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The Cultivator
Grilled Zucchini, Great Onions, and Eggplant Survivors         August
The CobraHead Newsletter                                                     2015
Hello, Friends of CobraHead,
Last week I started chard, kale, mustard, and collard seeds in flats. Today I cleared one of the garden beds of its summer weeds and overgrown volunteer papalo.  The temperatures are still in the upper 90s and won't dip below the low 90s for at least the next ten days.  But I'm gearing up for the fall gardening, which can be the best season for gardening in Austin.  I'll sow some beet seeds directly next weekend, but will hold off on planting brassicas until the temperatures dip below 90.  Sometimes that happens in early September, but other years the heat doesn't abate until October.
Despite the abundant rain in late spring/early summer, the latter half of the summer has been hot and dry and the overall drought conditions in the area are with us.  I'll be getting the drip irrigation set up again for the garden beds and checking for any leaks.  
In this issue Judy shares her marinade for grilled summer squash.  Noel shows off his onion harvest and describes his process for prepping them for storage.  Thirdly, the story of how the eggplants came through after a tough start.
What are you planting in your fall garden?  Drop me a line at
Happy Gardening,

 Grilled Summer Squash
Grilling Zucchini

We have lots of zukes and summer squash.  Grilling is a delicious way to use up a lot of them.       

Buckets of Onions
Excellent Onion Harvest

It's great when the crops come in without issues, and this year's onions are outstanding.

  Read more. 

Great Looking Eggplants

We weren't holding out much hope for our eggplants, but they've come through just fine.

If you like our newsletter and our products or if you have some suggestions, we'd love to hear from you.

If you have gardening friends or if you know potential gardeners who might be interested in CobraHead and what we have to say about gardening and eating, please to them. 
It is the mission of CobraHead to help people grow their own food and to provide exceptional products and services to all gardeners.  We try hard to "walk the walk" when it comes to issues of sustainability and in deciding what is best for ourselves and the environment as we grow our little company.  We've chosen to make our tools locally, here in Wisconsin, and we think that bigger is not necessarily better.  Gardening might just be earth's great hope, and in any case it's a great hobby.
Thank you,
Noel, Judy, Geoff and Anneliese
The CobraHead Team
Netted Melon in a Hammock
Kraut to Come!
In This Issue
Grilling Zucchini
Excellent Onion Harvest
Eggplant Survivors
Leatherwing Beetles on Tansy
August was unusually cool here in Wisconsin. Few were complaining. The weather hasn't seemed to slow down vegetable production to a noticeable degree. Our harvest so far this year is excellent and we've got lots more on the way.

Even in good years problems occur. Tomato leaf blight and Japanese beetles are giving me some grief. Several years ago I lost most of my tomatoes to early blight. I attributed that to spacing plants too closely and some bad luck weather-wise, as many tomato growers in much of the northern United States had similar problems. It was a "not normal" event. Since then, the leaf blight in my garden has not disappeared, but I've been able to stay one step ahead and keep the blight in check just enough by cutting away dead and infected foliage.

This year, the blight is a little worse. And although the harvest has already proved excellent, I'd like to slow the blight down. I'm sure it's affecting overall yield potential. I've been looking for cures online. The most interesting one so far was something along the lines of, "remove all the infected soil from your garden and bring in new soil." Yeah, right.

There are one or several commercial products that can truly stop blight and are "certified organic". I haven't tried them, since part of my garden experiment is to find solutions that don't cost much money, and thus can be used by anyone, so I've avoided buying the patented fix. However, I think after this year, prudence will surpass frugality and I may give the commercial cure a try.

A home remedy I found cited several times online which appears logical and is organic is to spray the infected plants with a baking soda solution. The blight needs acidic conditions to thrive and changing the pH of the plant surfaces to alkaline slow the spread.  I've done several sprays and intend to continue. The method so far is proving to be "maybe".  The blight continues to creep upwards but not moving as fast as it was before I started spraying.

The Japanese beetles are controllable, I just need to show up more often. They are usually easy to keep in check if you don't let their population build up. All that is required is a daily clean off of plants with beetles using a funnel trap. The work involved is no more than a walk through all of the garden on a daily routine, but I've missed a lot of days in the garden lately, so it's catch up time against these defoliating little monsters.

We had a winner of a $50 Gift Certificate for our e-mail sign up at The Mother Earth News Fair West Bend, Wisconsin earlier this month. That person is Theresa Dostaler.  Congratulations and thanks for signing up!

We'd like to remind all our readers that we love to grow our own food and to help others do the same. We post articles about food growing and using home grown food on our website blog, and we almost always have a discussion or several going on about food and growing on our Facebook page. You can help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to a friend and if you have any gardening questions, drop us a note. If we can't help you we'll find someone who can.

Thanks for reading our newsletter.
Noel and the CobraHead Team
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