Celery has thrived in the rainy weather

Celery has thrived in the rainy weather

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“When the weather is hot, keep a cool mind. When the weather is cold, keep a warm heart.” — Unknown

This has been a good year to grow celery.

Celery is mostly water, so with all the rain we have had, the vegetable has thrived. Celery does not have many pests, but slugs and earworms seem to love it. To prevent these pests, sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of the plant. It repels the insects. It is great for other veggies and plants such as cabbage, marigolds and any vegetation slugs seem to like.

Diatomaceous earth can be purchased at the farm supply store in the poultry section or at a good nursery. This product is totally organic and you can add it to poultry food to cure and prevent worms.

If you end up with too much celery, it can be frozen. Just blanch it for 3 minutes. You won’t get a nice crispy product, but it can be added to soups, stews and casseroles.

The celery you grow in the garden is more flavorful and has more vitamins then the celery on your grocery shelves because it is “more green,” which means more vitamins. Dehydrating is another option, but I would blanch it first. The leaves can be bitter but can be dried as celery flakes.

Many people have vinyl tree guards to prevent mice from nibbling on their trees. Here are a few things you should know before using them:

  • Certain brands of vinyl tree guards that intend to protect young trees from rabbits, rodents and mechanical injuries do not expand as the tree grows. These guards can constrain and girdle the trees if not adjusted seasonally. Trees with severe constraint are often found with dead vascular tissue in the trunk that can lead to infection by a wide range of diseases.
  • If you use tree guards, remove them at least twice a year.
  • I have found the best tree guards are wire mesh that goes up at least 2 feet or maybe three depending upon how high we expect snow since the rabbits will nibble on top of snow. If mice are a problem, the mesh should be at least 3 inches below the ground.

A new Master Gardener class will be held this fall and the registration deadline is Aug. 7.

The cost for 12 weekly classes is $150 with a $25 rebate after completing the certification process. This class is for gardeners and anyone who would like to be a better gardener or open to someone very new to gardening.

Classes will be held on a combination of Friday evenings and Saturday mornings in Baraboo starting at the beginning of September. For more information and application, call UW-Extension Sauk County at 608-355-3250.

Contact Phyllis Both by email at pboth@charter.net or by telephone on Monday mornings at the Sauk County UW-Extension office, 608-355-3253.

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