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Saturdays in the Garden: It’s a Jungle Out There!

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The leaves shot up from the raised beds until they were taller than my head!  It was time to do something about our overly enthusiastic horseradish plants.  They had been taking over more and more of the bed I had planted this year with organic potatoes. So, I dug up an early harvest of horseradish roots and created a pungent sauce.  It’s a jungle out there!  It’s time to catch up on maintenance in our little organic family garden.

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How can we keep a thriving garden from going from lush to jungle-like?  Here are a few reminders:

Allow adequate space for plantings.  I violate this rule every year even when I start with good intentions. Eventually I run out of space for some of my seedlings and start tucking baby plants somewhere I didn’t originally intend.  This creates more maintenance challenges as the season goes on.

Maintain air circulation around plants.  Proper spacing is ideal.  Pruning lower leaves or extra side shoots on plants can also help.

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Summer Squash Leaves

Watch out for pests.  Remembering that insects can be beneficial in an organic garden, many insects can become pests.  Discover which ones might feed on your plants and physically remove them or find a non-toxic repellent if needed.  Soapy spray can often deter insects.

Consider container gardening for plants that might take over.  Mint is an example of a fun garden plant that works best in a pot so it can’t overtake too much garden space.

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Cucumber Beetle & Possible Mealybugs on Bean Leaf

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