Gardening For Vegetables

by Robert Wildwood

It  has been a great season for The Wafflehouse backyard raised bed gardens in West Oakland. We sprouted from seeds Dinosaur kale, Curly Kale, Tomatos, Zuchini, Eggplant, Snap Peas, Blackberries, Elder Berries, Salad Greens, Sorrel, Hot Peppers, Green Bell Peppers.

Difficulties with pocket gophers eating the roots of certain plants from their tunnels. I would notice the leaves wilting, then touching the stalk of the plant i found that there were no roots attaching it to the ground! It started with the peas, we flushed the tunnel with the garden hose and they dissappeared for awhile.

They returned this month to eat the roots out from under the eggplants, every damn single one. I hosed the hole right there in the middle of the raised bed, but i feel like the gophers had already retreated. I believe they have learned that this area is prone to sudden flooding. I can only be happy that they seem disinclined to consume the roots of the kale plants, the leaves of which i eat nearly every day! Do they realize this, and we have reached symbiosis? No, i think kale roots must be boring and tasteless to them. They also have left the zuchini roots alone. We are thankful.

Another issue was the white mold that completely overtook the zuchini plants, covering the top side of the leaves and surely blocking off the sunlight, putting a halt to the plant’s photosynthesis. The production of zuchini squash slowed drastically.

I searched the web for a solution to the white mold problem and found a post that suggested a mixture of 50% water and 50% milk sprayed on the leaves. I found a simple trigger spray bottle and some milk from the fridge that was expired, sprayed the leaves with it. The next few days a drastic change happened to the leaves, overnight they became green again! The white mold was killed thru some chemical/acidity change caused by the milk.

Hooray! I love it when a plan comes together. -Rob