Friday, July 13, 2007

A Garden Update

I don't really have much to post about today, so I thought I'd share a garden update. I've really been learning a lot about gardening. I have decided that I need to keep a garden notebook so that I remember things for future reference. For example:

Many of my tomatoes have blossom end rot. This is a result of the soil not being properly amended for them. That's really sad, as my plants are full of tomatoes, but so far every semi-ripe tomato I have pulled has been rotting from one end. Yesterday I discovered that even my little pear tomatoes are beginning to show signs. For next year I need to look into some organic fertilizing options as well as continue with my composting- no doubt that will help a lot. Some of my zucchini have also had this problem, so I think all of my beds will need some TLC in the off-season.

I've also discovered bugs. Specifically, the Cabbage Moth and it's little offspring. It wasn't until they obliterated Abigail's cabbage plant that I decided to find out what was eating it. Turns out those little white moths- the cabbage moth, lay eggs on members of the brassica family. Most specifically the cabbage, but also broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. I don't have cauliflower, but I have the rest! Every day this week I've been heading out to the garden and spending time plucking those little green worms from my brassica's. Every single one gets shredded into my garbage disposal, and hopefully I'm getting ahead of them. I've also been using a mixture of vanilla and water to spray my plants- the thought behind that is that the vanilla scent will disguise the plants from the moths...we'll see if that works.

I've also learned that a trellis for cucumbers works very well- except that when it's up against a wall, I have a hard time getting behind the trellis to pick the cucumbers. But I have been managing, and three quarts of pickles now hide in my kitchen annex. Today I may have enough to do another jar. But overall, I've been thrilled with the garden. The green beans are keeping my daughter well supplied in snack food, and the zucchini is producing just enough to be able to keep up with it. We're all excited about the melon patch- at last count we had about 10 different melon babies, and we can't wait to be able to try the first one. I've also discovered that peppers do very well in pots. My banana peppers and jalapenos are producing very nicely...I just wish I had the tomatoes to turn them all into salsa.

Anyway, that's about it for today. I have to head out and pluck my daily worms. I would love any gardening tips that anyone has for me! I'm definitely learning as I go, and I'm discovering that organic gardening is definitely tougher than gardening with Miracle Gro. The end results so far have certainly been worth it. Today I'm also going to do some zucchini experimenting, so stay tuned!

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