Welcome back to school, for those of who indulge, or sorry your summer fun is over, for those of you resisting getting back into the routines. Appreciation goes to gardeners Daniel Yanez and family members Jennifer and Ruby, for volunteering their assistance on Saturday, August 6 to assist with our West Side Landscape Improvements Project. With Daniel operating our rented skid steer, we were able to complete grading operations for the picnic area and pathways and, after a bit of coordinating the grading operations (okay, mostly Patty's arm waving at Daniel) and hand raking, Daniel moved gravel onto the weed barrier fabric.
Buoyed by evidence of the weekend's activities, on Monday August 8, Kendra Eliason and Katie Meis were motivated to complete fine grading at the picnic area to enable laying of yet more weed fabric. Thanks Kendra and Katie! Volunteers are encouraged to come out and help finish up to prepare for planting in the fall! Numerous volunteer days will be scheduled in August. Check the calendar for dates and times.
As mentioned in our recent update, Garden VP and Westside Project Lead Patty Sacks will be holding numerous volunteer mornings during August to complete the fine grading and graveling for the West Side Project, and to prepare the beds for fall planting. Please contact Patty at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know if you can attend. Hours will be tracked as donations in kind, by John Malito, and you can also upload your time on the Rose Roots website, as it will count toward the 12 hour requirement for Rose Roots Community Garden members.
Upcoming Westside Work Party Dates
Thursday, August 18, 8-noon
Saturday, August 20, 8-noon
Sunday, August 21, 8-noon
Thursday August 25, 8-noon
Saturday, August 27, 8-noon
Sunday, August 28, 8-noon Come on down and work those muscles!
Grading Steps of Westside Landscaping Project
Huge thanks to Patty and Daniel for making the grading happen on the Westside Landscaping Project. Major break through!
Thank you also to all gardeners coming out to help with this big push on the Westside Landscaping project where we are starting to get pathways in and are looking forward to planting drought resistant foliage. Many hands make light work!
Water your plot before using the rototiller, and hopefully we won't have to replace so many tines.
Garden Pest Identification and Organic Control Methods
Patty pinged John, with CSU Extension, for more info on Squash Bugs. Here is his feedback:
Squash bugs can be a big problem for squash and pumpkins; they use their piercing/sucking mouthparts to suck plant juices from stems and fruits, damaging yield and quality.
They are difficult to control by any method because they are highly mobile. If the area is small enough, you might be able to succeed by hand picking them and tossing them into a bucket of soapy water. Be sure to check the undersides of the leaves for clusters of bronze, football-shaped eggs. Some people report success with control of adults and nymphs by leaving a board like a 2x4 on the ground in the squash bed over night; the bugs will aggregate on the underside. In the morning while it is still cool (and the bugs sluggish), you can collect and dispose of them--some folks will even use a shop-vac for this (you can use the "wet" setting and put the soapy water right in the vacuum canister if you like).
Some Organic-use insecticides can be beneficial as well, but coverage is essential and you may have to re-apply because the bugs are highly mobile. Concentrate particularly toward the plant bases, where the bugs concentrate during the heat of the day. There is some evidence that diatomaceous earth around the base of plants can be helpful in control as well.
For more information on the squash bugs' life history and control, please see this extension fact sheet Here.
The yellow insect you may be seeing could be a striped or spotted cucumber beetle--does This seem to match it?
Other beetles you may be seeing include Cucumber Beetles. You can find more info from UMN Extension Here.
Testing Wix Spaces
You may have received a request to download the Wix Spaces app to read a recent update (or you had the option to read it on the website without downloading the app).
What is Wix Spaces? We are currently testing out the Wix “Spaces” app which allows gardeners to interact directly with Newsletter Posts, ask questions, Like posts, interact with each other, etc. The Spaces app, a powerful platform recently developed by Wix, is included with our annual Wix membership.
What is Wix? Wix hosts our garden website and also allows for this private "member space" function which requires members to set up a login to access certain parts of the website.
What else does Spaces do? With the Spaces app, gardeners can comment on informational posts and discuss gardening stuff in that space when logged in to the app. It also allows us to send a quick update to all our members via the Wix phone app when we don't have immediate internet access (eg. Event cancelled due to weather! or...Come on out for a work event, we could use more muscle!). Note: whether you download it or not, you would still get the email, you just wouldn’t have access to the interactive functionality, like making and reading comments.
But Why not just send a group text? Last season we had to click each individual member of over 200 members to send last minute updates from a phone because group texts were limited as they don’t want people to be able to spam text. We looked into group texting, and it was too pricy. Because Spaces allows us to send an email update from a phone instead of a computer for those types of occasions, it is just another way to communicate and get the word out without being reliant on Facebook or the Gram. The Spaces App also allows gardeners a public voice and a way to network with other gardeners through the comment function.
We mentioned in our last newsletter that our Pollinator Garden lead Nicole McCrorie said to use garlic in the water to deter beetles. In fact, her preference is spreading beneficial nematodes which kill the eggs of the beetles before they hatch.
Note: If you choose to try beneficial nematodes, Nicole recommends vigorously mixing the nematode paste in a 5 gal bucket of water before trying to spread it using a backpack sprayer, which can easily get clogged up if the paste isn't fully dissolved. She also recommends checking the filter often. Arbico Organics, a great place to source beneficial nematodes, recommends removing the filter before spraying.
Tomorrow Tuesday Aug 18: 6:30 pm Monthly Steering Committee Meeting. Will be held at Rose Roots Garden unless it rains, which it likely will, according to the forecast, in which case we will update the calendar Here by 5 pm to show the new location. All gardeners are welcome! See our Agenda Here.
This Thursday is Third Thursday Work Party, 8-12 pm. Note: This is usually at 6:30 pm, but we will be doing a morning work party to get more time in while its cool. Get some service hours in. Enjoy time with your garden neighbors. We will be working on the Westside Landscaping project and weeding the pollinator garden.
See you all out at the garden!
Rose Roots Leadership Team