right now

right now

Jul 14, 2009

Getting back to the Garden...

I spent the day getting some things done in the garden that were being neglected the past couple of weeks. The weather has been strange this year, unseasonably cool (mid-80's) with very little humidity (definitely not complaining!) so things have been slower than I am used to. I have had some cherry tomatoes, but am still waiting on my first heirloom tomatoes! I picked a good week to let things go since the chores only took a day to get caught up! I pulled weeds, wove my tomatoes into their trellis system, and pulled out all my bolted lettuces. I had never let my lettuce get so tall before, they looked kind of like 3 foot Christmas trees for bunnies! Then this evening, I finally went on a Japanese Beetle Massacre, ugh! My grapes were covered with them, all piled on top of each other in their shiny green disguting-ness!

Here's the damage, the beetles are belly up on the leaves below!
Speaking of pests, I have been meaning to post a pic of my first Tobacco Hornworm. The night this happened, no kidding, I dropped my little cultivator and ran! If there were any neighbors looking on, they probably thought I had found an anaconda. I have seen these in books and was familiar with the PICTURES but nothing prepared me for a live performance! This happened while I was actually searching for whatever had topped my potatoes...earlier I had noticed that one of my potato cages looked like someone had taken a weed whacker to the tops. Those of you more seasoned than I will probably laugh at the fact that not only did I take pictures, I even videotaped this monster to show my husband what was living in our backyard!

After consulting the trusty "Good Bug, Bad Bug" book for eradication tips, I almost gagged when I read "pick them off by hand, cut in half with knife, there is no known pesticide..." GROSS! Needless to say, I cut off the whole branch, and after using it for my photo shoot, put it in a Ziploc and into the neighbor's trash can, lol! Of course, my husband, upon seeing the video emails me from the ship and says "are you sure that's the only one?" So it's back out to the garden and I only found one more, but it looked like a bird had been pecking at it since it was dried up in the dirt so I left it. I just checked again tonight and I didn't see any, although now I know that if you see one with white sacs attached to it, leave it...those are beneficial parasitic wasps that will hatch and kill it for me!
Thanks, Kelly for reminding me to post the hornworm pics...maybe I can prevent someone else from a heart attack the first time they see one, lol! This one's for you 8)
video

Not much to speak of for the harvest the past week, a few Pinot Noir Peppers and Purple Rain Eggplant (the tomato and carrots were "harvested" at the farmer's market!) Tomorrow should be a decent picking day, I noticed while doing other chores that I have alot of bell peppers, and a few cukes and cherry tomatoes ready, along with another 40-60 jalapenos. I wasn't prepared to preserve anything today, so I figured it was better for them to sit on the plant rather than on the counter until tomorrow! I may let the jalapenos go to red this time, since I already have 2 gallon sized bags and several jars pickled of green jalapenos.
And, last but not least...tonight is my first night without one of my kids! The youngest, Finnegan is spending the night with daddy at the Children's Hospital for a "sleep-study". It is very strange without him here...and quiet! I am sure Sailor/Farmer/Husband will take pics for me after they get him all hooked up to the probes for me to post. Finn was looking forward to "being turned into a robot" and I am sure he will do fine, especially since Daddy will be there sleeping on the couch in his room. I can never get any sleep when I am in a hospital, and my husband seems to be able to sleep wherever he lands, so he was elected for this gig!






7 comments:

  1. I'm with you all the way on the disgustingness(!) of the hornworm! I can handle any kind of bug you throw at me but I'm totally grossed out when it comes to worms . . . eeeuuw! It took me a good 5 minutes to scroll down in your blog to the picture of the hornworm that I knew was coming. (How immature is that? A dyed-in-the-wool gardener who is afraid of worms?!) And I couldn't cut one in half if you gave me a million dollars. (Okay, just maybe I could psych myself up for that. I think.)

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  2. Mama Pea, I am getting a visual of us trying to cover our eyes while slashing blindly in the air trying to cut the worm without actually looking!

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  3. Erin, I never thought there would be ANYTHING related to a big old, gross, yucky, DISGUSTING worm (shudder) that would make me laugh out loud, but your above comment just did.

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  4. It's a monster!! Wow! I didn't think they were that big. Hope the boy did okay last night.

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  5. EUW-YUCK! Why are we so intimidated byt a big funky worm? Its not like it bites, LOL, but I kind of hold my breath when I get in close to search for them in the tomato patch. Great disposal method Erin, I might have to use it if I ever find one of the giants in my yard.

    Those purple rain eggplants are gorgeous! I hope you and your little man made it through the night comfortsbly, the peace and quiet is nice but it just doen't feel 'right' with them gone does it? (Same with the dogs- which I will post for you soon)

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  6. Ok, saw the video (the first time I was here it was down). On your potatoes huh? I haven't been looking for any of those creatures there, guess I should start! Thank-you for taking that video, I have been looking forward to seeing that worm for some time now!

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  7. I hope your little one had a good night at the hospital. :)

    I'm so jealous over your pretty eggplants! I'm having such an awful time keeping the pickleworms off mine. They are such destructive little things!

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