Sunday, April 3, 2011
My garden at the end of March
Yes, I do know that it's April now, but I took this picture a few days ago. The garden is still doing pretty well. We currently have Roma tomatoes about the size of small grapes, cucumbers (from a volunteer plant, so we'll see whether they turn out to be edible or not) about 2 inches long, teensy little ears of corn, cabbages about the size of softballs (from seeds I planted back in November!), and occasional yummy peas (I definitely need to plant more pea plants).
I've got lettuce plants going to seed, lots of garlic sitting around doing nothing special, some newly planted beets, radishes, and onions, and a second batch of corn just starting.
I let some of my green beans stay on their bushes until the seeds were big, and then I tried planting the seeds. So far, nothing has sprouted. Either I didn't let them mature enough, or something else went wrong . . . or maybe if I'm just patient a bit longer, something will come up.
This is the very worst of the dry season, so it's very hot, very sunny, and very dry. I'm watering the garden multiple times each day, especially when I have new seedlings coming up. So far I'm planting all my seeds directly in the garden, and that's been working out okay, except for the seeds I've saved from previous plants. Clearly saving and using my own seeds are skills I still need to work on.
I'm continuing to have to fight off grasshoppers and leaf cutter ants. If I were trying to garden without the use of pesticides I think I'd have to give up. I am trying to use the pesticides sparingly, however. Generally, if I can keep the bugs from eating the tiny newly sprouted plants, then when those plants get older they do okay even when they are somewhat nibbled. If the bugs attack the tiny new plants, though, those plants tend to just die. Oh, I had an attack of leaf cutter ants of a different variety than I'd seen before, and they were eating only the garlic plants. I specifically planted garlic because it supposedly repels most insects, so I thought this was kind of funny. Anyway, I won that battle, and at the moment things are under control in the garden . . . at least the last time I checked, a few hours ago. However, I never know what I'll find when I go out there!