The potatoes are flourishing – there are marauding Colorado potato beetles but their populations are low enough that they are controllable by hand picking and depositing them into the bucket of death (plastic yogurt container of soapy water). A fellow organic gardener shared a valuable suggestion with us that seems to be working to discourage them- heavy mulch with leaves around the plants. Also, regular scouting under the leaves and crushing the colonies of small yellow eggs can seriously decrease their numbers – just be sure to recognize which eggs are those of the Colorado potato beetle (bad) and which are those of lady beetles (good).
Another thing to be careful of is harvesting the mesclun mix before it becomes bitter. With the arrival of warm weather, the larger, tougher lettuces rapidly change in flavor. There is a full row of ‘Rainbow Lights’ swiss chard providing a splash of color and the Russian Blue Kale is growing well.
We ordered most of our seeds through the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and have been pleased with the germination rates. We also received a very generous donation through Seed Savers Exchange through a program called Herman’s Garden (thanks to Teresa with the Page County Heritage Association for letting us know of this program!).
This is an exiting part of the season as we are transitioning from the spring garden to the fall garden, removing the crops that do best in cool weather (lettuces and sweet peas) and replacing them with beans, squash, tomotoes and peppers – some of which were started in flats several weeks ago.
Check back as we will provide updates on how everything is doing.