The Backyard Produce Section – 5/16/10

The garden has enjoyed some well needed rain today. New Orleans seems to be going through a drought right now. Since I planted my garden, this is only the second time it’s rained down here and now it’s just flat out turned into a downpour! Which I’m loving!! And you should see how the plants react to rainwater. It’s amazing actually. There’s all of this healthy new growth all within a day. I’ve been reading about rain bins that you can buy that siphon rain water from the bucket to water your garden and it would be wonderful if I could afford one/ifΒ  my mom would let me have one :p The hose water just isn’t near as good. It’s clear as day. Up above is my lavender that I got from the local farmers market and it’s doing really well!! I just love looking at it! It’s such a pretty plant πŸ™‚

The lima bean plants that I planted are VERY quick growers apparently!! I’m shocked really. I have 10 of these little plants in my bean garden right now. What amazes me is that two weeks ago these were seeds!! That’s just unbelievable to me. And now look at them. Pretty soon I’ll be picking bean pods off of them πŸ™‚ As you can see though on one of those leaves, I’m now to the stage of fighting pests. And for the first time, I’m doing my garden all organic…so for those who HAVE done organic gardening, I’m asking for advice. How the hell do you get rid of bugs in an organic garden?? Tips? I’ve noticed this especially with my poor strawberries 😦 They’ve been growing like crazy lately but something is eating them before I can so I haven’t been able to eat any of them. Is there a natural way to keep pests away that’s proven effective for you?

The little main garden is a bit odd right now. Half of it is doing very well and the other half, not so much. But I don’t know if that’s just the plants or if it’s something I’m doing. The eggplant in the front (the two on the left) really aren’t doing much growing at all…really the whole left side of the garden isn’t looking too hot. The leaves are much more yellow than the right hand side of the garden and there are hardly any flowers on the plants at all. But the right side of the garden is doing great! The cucumbers in the back are starting to grow all over the place and I’ve noticed that they’re trying to latch on to my peppers :/ Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to plant them in such a small place, huh? You live and learn…So I got the little trellis in the back to see if it clings on to that instead of my peppers. Sadly, my peppers aren’t really producing any flowers 😦 At least the two on the right aren’t. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or if they’re just slow to grow…we’ll see. At least they aren’t dead, right?

So that’s the garden this week! I also have to give away a Defend the Coast tshirt πŸ˜€ And that shirt goes to Amanda at The Zen Leaf πŸ˜€ I already have your address of course, Amanda so if you just want to tell me what size you want, I’ll get it sent over to you! They fit just like the NaNo shirts. If you missed out on winning one, I’d still suggest picking one up as all proceeds go to helping the gulf coast! We need all the help we can get as BP comes up with genius ideas like “throw tires and golf balls at the oil leak” :/ Oh dear…..

I should have reviews coming soon for The Less Dead by April Lurie and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter as well as my first thoughts on the Nook! But first, you can look for a bad bloggers post from me tomorrow πŸ˜‰ How’s your Sunday going? I hope it’s a good one…nice and relaxing! Reading anything good? Playing in the garden?

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14 Responses

  1. It’s the little fairy boy that’s making them grow so fast! πŸ™‚ I don’t know much about gardening, but i know there’s some sort of organic spray made from rhubarb leaves? Sorry I can’t be of more help! And thanks for the shirt. I’ll email you. πŸ™‚

  2. I love seeing how fast things grow!!!!! Your garden areas are doing great Chris!!

    my neighbor actually did give me one small tomatoe from her plants and I thought I went to heaven there was sooooo much taste to it!!!!! I envy you the “bunches” that you are growing!!!!

  3. Lavender, huh? I have a plant that looks very similar in my garden. It was one of those I discovered when cleaning out the leaves and as I couldn’t tell if it was a weed or a leftover from the previous owners I left it to see what it would do. Now it has little blue flowers like yours does.

    I don’t know what to tell you about the bugs except maybe askikng your local nursery if there’s anything you can do. My cousin in Utah is having the same problem with her berry plants. Hope you can figure something out!

  4. Your lavendar looks lovley! I’ve never grown it, but it sure is pretty. I don’t put any chemicals or pesticides on my garden. The firs thing to do is figure out what’s eating it. Mostly I pick the bugs off by hand- you may need to go out with a flashlight at night to find them. I also put out shallow tins with cheap beer in them- the slugs crawl in and drown. Another tip is not to have any flat stones or debris around that bugs can hide under. (Or turn them over every morning to catch the critters). Once when pill bugs were eating all my seedlings I put out an upside-down rind of a grapefruit, the entire half, and they all went under there to hide from the morning sun. Then just pick up and throw out the whole thing. This year I’m trying to grow herbs amongst my veggies that deter the pests, but not sure yet how effective that is. Hope some of that helps!

  5. I second Trish’s recommendation. Talk to you local nursery or the grower’s at your Farmer’s Market as they have experience with local pests. I tend to hand pick snails, pray for ladybugs and replant those seedlings that get eaten. The garden looks lovely.

  6. Amanda, It IS the little fairy boy πŸ˜€ That’s why I made sure to get him in the picture πŸ˜‰ He’s sprouting up the beans like crazy!! He’s also right next to a tomato plant that you can’t see that I planted that’s growing like crazy! I’m thinking of organic sprays if I can’t find any other solution.

    Deslily, I’m glad you think they’re doing great πŸ˜€ It’s good to hear that because I worry about them so much. But I think that’s just because I see them every day and I get nervous about EVERY little thing, lol. I want everything to be luscious green and full of veggies right away :p I’m so glad that you got a tomato off of your neighbor!!! There’s nothing out there like fresh veggies! You have to do a potted tomato next year! There’s still plenty of time this year πŸ˜‰

    Trish, Hey, I bet that is lavender that you have growing in your back yard!! If you rub off the seeds from the plant and dry them out and store them in a jar, they smell so good!! I use them whenever I get migraines. The scent is so calming and relaxing. That’s why I got the plant. Asking the local nursery is an excellent idea! The only thing I worry about is everyone here is so damn big on “just use a pesticide :/” And they try to fight you if you don’t want to :/

    Jeane, Thanks πŸ˜€ I’m loving my lavender plant! I’m going all no pesticides and no chemicals this year too!! And it’s making me so happy Jeane! I’m having so much fun keeping up with everything and weeding by hand and just playing in the garden. I’ve been picking the bugs off by hand when I can find them. Mostly I’ve found little beetles on the veggie plants and I’m guessing those may be the culprits on those leaves. I don’t know what’s eating my poor strawberries though 😦 May go look tonight though! I love the beer idea!! In fact, there are now little bug size cups of beer in all of my gardens πŸ˜€ I’m always up for using beer whenever I can πŸ˜‰ I’ll definitely try the upside down grapefruit too. That’s a great idea. Thank you so much for the tips Jeane!!

    Gavin, I’ll definitely be trying out the local nursery!! Like I told Trish though, I just hate that everyone around me is so keen on using pesticides 😦 There’s not a big organic gardening culture around here 😦 And they just laugh at you if you do go that route. How can people want chemicals all over there food? I’ve been hand picking whatever I can! And thanks for the compliment on the garden! Like I told Pat, I worry so much about my garden, but I think it’s just because I live with it every day…and because it’s my first year with it really being MY garden.

  7. Hey Chris, I’ve been gardening for about three years now. I’ve had herbs, corn, radishes, tomaters, string beans, five different types of peppers, etc. and constantly have trouble with bugsys. In Florida they tend to win. 😦 I’ve yet been able to go completely organic, although I have done my best and use pesticides only in the worse case scenarios. What does help is planting marigolds in your garden, in between your plants. I don’t know why it helps. It’s been a “passed down through the family” on Diane’s side but they all swear by it. And her brother and mother all have this very bright green thumb. So we’re trying that this year. So far so good.

    Also, I’m about as frustrated as you are with BP. The oil is moving along the coast and I have a feeling that I might just be snorkeling and kayaking in the Keys with oil. :/

  8. I wish I had some ideas in regards to the bug problem. Alas, I don’t. Now if it was grubs on your tomatoes that one would be easy..pans of beer lure those little suckers right in!! I can’t wait until your first harvest πŸ˜€

  9. Ahh your garden looks lovely! Can’t wait to get my hands on mine, but have to finish decorating my front room first! Enjoy all the new growth!

  10. I am so impressed by your gardening. I have just about weeded mine this month, let alone plant anything. You put me to shame with all your hard work.

  11. Hey Chris, things are looking great! Those beans are gorgeous. I agree with Jeane — it really helps to know what’s actually eating them. Picking by hand works well if you can get the problem early; if you can’t stand squashing them (I can’t) dropping them into water with dishsoap in it will help. If you’re having trouble with aphids or other soft-bodied bugs, spraying a mixture of dish soap (I’m not sure it matters which brand) and water onto the leaves and the bugs seems to help. I’m not 100% sure of the ratios, but I think it’s something like 40:1 water:soap. Doesn’t take much. Another thing to keep an eye on is checking the undersides of the leaves for eggs and getting them scraped off the plant early. When the bugs start in I try to check things every couple of days. And not every bug is bad! You will find if you stay organic that some of the bugs that look awful are actually useful predators, like larval ladybugs.

    Regarding the left/right side of the garden problem, perhaps it’s an uneven distribution of nutrients? Usually if things aren’t flowering it can be a sign of a phosphorus deficiency. Sprinkling a little bonemeal around the affected plants can be helpful. There can be a number of reasons for yellowing leaves, but again perhaps it’s some sort of nutrient, maybe even a trace nutrient that’s low.

  12. Christina, I’ve heard about the marigolds thing! I don’t know why I haven’t done that yet…I was at the garden center the other day and saw a really good deal on them and almost bought some but didn’t…I really should! I think they’re really pretty too πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear you’re being affected so much by the oil too 😦 Isn’t it awful? Is it starting to was up on the beaches over there? We’re having it wash up in big globs along our shores now and it’s just so sad 😦

    Staci, I did put some beer out last night because I was getting big holes in my leaves and surprise surprise, this morning I woke up with no new holes in the leaves and slugs in the beer!! I love that tip πŸ˜€

    Mariel, Thanks πŸ˜€ Can’t wait to see what it all looks like once you get it started!

    Vivienne, I really haven’t done much work in it at all, lol. I’ve really enjoyed playing in it so far. Haven’t had to do much weeding yet! I’m sure that’ll come soon though :p

    Kiirstin, Thanks so much for the tips!! I love the dishsoap tip! I’ll totally be trying that one out. I also took you up on the bonemeal trick and tried it out…we’ll see if it helps the garden out…if not, we’ll have to try something else. If nothing else, it should at least get the plants flowering πŸ˜€

  13. Baba Yaga lays an egg sounds awesome…The Handmaid’s Tale? Not so much. It’s the only Atwood novel I dislike. But, you’ll probably love it as I know you and Nymeth agree on just about everything. It’s good to have a friend who sees eye to eye.

    The son made it home safely from ICP, and you made it through your Manson days, so all is right with the world. Thanks for your encouraging comments through the years! XOXO

  14. Bellezza, Doesn’t Baba Yaga sound awesome? And I just love the cover! Sorry you didn’t like The Handmaid’s Tale all that much! I’m curious now to see what I think of it. Glad to hear your son made it home ok πŸ˜‰ He’ll make it! You’ll see!

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