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Beetle Battle and other greenish things

Friday, September 04, 2009

My garden is progressing nicely. Like everything in life, there are bumps in the road sometimes. And just like anything else you do in life, you get out of your garden EXACTLY as much as you put into it.

I picked caterpillars off of my tomato plants for so long, I started seeing caterpillars that weren't there. My tomato plant rewarded me with a tomato that weighed 12 ounces. Once the days are 100 degrees and lower, the tomatoes will be producing heavily - not just one or two tomatoes near the ground, but tomatoes all over the plant. And the plant is almost 6 feet tall now. But it wouldn't be if I hadn't picked those caterpillars off.

My cucumber plants are dead. Cucumber beetles snuck into my garden and my cucumber plants perished. I have planted again with precautions in place.
I didn't SEE the cucumber beetles for a long time, so now I am beset with beetles - both striped and spotted. And they have targeted my okra and corn. For THREE days now, I have, in addition to my normal work, hunted and crushed beetles. This morning I caught a pair mating in the canteloupe blooms. GRRR. They're dead now, tho. Last night I had a dream about beetles. Won't share it cuz it was kinda gross, but maybe that gives you an idea of how many beetles I've encountered.

My 20 ton pile of dirt looked like this in the beginning.
After hauling a total of 106 loads, it looks like this. I shoveled all but 6 of the loads of dirt into the wheel barrow. I hauled and dumped all 106.

I've planted several more tomato plants - red pear tomatoes, yellow globes, Cherokee Chocolates - all heirlooms, red okra plants (an heirloom variety from Tennessee), Christmas Lima beans, blackeye peas, orange carrots and purple carrots. Mid-September I will plant two kinds of peas, garlic, bulb onions, shallots, garlic and a couple of artichokes. October and November I will plant asparagus - I have a place planned - I'm planting half from seed and planning to buy roots for the other half of the space. January or February will see the planting of potatoes, hopefully. If I had more room, the list would be longer! But I will save my confessions of a seed hoarder/addict for another blog. Here are the first 2 pumpkins we harvested yesterday They're curing in the sun for a few days.

I've converted an old dumpster into a composter. Used an old wire birdcage stand in the bottom to sift the compost. I cut a door into the bottom and seal it with duct tape. For the first time the other day, I opened the bottom and applied compost tea to my baby tomatoes and okra - they all grew more than TWO INCHES overnight!

When I add food trash to the compost bin, I layer eucalyptus leaves on top and then add a layer of manure. I need to get the bin to a place where it can get sun all or most of the day during the winter. A good place will present itself.

A friend of mine saves her garbage for me for composting. She keeps her coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit and vegetable peelings, melon and squash rinds (all PRIME ingredients for good compost) - she packs them up so nicely and saves them til we're able to get together.

The acorn squash, butternut squash and sunflowers are thriving, too. The sunflowers are 6 and 7 feet tall. The acorn squash are producing much quicker than I expected and one plant has over 6 squash on it.

The butternut squash is putting on a few squash here and there, too. I think the butternut is a slower producer - kind of like a pumpkin.

The corn is over 6 feet tall now. Below the corn, I have planted a white pumpkin, scarlet runner beans (they're good as green beans and as dried beans, too), and green beans.

Here's a pic of a giant cantaloupe (they look funny because they are heirloom too) that grew from the garden.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYARIZONA 9/8/2009 6:51PM

    Ok, I am thoroughly exhausted with your gardening adventures. WOW. I sure remember the GREEN tomato worms, corn worms etc. Don't remember anything ever bothering our cukes or string beans though! Hey where do ya live, I am coming for some of those tomatoes!!! emoticon

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BARBARA_G 9/5/2009 2:15PM

    I can't believe how well your garden is doing. It seems miraculous to me. That tomato....mouth watering.

I belive it's not wise to use Eucalyptus in your compost. It has a growth retardent in it. You may want to check into that some more and not take my word for it.

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LADYROSE 9/4/2009 5:19PM

    Doodette! You're blog is like my shopping list. We're so inviting ourselves over this weekend...

for the company of course. Just ignore the list in my hand.... ;)

I can't wait to savor every juicy bite of that tomato... *sigh* I envy you and your tenatious green thumb.

Comment edited on: 9/4/2009 5:25:43 PM

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