I’m thinking at this point I issue a press release to the animals of Point Defiance Zoo that I’m now going to be serving up cocktails with the free garden eats. Sure, c’mon over – bring a buddy! It’s a party!
Last week I shared how cabbage worm and cats have of late discovered my garden. Since then, more creatures seem to have found it, too. A couple days ago I found this party happening on the underside of one of my basil leaves:
I promptly removed it, but I have noticed a few aphids here and there in other spots in my garden too. Sigh.
This year I decided to plant a beautiful looking heirloom dry shelling bean (that’s an Amazon link just so you know). Observe at how my seedlings are emerging:
Yeah, not cool. Clearly something has been chowing down on my plants before they even hit the light of day. I got down really close to observe the soil around the plant to see if I could gather any clues. As I did, a teeny tiny little stick like thing curled up in a ball. I picked it up and put it on the ledge of my container. It could’ve easily fit on a dime (to give you an idea of the size).
Here is the zoomed in close up:
Do you see what I see? It’s got its mouth opened up – like it’s showing its snake fangs! The thing is seriously in attack mode, trying to bite me. I proceeded to flick it off into the rocks. I’m thinking it’s some sort of cutworm, but I’d rather refer to it as the Tiny Spawn of Satan I hate it that much for hurting my bean plants. Given that, maybe prayer is my best weapon against this creature!
Anyhow, it gets better. I then walk into my back lawn and that’s when I find…. a rabbit. What next?! We both froze and I stared deeply into his little beady eyes to see if there was any sign of him having spotted the lettuce chilling in the planter behind me. But then my son approached and the rabbit darted off. The funny thing here is that I have a fully fenced backyard and my neighbor has a German Shepherd.
So to recap, this year I’ve had to deal with: a pooping cat, cabbageworms, aphids, and the tiny spawn of Satan. Oh, and let’s not forget these guys shall we?
Regrow your own celery! Pinterest said. It’ll be fun! Pinterest said. You’ll never have to buy celery again! Pinterest said. Pinterestingly enough, I now have slugs happily breeding away in the stalks. Please pass the salt.
That isn’t to say there haven’t been some happier developments in my garden.
My tallest pea plant is now flowering! Hooray!
So this is rather embarrassing. I thought this was cilantro, but now I’m wondering if I actually planted parsley here. Of course I didn’t mark it and it doesn’t have a strong enough scent yet for me to decipher. Anyone?
I think this loose leaf red lettuce is my favorite lettuce variety I’ve EVER planted. It’s a cut and come again, has not bolted, and has a really nice, mild flavor. I had some in my tacos today and it was delicious. I hope that rabbit leaves it well enough alone.
My first batch of wild lettuce mix is already spent and bolted, but my next batch is almost up and ready! I think I might actually be starting to get a hang of this planning thing! I’ll do some more lettuce planting here in the next week or so.
I’ve found these dried bits of something around my containers and I’m hoping they are the remains of dead slugs (please oh please someone tell me I’m right?!). If so, that’d be one win I’m having in the War on Bugs this year.
One decision I made this year that I’m so glad I made was to do some container gardening. Honestly, it may turn out to be my saving grace. Look at how crazy big these tomato plants are getting already! Some of you have asked and might be curious to know – I got them at a plant sale at Wright’s Park last month. Would you believe they were only $3.50?! They had a ton of varieties too. These are chocolate cherry tomatoes. I say this because there will be another sale there on June 9th. If you are interested GET THERE EARLY. 20 minutes after the thing started, plants were seriously cleaned out and GONE. We also found pepper plants for $0.75 each. (More information is here (and it’s limited.)
Check it out, tomatoes already!
I’m also growing some of the same shelling beans in containers, vertically. Perhaps these will do better than my garden-grown ones. (In your face, cutworms!)
I did spend some time on the phone today with a Master Gardener from WSU. It sounds like many folks are struggling this year, and the extended damp conditions are certainly not helping. My goal is to continue to keep things organic, but I also care to take an active role in keeping my garden going. This week I’m going to be looking at some sort of spray for the aphids (such as Neem oil or soap) and then tonight I may make some collars for my bean seeds to deter the cutworms. I’ve also been toying with releasing beneficial nematodes, but the Master Gardener I spoke with said that the soil conditions must be right for them to live. I’ve spent a few hours Googling and Youtubing and I know there are no shortage of possible solutions for my problems. The key is finding the ones that will actually work.
The good news is that all is not a loss, and that these challenges may give me some real experience to make my thumb turn even greener. At this point, I’ve got to look on the bright side.
How is your garden doing? If you blog about gardening, you are welcome and encouraged to leave a relevant link to any recent update posts!