Tent Worms

tent worms nest with small black eggs and tent worms on a Aspen tree

Tent worms nest with small black eggs and tent worms on an Aspen tree

So about this time of year tent worms appear in my apple trees, apricot trees and aspen trees. They are also known as web worms because of the web they live in. But unlike fall web worms which appear in the fall, tent worms appear in the spring. If left to their own devices, they will eat many leaves off your trees. I even saw them in my Currant plant. They leave the web in the day eating the leaves and go back to the web at night. They look like long skinny caterpillars.

I asked a landscaper friend of mine what’s the best way to get rid of them and they said to just cut off the branch they are on and put them in a plastic bag and dispose of them.  This year I’m on top of the problem so they can’t keep multiplying and it seems to be working. Keep an eye out for them. They can be anywhere on the tree branches-down low or up high.

Great Weather! Time to Plant?

RAIN5

Wow! Great weather this weekend with no wind, warm temperatures and wonderful rain today. I hear tomorrow brings more rain. Today we had some great rain and boy is it welcomed. The native plants and trees and all of our plants are sucking it up. I can’t remember getting this much rain at this time of year in May. A great big plus is the night temperatures are starting to warm up too with the next 10 nights suppose to be from 35°F- mid 40’s. Pretty cold but above freezing.

So can we plant tomatoes? Is it time? Well that depends on whether the nighttime temperatures remain above freezing. Of course the first frost-free date is officially May 15th historically speaking, but back in 2011, we had a very warm May and many of us planted early as it never got below freezing that May. Is this one of those Mays? Who knows, unless you have a magic ball. By the way, I waited to plant my giant pumpkins till later in 2011 (as they are so frost tender) and my 2010 State Record got broken that year by someone who went for it early. I guess I should have put them in but I just didn’t want to chance it. You have to be a bit of a gambler to put your plants in now.

tomatoes in wall of waters 1

But if you are a gambler and want to plant your tomatoes early, be sure you plant using wall of waters (WOW) as shown above.  If you use them, and the temperatures dip below freezing, they will protect your new tender plants. I always use them even when the nighttime temps are in the 40’s as I feel they provide more heat at night and keep them from setbacks. The cells of water warm up all day and give back the warmth at night to the plants like little greenhouses or cloches. Once they outgrow the WOW’s  (like in the photo above), take them off  the tomatoes, which will probably be late May. Do not leave them on all summer.

Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair

Garden Fair 2014-1401

Today is the annual Santa Fe Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair from 9 am – 3 pm at the Rodeo Grounds off of Rodeo Road. I think it is the best gardening fair in Santa Fe. There are demos, exhibitors, vendors, a giant plant sale, guest garden speakers and much more. The first time I went, I was blown away how fantastic it is and how inspiring it is for gardeners and that was before I became a Master Gardener. Now that I am a Master Gardener, I’m always involved one way or another. This year I will be working at the plant sale. So come on by and say ‘hi’ and get some great plants, gardening stuff and learn how to do something new in the garden. If you want to get motivated to get gardening, come to this event!

Wait! Not quite yet-Patience!

snow2_april 26

Snow-April 26, 2015!

Just when we are all chomping to get growing, here comes another snow.  Big wet snowflakes. Not surprising as we are still in April, (although late April). Yesterday I went to the Farmer’s Market to sell greens and tomato plants and I told everyone-don’t plant them yet, put them in a warm window sill, we still could have cold weather coming and here it is. Of course most of us know that the first frost-free day is around May 15th  to start planting but still I always fantasize getting everything in early and usually must wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Patience! It seems gardening is a lesson in patience and patience is one of  life’s lessons. We must be patient for the winter weather to end so we can put our plants in the garden. Patient for the seeds to germinate. Patient when they don’t and must reseed. Patient for the soil to warm up so the plants will grow in earnest. Patient that the crops will grow and prosper. Patient for the all elusive harvest. So keep the faith, be patient, we will be able to plant soon, not just yet.

Apple blossoms update

bee on apple blossom3_blog

After last week’s super cold spring weather of 20°F at night and then the snow (hey it least it was warmer) I’m happy to say that not all the apple blossoms died. This morning I noticed a lot more blossoms have opened and the bees are all over them which means I might get a reduced crop but won’t be wiped out completely unless we get another bitter cold night. Looks like we are back to warm days again as well. Yea!