Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Frau Garden Report

The summer garden is winding down, although the tomatoes are now recovering from the spider mite infestation, the cucumbers are re-fruiting, and 2 pumpkins are still ripening. We are harvesting okra, bell peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers, poblano peppers, and cucumbers, and the occasional cherry tomato. I haven't harvested the carrots yet. They call "Hausfrau...when are you going to pay some attention to us?".

Carrots, lonely no more.

The zuchinni and winter squash were devastated by squash bugs and had to be euthanized. Ewhhughh! I hate seeing those things! Next year I will recognize the eggs and try to destroy them straightaway.

Disgusting squash bug nymphs.

The herbs are still doing well, as herbs usually do. Parsley, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, and chocolate mint. Bumper crop of that :).

The apples were basically eaten up by birds and worms. There is one left on one of the little semi-dwarf trees, we'll see how long it lasts. Next year maybe we'll get a real crop, if so we need to cover the apples with some kind of bags or netting. Grapes - similarly eaten by birds. We actually got figs this year, but strangely they ripen up randomly, not all at once. They must be picked only when ripe, but if we don't get them the first day that they ripen the birds will get them.

Fig, partly eaten, by me.

2 weeks ago, I planted bush beans and brocolli from seed, and as always, covered them with netting to prevent birds from getting in and eating all the seedlings. The bush beans look great! They have really popped up. The broccoli is coming up slowly but surely (well, I hope surely).

Netting over new seedbed.

Today, my SIL is watching my toddler boy, and I got to plant some more seeds! Kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, kale, parsnips. Since I have only planted lettuce and peas before, I am curious to see how everything else does. I got the idea to write my row identifiers on plasticware we have gotten from take-out places. Seemed to work!

Row marker, donated by Pei Wei.

In another week or two I'll uproot the pumpkins (I hope they are ripe by then!) and plant beets, carrots and garlic. Then I'll pretty much be done with planting for this year. I will just need to pay attention to the frosts and mulch everything up pretty well when the first frost looms.

Lessons learned this year:

  1. Mulching with straw actually works to keep down weeds! It was totally worth the time it took!
  2. Peppers love us here. Plant more.
  3. I need to plant either more or less cucumber plants. I had too many to eat but not really enough to pickle.
  4. No winter squash or pumpkin plants - they take up the whole dang yard.
  5. Plant zuchinni plants in separated locations in case the squash bugs strike again.
  6. Do not mistake squash bug eggs for ladybug eggs! Destroy on sight!
  7. Eliminate tomato plant at first sign of spider mite infestation, before they can spread.
  8. Plant more okra. It does well here and one plant is not enough.
  9. Spray organic horticultural oil (??) on peaches. Peach worms are gross.
  10. Protect apples with some kind of bag or netting. Birds are ruthless. And sneaky.
  11. Plants need fertilization even if compost and manure has been dug in. Do not believe hype about "feed the soil". Well, partially believe hype. But still fertilize.


Bee said...

That's weird. I was wondering today how your garden was going and now I know. I am going to do the straw mulch next year as well. I hate weeds!

Verde said...

Frau, that garden sounds very successful. I hear you about the squash bugs. They have left us with one zucch. and one pumpkin - of course that one zucch is successfully feeding 3 families with left overs.

Similarly the squash bugs got all the winter squash but one and I think I'm glad because we couldn't have handled all of that I had planted!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Nice Garden Report!

We too experienced an onslaught of squash bugs. Sadly, we have a plot at a community garden, so no matter what we did to try to calm to terror, it didn't seem to help - the dang squash bugs just marched on over from the other plots!

We too didn't know what the eggs were at first, until it was too late.

Glad to hear your peppers are doing well, that seems to be a crop we have been able to grow with some degree of success as well, and man do I love peppers!

I look forward to keeping up with your garden.

Hausfrau said...

Verde - thank you! I'm not sure if I would call it a success, but I would say it was "more successful than last year".

Jennifer - We eat bell peppers at least 3 times a week, so I'm glad they are still producing!

Bee - I had to borrow a lot of newspaper from neighbors (I don't get the paper), but the straw seems to work better with the newspaper under it.

anajz said...

This sounds weird...but the carrots are romantic.

Peppers and yellow squash are just about all we are harvesting now.

Lewru said...

Oh, how awesome! Yay for you! I agree with Verde that you were successful!

I can't wait for fall plantings myself (this weekend - I'm behind, I know). We'll have to compare notes on what overwinters well. Hope you're doing great, lady!