Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Today in My Garden, May 27, 2015

Today in my garden:

Photo, clockwise from top left:
Pitcher plants in their bog; native cactus in bloom; podded peas plumping; common and swamp milkweed for Monarch butterflies and: zucchini, maligned by some, loved by me!

Cucumber Beetles and Squash Vine Borers


(Not all my garden is yet in framed, raised beds).

Cucumber beetles and squash vine borers are menaces to cucumber and squash plants.
Right now, my cucumbers are still under a floating row cover, to protect them from
cucumber beetles.  But my zucchini and squash plants are too larger to cover.  The photo
above shows two strategies: first, note the whitish color of the leaves?  This is because I
sprayed the plants with Surround (trademarked,) a fine-milked kaolin clay that is mixed 
with water and sprayed on the entire plant.  Vine borer moths, squash beetles and other bugs
seem to dislike the gritty surface, so it acts as a barrier to their egg laying.  Surround
washes off in the rain and must be reapplied.  The yellow cards hanging from stakes are 
coated with Tangle Trap, similar to the sticky gunk on fly paper.  It comes in a can with a built
in brush lid to ease application.  Cucumber beetles, which transmit wilt (and are more bother-
some to cucumbers than zucchini, but harm it too) are attracted to the color yellow, stick and die.  
When my cucumbers are uncovered, I will put some of these yellow traps in that bed, too.  I 
will monitor the traps to make sure no bees are caught, and, if they are, down will come the
traps.
Happy gardening!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Orchids in you garden


Here is an easy orchid you can grow in your central Virginia garden,
Bletilla striata.  I planted this about 10 years ago in a semi-shady spot in
my garden, and it has formed a pretty little colony.  I ordered the bulbs
from Brent and Becky's Bulbs, the only company from which I will buy 
bulbs (no, not a paid endorsement, they are just good!) at:
https://brentandbeckysbulbs.com/inventory/show_list/keyword/Bletilla

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It's Easy Being green!


I don't know if this is evidence of the wonderful new raised beds we built,
or the season, but these are the most amazing greens I have ever grown!

I posted the varieties earlier, just had to show you what I picked today!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pitcher Plants


Spring has sprung, summer is closing in.  My pitcher plants are showing their
exotic blooms.  These plants are fascinating at all stages of development. The
green-yellow flower is Sarracenia flava and the red is S. leucophylla.  Please search
for and read an earlier post on bog gardens for how to plant and care for these beauties!