Wednesday June 10, 2015 at the garden

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Thanks to Suzanne and everybody else who gave Deb and Geri a surprise bon-voyage party.  Such good eats and lovely gifts.  We know you’ll all take good care of the garden while we’re in Turkey, and we’ll come back to it much advanced.  Keep an eye on the new broccoli, eggplant, and tomato seedlings we planted today.  In the first photo, you can see a bit of the lovely garlic we harvested today.  It’s at the elbow on the left, but it doesn’t show the surprisingly big bulbs.  More pics soon of it drying in the greenhouse.

Curly top virus on tomato plants: how to recognize and what to do


Curling leaves with purple veins on back may indicate curly top virus, but you need to rule out other possibilities.  Though it’s not catching from plant to plant, a beet leaf hopper, feeding on an infected plant, can transfer the virus to healthy plants.  Dry conditions in June, lack of shade, or lack of row cover contribute to susceptibility.  One solution is to plant tomatoes later.  All this according to giant veggie gardener in Santa Fe.

Identifying Tomato Curly Top Virus (CTV)-more info

Growing potatoes

Advice by this gardening guru says to make the soil slightly acidic by adding oak leaves, sawdust, or pine needles to the soil, dust seed potatoes with sulfur just before planting, avoid adding manure or lime, but add bone meal (high in phosphorus) and mound periodically with new soil before the plants start to flower.  But don’t hoe after that because you’ll disturb the shoots the potatoes are forming on.

Never add a fertilizer high in nitrogen to your potato patch as it will produce plants as large as you but no potatoes will develop. Go here for more details:

You can also add sulfur to lower the ph.  To calculate ph to know how much sulfur to add to the soil before planting, go here:

Garden Update 6/2

Our garden is gradually moving into a new set of chores. We have a few more circle plots to prep for corn. We need to replant corn in the large circle plot. We realized that the cold May kept the corn from sprouting. There are a few blades showing and we weeded carefully around them Sat. “This time let’s put 3 kernels in each hole,” Debbie says. Suzanne will replant the small carrot plot. Linda has a chart that tells which plants like to be planted together and those that don’t like each other. We planted the carrots in a plot that is surrounded by dill and they are incompatible. We can top off the scapes on the shallots and dry them for planting next year. Someone can thin the cosmos. Do we have marigolds? They make the overall look of the garden so charming. We need lots of help planting chiles in the next few work days, as well as eggplant and bell peppers. Deb and Geri will direct that operation.

Now here’s the thing about how our garden grows… that the days are hot we need to water every workday. It takes a minimum of 4 people to water and five are even better. Here’s why. We have a shallow irrigation well with no way to control the pressure. It is either on or off. At least one blue 2″ hose should be set to water a plot and at least 4 circle hoses should have the valves turned on and set in plots. Then the pump can be turned on. We’ll ruin the pump if we turn it on and the valves to the hoses are turned off. On the other hand, if we turn on the pump without checking the hose valves and they are all on but the hoses aren’t set we’ll have water everywhere, except in the plots. Sooooo, we have several people who are good water masters and they recruit hapless workers who stroll into the garden. Unfortunately, Ingrid, chief water master, is out of the state for a while. If you are recruited to watch and move a hose, thank you, the thirsty little plants will thank you too. The next few workdays will be very hectic, trying to get the last few plots planted and everything watered.

The hotter weather forces us to start working at least by 9:00 AM ( Suzanne will be there earlier on Wed.) so we can leave before noon. This Sunday as I was drying the dill Michael carefully saved from his weeding, I was pleasantly surprised to find the man from KD Farms bringing us some small tomato and chile starts for our members to take home. They were extra and he hoped we could use them. Come to the garden! We need all the help we can get!!! If it gets too hot we’ll just turn a hose on you. jjh