Thursday, May 26, 2011

How To Deal With Slugs Who Feast On Your Artichokes

Recently Tony posted about how his Artichokes were under attack by slugs. Tony decided to use a slug repellant as well as an insecticidal soap. While those are both good methods to go about it I chose a different way. Like Tony my Romanesco artichoke was under attack by slugs. What I do in these slug situations is to use horticultural DE (Diatomaceous Earth). DE shreds the insects tender skin as it comes in contact with it. It is safe for humans to be in contact with it as DE only impacts small insects (Humans eat DE every time they eat flour or grains). One application resolved my slug problem and my artichokes are now slug free.

DE is excellent for use on other tender leafy greens or basically any plant that is susceptible to insect pests. Please remember that DE doesn't discern between good insects and bad insects so be aware of that. DE is a great alternative for pesticides when you don't really need them. You also have to reapply it after rainfall

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pac Choi Harvest

This spring I decided to sow some Pac Choi seeds I forgot I bought a few years ago from Kitazawa seed company. While not a traditional or native Italian brassica, I was still pretty happy with the end results, as it was a fast grower and gives you plenty of heads up before it bolts. I think this is a great broccoli or cabbage substitute as it was fairly pest free and grew very quickly (45 days)

One method of cooking it is simply grilling it. Another way we prepare it is to break it down into individual leaves, boil them in salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and cool in an ice bath. Once cooled you can freeze the leaves in ziploc bags for later use or simply sautee them with garlic and olive oil.

Asparagus Ferning Out

Most people don't know that if you let asparagus spears keep on growing they eventually become tall thin ferns. Here is a pic I took last week showing how tall the asparagus spears have gotten.