Organic Gardening

Saturday March 2 Larry Scislowicz will be presenting on Organic Gardening at the Samuels Library in Front Royal at 1 pm.

Larry operates the On Simple Grounds Farm and manages the Front Royal’s Farmer’s Market. Larry’s farm embraces the principles of permaculture and sustainable agriculture. His presentation will cover seed starting, composting, soil preparation and care, pest control techniques and irrigation. The address for the Samuels Library is 330 E. Criser Road, Front Royal, Va. 22630

Some New Resources

Came across these links on the Extension.org site. Thought there might be some interesting information for you MG’s here.

Time to Plant Bulbs

Now is the time for planting many of our flowering bulbs for spring bloom.

Hardy, spring-flowering bulbs are planted in fall. Hardy, fall-flowering bulbs, such as colchicum, are planted in August. Tender, summer-flowering bulbs are planted in the spring after danger of frost. Lilies are best planted in late fall.

It is best to check correct planting depth for each bulb with a successful local grower or other good local source. Bulb catalog and reference book recommendations for planting may be either too shallow or too deep depending on soil condition. As a general rule of thumb, bulbs should be planted 2 1/2 to 3 times the diameter of the bulb in depth. It is important not to plant bulbs too shallow, as this will encourage frost heaving.

For complete information on bulbs, go to Virginia Cooperative Extension Here.

Stink Bug Update

brown_stink_bug_adultFrustrated gardeners send or bring pictures to the Extension office of their tomatoes, peppers and sweet corn covered with nymphs and adults of brown marmorated stink bugs. Each person was so frustrated by this bug they were ready to give up on gardening.

One gardener said they went out to their garden with a wet/dry vac and vacuumed off the insects, and then dumped the canister contents down the toilet. Actually this method is not a bad idea and some innovative person could develop a small garden vacuum that gardeners could easily handle in gardens which is lightweight and powerful enough. In entomology we have large bug vacs we use in the field to collect insects, but it would be slightly unwieldy around a vegetable garden.

Adult stink bugs are very active and starting to show up in and around houses at this point in the summer. The best thing you can do is vacuum them up inside. This fall, Zodiac Company is supposed to have an EPA label (sometime early this fall) for an ester form of a pyrethroid that will have a label for homeowners to use inside houses for BMSB and bedbugs.

Keep in mind, even though this will kill the bugs you will still have to sweep or vacuum them up after they are dead. Why not just use a vac and vacuum them up and skip the insecticide application? Still, people seem to like to spray bugs and I am sure this product will sell well once in the marketplace.

Source: University of Maryland Extension

American Pennyroyal

Getting to know Native Plants by Richard Stromberg

American Pennyroyal

Have you smelled a strong mint odor while walking across a field or through the woods?  You probably stepped on or brushed American Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides).  You usually don’t see this small plant (4-18 inches tall), only smell it.  Its flowers are small, about 1/16th of an inch diameter.

American Pennyroyal
American Pennyroyal

We grow many members of the Mint Family (Lamiaceae) for fragrance and flavoring besides the mints themselves:  basil, lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.  I think Pennyroyal has the most potent odor.