Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Garden Club Tonight!! Program on Enabling Gardens & Horticultural Therapy.

Posted Friday, April 25, 2008, at 11:35 AM
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  • I will be bringing a few squash plants that are only 8 days old. I planted 10, but someone told me that three of these little guys will give me more squash than I can handle.

    Hopefully someone will want them! =)

    -- Posted by Mary on Fri, Apr 25, 2008, at 12:10 PM
  • As it turns out, Mary did not have to be worried about people taking her kind offering. They disappeared quickly.

    We beat the question around about changing times and could not come up with a better solution for those present. However, someone did suggest that we start another group.

    Do we have enough people out there who would want to start a Sunday evening gardening group? Same time 6:30 to about 8:30.

    After the enabling garden presentation there was a lot of interest in building a garden at the local senior citizens center or at a nursing home. The one next to the hospital came to mind so we will make both contacts this week and see what interest they might have.

    We also discussed trying to name our gardening group, but did not have much luck. Since we may be starting a Sunday group, maybe we could name one the Friday Night Gardeners and the other the Sunday Night Gardeners. Now you see why we had trouble.

    Mary had a great suggestion to try to have a 'hands-on' canning meeting later in the season. We would need a working kitchen big enough to handle 10-20 people, so if any place comes to mind, please let someone know.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 26, 2008, at 7:08 PM
  • You might try the Shelbyville Recreation Center. If anyone is a member they have access to use those rooms for free. No food is allowed but that might also help with the meeting place issue. You could also try contacting the Chamber of Commerce to see if they can help. Also try the Bedford County Extension Office.

    Gardeners are usually flexible and I would love to join but am currently too involved with a 50th wedding anniversary. I am a Master Gardener and would be happy to speak at any of your meetings if anyone is interested.


    -- Posted by msbasselope on Mon, Apr 28, 2008, at 3:44 PM
  • Hi Cindy, I wrote to you on another post, but did you get your MG certification in Bedford County, or where?

    Maybe you could talk about the program and what you thought of it?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Apr 28, 2008, at 8:29 PM
  • I received my Master Gardeners Certification August 5th, 2003 in Rutherford County. I ask the extension office here every year if they will hold this program and I get the same response every year. They are too bogged down in the beef cattle program. I also have a B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science, have my own personal greenhouse and grow orchids in my office. I would love to talk about the program, that is what we were taught, to help others, get more people involved in gardening, promote the extension office (I proudly promote Rutherford and of course the UT extension site on line). We had extensive training as well as being required to contribute I think it was 60 hours of community service. Just let me know if you need my assistance with anything, I am here to help.


    -- Posted by msbasselope on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 2:09 PM
  • Sounds good.

    If you could make it to one of our meetings on Friday or Sunday, we could discuss it with the group. Sunday will be brand new as of the 11th, but the other group has been around for a few months.

    Either way, we would still value your input.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Apr 29, 2008, at 2:47 PM
  • Steve,

    Gardening question. Do you know what is the best way to decrease cutworms in the garden? They nabbed my brussel sprout plants and I think some of my tomato plants. My pepper plants looked unsacthed yet.

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Wed, Apr 30, 2008, at 5:21 PM
  • Boy, do I wish I had a COMPLETE answer. Cutworms are high on my list this year.

    Please understand that I am organic in my approach. There are non organic chemicals, but I choose to go a different way.

    When I come out in the morning and see some plants mowed down, I immediately start scratching the soil around the plants to dispatch the little buggers to another realm. Of course there might be some words said as well, but they only help me, not the plants or cutworms. I usually end up scratching around the remaining plants as well, 'cause they will be there too, ready for the next night's feast.

    A quick first aid step is to put a "collar" around the base of the plant, maybe an inch into the soil and at least an inch or more above the soil. The collar can be paper, or foil, straws cut the appropriate length and then slit lengthwise to snap on to the plant, toothpicks placed on two or more side, etc. anything that will stop the worm from wrapping a complete circle around the stem. They apparently need to be able to do this to eat through the stem.

    I might even feel better if they at least ate more of the plant, but just the base! Yeesh, what a waste!

    Some other steps would be to use beneficial nematodes, but they cost money and usually have to be ordered by mail or internet.

    Another choice is to use BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) on the plant and even by covering some cereal bran with it, then scattering it on the soil by your plants. BT is a bacteria that when eaten by caterpillars (the cutworm) will crystallize in the gut. They will stop feeding and eventually DIE! I never used to be so "bloodthirsty" but sometimes they bring it out of me.

    This can be used for other caterpillars like the cabbage looper, tomato horn worms, corn earworm, etc. It is not toxic to bees, or other pollinators, birds, fish or people. An easy source for it in the garden centers goes by the name Dipel. I have to get my supply THIS WEEK!!.

    If you weed well, BE SURE TO PROTECT THE PLANT, because you have just taken away other plants for it to feed on and painted a big bullseye on the plant you want to keep. See, there are good reasons for weeds, at least for a little while. I would protect it anyway, because your plants are always more delicious to a cutworm.

    Hope you get some value from the ramblings. GOOD LUCK!!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Apr 30, 2008, at 6:36 PM
  • Where do I find the BT at and is the cereal bran the kind of bran I would eat? I counted this afternoon and the cutworms nabbed 9 of my Roma plants.

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, May 1, 2008, at 9:40 PM
  • OUCH! Can you nurse them back? If there is any leaf bud below the cut, you may be able to bring them back.

    Even if you get the stuff below, I would IMMEDIATELY protect them with toothpicks or foil or something!

    Bran you eat and you should find Dipel in most garden centers. Surely the Co Op and probably Walmart.

    Remember, you can also give a little immediate 'payback' by digging in the soil an inch or two deep, all around the plant. You'll usually find them curled up.

    I used to just throw them out to the birds to live or die, but now I play executioner ON THE SPOT.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 9:49 AM
  • Another thought on the cut-down tomatoes. It is too late for the last ones, but you can also root the cut off pieces and not have to wait so long for new ones to replace the damaged ones.

    I placed the one tomato that was cut off deep in the ground and are keeping it watered, but a more sure way is to bring it in like a flower and put it in water.

    After roots have formed, I would pot up for a week or two before I replant in the garden.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 11:30 AM
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