Gnomes and Outsmarting the Flea Beetle

The gnome came to us, as most gnomes do.  Previously, I had found garden gnomes rather tacky, until I came to appreciate the invaluable services that gnomes provide to our land.

gnome book cover

The gnome, dating back thousands of years, weighs around 300 grams.  They live to be about 400 years old, and reside in woodlands, gardens, dunes, farms, and homes.  They are the medicine man of nature – pulling ticks from between fox ears, freeing rabbits from snares, and removing parasites from deer.  When I realized that we live in one of the few regions of North America inhabited by gnomes, I decided it was necessary that we raise some awareness around this noble friend.

northamerimap

 

As we establish the gnome as our friend, I will share more details of the life of gnomes.

Today’s garden tip:

WHAT TO PLANT NOW?  and DODGE THE FLEA BEETLE

There are 2 types of vegetable gardeners – Matt and Me.

If you are like Matt, you have already planted your entire garden in 1 hour.  You closed your eyes, made a wish, and broadcasted whatever seeds you had in your seed box everywhere. You diligently watered it (because maybe last year you left that for mother nature), and are excited to see what will sprout and survive.  You can’t wait to play the “What do you think this is?” game.  Plus you are going to transplant whatever the compost heap grows this year! Exciting!

If you are like me, you have carefully sown 1/2 of your pea crop under the trellis, you seeded some spinach that you saved and labelled last fall, and you have created an elaborate design based on crop rotation and maximum production that you’ve spent hours researching. Now you are monitoring your soil thermometer for it to consistently reach between 15-20C so that you can plant lettuce seeds with the best odds for germination, as it reads on the back of the package, which you’ve ready 17 times.

Whichever kind of gardener you are, I hope your peas and arugula are in, your spinach has been in for a long time, you are succession sowing your radishes (if you’re of the Matt species, then throw out another handful of seeds), and you’re getting ready to plant potatoes, more lettuce, kale, and broccoli if you so choose.

cabbage

Imagine this happening to your cabbages!

BUT: Here’s a bonus tip for you on the brassica (aka. mustard) family. This includes: cabbage, broccoli, arugula, kale (kind of), cauliflower, Asian greens, and radishes.  There are 2 bugs that really bug us when we plant these things early: the flea beetle and the brassica moth and my best tip to save your plants from these menaces, is to wait them out.  Don’t plant your brassicas until their first generation is done and hopefully, they won’t have laid eggs in your garden because you didn’t feed them anything.  In other words, don’t plant your your cabbages, kales, broccolis etc. until mid-July.  In the meantime, start them indoors in a sunny windowsill so you will have big established plants to go out and grow for you, hopefully pest free!

 

NEXT WEEK: Tips for Planting Seeds

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