Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fungus Is Gone

After battling the fungus (see June 6), I removed the hay mulching I'd had around all the beds to keep the moisture in. It may or may not have caused the fungus, but whether the fungus came from the hay or not, it was keeping it moist and dark, with all the rain. After removing the hay mulch, the sides were able to dry out and for the most part the fungus is gone. Occasionally I find a little here or there, but I think I've tackled it!

I took a photo and a sample to a couple of nurseries, and they didn't know what it was either. The best guess is that it may have come from the wood chips we used in the pathways. One of the people at the nursery thought it looked typical of a tree fungus. We got them from some felled trees in town, so I suppose it's possible. (Next time we get free wood chips do we need to bleach them???)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rain, Hail, Cool Weather

We had more hail yesterday.  I ran out and covered the pepper plants with chairs and stools from the porch, and they don't look any worse for the wear.  They still have holes in their leaves from the last hailstorm.  This time there's a few holes in the spinach leaves and broccoli, but everything else looks like it survived. 

The other day we ate kale for dinner!  I put some curly endive in our salad, too. I've also been using oregano and basil, and I plan to have a spinach salad soon. Oh, boy...we're beginning to reap the harvest.  Can't wait to have more.  There's a few little tomatoes, but I haven't seen many--so far they are small and green and hard to find.  I think it's been too cool for them to do real well.

It's been cool and wet a lot.  Tim is getting the soaker hoses set up, but we haven't really needed them.  There's been enough rain and the ground is so saturated already, we can't really test them out before our trip to see how long to run them.  I guess we'll just have to give it a best guess and hope for the best.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What is this Fungus?

What is this??? This icky fungus is growing around the edges of some of the beds. The bottom, on the soil, is mushy, and the top of it is kind of leathery. It's starting on the edges of the beds that were done first, so I'm wondering if in time it will show up around the others. So far it's just on the edges, underneath the hay mulch that is there to keep the moisture in. It's been very wet--Perhaps if we remove the mulch and expose it to the sun the fungus won't grow? I've looked around a bit on the web for photos of various fungi but haven't yet seen anything similar. I've started removing it, but I'm sure more will grow. I hope it isn't damaging.

I've also found some beetly bugs around, and don't know for sure what they are. After searching a bit I think it's a "bumble flower beetle" and not too very harmful, but if I find them or their larvae around I'll pick them off and get rid of them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tim is working on getting soaker hoses set up on timers all around the yard, to take care of the watering. This will be especially helpful when we are out of town, or even gone for a long day.

I made some more soil blocks to start more bean seeds. I need to get them going, and it's going to be cold and rainy the next couple of days. I'm thinking that if they can just get a good head start in comfy indoor conditions, I can put them outside before our upcoming trip. My guess is that the ones I planted outside were just too cold and wet at first.

I also started some more Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, after soaking the seeds for about 3 days. The first ones I'd planted (in blocks, indoors) never emerged. The package recommends soaking the seeds 48 hours--I started them but forgot about them, so it's actually been 3-4 days. The package also suggests to be sure they don't get dry during germination, so I'll have to watch that. Hopefully they'll do better.

I also planted another brussel sprout, because one of them doesn't look like it's growing like the others; a nasturtium and watermelon to replace ones that didn't make it through the hailstorm.

Things are looking good, for the most part. I especially like to watch the kale & broccoli grow. A friend asked me the other day how I'm going to keep the broccoli bugs out. I was hoping they wouldn't come! But with the companion planting, adding onions and thyme to the bed, it's supposed to confuse the bugs. We'll see....perhaps I should have put more thyme over there, but I'll see how it goes.