Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
31 August 2017
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All Gardeners Meeting - Mark your calendar!
Saturday 9/16, 10:00 am
In front of the trailer porch
Feel free to bring food.
There will an update on the ACGA Conference, a financial update and more...
If you have any agenda items email Nick Sweeney at email@example.com
Micah 6 Food Pantry
Being that August and September are low veggie production months, the poundage going to the Micah food pantry has hit a temporary slump. If anyone would like to pick up an extra bag of fruit when grocery shopping and donate it, it will be greatly appreciated. Please leave in fridge in trailer before 9:00 am on Saturdays and mark it "Micah".
Duties that Count for TSBVI Service Hours
July 1 thru December 31, 2017
- weed paths of TSBVI garden
- smooth paths of TSBVI garden
- edge TSBVI garden area
- weed area between TSBVI garden and TSBVI classroom
- weed paths of accessible raised beds area
- smooth paths of accessible raised beds area
- edge accessible raised beds area
- cut grass outside of fence along Sunshine and 49th St
- cut grass along inside fence on all sides of Sunshine Gardens
- remove trees and weeds from fence line on all sides of Sunshine Gardens
- edge sidewalks and curbs along Sunshine and 49th St
- pick up trash outside of garden along Sunshine and 49th St
- pick up and dispose of trash in our compost area
- working in garden outside of gate at entrance to Sunshine
- special jobs assigned by Janet Adams or Nicole Fisher, TSBVI teacher
What does NOT count
- cutting grass except for areas listed above
- working in gardens around the trailer
Our agreement with TSBVI states explicitly that Sunshine is responsible for keeping all of the garden clean, orderly and maintained. The one TSBVI hour per plot is to benefit the school and their horticulture program more specifically.
Please contact Janet Adams firstname.lastname@example.org with any problems or questions about this list.
Nicole is a teacher and keep in mind that if you see her at the classroom or in the TSBVI garden, she is probably working and will not be able to stop and talk. Her first priority must be the students and the school.
And always remember that the service hours requirement is a minimum, not a maximum.
Rabbits at SCG
There have been reports of rabbits grazing on the SCG grounds again. A taskforce is forming to address this, however, no action will be taken until the weather cools down and traps can be set humanely.
In the meanwhile, protecting emerging seedlings and vulnerable plants from rabbits will fall to individual gardeners. This is also the safest option for protecting your plants regardless of community efforts since the trapping process often takes many weeks.
Here are some suggestions - the more of these you combine the greater your defense will be:
Plant a patch of radishes and lettuces away from any prized crops that you have defended with scent and physical barriers per options covered below. Rabbits prefer the easy feed and they will not trouble the good stuff behind the barriers in that case.
- Go to a dog groomer and get a sack of dog hair and place it along the edges of beds that contain tender plants. Rabbits will not come near this smell.
- Plant strongly-aromatic plants near rabbit-vulnerable plants. Nasturtium flowers are recommended but also marigold flowers or any other strong-odor flowers and herbs such as basils, holy basil (tulsi), mints, curry-herb, lemon verbena or lemon balm.
- Buy some cheap (but fresh) bulk cayenne or other hot pepper powder and sprinkle it over and around vulnerable plants. Reapply as needed. (This also discourages snails, etc.)
- Make a "brewed tea" spray using boiling water plus fresh or powdered
garlic, fresh hot chilis or powdered hot pepper. Let it sit overnight.
Make sure you strain it using a
paint-strainer bag or cheese cloth. Add a small amount of dish
detergent. Using a hand or pump sprayer, spray a circle around tender
plants that you are trying to protect. Reapply as needed. There are
several recipes on the internet, for example:
(but do not use mineral oil, from petroleum, use sesame oil)
Simply lay row cover, chicken-wire, rabbit-wire or old window screens over tender plants, using boards or bricks as needed to lift the material up and/or anchor it in place. A simple barrier like this may not keep everything safe but it might save a majority. Of course, the more elaborate your barrier-structure and edge sealing, the better this will work.
Some adult rabbits can squeeze through an opening the size of a saltine cracker. Repurpose your larger, cylindrical tomato cages by wrapping the lower portion with either chicken-wire fencing or hardware cloth (1/2 inch wire-mesh.) Rabbits can dig but they can't climb so bury the bottom 6-8 inches below the soil surface and plant your seeds or transplants within. NOTE: A baby rabbit can squeeze though chicken-wire holes. However, again, rabbits prefer ease so may not bother if other easier food is available.
Bagrada 'stink' bug in South Central Texas
Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management specialist, Bexar County summarizes:
The Bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris) an invasive stink bug that has been slowly spreading through the southwestern U.S. for the past decade, has recently been reported in Hays County.
This bug can cause serious crop damage as well as cause damage to plants in commercial nurseries and home gardens and landscapes.
Adult Bagrada bugs have the same coloring as harlequin bugs, but are about one-third to one-half their size with smaller orange markings and no white markings.
The Bagrada bug is primarily a pest of Cole crops in the mustard family, or Brassicas, including brassicaceous weeds such as wild mustard. Bagrada bug prefers plants such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, radishes and Brussels sprouts.
However, it is also known to feed on cotton, Sudan grass and Bermuda grass. Keck said the bug has needle-like mouth parts used to penetrate and feed on plants and young seeds. They can cause a range of damage from leaf spotting, wilting or stunting, which can result in the plant not producing a flower, heads not forming, or even death of the plant.
A high concentration of Bagrada bugs can significantly damage young broccoli and cabbage plants left unprotected in as few as two to three days. This pest is certainly capable of producing the kind of numbers needed to cause this type of damage.
Wizzie Brown, AgriLife Extension entomologist for Travis County adds:
There has been a recent identification of the pest in Hays County, however, is not the first instance of the bug being found in South Central Texas. The Bagrada bug has also been identified in the Austin area. We've had reports of the bug from residents who have home gardens or who tend community gardens. The bugs appear to have shown up sometime late last year and then sprang up again on some cole crops this spring. Some people reporting them thought they were baby stink bugs.
Bagrada bugs gather on plants and lay their eggs one at a time or in small clusters on the underside of leaves and stems or in soil beneath the plant. The eggs start out white and turn an orange-red as they get older.
Young Bagrada bugs change color from bright orange-red to near black with red markings as they get older. Newly molted nymphs are also red but quickly darken to a near-black color with the white and orange markings.
Early detection is important as bug populations can build quickly, but can be difficult because they are small compared to other vegetable pests and may be easily overlooked until populations become large.
It's usually difficult to observe Bagrada bugs until there's been some damage, so look carefully for damage like light-green lesions, which are easier to spot than the insects during the early period of infestation. If you're a home gardener, be sure to inspect plants and shipping containers for the bug or signs of possible bug infestation before you plant. More frequent monitoring for the bug may be necessary when temperatures rise above 75 degrees, as the bugs are typically more active and visible during the warmer parts of the day.
In gardens where the pest is present in large numbers, it may be advisable to remove host plants and replace them with plants not in the mustard family.
While some control methods may include picking the bugs off by hand or using a hand-held vacuum cleaner to remove them from the plants, it is often easier to tap the plant and let the bugs fall onto a cloth in order to collect them. Also, pyramid traps baited with crushed sweet alyssum inside polypropylene bags can be used to catch and destroy these bugs, especially when in large numbers.
In larger production systems, cultural control methods such as weed control and planting transplants as opposed to seeds may reduce populations and damage by Bagrada bugs. Stink bugs are difficult to manage with insecticides and repeat applications are often necessary. Adult bugs usually fly away before they contact the insecticide and return later.
Home vegetable growers will probably have better control by using plant covers or screening to exclude the bugs - or by removing host plants from the garden. If insecticides are used in a home garden or landscape, be sure to check the pesticide label to make certain the product is registered for use in that specific application. There has been some success using pyrethrum to suppress adults while azadirachtin and insecticidal soaps have been shown to help reduce nymph populations.
Experience with the bug on commercial cole crops in conventional field vegetable production in Arizona and California has shown success using carbamate, neonicotinoid, organophosphate or pyrethroid insecticides for control. However, most Organic Materials Review Institute-approved pesticides are unable to control Bagrada bug. For agricultural purposes, pesticides with quick-acting contact activity such as pyrethroids may provide good short-term protection against Bagrada bugs feeding on emerging leaves and transplants.
Once transplants become established, foliar sprays of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids should help prevent further feeding damage. Of course, while these bugs may move to other areas on their own, it is important people don't help them by inadvertently transporting infested plants or produce into new areas.
Note: Sunshine and TSBVI does not allow these particular pesticides to be used. For the home or community garden, the best method of control is using physical barriers to protect your crops or physically removing the pests from your crops as mentioned in the article. Bagrada and harlequin bugs seem to be worse in late spring when our cruciferous crops (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.) are past their prime.
Should you have any content to add to the Weeder, email your article or suggestion to email@example.com. On normal weeks content should be received by end of day Wednesday.
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Gardens
- President - Nick Sweeney firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice President - Marilyn Landberg email@example.com
- Secretary - Polly Porter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer - Caroline Limaye email@example.com
- Director - Bill Cason firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Lori Dobbin email@example.com
- Director - Randy Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
Email the board.
- Zone 1, Martin Morales email@example.com
- Zone 2, Katy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 3, Ludmila Voskov email@example.com
- Zone 4, Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 5, Mary Gifford email@example.com
- Zone 6, Charlotte Jernigan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 7, Maria and Philip Wiley email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 8, Shannon Posern email@example.com
- Zone 9, Kerry Howell firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 10, Christopher Schroder
Karl Arcuri email@example.com
- Weekly Weeder Newsletter - Polly Porter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Plant Sale - Randy Thompson & Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- TSBVI Liaison & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams jartdaht@gmailcom
- Plot Assignment - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Compost Coordinator - Janet Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
- Education Committee - Shannon Posern email@example.com
- Carpentry & Repairs - Robert Jarry firstname.lastname@example.org
- Water Leak Repairs - Steve Schulz email@example.com
- Tools & Wheelbarrows - Bob Easter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kitchen Supplies - Anita Keese
(If supplies are needed for events, contact by email or at 512-773-2178)
- Compost Tea - Jennifer Woertz email@example.com
- Micah 6 - Dana Kuykendall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Micah 6 - Mary Gifford email@example.com
- Website Coordinator - Sharon Rempert firstname.lastname@example.org
- Spanish language contact - Andriana Prioleau email@example.com
Record Service Hours Online - Green Binder