Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Curly Top Virus & Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Curly Top Virus

Jeff Schalau, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension Agent has identified cucumber mosaic virus and curly top virus as affecting vegetables in the Verde Valley.  You can get more information by checking out this “Backyard Gardening” article.  (August 1, 2012)

Beet leafhoppers are the source of curly top virus and are common in our area.  When a plant is infected the leaves pucker and are stunted.  The leaves curl and roll upward and the main leaf petiole curves downward.  Leaves look leathery and the veins turn purple while the areas between the veins yellow. 
Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Cucumber mosaic virus can infect tomatoes also.  Aphids spread the virus.  Leaves become mottled and yellow.  New leaves become twisted and curl downward and develop a “shoestring” look.  Plants become stunted and produce only small quantities of fruit.

In both cases once the problem is identified, the plants should be removed immediately.  Do not compost the plants.  The viruses are not carried in the soil so you can replant where the disease plant was growing.  Keeping weeds down may also help prevent the disease.

Monsoon Madness 2012

Article by Angela Mazella   Photos by Steve McIntyre 

This year we got the Monsoon rain without the madness. Like clockwork the rains came at the very opening of this year’s plant sale. It kept the number of customers down (from 704 last year to 504 this year), but surprisingly didn’t hurt our bottom line. The customers came steadily through the day so we missed the usual madness. The half price part of the sale didn’t happen until almost closing. Well at least we didn’t have to water the plants or hydrate our volunteers and customers. 
        The Master Gardener Association really came through with over 1200 plants this year. And they were beautiful with a great variety. Herbs were especially plentiful. Thanks to all the plant makers! We supplemented this with 180 plants from Mountain States and most of them sold as well. 
There were some great garden accessories too. An electric lawn mower, numerous tools and wheel barrows sold well. The rain didn’t stop the tool sharpening operation. They again did a whopping $366 worth of it. 
Thanks to John Mazella and Jeff Schalau and his jazz band for the entertainment. Luckily they managed to keep dry while playing great music. 
This year the committee purchased some tables since we would not be able to access the tables provided by the county. Another step towards self sufficiency for the plant sale. Expenses totaled $1623 and gross sales exceeded last year by $200. This gave us net profits this year of $4717. Only $100 less than last year. We are amazed. Thanks to all the volunteers who made the day possible. I would like to name all 82 of you but have run out of space. It looked like they were all having a good time despite the rain. My impression from speaking to the public is that the Master Gardener Association annual Monsoon Madness plant sale has made it to the must do events in Prescott. Our reputation is so good that everyone asks us when the next sale is. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

More on Organic Farming

A few months ago I pointed you to an article about how organic farming movement has changed.  As large corporations have taken up the mantle of "organic", the movement is loosing it's meaning and the definitions are changing.  An article in the New York Times documents some of the changes.  The articles is titled "Has 'Organic' Been Oversized?"

The New York Times holds a somewhat tight rein on it's content so I'm not sure you will be able to access the article without an account, but I hope so.  It is an interesting look at corporations, farming and food.

Monsoon Madness is Back!

Saturday, July 14, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners are having their Monsoon Madness gardeners sale.  The sale runs from 7:30am to 1pm. This is a great opportunity to purchase plants grown by the Master Gardeners and used gardening equipment.  There will be herbs, perennials, annuals, natives and house plants available.

Along with the plant sale you can bring your pruning shears, knives, loppers and axes to be sharpened (no serrated edges).  Workshops are also scheduled on planting, watering composting, insect control and more.

Sales are cash only!

Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Grounds
840 Rodeo Dr.
PrescottAZ 86305