I have been fighting alkaline soil for years. The
big indicator of alkaline soil is pink garlic that
is suppose to be violet purple.
I just harvested my first garlic. It was a flyer I
missed last year, so it did not get much of any tender
love and care and its top died of early. It's bulbs
came out a beautiful violet purple.
Yippee! I am making progress finally!
Thank you all for helping me get there.
So far so good.
I learned that when the seed company puts "overfilled
do to low germination", they really mean it.
I am looking at a bumper crop of garlic, shallots,
The tomatoes are still struggling. I have one tine cherry
tomatoes the size of a lentil.
My Chimayo and Sandia peppers have finally spouted.
My Zukes are about three inches tall and developing
My Choke Cherry (4) and Goji Berry (4) have started
to develop leaves. My Goji berry stems are bend
over from the weight of all the new leaves. Maybe
some berries this fall?
I have Purslane spouts all over the place. And the
radishes are growing like crazy!
And the earwigs are few and are not attacking anything
this season. I still kill them when I find them.
Next stop, wait for the over winter squash bugs to fly
in, catch them copulating, kill them and their eggs.
Then I will be done with them for the season.
Thank you again for all the help! I wait stories of
i've not had a real problem with that. i
seem to get seed packets from random places
and perhaps for $0.10 each or less. i may
not even plant them for many years until i
realize they are taking up too much space.
some of them may still be viable. and the
rabbits might like them for food if i can use
them as a decoy crop.
all those radishes can generate a lot of
organic material to use as compost or top
sounds a bit late, i hope you have a long
enough season for those to get a decent crop.
do you have containers for them or are they
going into the ground?
don't kill all of them, if you want a
natural system you want to make sure some
are left that the predators have food.
there are so many around here we see them
all the time during the season. i've not
noticed them killing the squash completely
and only a few seem to even get in the fruits
so i largely ignore them as much as possible.
we're scaling back the squash this year to
one patch instead of three. i sure don't need
three wheelbarrows full of squash and the
freezer still has quite a bit in there from
last summer's crop.
just starting to get a decent number of
strawberries to ripen. chippies, birds,
rabbits, deer, etc. all getting their fair
beans sprouting, everything else growing
pretty well. not enough rains. last night
was hoping again the forecasted storm would
make it here, but it faded right on the edge.
and we only had a few drops. so i get up
and water in the morning and then work on
weeding until it gets too hot. siesta for
a while and then back out for whatever i can
do until i get too hot/tired. then that is it
for the day. :)
"Decoy crop". Boy I got about 20 years of things
to learn before I get there!
I am wondering if the smell of them will keep
Indeed. We have had a cool three weeks or so and
these peppers like it hot to germinate, or so the
label stated. We are calling it "Junuary". But
it has finally turned hot. I will be luck if I
get any peppers from them this year.
On the bright side, the three nursery Poblanos
and booking right along. So maybe I will get
some peppers from them.
They are not in danger of extinction. I can only get
at a few percent. :'(
The over winter stage is where you want to whack them.
The are larger and have red spots on their sides.
If you don't manage to nail them and you miss their
initial eggs, they are a pain in the ass to get rid of.
Spray the stem of the plant with a water wand, the bugs
hate this and will wander out on the stems where you
can nail them. Spray under their tummies. Their backs
are armor plated. Don't squash them with anything dear
to you, like your favorite gloves, thye are stink bugs!
Definition of a small town: when you visit your neighbors,
you have to lock your car doors, or you will find your
back seat filled with zucchini.
Garden strawberries. What a treat!
Death to Weeds!
p.s. an organic farmer said he deals with his
bug problem with chickens and guinea fowl. You
ever do this? Guinea fowl are so atrociously noisy.
But I have seen them annihilate a red ant mound.
well, so far i've learned that chipmunks adore
the edamame soybeans i try to grow. i'm not sure
how much of a crop i will get this year as about
all of the initial planting got eaten as it was
sprouting. i hope to rebuild my stock of seeds
this year. we'll see... at least i can always
buy new seeds if they don't go, but also i probably
should refresh the seed supply once every five
years or so to get rid of any cross-contamination
from the GMO soybeans so many farmers grow around
replanted yesterday, plus put some seeds in at
other locations and then chopped up some thyme
to sprinkle around to try to mask the scent.
a decoy crop would be something they like better
but is much cheaper and/or easier to grow. or a
bait pile like some sunflower seeds to keep them
busy enough for a few days while the seedlings
in the end though, last night i walked around
with the air rifle to see if i could be selective
at dealing with the one or two particular chipmunks
who are hitting that patch the worst. as that area
also has crocuses if i don't control the chipmunks
they'll eventually dig up a lot of those too...
a few years ago we were overrun with chipmunks.
trapping with rat traps didn't work (and besides
i hated that a bird might go for the bait) so we
set up buckets with ramps and sunflower seeds so
they would run up the ramp and jump in and drown.
not the most friendly thing to do, but no poisons
and only capturing the chipmunks and mice it was
a good way to get the population back down. we
trapped about 50 within a few weeks.
the semi-feral kitty that used to wander through
on a regular schedule has not been back for a long
time so it may now be gone. :(
we have seemed to avoid the worst of the bug
problems. other than japanese beetles and a few
chewings from tiny bugs on the beans (that they
outgrow) i don't see much damage that i'd
consider even worrying about. i'm pretty laid
back when it comes down to these things. my
main goal has to always been to improve the soil
by increasing diversity in the number of species
i can encourage. so far it seems to be working
if you have them in pots you can bring them
inside for the winter and keep them in some
light and give 'em some water and they may
keep going next year when you put them back
:) i'm loving sriracha sauce these days, i
use it as a ketchup replacement.
i'm guessing as your soil community improves
you'll see fewer of them. i see a few here or
there, but something else must be eating them
because i don't ever see them in large numbers.
perhaps frogs, toads and snakes like 'em?
i think we're talking about different bugs
here as i don't ever recall seeing anything
move when i water the plants.
only one of the neighbors is much into gardening
and she's backing off quite a bit because of health
problems (falling and bumping her head doesn't help).
nobody else around here grows much that we know of
at least that talks to us. some neighbors we don't
talk to because they have dogs and Mom hates dogs.
well and that they aren't very friendly to begin with
as we've lived here 20yrs and nobody walks or visits
much. we walk and say hello if someone is out and
about, but again, if they have dogs in the yard we
usually turn around and go the other way.
a few friends i have from a neighboring town will
visit once in a while and i usually give them some
of the produce if i have extra. they got some
rhubarb a few days ago.
i picked a few quarts yesterday. we had fake
shortcakes and i made some wimpy freezer jam
(from the ones that weren't as ripe as the
should have been). it's not a very good berry
season. between frosts, animals and lack of
rains i've got about 1/20th the crop i'd normally
have. i didn't think it was going that bad
until yesterday when i went out to harvest the
north strawberry patch and picked 5 berries
from a place where i normally would get several
free organic mulch! :)
we've had a nice rain today. first time in
a month or more there's been a puddle anywhere.
i'm sorting beans so i can consolidate as i
seem to have way too many containers of them
around. a good rainy day chore i've been
waiting on for weeks.
non-GMO soybeans are an excellent provider
ducks work on snails/slugs too. we do not
need any real help for bugs other than i'd like
something that gets the deer ticks (of various
kinds) just to be sure. so far no ticks have
been able to bite me, but i've caught a few
crawling and they're creepy buggers.
Mom is anti-animal in general other than those
that live outside and do not need care from
us. there used to be a lot more pheasants and
bob-whites around, but the neighbors have hunted
them down quite a bit and the south field is no
longer grassland. i may eventually get bob-
whites or other birds back, but it may be many
years before i get to that stage.
i like worms instead. they're much easier to
care for... ok, gotta get back to the bean