Friday, October 25, 2013

Early Fall Harvest

Fall Planting and Harvesting

  It has been wonderful being involved with the autumn planting at RWCEG. Evan and I had planted part of Bed 1 right around the Autumnal Equinox (Sept 23) when my parents from Phoenix, AZ were visiting. My mother has been an avid gardener for years and my father has taken his hand to growing citrus trees in the past few years, so they were rather interested in helping us with new planting. To our amazement most of our plants have thrived, especially the Mustard Greens to date. The mild weather and abundant rain fall have been such a blessing for the garden. Our mustard greens have grown so much that we have already reaped our first major harvest about month after planting! Below is a picture of Evan next to some of the plants and a Red Giant Mustard Green leaf that he harvested. After our harvest, we ate them with hamburger, and it really added a lot of spicy flavor!

Evan admiring the crops he planted in Bed 1
Evan excited about harvesting mustard greens.

Red Giant Mustard Green leaf harvested by Evan

Is It Snowing at RWCEG?

     Unfortunately, there have been a few problems discovered at the garden. The Southwest corner of Bed 1 has a huge ant mound. The ants do not appear to be hurting the plants, but they are a nuisance to us gardeners. We have treated the corner of the bed and along the base with the ant insecticide, Andro. I believe this has reduced the ants, but they are still there.
    Also, despite the fact many of the plants have grown several large healthy leaves, many of them are riddled with small holes. Upon close inspection during day and night time hours, several small green and black/yellow caterpillars have been discovered to be the culprit. They are usually found on the underneath side of the leaves. We have been diligent to squash them as they are found, but we know this can be quite a battle. As a result, infected plants in both Beds 1 and 2 have been dusted with Bt powder. (See end of blog for details of Bt). Since the Bt insecticide used is a white powder, the treated plants appear to have "snow" on them as shown in the picture below. So far Bed 3 does not appear to have a problem but a close eye should be kept on it.

Snow? No! Beds 1 and 2 have been dusted with BT due to hungry caterpillars.

Hope to see more garden members at RWCEG at our new community time: Sundays 3-5 pm. The place really comes to life when we have the whole community there at the same time.

A few details about "BT" for those interested:
  • Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a naturally occurring bacterial disease of insects. These bacteria are the active ingredient in some insecticides.
  • Bt insecticides are most commonly used against some leaf- and needle-feeding caterpillars. Recently, strains have been produced that affect certain fly larvae, such as mosquitoes, and larvae of leaf beetles.
  • Bt is considered safe to people and nontarget species, such as wildlife. Some formulations can be used on essentially all food Crops.

- Glenn & Evan Starnes  10/25/2013


  1. Thanks for the great post Glen! I will be sure to follow suit with the BT in bed 3. See you at the garden this afternoon.

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