news letter June 6th


Sprout Farm Newsletter June 6, 2018

Good Morning Everyone,

On Sale this week:

All items in 5” pots. This includes New Guinea and Bounce impatiens,(sorry no white) Big leaf begonias 2/$5.00 regular $3.29. Also, New Guinea impatiens hanging baskets $14.99. They do like a little shade especially at mid day.

Jay will start harvesting lettuce, Swiss chard and kale this week. We have green leaf, red leaf and romaine lettuce. We are out of basil plants once again. We just can't seem to seed them up fast enough. We have some cherry tomato plants but no beef steak tomato plants at this time. We still have sweet potato slips for those of you who want to try them. The soil is warm enough now for them now to be happy.

We still have perennials and a few that we started from seed are now coming out of the greenhouse. I made the bench cards that you see on the bamboo sticks and I tried to update them with icons. You will see a deer or a rabbit in a slashed circle if the plant is deer or rabbit resistant. I have icons for butterflies, humming birds and bees if the plant attracts those creatures. If you are allergic to bees we don't have a lot of perennials to chose from but at least you will know which ones to avoid.

It looks like Sabathia Flower Farm had their handyman make up a version of my banding hoe and they like to use it at the end of the day to get rid of the weeds. I went to Botello Lumber to get more banding but the construction trade has almost completely changed over to a woven product that is stronger and easier to dispose of. I picked up a long strip of 1” steel banding but I'm going to have to prowl their fencing area for discarded banding if I want to make more bamboo strapping hoes. Imagine if every member of your family spent just 15 minutes every day weeding the garden. The weeds wouldn't stand a chance.

The tomato plants are going to start to shoot up now that the weather I and the soil is warm and we have an unusual way of supporting them that may work for some of you but not for others. We use a product called vine clips. The hing of the clip grabs a string and then the clip surrounds the stem with a lock that opens and shuts. I like zip ties but its better for us to use adjustable clips when supporting a growing tomato plant. This works if you have some structure that you can attach a sting to, something that is higher than your tomato plant. Some of you may be growing an indeterminate tomato plant on your deck up against a south facing wall. A discrete hook on the overhang may give you some near invisible support for your tomato plant.

Our greenhouse tomato plants are taking their sweet time so I don't see us harvesting tomatoes for quite a while. Here's a tip on getting tomato plants to set fruit. After 10 in the am, or in the heat of the day, go out to the tomato patch with an electric toothbrush and lightly touch the flower truss with the vibrating brush head. The dry pollen from the anther inside the blossom with be stirred up and stick to the stigma causing the fruit to set. The more pollen grains that attach to the stigma, the better the fruit. The vibration from wind or bumble bees accomplish the same thing. Honey bees are not attracted to tomato flowers but bumble bees are and that's a good thing. We can't rely on these methods for our tomato plants in the greenhouse, even though we roll up the sides, so we walk down the aisles with a leaf blower on a low setting. This is a perfect application for our new battery operated leaf blower. Now that we have a solar set up I don't even feel guilty for recharging the batteries. I'm not against power tools. I just can't do the pull rope on gas powered tools. The electric lawn mower is the best!

We need leaves and grass clippings for our compost pile, no branches or food waste please. The compost pile is next to the street across from the cute little tractor shed. Now that Jay has a bucket for his tractor it is easy for him to turn the pile and get the compost out to the garden where it belongs.

A reminder of a special garden tour:

Sprout Farm Newsletter June 6, 2018

Good Morning Everyone,

On Sale this week:

All items in 5” pots. This includes New Guinea and Bounce impatiens,(sorry no white) Big leaf begonias 2/$5.00 regular $3.29. Also, New Guinea impatiens hanging baskets $14.99. They do like a little shade especially at mid day.

Jay will start harvesting lettuce, Swiss chard and kale this week. We have green leaf, red leaf and romaine lettuce. We are out of basil plants once again. We just can't seem to seed them up fast enough. We have some cherry tomato plants but no beef steak tomato plants at this time. We still have sweet potato slips for those of you who want to try them. The soil is warm enough now for them now to be happy.

We still have perennials and a few that we started from seed are now coming out of the greenhouse. I made the bench cards that you see on the bamboo sticks and I tried to update them with icons. You will see a deer or a rabbit in a slashed circle if the plant is deer or rabbit resistant. I have icons for butterflies, humming birds and bees if the plant attracts those creatures. If you are allergic to bees we don't have a lot of perennials to chose from but at least you will know which ones to avoid.

It looks like Sabathia Flower Farm had their handyman make up a version of my banding hoe and they like to use it at the end of the day to get rid of the weeds. I went to Botello Lumber to get more banding but the construction trade has almost completely changed over to a woven product that is stronger and easier to dispose of. I picked up a long strip of 1” steel banding but I'm going to have to prowl their fencing area for discarded banding if I want to make more bamboo strapping hoes. Imagine if every member of your family spent just 15 minutes every day weeding the garden. The weeds wouldn't stand a chance.

The tomato plants are going to start to shoot up now that the weather I and the soil is warm and we have an unusual way of supporting them that may work for some of you but not for others. We use a product called vine clips. The hing of the clip grabs a string and then the clip surrounds the stem with a lock that opens and shuts. I like zip ties but its better for us to use adjustable clips when supporting a growing tomato plant. This works if you have some structure that you can attach a sting to, something that is higher than your tomato plant. Some of you may be growing an indeterminate tomato plant on your deck up against a south facing wall. A discrete hook on the overhang may give you some near invisible support for your tomato plant.

Our greenhouse tomato plants are taking their sweet time so I don't see us harvesting tomatoes for quite a while. Here's a tip on getting tomato plants to set fruit. After 10 in the am, or in the heat of the day, go out to the tomato patch with an electric toothbrush and lightly touch the flower truss with the vibrating brush head. The dry pollen from the anther inside the blossom with be stirred up and stick to the stigma causing the fruit to set. The more pollen grains that attach to the stigma, the better the fruit. The vibration from wind or bumble bees accomplish the same thing. Honey bees are not attracted to tomato flowers but bumble bees are and that's a good thing. We can't rely on these methods for our tomato plants in the greenhouse, even though we roll up the sides, so we walk down the aisles with a leaf blower on a low setting. This is a perfect application for our new battery operated leaf blower. Now that we have a solar set up I don't even feel guilty for recharging the batteries. I'm not against power tools. I just can't do the pull rope on gas powered tools. The electric lawn mower is the best!

We need leaves and grass clippings for our compost pile, no branches or food waste please. The compost pile is next to the street across from the cute little tractor shed. Now that Jay has a bucket for his tractor it is easy for him to turn the pile and get the compost out to the garden where it belongs.

A reminder about a special garden tour:

“The Gardens of Willowbend” Tour, Tea, and Author Talk

Posted on May 22, 2018 by Friends of the Mashpee Public Library

You’re invited to ‘The Gardens of Willowbend’ on June 28

A Garden Tour, Tea, and Author Talk

May 15–The Friends of the Mashpee Library invites you to a very special event we are hosting at Willowbend in Mashpee, Thursday, June 28, 2-5 PM.

Tour five private gardens, enjoy a discussion of The Gardens of Willowbend by Ari Maravel, and have an English-style tea at Willowbend Country Club. The event will occur rain or shine.

Tickets are $45 per person, advanced reservations only. To reserve your place, please send a check to Friends of the Mashpee Library, P.O. Box 900, Mashpee, MA 02649.

See you soon,

Phyllis and Jay Sprout

See you soon,

Phyllis and Jay Sprout


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