Getting ready for Spring!

We sowed bell beans as a cover crop late last fall - then locked the garden gate and hoped for the best. And once again, they came through! The raised beds are filled with beautiful, strong bean plants just about to flower.

It’s important to cut the beans off just below soil level before the plant starts to flower. At this stage, the plants have produced multiple nitrogen nodules attached to the roots. If the plant is left to produce fruit, the nitrogen will transfer up the stalk and into the beans. By cutting the stalk the nitrogen nodules are left to feed the soil - right where we need them!

Beautiful Cabbage Moth

I saw this wonderful article from the UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County and thought I would share it - every garden around here has those pretty white moths fluttering around….

Cabbage Family

Aren’t those little white butterflies flitting around your garden beautiful? Well, not if you know what they are or if you have noticed corresponding holes in your collard greens. They are the adult moth stage of the cabbageworm which eats cruciferous vegetables. Included targets are kale, cabbage, broccoli, and bok choi. You can catch the moths with a butterfly net or pool skimmer before they can lay more eggs. You can hand pick the well-camouflaged one-inch-long green caterpillars or spray them with an organic product with the active ingredient of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). You can even pick off the tiny white eggs if you can find them on the undersides of the leaves.

UC Pest Note on Imported Cabbageworm

Photos: Top – summer cabbage white butterfly in flight, from  UC Bug Squad Blog , by Kathy Keatley Garvey. Bottom – imported cabbageworm larva by Jack Kelly Clark

Photos: Top – summer cabbage white butterfly in flight, from UC Bug Squad Blog, by Kathy Keatley Garvey. Bottom – imported cabbageworm larva by Jack Kelly Clark

How to deal with the unwanted pests in your garden

There is one threat to our vegetables that surrounds us every day, and we are calling these "The Unwanted Pests" which are defined as animals and insects who will ruin the garden that you've worked very hard in the cruel sun, for many hours. We are going to give you ideas on how to deal with these unwanted eaters. 

Insects

There are some insects that are good for your garden, while the rest are annoying to your garden and can ruin your hard work. Here are some tips 

Beer in an upside down frisbee (Slugs)

Soap + (Aphids)

Gophers/Moles/Voles

Now we come to the Gophers, Moles and Voles. Unlike the animals we have mentioned above this list, these guys are sneaky and dig their way underground. Here are some ways to get rid of them; 

Hose 

Ultrasonic 

Churn the soil (to collapse tunnels)

Cayenne Pepper