Saturday, June 23, 2012
This means war!
I was walking my garden today to see if there was anything I could harvest and also to check on my
Cucurbitaceae plants (cucumbers, melons and squash are all of this plant family but all are a different genus) because I have been battling cucumber beetles and squash bugs which I had talked about here.
Armed with Neem Oil, some companion plants, and DE (Diatomaceous Earth) I set about destroying the marauders. I only have 1 cantaloupe 2 watermelon and half my original planting of cucumbers are gone! Because of course you realize this means war!
Whilst picking through the plants (and pulling the never ending supply of weeds) I spied a cucumber (yay the first of the season!) as I was reaching into grab it, something moved, I screeched and jumped back falling on my ass. Thank goodness no innocent plants were injured during my girly freak out. And I really hope none of my neighbors seen that. Y'all would tell me if you found some incriminating video on YouTube, right? I have a good explanation as to why I was a little jumpy. My neighbor found an 8 ft. black snake skin (shudders) in his shed. I really, REALLY did not NOT want to meet Mr. Snake in my garden. And trust me when a snake is that big--I will call him MR. because I respect him (her) enough to back away....Anyhoo THIS was the culprit...Darn toad! Haha, I am glad he is in the garden. I hope he invites his friends and they enjoy the bug buffet!
The good news is I have more seedlings stared for the cantaloupe and I have plenty more cucumber plants. The cantaloupe that survived is a momma and there are 4 beautiful little baby melons! Now I will begin selectively pinching the vines so the energy goes into the fruit production. This also allows me to stagger my melon harvest. Obviously this technique is best suited for the little backyard gardener.
I also had to do some finagling in the garden. I originally had my blackberries and raspberries in the raised beds at the front of the garden, but they were getting sun-scorch from all the direct sun. So I went to Big Lots and bought some big plastic planters, did a layer of weed block cloth on the bottom, added a layer of pea gravel and then some good soil. I put the plants in the pots and moved them behind the grapevine. Not to close because I don't want the berry brambles and grapevine getting entwined! They will get morning sun and dappled afternoon light. This will have to do until I can figure the placement in my yard and garden. I wasn't expecting any fruits this year anyway.
So now that I have two raised beds free and the soil neutralized (berries like acidic soil) what shall I plant?....hmmm