Update on The Farm– Silver Mulch and Brassica’s

white-cauliflower 

 

Territorial Seed says this about silver plastic mulch for our beds:

Drives bugs away!
This amazing plastic mulch repels hungry, disease-carrying insects. The shimmering silver, high-density polyethylene plastic causes insects such as thrips, aphids, and white flies to avoid the area near your plants. Experiments have shown that Silver Mulch is as effective as regular pesticide applications for protecting tomatoes from spotted wilt virus. Good for all types of plants. We use it regularly on all brassica crops. It’s the best defense mustard plants have against flea beetles. A must in the organic garden.

 

With the increasing visits of aphids each year–to more than just the Salanova lettuce–we decided for 2018 to use it extensively in the garden, especially for the Brassica’s:  Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Broccoli…including the Galion X Broccolini…afterall, everyone admits, Aphid-infested broccoli is a crop dump!  Not that aphids taste bad, or that they render the produce inedible, but it is not appetizing to have little green specks crawling out of your food! 

But, here’s what we have discovered today–The silver mulch can also scramble our brains and make us want to avoid it!  NOTE TO SELF–work the silver mulch beds early in the morning, and always wear sunglasses, a shade hat, and sufficient skin protection!

Two more interesting facts on silver mulch–we have used it for the past 6 years for the bell peppers–no aphids and few other sucking pests!  AND, the soil temperatures can be as much as 20 degrees cooler under the silver mulch than the black!  Brassica’s love cool ground for their sprawling roots–hope this helps with the early season heat we have experienced the last two springsSuch that it rendered some of the cauliflower and broccoli bitter and ‘hot’–

GARDEN Report for today:  Transplanted 2,640 EARLY season Brassica’s:  1,104 cabbage plants (7 varieties), 864 broccoli plants, 672 cauliflower plants (Flame Star in light yellow, and Bishop in bright white)–these are the early season crops for the CSA and sales up north in Montana and regionally.  Tomorrow’s garden plan is to set out the onion plants!  (And me?  I’m getting ready for Thursday Market at Bee Healthy!…3 more left!)

The Farmer’s Wife

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