Beans & Greens Farmstand takes pride in presenting a large selection of plants grown with care and attention in an effort to offer you the best quality available! We have some cool new additions to the list for spring 2016! If YOU have any special wishes or would like to make sure we bring a certain plant back next spring – please email to email@example.com.
When to plant ~
So many of you ask, “can I plant these yet?” Don’t plant till the end of the month of May….. unless you pre-warm the soil and provide special protection. Most annual seeds can be planted after the middle of the month, like nasturtium seed if the ground temps are near 60. Wait till the end of the month to direct-seed basil and other tender plants. Summer-flowering bulbs like glads and cannas can be planted in mid-May, but wait till later for tender ones like dahlias.
What about my soils… ~
Surely you have heard: “you are what you eat” before….well, consider this the same for your plants! They “are” what they can be according to what YOU have left for them to eat! A good garden starts with good soil!
Have your soils tested if you are unsure of the quality/nutrient content of your garden. There is a great soil testing service available through the UNH Cooperative Extension office in Laconia. Add compost or natural/organic fertilizers to your soils. If you live in Gilford…you have access to a great compost pile that is at the Recycle Center off of Lily Pond Road. Continue to fertilize annuals during the summer with liquid fertilizers……on a regular schedule for best results! Those that grow in full sun require feeding every couple of weeks. Plants in partial shade, especially compact ones, need fertilizer less often.
Hanging baskets/containers ~
You can put hanging baskets or containers outside earlier, but only those planters and hangers that are light enough for you to move inside if frost threatens. Hanging baskets, etc. received as Mother’s Day gifts will probably not be tough enough to stay outside on cold nights or windy, cold spring days!! Remember – even plants suffer from chill factors from wind! Impatiens, begonias, and other warm-weather plants cannot tolerate cold nights at all. Containers are a breed of their own because of the concentration of plants in a limited space – we also recommend using light soil-less mixes for container plantings. Watch what you buy, as some are available with fertilizer already incorporated into the soil! Containers in full sun do best with slow-release fertilizer at time of planting and again in mid-summer, in addition to regular liquid feed. Very vigorous plants like trailing petunias love fertilizer and benefit from weekly applications or even more often in some cases.
Who is eating my lilies?? Who are they…what do they look like?
The adult beetle is bright scarlet red, with black legs, head, antennae and underbelly. It is 1/4″ to 3/8″ long and is a strong flyer. The beetle reportedly will squeak if squeezed gently (however, few gardeners are willing to be gentle to this beetle). The adult lays reddish-orange eggs which hatch into particularly unpleasant larvae, which look like 3/8″ long slugs; colored orange, brown, yellow or green with black heads. The larvae cover themselves with their own excrement (known as a fecal shield) which apparently repels predators, including gardeners who are generally very reluctant to handle the larvae. The larvae eventually become fluorescent orange pupae. Will they be here next spring? The adult beetle overwinters in the soil or plant debris and emerges in early spring looking for food and a mate. After mating, the female lays eggs in lines on the underside of Lilium or Fritillaria leaves. Some damage is done by the adults at this time, but the major damage comes when the eggs hatch into larvae in 7-10 days. The larvae voraciously consume all leaves within reach and may then start on flower buds. This continues for 2 to 3 weeks, when the larvae then drop into the soil and begin to pupate. In another 2 to 3 weeks the adult beetles emerge to start eating again. This process occurs from early spring to mid-summer. Reportedly the beetles won’t mate and lay eggs until the next spring. What should I do? First of all, if you’re in an infested area, avoid sending any lilies or other plants to anyone else, and carefully inspect any plants you receive. Hand-picking should be the first level of control if possible. Constant vigilance and quick removal and disposal of beetles, eggs and larvae can control an infestation on a small number of plants. Make sure the critters are actually dead! If you squash them, don’t leave the squashee in the garden. Some gardeners drop them into a can of water with vegetable oil on the top. If you suspect the beetles may be lurking around your lilies but you don’t see any, carefully dig in the top half inch of the soil – no deeper! They hide just under the surface, so be ready to get them when they pop out. The adults are easily spooked when you try to pick them by hand, and if you “miss” them, they tend to drop to the ground where THEY LAND UPSIDE DOWN, and since their tummies are black, they effectively vanish. The suggestion was to place a light-colored cloth under the plant before you hand-pick in order to be able to see the nasty little things if they fall.”
Some cold-tolerant vegetables can go into the ground around mid-May, but they made need protection from the cold nights and soils should be warmed up by using plastic mulch or row covers. These are considered cool weather crops:
- Potatoes, Irish
The following are considered warmer weather crops and should not be attempted until the end of May…generally after Memorial Day in our area or after that last full moon.
- Beans (bush, snap, pole and lima)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Vine crops (includes cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, zucchini)
Basil is about the last to go into the ground ~ June 3 is not too late for basil. Start a regular fertilizing schedule.