Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Garden Gleanings - How did everyuone fair the frost, or no frost?

Posted Thursday, May 1, 2008, at 9:19 PM
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  • No frost, just pesky cutworms!

    -- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, May 1, 2008, at 10:11 PM
  • My beans and maters seemed to fair well. I didn't have my watermelon seedlings in the ground at the time, so I brought those in the house. But, all seems to be doing well in my dirt now.

    -- Posted by craftin_mom on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 6:08 AM
  • No frost here either. Those two nights, we moved the plants inside until it warmed up. They are now in their official growing space in the garden.

    I am so amazed at how many plants my 16x10 foot garden is holding! I was afraid that I would not have enough space for everything I wanted to plant, but I have ended up with space to spare.

    -- Posted by Mary on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 6:13 AM
  • A great way to start Mary. Most of us get too exuberant and end up with enough to feed the world! Well, maybe not THE world, but...

    Just about all my started plants will hit the soil today, hopefully before the rain and HOPEFULLY it DOES RAIN.

    I have not been out to check the cutworm population today, but mine are slowing down after the "terminator" got in their this weekend.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 9:57 AM
  • I am hoping for some good rain too.

    My plants have been in the ground now for two days, and no signs of cutworms or any threating pest...yet. I placed straws around the plant's stem, and hopefully that will hold them off.

    I ended up having to go buy some plants from Wal-Mart since all of mine either died or looked too weak. They weren't too expensive. I spent $3.00 on three tomato plants, $3.00 on three bell pepper plants, and $2.97 on six banana pepper plants.

    I am planting green beans (I think the plant is a bush type). Do you have any advice?

    -- Posted by Mary on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 10:41 AM
  • We had frost the first cold morning (Tuesday?) but not the next. I had to start my car early to get the frosty off my windows.

    We covered everything with sheets, nothing looks like it was bothered.

    -- Posted by Jacks4me on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 11:14 AM
  • Jacks4me, are you located lower than the surrounding area?

    Mary, watch for cutworms as they come up. They will be particularly tasty at that stage.

    Then watch for bean beetle of the Japanese beetle.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 11:25 AM
  • Thanks Steve!

    -- Posted by Mary on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 12:21 PM
  • What's you're advice on cutworms?

    -- Posted by keeleygraves on Fri, May 2, 2008, at 2:08 PM
  • Hi Keeley, Sorry for the delay, I had an emergency pond-ectomy this morning. I'll write about it in another blog.

    Anyway, CUTWORMS. This came from my response in another blog, but I LOVE to discuss getting rid of cutworms, so....

    "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.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, May 3, 2008, at 11:52 AM
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