Watering: We certainly shift from one extreme to another lately. Forecast is for 90 degree temps today. We have good sub-surface moisture, but the surface is going to dry out quickly. I am starting to water early Monday and Friday nights, starting last night. Also ran the water on the North and South Mission Garden beds. If we get rain, I will adjust the watering. The length of watering will be increased as demand increases, and we may shift to three times a week later. It should usually be dry enough to work on your plots and beds by mid-day following a watering.
Bugs: The flea beetles seem to be subsiding and most of the plants effected by them are beginning to recover. There are a few tomato plants that were too small to withstand the attack and may need to be replanted. Interesting that this topic was addressed by several call-ins on the Montana Ag Live TV program last night. General advice was to live through the flea beetle hatches and let plants recover. As soon as lady bugs are available at local nurseries, I will get more and release them.
Weeds: Things are really growing with the heat following the rain. Includes the weeds! Good time to stay on top of them. Purslane is suddenly making its appearance all over the garden – particularly in the raised beds. Get them when they are young and easy to pull out. It is amazing how quickly they flower and start dropping seeds.
Mission Garden Teams: Thanks to you all for your work in getting the Mission Garden up and going. The raised beds are almost completly planted and the Open Area folks are getting started on the vines and corn today. The potatoes were planted earlier and are up and going (along with the weeds).
Seeds and Plants: There are still lots of seeds available in the seed exchange box and extra plants underneath the box for you to use. My last email mentioned that sunflower seeds were in the box. Those would be primarily for you to use at home. Please don’t plant the large size sunflowers in your plots as they will shade other plants and interfere with the watering distribution. There was one seed package with number “5” written on the front that is a dwarf variety that would be okay in the plots. The garden sunflower bed is along the west side of composting fence this year. There will be five varieties of differing heights and colors.
All for now,