Political Commentary

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

From the Gardens Registrar: Jumping Worms in the Leaf Pile at EH; Should You Prune Your Tomatoes?; Spinosad Spraying for Potato Beetles; Have You Lost a Necklace?; Wildflowers and Weeds; Nominate Your Favorite Plot

Hello Gardeners,

JUMPING WORMS – Sad to say, but not unexpected, it has now been confirmed that we do have jumping worms in the leaf pile at Eagle Heights. At this point, there’s not much we can do about that. But please don’t move plants from our EH gardens to your home or share them with friends outside of our gardens, because of the risk of spreading the worms to their gardens.

PRUNING TOMATOES?  - Tomato growers are divided about whether or not it is helpful to prune tomato plants. Partly, it makes a difference what kind of tomatoes you’re growing. “Determinate” tomatoes are bred to grow only to a certain size, and then stop. They are generally smaller, more compact plants, and will give you a large number of tomatoes at one time. You do not need to prune determinate tomatoes. Paste tomatoes, such as Romas, are determinate, and so are some larger-fruited tomatoes, such as Rutgers and Celebrity. “Indeterminate” tomato plants will keep growing throughout the season, producing their tomatoes over a longer period of time. Some gardeners believe these plants have to be pruned for best yields. But not everybody agrees. Here’s an article which goes into some of the pros and cons: https://www.thespruce.com/dont-prune-tomato-plants-2539820

SPINOSAD SPRAYING – Last week, I asked if gardeners were interested in our spraying spinosad, an organic insecticide, to kill potato beetles. Five gardeners were in favor, and two were opposed to the plan. Based on this response, we will spray only the plots of the five gardeners who were in favor. Spraying can only be done in the evening, when bees aren’t active. (The spinosad will dry overnight, so the bees will not be affected by it the next morning when they return to work.) It can’t be windy, to make sure the spray goes only where it’s directed, and there’s no point in spraying if it is likely to rain the next day. We will only spray one time. So if you want your plot sprayed, tell me in the next few days.

FOUND NECKLACE – Found, one nice-looking necklace, on Eagle Heights Drive near the garden parking, Tuesday evening. If you’ve lost it, let me know, and I’ll connect you with the gardener who found it.

WILDFLOWERS AND WEEDS – What’s the difference between these two things? One definition would be - if we have a plant that we didn’t put in our garden, and we like it, it’s a wildflower. If we don’t like it, it’s a weed. Essentially, they’re the same thing, except for our attitude towards them. Most of the weeds in our gardens are not native to this area, but they may still be attractive or interesting to look at, and many of them attract bees and other beneficial insects to our gardens. Many of our weeds are good to eat, and nutritious. Some have medicinal value. The weeds we definitely don’t want are “invasives”, which means that they take over garden areas, and crowd out other species. Here’s a link to an article by a gardener who enjoys at least some of their weeds: https://www.thegardenbuzz.com/2014/08/wildflower-or-weed-whats-the-difference.html

NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE PLOT – Our garden juries have been surveying plots, and finding far fewer weedy gardens than usual. Good job, (almost) everybody. But the juries tend to concentrate on discovering bad plots. Some gardeners think we should do more to encourage good gardening by recognizing especially well-tended plots. So if there’s a plot you particularly admire, figure out the number, and let me know. Even if it’s your own plot!

Happy Gardening, and Stay Safe,  

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