Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pesky Pests at MCGA

Gardening is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can do, with long-lasting positive effects on yourself, your community, and the environment.  Gardening also brings you a lot closer to the creatures you're sharing your garden with! Many gardeners build their gardens around what wildlife they want to attract.

At times, the animals that visit your garden may be pests that eat your seedlings, chew up / damage your starts, or even just walk all over your garden, leaving their hoofprints as a calling card. There are rabbits, voles, deer, and more. However, we also have beneficial mammals that make our garden home. Did you know we have a weasel that lives in our garden?  It is a carnivore that eats many pests, such as voles. Keep an eye out for it, it is lightning fast. For this reason, we do not allow rodent traps of any kind. 

Scissor Type Mole Eliminator Gopher Elimination Trap Reusable Free From Digging

Our garden is an organic one.  We do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
These synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are not permitted.  

These products are not permitted:

Here is a shortlist of approved pesticides:  Safer insecticidal soap, neem oil, and Sluggo.  You may use products labeled with OMRI, which are designed for organic gardening.  Remember, even natural pesticides may harm beneficial insects so read the label carefully.  Email us anytime with questions or help with pest ID.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Let the Season Begin

     The garden season has begun in earnest.  Many of us have spent the past 1-2 weeks ridding our plots and paths of weeds/grass.  Completely removing as many weeds as possible is one of the keys to a successful herb and vegetable garden.  Weeds rob your crops of nutrients, they harbor pests, they harbor diseases, and they compete with your crops for water.

MCGA's Most Common Weeds (A short and not exhaustive list)

1. Comfrey-Marymoor park would like our help to eradicate this weed from the park.  Comfrey is a deep-rooted plant and must be dug out all the way down to its roots.  Any remaining roots will resprout continually. It can grow to 4 feet tall.

2.  Morning glory-Controlling bindweed can be difficult, but it can be done if you are willing to take the time. Part of why it is so hard to get rid of bindweed is that it has a large and hardy root system. Single attempts to remove bindweed roots will not be successful. Roots have to be investigated, traced, and dug out.

Morning glory roots

3.  Buttercup-Buttercups form a creeping mat of dense foliage that can quickly overtake the lawn or a garden bed. These perennial plants bear dark green, three-segment, toothed leaves and produce yellow flowers. Buttercups spread through both extensive roots and seeds. The only way to remove this plant is to dig this weed out manually.

4. Quack Grass and Crab Grass- These two grasses are hard to eradicate!  

Quack grass has miles and miles of white roots.  Each root segment will develop into a plant unless removed.  When digging quack grass follow each root and remove as much of it as possible. 

Crabgrass is slightly different.  It forms an umbrella-like clump with tiny but firm roots. Pull and dig the entire clump out to remove the plant.

5. Dandelion-Dandelions are a tap-rooted weed; the main root is long and thin like a carrot.  Removing the green top will not get rid of the plant, the entire root must be dug out and removed.