Sunshine Weekly Weeder Newsletter
31 March 2016
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Remember to slow down down and look before you drive into the gate. There have been a couple close calls lately that could have been accidents by people just turning blindly into the gate without checking to see if someone was coming out or if a pedestrian or bicyclist was in the driveway.
This is the time for snails to reproduce. Get out into your garden and handpick as many ROUND, NOT CONICAL snails as possible!
You can reduce snail damage by:
- Through lots of hand picking - banana peels, empty citrus halves, apple cores, etc. can attract them allowing you to easily collect and dispose of them. Hand picking is by far the best method.
- By not killing the elongated, conical ones...the African Decollate...these "good" snails feed on "bad" round-snail eggs and hatchlings plus mostly dead plant matter, they do little damage to healthy current-crop plants.
- By frequent dusting of one, or combo, of following on ground at the base of plants: chili flakes, coffee grounds, diatomaceous earth.
NOTE: Long time favorite method of placing shallow dishes of beer, sunken to ground level, is dangerous to the "good" conical snails. Both types of snails are attracted and drown indiscriminately which endangers one of your allies.
Advice simplified from snails entry in "Texas Bug Book", Garret & Beck...with some Sunshine experiences added!
* The editor of the website disagrees with this article about the beneficial effect of the African Decollate. As a life-time gardener & 24 years at Sunshine, I find that as much if not more damage has been noted with these snails than the round ones.
Texas A & M Agrilife Extension has an article on snails which tells about these snails:
Decollate snail, Rumina decollata
This exotic snail is generally a uniform brown or tan color. The shell is about an inch long and elongate, and the tip of older snails is often broken off. It is transported in nursery stock and may accompany the brown garden snail in landscape plantings. The decollate snail is sometimes promoted as a biological control agent to feed on the brown garden snail. However, the use of Rumina decollata as a biological control agent should be considered carefully. It feeds on plants too, so it can become a plant pest even if it is beneficial as a predator on other snail pests.
Literature in the garden
Join us for our second installment of Literature in the Garden on April 16 at 11:00 am in front of the trailer. We will have a story followed by a fun activity for our young gardeners.
Do you have an idea for an activity or want to suggest a topic for an upcoming class? Contact the education committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are trialing a new fire ant control method. There is a bag of dried molasses in the tool shed. Sprinkle a cup on the ant mound to repel the ants. If you try it, please report your results (good, bad, or otherwise) to Jeff Monks (email@example.com).
The Sunshine board has discussed possibly doing a bulk purchase of compost for members. This would likely be the same organic "Dr. Gobbler" turkey compost we sold at this year's plant sale and used in the Micah 6 garden and tomato test garden last week. We can have a bulk quantity delivered and would offer it to SCG gardeners (for use at Sunshine) at cost (probably something like $5 for a wheelbarrow of compost).
We're trying to gauge interest and figure out how much compost to buy, so if you'd like to participate, please fill out our one-question survey here.
Do you have paper, plastic and reusable bags that you want to get rid of? Zilkerfest is this weekend and Shannon will gladly recycle those bags for the master gardeners to use at the festival.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange pick up or leave your bags in the designated spot by noon on Friday.
Micah 6 Update
How Can You Help?
- DO NOT let the vegetables from your garden go to waste!
- If you can't harvest because you are out of town or busy, complete the signup process below and allow the Micah 6 volunteers to harvest your produce.
- If you are harvesting to make room for spring plants and can't use it all, donate your produce.
- How to donate your produce:
- If you are harvesting vegetables from your plot for donation, place them in plastic bags available in the "cool room" and put them in the refrigerator in the trailer.
- To sign up for someone to harvest in your plot, follow the directions posted in the "cool room" in the trailer or on the bulletin board outside the tool shed. You are asked to place a flag (located in the "cool room") in the plot and then post your specific directions on what can be harvested on the white board in the "cool room" along with your plot number. Also, use a "green dot" which is provided to locate your plot on the map located on the wall next to the white board. More details are provided on the posted directions.
- Harvesting is done on Thursdays and/or Fridays. Depending on the number of donations, deliveries are made Thursdays from 3:00 to 3:30 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 to 9:30 AM.
- We need planters, harvesters, weeders and deliverers.
- Contact Mary Gifford (email@example.com / 512-453-9742) or Dana Kuykendall (Kuykendall@austin.rr.com / 512-496-6575) if you would like to volunteer. You will find find Mary in her garden. It is in front of the tool shed. Stop by and talk to her if you have questions.
- Volunteer hours count towards service hours.
Officer and Zone Coordinator Contacts - Sunshine Garden
- President - Jeff Monks firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice President - Jim Willmann email@example.com
- Secretary - Shannon Posern firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer - Caroline Limaye email@example.com
- Director - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Director - Kay McMurry email@example.com
- Director - Katy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 1, Martin Morales email@example.com
- Zone 2, Katy Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 3, Ludmila Voskov email@example.com
- Zone 4, Ila Falvey firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 5, Mary Gifford email@example.com
- Zone 6, Charlotte Jernigan firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 7, Jing Li email@example.com
- Zone 8, Irina Kadukova firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zone 9, Kerry Howell email@example.com
- Zone 10, Christopher Schroder firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weekly Weeder Newsletter - Margaret Powis email@example.com
- Plant Sale - Michael Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- TSBVI Liason & Volunteer Coordinator - Janet Adams email@example.com
- Plot Rental - Kay McMurry firstname.lastname@example.org
- Compost Coordinator - Janet Adams email@example.com
- Compost Tea - Jennifer Woertz firstname.lastname@example.org
- Education Committee - Shannon Posern email@example.com
- Carpentry & Repairs - Robert Jarry firstname.lastname@example.org
- Water Leak Repairs - Steve Schulz email@example.com
- Tools & Wheelbarrows - Bob Easter firstname.lastname@example.org
- Compost Tea - Jennifer Woertz email@example.com
- Website Coordinator - Sharon Rempert firstname.lastname@example.org
Record Service Hours Online - the Virtual Green Binder