Groundhog Warning

This afternoon, en route to weeding and watering, a gardener surprised a woodchuck in the lower garden. It is not clear where it had come through the fence, but everyone should check the portion of fence adjacent to their plot and make sure that it is as tightly staked as possible. We recommend that the same be done in the upper garden. Although we have not yet had any reports of critter sightings there, some young broccoli heads show signs of nibbling.

Also, please do not dump garden waste down by the lower garden because there is no easy way to retrieve it from there at this time of year.

The gardens are looking lush and wonderful and represent an impressive amount of work. Bravo to all!

Late Blight

Hopefully this isn’t going to be a repeat of the late blight disaster of 2009. If you can’t remember what the symptoms of late blight look like, please go to the Cornell website for tomato/potato diseases or just google late blight.

If you suspect any of your plants of having this fungus you can ask either Kathy, William, or Susan to have a look. Copper based fungicides are supposed to work to keep it at bay.

Sorry for the nasty news…. keep an eye on your plants.


Garlic Mustard

Encroaching invasive plants are gradually degrading the health of our forests and natural areas.  Trained eyes and maintenance and control measures associated with enlightened landscaping practices, planning and patience can prevent many of these invasives.   Thus, we can reduce this threat to the remarkable biodiversity of our region and promote native plants that provide valuable eco-services to us and to the wildlife we treasure.

Garlic Mustard images
To begin to build region-wide awareness on the threat of invasives, a small ad-hoc group associated with Hanover’s Conservation Commission and other communities is working on a plan to educate the public about a small plant that is fairly new in the region, and is spreading very quickly into neighborhoods.   The plant is garlic mustard, and research has shown it to be a significant threat to forest health (see attached background document, with pertinent references).   Other invasive shrubs are well established, and their control is a different matter – with garlic mustard, we are trying to halt the spread of a fairly new plant, since it is not yet pervasive.

This regional project will require an aggressive two-pronged approach, with both an educational and control aspect:  We hope to train more ‘eyes on the ground’ to report the plant and to build teams in each neighborhood where this plant has settled, to help to keep it from reaching further into the region.  Mid-May is the best time to attack Garlic Mustard.  See attachments and contact the Hanover Conservation Commission for more information.

Garlic Mustard Has Invaded Handout

Garlic Mustard Neighborhood Strategy


For those who may have noticed the webbed nests in the trees on the edge of Girl Brook, they are not tent caterpillars. They are in fact “fall webworm”.  Because they develop in the fall after the foliage has already developed, they don’t really do much damage to the tree.  So no cause for concern….