September 2019

Editor - Linda Goldser (9/2..3)

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Obviously a mid-season photo on the left with shorter plants to illustrate how fast plants grow, but take a look at our Demo Garden beans in the photo on the left….Wow!

Since the last issue, our gardens have produced many pounds of healthy organic fruits and vegetables that have found their way to several area distribution sites that supply families in need of supplemental fresh food.

We have had veggie tastings at the gardens, which are important to make sure we actually like the taste of what we grow and to decide what varieties will be dropped or planted again for next year. We have found plant diseases and insects that have helped with our continued education of how a garden works. No matter what we find, good or bad, there is always one of us who knows what that bug is or why that plant just does not look the way it should.

But mostly, we have our fun…we meet new gardeners who each have their strengths and expertise on one area or another and it is just a good bunch of people to work with a few times a week who all help to move the gardens into production. And no matter how many years of experience we each have, we always all learn as we go. Plus it is always fun to play in the dirt!

What to do in the Garden Now

Wondering what you should be doing in the garden now? September is the month of many tasks. You still have a few weeks of summer veggies harvest and you need to start thinking of fall and winter. Keep in mind, or better still, write down all of the things you want to change for next year. Plus there are the many day-to-day maintenance tasks that need to be done which keeps us all out of trouble and nimble, another reason we all love gardening so much….it keeps us busy and healthy!

Click Here for a list of what to do now...

A Yummy way to use those fresh berries

Marionberry Cobbler - 8-12 servings

Though it may sound excessive to grease the pan before adding the melted butter, it is essential…otherwise, the cobbler will cling to the pan with a vengeance. Resist the urge to stir!

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Ingredients

  • ½ c butter, melted, plus more for the pan

  • 2 c flour

  • ¼ t salt

  • 1 T baking powder

  • 2 c sugar, divided

  • 1 ¼ c milk

  • 4-5 c marionberries, fresh or frozen

  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 bake pan very well. Pour the melted butter into the pan.

In a medium bowl, wisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and 1 c sugar. Add the milk and stir until combined. Pour over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR.

Sprinkle the berries over the batter. DO NOT STIR. Cover with the remaining sugar. DO NOT STIR. Bake for about 1 hr 15 min, until the middle is set and the edges are crispy. Sprinkle with powdered sugar – optional. Over cooking a bit works well and makes a bit crispier. Yummy a bit warm with vanilla ice cream.

An in-depth look at a beneficial garden friend!

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Ladybug or Ladybird beetle

Who doesn’t love a lady bug? The little red bugs are so loved because they are beneficial predators, cheerfully chomping away on garden pests such as aphids. But ladybugs aren’t really bugs at all, they belong to the order Coleoptera, which includes all of the beetles.

Coccinellidae is a widespread family of small beetles ranging in size from 0.8 to 18 mm. The family is commonly known as ladybugs in North America, and ladybirds in Britain and other parts of the English-speaking world. 

Adult lady beetles have very characteristic convex, hemispherical to oval shaped bodies that, although are commonly red & black or yellow & black, can also be yellow, pink, orange, red, or black, and usually are marked with distinct spots. This is a type of warning coloration to discourage other animals that may try to eat them.

Startle an adult ladybug and a foul-smelling hemolymph will seep from its leg joints, leaving yellow stains on the surface below. Potential predators may be deterred by the vile-smelling mix of alkaloids and equally repulsed by the sight of a seemingly sickly beetle. Ladybug larvae can also ooze alkaloids from their abdomens. The bright body coloration helps some predators to remember the encounter and avoid attacking insects with similar markings.

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Did you know: A hungry ladybug adult can devour 50 aphids per day. Ladybugs are a very beneficial group. They are natural enemies of many sap feeding insects; scale, whiteflies, mites, mealy bugs and especially aphids. A single lady beetle may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

Adult females usually lay clusters of eggs on plants in the vicinity of a food supply. Between spring and early summer, a single female ladybug may produce up to 1,000 eggs.

The ladybug lifecycle begins when a batch of 10-50 bright-yellow eggs are laid on branches near food sources. They hatch as larvae in four to 10 days and then spend about three weeks feeding up.

The alligator-like larvae are also predators. They are spiny and black with bright spots. At this point it is in it’s first instar (a developmental stage between molts). Although they look dangerous, lady beetle larvae are quite harmless to humans. After feeding on insect prey by the hundreds for several weeks, the larva pupates on a leaf. Adults tend to move on once pests get scarce, while the larvae remain and search for more prey.

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If you’re unfamiliar with ladybug larvae, you would probably never guess that these odd creatures are young ladybugs. Like alligators in miniature, they have long, pointed abdomens, spiny bodies, and legs that protrude from their sides. The larvae feed and grow for about a month, and during this stage they often consume hundreds of aphids. As it grows, the larvae usually go through four instars or larval stages before preparing to pupate. Once they’re well-fed, they’ll begin to build a pupa. The pupa remains still, attached to a leaf, throughout this stage, which may last from 7 to 10 days. The ladybug’s body undergoes a remarkable transformation through which the larval body is broken down and reformed into the adult ladybug. Egg to mature adult takes 4 to 8 weeks.

As adults, most ladybugs live 1 year and go through diapause or hibernate (up to 9 months) to survive the cold temperatures of winter (below 55 degrees). Adults overwinter, usually hibernating in aggregations and they mate soon after becoming active again in the spring.

Some lady beetle species have several generations each year while others have only one. During the summer months, all stages can often be found at the same time. Adults of some species spend the winter clustered together in large groups under leaf litter, rocks, or other debris.

Upcoming Events & classes at our Gardens

September 14 – Harvest Fest event from 4:00 to 7:00 at our Demonstration Garden, located at 6801 SE 60th Ave. This is a pot luck party for nothing more than to have a good time. There will be brats, veggie dogs, a salsa contest (for eating, not dancing), handmade ice cream & sorbet and a kid’s activity table. This event is put on by and for all of our Master Gardeners, their family & friends. Please contact Linda for any questions. lindaloug@comcast.net

September 21 – Our September Saturday Garden Work Day of the year from 9:00 to 12:00 in both gardens. Come work with us and gain those Partner Hours you need for recertification! If there are not enough volunteers for both gardens we will all be at the Annex. The Garden lead for the Annex that day will be Linda Goldser and you can text with questions to 503-515-3040

Garden locations, regular workdays & times

Come join us on our regular Monday and Thursday workdays at either of our gardens from 9:00 to 12:00. No need to sign up, just come on out and get your hands dirty - rain or shine. Also join us for our Saturday workdays which are the 3rd Saturday of the month through October – also from 9-12.

>>The Demo Garden is located at 6801 SE 60th Ave, between SE Duke and Flavel Streets, across from Brentwood Park.

>>Access to the Annex Garden is through a pedestrian gate at 6630 SE 57th Ave; look for the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden banner inside the gate; parking is on the east side of the street, follow the gravel path through the orchard to the garden.

NOTE: Parking inside the 59th street delivery gate is reserved for gardeners with mobility issues or who have deliveries or heavy loads.

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Flowers are happy things …

This DemoGardenNews publication is a monthly newsletter for our gardens and our gardeners.

Contact demogardennews@gmail.com for any questions, suggestions, ideas, comments…

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk forever in my garden”