A Tale of Two Kales

It was the best of kales; it was the worst of kales. (Where the Dickens did I read that?) I was watering yesterday and gave little attention to the stray kale (Lacinato) that had somehow gotten in with a patch of garlic . What I did notice, though, having just moved from watering the Brassica bed, was that there were no flea beetle holes in its leaves. NONE.   Yet the same variety, fifteen feet away (and surrounded by other Brassicas) was too pitiful for the table.   Its pretty well known that diverse plantings make crops plants harder for pests to find, and of course there is a wide belief in particular companion planting combinations. I haven’t found most …

ShepherdA Tale of Two Kales

Parsleyworm

That’s what I call it, though if you look it up on the Internet – boy do I love the Internet — the citizen science site Bug Guide calls it the Black Swallowtail after its mature form. Whatever you want to call it, I was out watering the celery roots today, and the hose got tangled up in the end of the bed. I am very distracted these days by putting the finishing touches on the new Seed 2 Table Network site so I have not been giving the garden the attention it deserves (yes, a contradiction!) but I noticed as I was untangling the hose the underside of a celeriac leaf, and the enormous number of eggs it had …

ShepherdParsleyworm

Compost Tea and Early Blight

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post yesterday by Adrian Higgins about the wet season we are having — after a multi-year drought, we have already gotten something like 30 inches of rain this year — and its effect on the garden. One of the most pronounced effects, which Higgins discusses in some detail, is the prevalence of foliage diseases and fruit rots in wet seasons. We’ve certainly seen that here:  our cultivated cherries had serious fruit rot problems due to the huge, tightly packed clusters of fruit (the smaller, less densely clustered wild sweet cherries along the driveway did not have this problem). On the subject of foliage diseases he notes that the season for early blight …

ShepherdCompost Tea and Early Blight