Holy wow, people – there’s been so much I’ve wanted to share, but so little time to do it! Maintaining this garden could easily be a full-time job, but I already have one of those, so it has to take a sad little back seat.
The truly frustrating thing right now is I’m spending about two hours per night hunting and killing hundreds of Japanese beetles. These little bastards are now everywhere, consuming the leaves of everything they find. We have four beetle traps around the house, and they’re collecting a fair share, but not the thousands I’d like to see.
Here’s one beetle and the damage it can do (beetle is on the top right purple leaf:)
The pheromone-based traps seem less effective this year than last year, but I didn’t get them out until August, and perhaps there was a different beetle demographic at play there.
I’ve only found a half-dozen or so in the garden itself, which is good, because I might have to quit my job and spend all of my time hunkering and lurking around with my little glass jar o’beetles. It’s somewhat sad, because the beetles themselves are quite lovely, and it’s not their fault some idiot human transported their ancestors to the wrong damn continent decades ago. I have no desire to make them suffer unduly, but I’m also not the least bit shy about sending them to their deaths down the disposal.
In the garden, they seem most fond of the cabbage family – broccoli and collards, particularly. There may be dozens more lurking in places I can’t see, but so far, so good.
The garden is going absolutely crazy with all the rain. My dad noted I picked the right year to start a garden – not many consecutive days have gone by without some kind of rainfall, and for the first time ever in my life, I welcome it with open arms. I haven’t had to water things in quite some time, and that’s glorious. It takes over an hour to thoroughly water everything, time I could spend, y’know, hunting and killing fricking beetles. Or weeding.
Speaking of weeding, while I haven’t yet reached a place of Zen, I do hate it less. Better living through psychology – when I began this little venture, I would say to myself, “I’m going to go weed the garden.” Then, after hours had passed and I was thoroughly Done with weeding for the day, I’d look around and, son of a bitch, there were still weeds everywhere, meaning I had not met my goal.
I’m a goal-oriented girl. The process in my head goes something like this:
1.) Are there weeds?
2.) If yes, pull them! Pull them now!
3.) Are there still weeds?
4.) If yes, goto (1). If no, goto bed.
I have yet to meet a “no” condition on item four.
It was frustrating, failing every day and that just made me hate it all the more. The crab grass mocked me long after the mosquitoes drove me inside and the sun went down. I decided to try something new. “I am going to weed these two rows,” or “I am going to weed this one raised bed.” I can do that. That is possible in the span of one evening. Then, if I get done and have more time and energy, any extra work is just gravy.
There are the days when I just say “screw it, I don’t have sufficient motivation to do the garden today.” At this point, nothing is going to burn to the ground if I miss a day of weeding (and I’ve missed plenty now.) Still, when I see this, I want to stop everything until they are all gone:
We have a week and a half of vacation coming up in a couple of weeks, and I am champing at the bit for it on a number of levels. First and foremost, I am fried at work and am in desperate need of A Break. Second, and not far behind first, I cannot wait to spend a metric honkload of consecutive time in there getting things in order. I have a whole nother post about what I’ll do differently next year, but a bunch of it is correctable now. I think. We’ll see.
The first tomatoes that appeared are getting their first blush of color. I feel like these tomatoes are dear friends at this point; should anything happen to them, I will be crushed.
This single Glacier tomato plant currently has twenty-three fruits on it! Its neighbor, also a Glacier, has eighteen. I think they’re pretty stinking good producers. Several other plants and varieties are setting fruit now, and I think all of them have blossoms.
One of the broccoli started producing its head two days ago:
Several potato plants are blooming.
Dad and Janet think we’re going to have more potatoes than we know what to do with. They are assuredly correct – we have eight seven hills (one never germinated) with between two and four plants apiece. French fries on the house!
The first pepper has poked out! It’s a Hungarian Wax Pepper.
Something is nibbling the pollinated blossoms off one of my Ancho pepper plants, which is really pissing me off. I want those Anchos!
The Cosmo romaine is heading up nicely all around:
The Australian Yellowleaf is generally all gangbusters and delicious:
Many of the pole beans are happily climbing the trellis with surprising speed. Others are going to need to be talked into it, but just look at how pretty these are:
I have to say, I’m pretty damned proud of all this. 🙂 The hard work is starting to pay off very nicely. Granted, it wouldn’t take much to wipe it all out (one herd of deer, a few voracious bunnies, a really nasty thunderstorm with even worse winds than we’ve had,) but here’s hoping it doesn’t happen. I’m fortunate in that our livelihood does not depend upon the garden’s output.
Thus far, I’ve given away five or six shopping bags of produce, mostly collards, kale and lettuce with some radishes, onions and peas thrown in, and I love being able to share. Having fresh salad for dinner every night is pretty awesome, too.
So much more to come, but the dogs are getting after me about it being 7:30 without them having been fed. I should think about feeding us, too.