I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout
We had a mild frost on April 24 and 25, which is typical for this time of year. Even though the transplants and seeds we had planted were all hardy, meaning frost tolerant, they may have had a little setback caused by the low temperatures. If the leaves have developed some wilting/mosaic patterns they have been touched by frost, but they will snap back. Had those been tomato or cucumber plants, they would have not have made it.
One way to pamper stressed plants is to spray kelp or liquid foliar(1) fish onto the foliage. Remember to apply these (2)translaminar feeds only in the morning before 9 a.m. or in the afternoon after 5 p.m. The stomata(3) cell openings on the underside of the leaves are open during those times and they shut down during the day. Keep repeating this practice; by feeding plants foliar nutrients you enable swift growth which is what vegetables want. Please make sure you are watering enough, and check whether all the direct seeded beds have plants emerging. If seeds have not germinated by now, please contact us, it may mean that the seeds have dried out and need to be replanted.
Beware of groundhogs! They will decimate your crop if they manage to get into the garden area. You can purchase live traps at Tractor Supply Company, bait them with peanut butter, and take the groundhogs on a nice car ride to a new home away from your garden.
On the topic of garden pests, watch out for the cabbage moth! When you first see the cabbage moth (white butterflies gliding through the garden) appearing on a frequent basis over your garden area, start spraying BT. BT is not a foliar nutrient, it is a very effective organic pesticide that will control the cabbage moth. Feel free to spray it at any time of the day. If you have BT in a powder form, shake it on at any time of the day. Repeat both spray and powder on the plants at least once a week (or after a rain) until the end of May. Allow for at least a 12 hour period where the moths can ingest the pesticide without a watering.
Most importantly, keep up your weekly cultivating. Through this practice you achieve three very important goals:
1. Eliminating weeds at their most vulnerable stage (pre-emergent).
2. Mobilizing nutrients by incorporating oxegyn into the soil.
3. Preserving soil moisture and allowing rain and watering to infiltrate the soil effectively.
If you have peas make sure they get strung up now. You can build a very simple trellis by placing stakes in between the two rows of peas in the garden bed at three foot intervals. Install the the outer stakes at a slight angle, and a bit more deeply, so that they can retain the tension of the twine.
Weaving A Pea Trellis
Weave the twine tightly at 2 inch increments starting 2 inches above the ground.
Repeat again at 4 inches off above the ground, 6 inches above the ground, 8 inches above the ground and so forth.
Check your outer stakes are installed firmly so that they may retain the tention.
Weave the twine in a way that there is no slack.
The weight of the peas can be underestimated, so build your trellis well. The peas will explore with their tendrils and will catch on to the trellis. You may also gently guide them toward the trellis once they are 4 inches tall; they will want to find it. This is important because plants may be growing alongside the peas, and they will get overcrowded if you don’t train your peas to grow vertically on the trellis.
Remember to sing to your plants-
Contact Lauren Blood with any questions, comments or blog suggestions. 610.321.9876 x107, firstname.lastname@example.org
(1)Foliar: Comes from foliage
(2)Translaminar: Foliar feeding
(3)Stomato: Cell opening on undersides of plants