Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garden Ups and Downs

I'm getting fruit! The squash are growing.

The strawberry plants are beginning to produce more.

I anticipate being able to harvest some root vegetables soon. I have tomatoes on one plant, and blooms on several others. Here is my largest Arkansas Traveler tomato plant with blooms on, and soon the hubster will have to eat his words about how I started the seeds hopelessly late and there's no way we'll get fruit off the plants this year. At least I hope he will!

We've been harvesting lettuce, beet, radish, turnip, spinach and chard greens regularly, even if in small amounts. I've also been harvesting peas, green beans and another bean called Dragon's Tongue.

But there's some bad news, too. This Early Girl tomato that the hubster picked up from a nursery has not been happy since the transplant. It hasn't died yet, so I keep watering it and hoping it will make a comeback.

My spinach has bolted already. I keep trying to treat it like basil and pinch the blooms off the tops so they will keep growing, but it's not working. I guess we will have spinach for supper one night soon!

The bugs have found my garden. What are these little yellow guys? Eggs? Aphids? Whatever they are, I'm sure they're related to the half-eaten plant they reside on. (Sorry for the blurry pic!)

I've also been spending some time picking caterpillars off of several plants. And we have grasshoppers in abundance. This morning as I left for work, I noticed a very large moth hanging out on the side of the house. Hopefully it hadn't just deposited its larvae in my garden.

I haven't done much about the bugs yet, except to pick them off when I see them. But Emily over at The Harried Homemaker Preps had a post on some homemade insect repellent that I'm going to try. In fact, it's marinating in a jar on my kitchen counter as I type this. I just have to figure out what I can use to strain it, because I have neither cheesecloth nor a sieve.


  1. Wow! Seems like this garden was just planted! Nice job! I am def envious of your variety. But you seem to have WAY more bugs that I do. I guess they can't handle the heat out here in Arizona.

    I'll be spraying vegetable oil on my corn silks soon to thwart off any critters that might be planning on moving into the husks. Your strawberries are doing WAY better than mine. Looks like my squash is a couple weeks ahead of yours in growth. I didn't do tomatoes this season. Kinda wish I did since they were the best growers in the whole garden.

    Good luck on making the hubby eat his words. I know Wifey gets a jolt when I do it..which of course...is very, VERY rare..ahem.

    Keep up the good work in the garden...and dont' get caught surfin the web at work ;-)

  2. You can strain it through a bit of old cloth.. like an old t-shirt you aren't planning on wearing again.

    Spinach bolts with stress, heat.. and when the soil dries out. Let it bolt! Spinach has male and female plants and is a cool season crop. So by the time it sets seed, it could be planted again in time for some baby greens for fall.

    The Early girl is putting a lot of energy into it's fruit right now. If you have any well aged compost, add a top dressing around it. Hard to tell from the pictures what else may be up with it, but look close and keep track of changes in it (like.. older or newer leaves yellowing, black spots, mushy spots, shoestringing of leaves, mottling of color, etc.) Don't use a fertilizer.. use compost or compost tea. That will add nutrients gently without throwing the plant out of whack.

    The bugs on the leaf look like aphids. Keep at them as they populate fast. They suck juices from the plant. (On overcast days I nail 'em with a drop of dishsoap in a sprayer filled with water.)The eaten away parts look more like caterpillars or slugs.

  3. @ OJD: Thanks! It gets pretty hot here too; we've been in the 100s for a couple weeks now. If I could only plant one thing it would be tomatoes. Nothing tastes better than home-grown tomatoes! I mostly only surf the web at work on my breaks...mostly!

  4. @ Anne: Thanks for the tips! I found a roll of cheesecloth for cheap at the store. I'll add some compost to the early girl this weekend. The bug repellant helped with the caterpillars, but not the grasshoppers. I may just have to catch them by hand. I haven't seen any more aphids, but I have seen a few ladybugs, so maybe that's why.

    Your blog is such a wealth of information I get overwhelmed sometimes! Every time I read a post I think, hey, I should do that too!

  5. Ty :) You are doing & are interested in a lot of the same things that I am!

    Yeah.. you are in the grasshopper zone. lol. I had a sea of them back in CO. Unfortunately the area we were in did not allow chickens. We have some very young chickens right now and they are bug crazy. They charge through the yard when we let them out.. one catches a grasshopper.. and the rest all chase him to get it.. completely ignoring the hundreds of other grasshoppers leaping for safety. It's like watching bureaucracy at it's finest.. but with feathers.