In this issue:
- October in the Garden
- New Restaurant Garden
- Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Fighting Powdery Mildew
- Gardenerd Product of the Month: Gardenerd Gift Certificate
1. October in the Garden
It’s nearly Halloween, which means that fall colors are blanketing the landscape. Pumpkins, fallen leaves, dried corn stalks and russet-colored decorations are everywhere (but we refuse to accept the Christmas decorations we’re seeing already in stores). It’s time to put your summer successes on display. We’ve already cooked up some of our winter squash and gathered leaves for the coming holiday table settings. We also harvested honey from our rescued hive last week–another celebration of fall colors!
We harvested our first batch of kale from the fall garden today. Garlic, shallots, onions and potatoes are growing strong already. This week we’ll be planting out more brassicas, and sowing seeds for lettuce, mustard greens, arugula and more. Root veggies are next, when we get the time. This month seems to have whipped by in a flurry, and for some gardeners, it’s the end of the garden season. Time for some much needed rest. Here in Los Angeles, there’s no rest (not yet anyway). Once we get these plants in the ground (and if we get a little rain) the garden will be on auto pilot for a while. Not before we build a winter compost pile, and lift our strawberries, add 2″ of compost to the beds and replant them to revitalize the plants for the season.
Whether you say goodbye to your garden for the season, or are just getting started on fall gardening, there’s always something great to learn along the way. We’re here to help, so send us your questions. We’ll answer them on the Gardenerd Blog or Tip of the Week Podcast in coming weeks.
2. New Restaurant Garden in Downtown Los Angeles
Los Angeles is finally getting a downtown that’s on par with other major cities. For decades, downtown was just a place to go for the workday and it emptied out at night and on weekends. Recently though, downtown LA has become a hotspot of art, fine dining and culture that makes one want to buy a Metro pass to get there more easily…and more often.
Artisan House, a combination market and restaurant/bar on the corner of 6th and Main Street, serves delicious, fresh food all day long, offering organic produce, artisanal wines and small-farm dairy products. The restaurant menu sports all the eye-catching entrees, sandwiches, soups, and fresh salads you could wish for. There were plans for a roof-top garden, but when that fell through, the owners asked Gardenerd to transform their patio into an edible experience for customers.
Read all about it here.
3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Fighting Powdery Mildew
Powdery Mildew is somewhat of a staple ingredient in coastal gardening, and in places with high humidity. It’s an airborne fungus that coats leaves with a white powder, cutting off sunlight and causing plants to suffer. Plants don’t usually die from it, but it can hinder a plant’s ability to thrive and produce fruit and flowers. Here are some tips for keeping it at bay:
Prune affected leaves – powdery mildew spreads, so if you trim off affected leaves, you can help prevent it from infecting other plants. Powdery mildew tends to show up in areas without enough air circulation too, so make some space for your plants, if possible.
Use drip irrigation – when plants get wet, they become an ideal environment for breeding powdery mildew. Avoid splashing the leaves and water with drip irrigation.
Use compost tea – Active Compost Tea is full of microbes that eat fungus. Spraying plants and soil with actively brewed compost tea will inoculate both with beneficial microbes to help combat the fungus. We’ve seen rose gardens in danger of losing their historic status due to powdery mildew damage brought back to life with heavy applications of compost tea.
Other tricks – We’ve heard of people successfully using a 50/50 mix of milk and water to spray their plants. There is something in the lactic acid that eats away the fungus and prevents spread. It doesn’t get rid of powdery mildew but has been somewhat effective in keeping it at bay.
Lastly, we have friends who just pull their plants when they become overcome with powdery mildew. If done early enough in the season, you can plant new squashes and still have an abundant harvest through fall.
4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Gardenerd Gift Certificate
Give the gift of knowledge this fall. Gardenerd gift certificates are good for classes and consultations in person or via Skype. We’ll help you get your fall garden growing or help you problem-solve pest or soil issues on the spot. Get yours today!