Aug 11, 2010
Published in Vegetable Gardening

It seems that we have had a powdery mildew infection on our squash and zucchini plants every spring for the past 5 years.  Since I wrote this article last year about measures to take to prevent powder mildew ,  we have been powdery mildew free!  In reallity we were probably helped out this year by the weather, as well as our preventive measures.  We followed most of the guidelines already, but I wanted to share a couple of things that seem to make the biggest difference from my experience. 
     Here in Florida our sub-tropical (seems to be getting more tropical every year) climate makes a nice environment for many fungal infections.  Hot temperatures and high humidity combined with nice green cucurbits like zucchini, squash, pumpkins, and gourds,  make a very inviting environment for podwery mildew.   The spores travel on the wind, and when they land in such an ideal spot, they try to set up camp.  I believe that cucurbits have some natural resistance to fungal infections, but if the fungus gets even a slight advantage, it will win in the end. 

Aug 11, 2010
Published in Yardstead Blog

Well it's been quite a while since I've posted anything here at the yardstead.  Kathleen and I have been very busy and just haven't  taken the time to post.  We had a good productive spring.  We grew a bunch of sqush and zuchinni as usual, along with a few new varieties.  This year we tried some seminole pumpkins and cuban squash.  Both were very prolific, but we haven't given them the taste test yet.  We also added 9 new young hens and 1 rooster in with our mature birds.  We were down to 3 laying hens and one rooster due to a dog attack earlier in the year.  We still only have three hens laying, but the new additions may start laying by the end of the summer.  Lots of other things are growing great and we will be posting some updates (along with pictures) on our fruit trees.  Our bamboos are doing great as well as Kathleens water chestnut.  Anyway, stay tuned for some updates of our doings over the spring.  I will be adding some new pics to the gallery this week as well.  You can click on any of the pictures in the gallery to see a detailed view and description, or watch a slide show.  Feel free to leave us a comment anytime, we like hearing from you.

Oct 22, 2009
Published in Community Gardens

Community GardenThere has been a lot of coverage in the media lately about community gardens and planting vegetables and fruits on public land.  The Yardstead is in full support of these ideas and we plan to get invloved when we are able.  We will be covering the progress of this movement in detail.  I heard a radio interview yesterday with Darrin Nordahl, the author of a new book Public Produce:  The new Urban Agriculture.  {jumi}<iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theyard-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1597265888&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>{/jumi}  The book is full of details about public spaces already being used for community gardens such as this community gardens program in Portland, OR.  The book also includes many ideas for using more....