Preregistration Required for Jam Making Class

On July 14, the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens Sunflower Reading and Activity will be books about jam and then a jam making class.

Community Gardener and Teacher Faye Mihuta will read two books starting at 9:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m., there will be a Children’s Freezer Jam Making Program with Diane Whitten, from Cornell Cooperative Extension. Children must be between 5 and 12 years old to participate.

Due to the anticipated popularity of this class, pre-registration is required.

If you are interested, please sign up your children up before July 7. Cost is $5. per child and space is limited.

We also need 5 adult volunteers. One per table to work with the children. These volunteers will need to be in the garden at 9:30 a.m. for a brief training session.

If you’re interested, sign up in the garden shed and leave contact information.

Children will be taking home a container of blueberry jam.

You can also register by contacting Natalie Walsh, Garden Director at natalie.walsh@pitneymeadows.org before July 7.

Advertisements

Trapping Cucumber Beetles By Mimicking a Flower

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 7.03.20 AM

That is a cucumber beetle and they can do a lot of damage.  I found them in the garden this morning and took immediate action.
Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 1.18.00 PM.png

Cucumber beetles are found on squash, pumpkins, and melons and feed on the plant’s leaves, vines and fruits.  One organic approach is to trap them and this morning I made a trap that mimics the blossom of squash.

Here’s what I did.  I used a yellow plastic cup, a garden stake, and a container of Tanglefoot, a very sticky substance used to trap insects.

I cut a hole in the cup and pushed the stake through. Then I used a brush to coat the exterior and interior of the cup with Tanglefoot.

I placed the trap in the bed where I saw the most cucumber beetles and within minutes trapped one.  Now I will monitor the trap and see what we catch. Let’s hope this is enough to keep the beetles at bay.

If you want to make one of these for your plot in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens, let me know. I have everything you need.Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 1.18.19 PM.png

UPDATE: Eleven cucumbers beetles were trapped the first day.

 

Sunflower Contest Has Almost 60 Participants

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 12.21.29 PM.png

June 14th is the last day to plant for the sunflower contest. So far we have 58 participants who have planted a seed and who will tend the plants all summer.

The person that grows the tallest sunflower and the person who grows the biggest flower head will each receive a prize. Plants will be measured in the fall. Details to follow.

Want to enter the contest?

Come to the garden Wednesday afternoon between 4 and 7 p.m. or Thursday from 8 to 11 a.m..

Hope to see you there, Natalie

Buckwheat Planted To Improve Soil

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 3.39.57 PMBill Pitney and I planted buckwheat on the east side of the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens today.

The organic seed was purchased from Johnny’s Seeds and chosen because buckwheat is a quick summer green manure, meaning it improves the soil.

Here’s what it says on Johnny’s website: “Buckwheat is widely grown as a grain crop, bee pasture, soil improving cover crop and as wildlife cover. It is a warm season grain which grows rapidly during the summer and several crops per year may be had with proper management. This rapid and dense growth chokes out weeds and is used in crop-free fields in rotation with vegetables.

“Buckwheat is often grown to attract beneficial insects and as pasture for honey bees. Sow in late May through July and till in about a month later, when flowering has begun. For grain harvest, sow 3 months before fall frost. Harvest after killing frost. Planting rate: 2-3 lb./1,000 sq.ft. (60 lb./acre), one-fifth less when planting for grain harvest. Blue label/Certified seed. Organically grown. Avg. 14,800 seeds/lb.”

We should see germination in less than a week and flowers in 25 days.

The area planted is where next year’s raised beds and plots will be.  Using a cover crop not only helps the soil, but the bees will love it too.

Speaking of the bees, they are frequent visitors to our fountain in the butterfly garden.

Tomato Roots Up Close

Look closely along the soil line. See the roots growing near the base of the tomato plant?

This is why we plant tomatoes in a trench and lay them horizontally. Those additional roots that grow along the stem add to the vigor and get the tomato off to a good start.

Murray, a community gardener and tomato lover, deliberately planted this one horizontally at home in a tray before bringing it to the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.  See all the roots growing along the base of stem? They are white. This plant is off to a great start.

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 12.22.21 PM.png

Reading and Gardening Program for Children Starts Saturday

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 1.31.23 PM

That’s George W. hammering in the sign I made for the potato garden. Children who participate in the reading and garden activity program will be planting and growing potatoes, flowers and sunflowers at various times through the summer. They will also be learning about worms and the role of bees and butterflies in the garden.

If your children would like to listen to picture books about gardening and nature, come to the Saturday program.  The first session is this Saturday, June 9, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Natalie