Info, Info, Info (thanks Val!)

Master Gardener Val Smith

The dreaded Groundhog hole

Some of the FLAGG Garden Gang

June 23 saw the afternoon bring us a deluge of rain, wind and even a tornado siren as storms ripped through Ashland County. Come 6:00 and our meeting with Val Smith, master gardener, the skies had cleared and the sun even came out. The gardens were soggy but we were happy we didn’t have to think about watering for another day.

Val walked each of our plots and complimented all on such beautiful gardens. She looked for pests and diseases that may be bothering our efforts. The main culprit so far is rabbits and a pesky groundhog or two. Al is going to be contacted and we will leave the trapping or killing to him since he owns the land. I wonder if he will be like the character Bill Murray played in Caddyshack?

Val’s advice for bugs is to hand pick or use Neem which is non toxic (that is the route I will take). She advised that you can use Sevin but to be sure and read the label carefully and to be sure to WASH all produce before ingesting and not to over use. She has bees at her place so she does not use any chemicals anymore (yea! Val).

Val also said not to kill ladybugs, Asian bugs or lightning bugs and to remember if you do use a pesticide that it will kill the beneficial bugs along with the bad bugs (something to think about).

She talked weed control and the easiest method is to mulch. Paper down  and then covered with thick straw is the easiest. Val can be contacted for straw and she has a wonderful neighbor who is donating straw at NO COST as he believes in what we are doing ( we have been fortunate to have such great people helping us out, haven’t we)? Mulching the plots helps with keeping the moisture in (less watering) and keeping dirt off the plants also which keeps them healthier. My plot is heavily mulched and virtually no weeds.

Val also advised that it is not to late to plant more in our existing plots or we can take the plots by those who opted out of the program and use them. We were given tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant and pepper plants by John and Deb Boyer at Honey Haven when they closed their greenhouse last week for our gardens. It is still ok to plant broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce (you can plant all summer long), spinach, swiss chard and brussel sprouts. End of July you can get these in for a fall crop. She did advise against corn and pumpkins (not enough time now here in Ohio).

Each of us were given a vegetable gardening book put out by the Ohio State University extension office and for anyone needing paper for their beds, please contact me, Nancy, at 419-651-2357 and I can hook you up with paper!

Ev also gave us the schedule for the canning and freezing sessions which will be open to the public. The first one is Monday July 19 at 6 at the Kroc Center and the 2nd class is Monday July 26 also at the Kroc and at 6. Even tho I have canned for years I plan on going to see if they have any new tips or ideas.

I am constantly pleased to see how well each garden is coming along and happy to meet my fellow gardeners. 

Now we need someone to post some comments here!

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