is a not-for-profit event centered around the pure food movement, heirloom vegetables, and anti-GMO activism. Our second annual event held mid-September 2012 in Santa Rosa, California drew more than 18,000 people from around the country and beyond, 100 speakers, 300 venders! Some of the 2014 speakers: Dr Jon Mercola, John Jeavons, Vani Hari of FoodBabe.com, herbalist Shoshanna Easling - Making Babies, Robert Kourik, author of 14 books on sustainable gardening!
Save the Date!
Sat. September 27th, 2014 10am to 6pm
Plaza de Vera Cruz across from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market! (100 Block of East Cota St.)
Partnered with the FoodBank, the SOL Food Festival
is a one-day community festival that celebrates local farmers, chefs, organizations and individuals who are working toward a healthy food system for all. It is a place to connect, learn, create, network, inspire, and play our way to a brighter food future. Enjoy talks by local experts. Walk the booths. Bring your family! Eat scrumptious healthy food!
Everyone has the power to create a more healthful, sustainable and delicious food future for themselves and their community.
The same day as Sol Food please also enjoy the starting date of the
SB Botanic Garden Fall Native Plant Sale!
October is planting season in California!
Sept. 27 - Nov. 2, ONLY 9 AM to Noon on the 27th!!
Do get there early for the finest specimens!
- Drought Defense Day, October 18, 10 - 2 pm
- Drip Irrigation Workshop, October 18, 2-4 pm, Reservation required
THIRD EVENT ON THE 27TH!!!
at Earl Warren Showgrounds!
Sat. and Sun. Sept. 27th & 28th
10 am to 5 pm Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday
will be helping staff the Santa Barbara Horticulture Society table! Take images or samples so they can better answer your questions!
Have a great time!
Hungry for more?! Outstanding Event....
28th California Avocado Festival
Oct 3, 4, 5, Carpinteria CA
- 2nd year in a row that the California Avocado Festival can boast Zero Waste!
- LED lighting in our Commercial Venue to reduce power usage.
- Last year's event, the Food Vendors donated 1252 Lbs. of food donated, and 876 Lbs. of avocados to the Santa Barbara Food Bank!
- Our free doggie day care had over 150 dogs kept happy, cool, and entertained while their owners enjoyed the festival! We are committed to keeping dogs from being locked in their owner's cars during the long hot days.
- One of the largest free music festivals in California with over 75 acts on four stages.
Leave a wild place, untouched, in your garden! It’s the place the faeries and elves, the little people can hang out. When you are down on your hands and knees, they will whisper what to do. All of a sudden an idea pops in your mind….
In the garden of thy heart, plant naught but the rose of love. – Baha’U’Uah
"Earth turns to Gold in the hands of the Wise" Rumi