Sunday, October 25, 2009

Garden Redux

We're winterizing the garden now. Our first year's attempt has, with few exceptions, crashed and burned. If anything, it's made me more determined and maybe a little smarter.

Our goal on our five acres is to have a large, self sustaining garden. The tiny self-watering boxes we have now are a drop in the bucket compared with what we'll have to have in order to eliminate produce purchasing. But it being my first year seriously growing anything, starting small was a necessity.

I'll freely admit that this summer growing season was horrible. My small victories when my motley crew of plants started producing quickly turned into side-show horrors. I never knew bugs proliferated so quickly. Thick, wriggling layers of bugs coated the supple vines and sucked the baby fruits into wrinkled lumps.

FYI assassin beetles fly. When the more than inch long bug, with long spidery legs and a formidable needle nose flew at me after I determinedly sprayed it with orange oil, I swear I could hear him laugh. I have no shame in telling you I gave a most girly shriek and ran for cover, those bastards are scary. And did I mention they fly?? I have a thing about freaky airborne bugs, especially freaky airborne bugs that bite.

The stink bugs and shield beetles were no better but at least they're smaller. Aphids were a nuisance we had as well. Then the eight days of rains drown out over half the plant varieties leaving only a couple of stubborn greenies behind.

Butternut Squash before the invasion.

But that's all past now. I'm hoping to have learned my lessons with the bugs and rains and next summers garden will be heartier, healthier and much much more productive. It really can't get much less productive. I'm picking up some special cloth to cover the beds to organically deter the pests and spending the winter building the frames for said covers. My goal is to do this free or cheap and I'll update on that when I get it worked out.

I ordered music garlic, yellow and bunching onions and a potato mix to winterize the beds. Plus, a bit of sugar snap peas to grow indoors. I'm hoping the fact the produce will be under the ground or in the house will help with pests. I'm still nursing a single very late blooming pepper to harvest I still have high hopes at least those jerks of the bug world didn't fly away with those.

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