Garden Helpers — Knuckle Down News, Week 3

impending tomators

A little bit of sunshine and the garden is booming. This week we will have lots of greens again, including broccoli greens for an unusual treat and fingers crossed for Spicy Salad Mix! Walking around the garden I spotted lots of green tomatoes starting to size up and we should have cucumbers, summer squash and green cabbages maybe as soon as next week. Garlic Scape season is done, but the garlic is sizing up nicely.

Lacewing Bumblebee

Snek & Wrench

The garden is also teeming with critters big and small! This week I’d like to give a nod to all of those not-so-glamorous beneficial garden guests. Everyone knows about the importance of bees for pollination, but did you know that the humble Bumblebee is one of the most industrious pollinators around? There are lots of other pollinators too of course and some of them can also be important pest control. At the larval stage Green Lacewings, Hover Flies, and Ladybugs all enjoy feasting on aphids and other little plant sucking pests, so much so that infestations rarely last long when they are around.

This year has been a good one for Garter Snakes around here too, although they do munch on earthworms, they also help to keep the slug, cricket and rodent populations in check, so I am happy to share the garden with them. Thankfully I don’t have a snake phobia, or it would be difficult to get into the greenhouse these days, as there is always one or two waiting for me there in the morning.

Yesterday when I was catching up on some seeding, I had to refill my bin of potting mix from a half empty bag. Earlier in the day I had seen a snake sniffing around the bag, so I thought I should peek inside before dumping it out, sure enough there were not only two little eyes peering back out at me, but eight! I guess the bag of potting mix was a perfect warm and protected spot to spend the afternoon. Even this snake-friendly farmer would have had a bit of a start if I had just grabbed that bag and dumped out a pile of snakes!

Apparently the cloudy blue eyes on the snake pictured means it is about to shed it’s skin!

 

This Week’s Shares:

Spicy Salad Mix
Endive or Escarole
Swiss Chard
Salad Turnips
Broccoli Greens
Basil
Baby Carrots or Beets
Parsley and Cilantro

– Jenny


Some Other helpers this week:

Weeding Party

Wee Helpers