Mid City Prescott – Post Spring Break Maintenance

Hey gardeners, back to school after spring break! Impressed by how much all of our cucurbitaceae crops grew over the past 2 weeks. After figuring out the irrigation system at the beginning of the project, the plants have really settled and are growing healthy. Tomatoes and zucchinis have started to flower, the same for all of our fruit trees which are healthy.

Tangerine and Apple trees at Mid City Prescott Elementary – Farm

All of the pepper plants seem to be taking a bit more time to adjust, we’ll see how they progress during the next couple weeks hoping they start to flower as well as gaining more volume. However, all of our squashes are coming strong, see pic below.

Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin, cucumbers, cantaloupes and zucchinis.

Over the past weeks when prepping some of our gardening beds for the summer, we discovered several dozens of grubs which can be beneficial to the soil to some degree and good for composting in dryer/warmer environments as well (however not to be mixed with earthworms for composting purposes according to several online sources). Grubs were fully grown, potentially laying eggs and would be much more difficult to completely remove them all with a growing population plus fully grown crops too, these guys will soon start feeding from the roots and the crops won’t produce as expected. After much research on organic ways to how to keep the situation under control , I decided to go with beneficial nematodes. They are basically bacteria, similar to a milky spore per se, that will effectively eat the larvae and affect the actual worms. This is a process that is mostly effective during damp/cool weather, needs to be applied on moist soil. Here is a quick step-by-step:

  1. For this type of Nematode, 50 million will treat about 1/2 acre. Mix needed amount on a bucket of water to fill up the sprayer bottle that comes with a disperser top ideal for this purpose.

2. Connect the disperser lid to the garden hose end. Move knob on the yellow disperser  cap to off before attaching the cap to the spray bottle with the nematode water.

3. Works best when upside down, refill the spray bottle until the pre-mixed nematode water is finished. After you have finished, you need to hose down all the area covered, once again for 2 reasons. To rinse off the bottle and connector from any potential contamination for future uses, and also to help those nematodes get deeper into the soil and to continue to reduce the soil temperature as well. I ordered the nenatodes online, and they were delivered with an ice pack since they are living bacteria they need to stay refrigerated at all times, they don’t do handle high temperatures too well.

We will see how this works in the upcoming weeks, I’ll keep you updated. It is important to do a thorough session of weeding previous, fluff the soil a bit too. Check out wheelbarrow, that’s how much weeding was done before the nematode session.

David Ames

David Ames

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