The spring season has been flying by! The week’s forecast is predicting high summer temperatures, which we are grateful for, but not too excited to work in. For the past several weeks the plants in our gardens have been so stunted with their growth because of the lack of warm sunshine, but hopefully it will change for the better this week! We have been experiencing some pests and diseases that we haven’t come across yet during our few years of growing vegetables.
The first one being the flea beetle, it started when we seeded some kale in the garden around the end of April. A few weeks later when we did our daily inspection in the garden and come to find all of our kale sprouts almost eaten alive! We had planned to cover the sprouts with row cover in a few weeks to protect it from the cabbage moth but we didn’t plan for our crops to fall prey to this vigorous flea beetle! After some research we learn that it’s a pretty common garden pest that generally just targets the brassica family of vegetables. We wanted to share a holistic easy remedy for the beetle that we just found out about, in case you’re dealing with it too. Find some rhubarb growing around your neighborhood, pick about 5-10 leaves of the plant and leave the stalk or eat it for a healthy snack! Within the leaves of the rhubarb plant contain a toxic substance called oxalic acid that is the compound that repels the brassica flea beetle! Now chopped those 5-10 leaves up and put them into a big pot or a 5 gallon bucket and then dump around 2-3 gallons of boiling water into the bucket and let the leaves simmer for around 15 minutes. Then strain and voila! You have your own homemade flea beetle remedy to protect those precious brassica crops. Also, make sure to try and mist your crops with the solution a few times because the rhubarb tea creates a film of protection over the crops, that’s how you achieve the best results to keep those beetles away.
Another issue we have come across this spring has to do with our garlic crop. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out exactly what the problem even is. We have noticed over the past few weeks that the tips of our garlic have been turning yellow! As if they are ready to harvest, but it’s only May! We have heard that garlic doesn’t like too much damp weather so that is what we’re currently assuming it is. With this warm weather coming up we hope to see some improvement in the crop, crossing our fingers that the warmth dries up the soil a bit and the foliage turns back to vibrantly green! We will see, and will keep you guys updated! We are grateful for learning hurdles along the way! Enjoy the warmth!