Thursday, June 25, 2009

what's 'bugging' me

I had some garden pictures sent to me be a friend who read my garden blog, I thought I would share...
She called this, "The Three Amigos".

She has grapes! I also love the Lillies in the front.

Red leaf lettuce, I wish I had planted some this year.

I'm still trying to deal with the poison ivy. I've tried alcohol (rubbing, I don't drink:-), hydrogen Peroxide, Lanasil, tea tree, hand sanitizer, and I finally found something that kind of stops the itch, it's a natural salve made by Mountain Rose Herbs for hemorrhoids. (left over from child birth!) I went to the web site and found they have something made especially for poison Ivy! I've ordered it, I'll give a report when I get it! Click on the picture to see all the wonderful things they have.
Now to the garden. I have been doing research on how to get pests away naturally. I have read many different suggestions. One was to spray a mixture of ivory (I don't have ivory, does it have to be that?) soap and cayenne pepper diluted in water. It has to sit in the bottle overnight. So I started that yesterday. I also read that if I dusted the plants with flour the bugs who eat will explode from the flour in their system mixing with the liquids, so I did that yesterday too.
I think this little guy is the main culprit.
He is a jumping beetle and I've found him on all the plants that have been chewed on. Some call him a potato beetle. He's as big as a pin head and does hop around. He's not impossible to catch though, so we do a lot of hunting and squishing.

The cabbage may also be suffering from a larva. Although I've only found one so far. It may be through this winged creature. It was described as a small white moth/butterfly.

This morning Bill discovered some welts on our cauliflower plants, I'm wondering if the spray may be causing it. Wouldn't it be nifty if I killed one plant to save another??

We sprayed anyway, just went easy on the cauliflower. As soon as it dried I dusted them with flour. If hand pecking, spraying and dusting doesn't work I may have to spend $25 and try this: (click on pic to see where to buy). Unless anyone else has any ideas.....?
I found a squash this morning that had both a male and a female flower:
I used my finger and tried to use them to cross pollinate the other squashes. I felt kind of 'dirty' doing it, I've never had to artificially inseminate plants before.

These are some of my 'naked' tomato plants, I got pretty agressive in trimming yesterday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

welcome to my garden

I decided to branch off my 'inmanclan' blog and focus one entirely on gardening. As the summer progresses I hope to have a large group who will help me along this new road. I once heard someone say about making bread, "Don't tell me to add flour until the dough feels right, I don't know what 'right' dough feels like, just tell me exactly how much flour." That's kind of they way I feel about gardening. I need to know small details that someone more proficient may take for granted.

I tried researching what to do with squash that doesn't produce fruit. I found out that I had the male squash, and somebody suggested I take a q-tip and cross pollinate...what? How do I do that???

My 'Man Squash'

Let me give you a little tour of my garden:
My artist husband collects driftwood like some collect baseball cards.I'm very happy with the way my tomato plants are coming along. I had read that the sucker branches should be trimmed off. I have been doing some guessing, but I think I have it figured out now.The branches that come out below aren't producing fruit, they also have a different sheen to the leaf, they're not as fuzzy, so I cut those off.I keep all branches close to the ground trimmed off and feed them a mix of powdered milk and Epsom salt every other week. On the other weeks I feed them 'Plant Amp' with the rest of my garden. (Plant Amp is a 100% natural - will be able to label organic soon- plant feeder. I love it! I don't think they have a website, but their contact # is 765-528-2168, they're out of New Castle, Indiana)My peppers are also doing well. I had planted these in an old tire and they really thrive in there. How do I know when it's ready to be picked? Should I be staking these because pretty soon there will be a lot of weight in peppers on this little guys.
I had started some peppers from seed (the others were bought in flats) so I recently put them in (they may be flowers...we lost track of the markers, I guess we'll know when thye bloom...). I use newspapers as a weed barrier and it also holds in moisture. They don't last for more than a month, so I have to re-paper a few of my plants now.These cucumbers are also a new addition to our garden. We got them from a nursery because out of the ones I started from seed only one lived... but it's doing wellsee them?

The canta-loupe is taking off, so is the cabbage. I had to place my size 11 foot (9.5 mens) near the cabbage to give perspective. We have many many many cabbages thanks to Bill's amazing deal getting ways. The leaves are getting holes and I'm concerned. I started spraying them with a dish soap water mixture today.

My egg plants are all in blossom now. If you notice, there are tons of holes in the leaves. After some research we found the culprit to be a 'potato jumping flea' it's actually a beadle that's very hard to get rid of (they say), I sprayed them with the soap/water mixture as well. Any ideas for my egg plants?The cauliflower (Left) and broccoli (right) are also doing well, I'm just eagerly awaiting some sign of fruitage....Only one of my pumpkin's survived from seed, but after looking at it today, maybe that's enough!
I planted peas in the front of our home. I was thinking they were doing pretty well, we've eaten a dozen or so already, then I saw a picture of a friend's peas and realized these are nothin'! A friend gave me some chard, I don't know where I'm going to put it, I have some ideas, you can tell me what you think as I mention them... Maybe between the blackberry and raspberry bushes?I planted fennel,
and mint on the side of my house. It gets 1/4 sun, maybe I could plant the chard in the rest of the space there?I could use it as an edging for our front flower garden. See the fuchsia circle, recognize what's in it?

Poison Ivy!

I have basil and parsley in a planter, I've been eating them now, I don't know if they will ever really get to grow up!I have been trying my hand at the hanging tomato baskets. My success rate isn't 100% yet, but I have some good ones done. I plan on doing a step by step video - so stay tuned!
Thanks for visiting my garden, please comment on areas that will help me become a better gardener. I'm excited to read them!