Lee and I have been catching up on our garden after goofing off for the last couple weeks. Bad weather makes for lousy gardening days anyway, so camping, hiking, hanging out with friends, and celebrating some milestones took over. When the sun popped out this weekend, we suddenly found ourselves overrun with things to do.
I strolled out to the garden Saturday with my morning coffee to look everything over.
My first stop was to check a small cucumber start that the cucumber beetles had almost stripped the day before. The plant was still alive, just barely, with a few spotted and striped cucumber beetles having a lounge about party on it. I smashed them all.
The next squash plant I came to had the little bugs doing the humpity bumpity. Not on my watch, so I smashed them too.
The third plant I came to had even more striped cucumber beetles trying to create hordes of leaf chomping babies. I squished and smashed and pulverized those bugs as fast as I could.
The forth plant made my jaw drop. I realized the striped cucumber beetles had me outnumbered and ran back to the house. After Lee looked at the swarming hordes of unrepentant leaf munchers we decided to bring out the big guns. Three years ago we bought some Pyrethrin and have only used it twice. (Pyrethrin is an organic pesticide derived from the seed cases of Chrysanthemum flowers. At the right concentrations it is lethal to most insects, but breaks down within a day or two of sun exposure.) It was time to use it again and I sprayed those plants down enthusiastically and with great thoroughness. DIE BUGS DIE!!
While the Pyrethrin was working Lee and I went about our business of weeding, watering, setting rodent traps, making new beds, and inspecting how the garden was growing. I realized that not one cucumber beetle was on my mashua plant. They must have known the plant is an anaphrodisiac.
The broccoli is in full swing right now.
My magnificent cabbage is heading up. I am going to try my hand at sauerkraut as soon as one gets big enough.
Both of the potato rows are doing well. We planted four new varieties this year.
I had a lot of volunteer sunflowers from last year’s plants. I weeded many of them out, but I transplanted the larger ones here and there. These early sunflowers are getting ready to flower.
I planted a row of borrage this year for the first time. I am hoping it will draw bees into the garden and help improve overall pollination. There are flower heads forming.
The row of Joi Choi is doing nice, aside from the many flee beetle holes shot through the leaves. The Pac Choi next to it looks awful. Next year I will not plant Pac Choi.
I pulled a turnip because I couldn’t wait. IT. WAS. AWESOME. TASTING.
Lee and I are pretty excited about the onions. I am so afraid something is going to go wrong and we wont have a harvest again. We need to figure out how to grow onions reliably because we eat a huge amount of them every year.
We didn’t grow lettuce last year and Lee was disappointed.
Now we both keep eyeballing it and wishing it would grow a whole lot faster.
Lee hauled in the last of the compost we bought for the new beds we were tilling. It looked like a lot in the truck bed, but after it was all spread out it seemed kind of pathetic.
As the day went on we kept coming back to the squash plants to see how the bugs were fairing. Prognosis: not good. Many of them flew away after they were first exposed, and by the end of the day there wasn’t a cucumber beetle to be found. Well, not a moving one at least. The beetles returned within a day, but their numbers have been reduced to more manageable levels. Next year we may plant our curcurbits under a cloche.