THE GARDEN BUZZ
A slideshow showing so many years of meaningful, joyful, hands on education in the garden. Let's keep it up!
Watch this simple tutorial on how to plant and harvest a butternut squash!
When to Plant Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a pear shaped fruit with high amounts of vitamins and minerals and other essential nutrients. The best time to plant a squash is in the summer. The soil needs to be a temperate of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit and it needs to be placed 4 inches deep in the soil.
When to Harvest Butternut Squash:
Squash is ready to be harvested in autumn. An indication that your squash is ready to be picked is when the stem turns from green to brown, it is a pale yellow or brown color, and the squash is about 8-12 inches long. When the squash stops growing that is another sign that it is ready to be picked. Another tip is if the squash resists being punctured by your fingernail. Cut the squash on the vine and leave an inch of vine left on the squash.
Storing Butternut Squash:
Squashes can be stored for up to 2-3 months in a cool, dark place like a basement or wine cellar. They last 14 days at room temperature.
Learn how to plant a three sisters garden of corn, beans and squash. For many Native American cultures these plants were planted together for centuries because they each help each other thrive and survive in a garden. They also compliment each other in meals. Corn provides carbohydrates; beans are rich in protein and amino acids, and squash has vitamin and minerals that are not present in beans and corn.
Why They Work Well Together
According to “Native Seeds,” Corn provides the stalks for the beans to climb. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil and stabilize the corn during heavy winds. The large squash leaves shade the soil, and helps the soil retain its moisture and prevent weeds from growing.
When to Plant
According to Native Seeds, “These crops are warm season plants and do not tolerate frost. Plant seeds for the Three Sisters outside with the spring, summer, or monsoon planting periods. Check with your local planting calendar to determine the best time for your area.”
Thanks to the Master Gardeners, DIGS gave away 600 plant starts during the Covid-19 pandemic to 60 Mira Vista School families. This has been a way to stay connected and promote home gardening during challenging times.
This video shows you how to propagate herbs. Herbs are easy to grow for new gardeners. They're low maintenance and save you money by having your own herb garden. They're excellent for adding flavor to your meals and beauty to your home or garden!
According to Greenpeace, “Scientists know that bees are dying from a variety of factors—pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming and more. Many of these causes are interrelated. Seventy out of the top one hundred human food crops — which supply about ninety percent of the world’s nutrition — are pollinated by bees.”
According to https://savebees.org/ here are 10 tips for what you can do to save bees:
1. Don’t use pesticides.
2. Plant native wildflowers and flowering shrubs in your backyards, communities, and workplaces.
3. Grow trees such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries (and shrubs like blueberries). These trees are excellent food sources for pollinators, as are many vegetables and herbs.
4. If you have a lawn, stop mowing some portion… you’d be surprised what flowers will drop in over time.
5. Sow clover (white clover may even be mowed at highest setting).
6. Let dandelions live! They’re one of the first pollen-rich sources to spring up, and also one of the last to go. Because of the shape and structure of dandelions, their pollen and nectar are especially accessible to a great diversity of bee species throughout the year.
7. Even small balcony gardens help pollinators passing by. Try adding hanging baskets, potted native plants, veggies/herbs, and a small dish of water with pebbles.
8. In summer, place a shallow dish of water out with some pebbles in it, so that bees (and other insects) can easily drink without drowning (bees get thirsty too, and honey bees use the water to help cool their hives on hot days).
9. Buy certified organic cotton (even though you don’t eat it!) Cotton ranks among the highest in pesticide usage on crops, including a mix of pesticides and fungicides known to be dangerous to bees.
10. Love honey? Buy from local beekeepers who care about their honey bees (find them online or at farmers’ markets).
For more information visit and https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-agriculture/save-the-bees/.