Having a garden is a never ending, on going, learning experience.
I joined a plant exchange a number of years back, and among the plants I brought to exchange, was a pretty little one I found in my garden. I labeled it unknown – and the moderator came over to inform me, that my unknown was poison ivy in its infant stage!!! Talk about embarrassing!!!!! Fortunately, I wear gloves when gardening, so I suffered no ill effects from digging it up!!!
I have come a long way from that day!!! I am still learning – that is a never ending process!!
My vegetable gardens have done very well this year -not a bit of poison ivy anywhere! But, the bugs have discovered the gardens. The first year I escaped buggy infestations- this year, they know we are here!!!
My bean plants have been reduced to lacy outlines of their former selves, eaten by the little yellow larvae of some kind of beetle. The plants are still producing beans in abundance, but the bugs need to be stopped. Spraying with Safer soap seems to stop them temporarily – but kind of goes against me wanting to have an organic garden.
The local farmers poo-poo the idea of organic. On the large scale of their farms, I guess it would be kind of hard to keep the bugs at bay organically. It’s hard to do even on my scale!!!
One of my gardens that I share with a neighboring farmer was sprayed before we planted the potatoes. That one spraying kept the potato bugs from ravaging the plants. The garden nearer to my house, was not sprayed. The leaves of the potato plants were crawling with beetles one day. The potatoes underground were unaffected and beautiful. There is nothing more satisfying than digging in the soft warm earth (with gardening gloves on-LOL), and coming up with big, round, healthy potatoes!!!! No more manicures for me!!!
The weeds grow very well in my gardens also!!! I am happy to know the soil is so healthy , and things like to grow there – but what a pain!! Next year, we will approach it a little differently – weeding and constantly roto tilling are not my thing! Plus, all that roto tilling is probably not good for the soil.
My corn is about ready to be picked and one healthy ear turned out to have bugs deep inside. I hope that is not a predictor of what the other ears will look like!!That will kind of kill any chance of me selling them at the farmers market. I don’t mind flicking off a bug or two, but a paying customer might.
My tomato plants – all 45 or 50 of them – are over 5 feet tall-tightly fenced in, and overloaded with green tomatoes. They will undoubtedly, ripen all at once – and I hope I will be able to sell alot of them. If not, I will be locked in the kitchen, making more variations of canned tomatoes, sauces, catsup, etc than I care to think about!!!
I will have to mull it over carefully, next year, on what to plant, what will sell at the local small market – if I WANT to sell at the local small market again- or do I just want to grow what I need for us.
I definitely have a new appreciation for the women who came before me, and who fed their families, thru alot of hard work, and without the ease of modern appliances and air conditioning!!!
It’s about 95 degrees outside right now – and I know this heat has ripened an endless supply of cherry tomatoes and hopefully several large heirloom ones!! But, being a somewhat fair weather farmer – at least where heat is concerned – I will wait til just before dark, and then venture out with my buckets and baskets and see what my garden has to offer me today……….
All is well, hot and cloudy, at Mountain Meadows today…………..