Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our Little Garden

I mentioned in an earlier post that Jason and I had planted a garden. Well, it has come a long way and we really enjoy watching it grow!

Here is an early picture from when we just got started.

You can see 5 tomato plant starts on the left, a dill star and a rosemary start on the right, and several rows of seeds (brussel sprouts, jalapeno and bell peppers, parsley, sage, and basil).

We have gone through many renditions of the layout of the garden. If something's not making progress, we move it to a separate pot and reuse the space for something else.

Here is a picture of what it looks like after about a month and a half.

We've had to take control of a few potential natural disasters like aphids and caterpillars. The white stuff in the picture above is self-rising flour. It keeps the little caterpillars from eating the brussel sprout leaves.

Supposedly, they eat the flour, it expands and they explode. I haven't seen anything that drastic, but there is definitely less of the little buggers than before. We almost didn't catch them in time, but now I check them everyday and pick off any that made it through the flour.

The aphids have attacked the dill plant, so we sprayed crushed garlic mixed with a little liquid dishsoap and they suffocate and die. Then we just hose them off.

We have the same problem with aphids in the roses in front of the house.

We actually planted a few garlic cloves in the bed with the roses. It's an old wives' tale kinda thing, but the smell seems to keep them away.

We are trying to be as "au naturale" with our treatments to the garden and our little visitors.

Our neighbors have told us that they have big trouble with slugs. Jason and I hadn't noticed any slugs (or signs of slugs) in the garden, so we did a little night time reconnaissance to see if we were going to have to share our beer with the slimy things (beer is the natural remedy for slugs -- just put a tray of it in the garden and the slugs will crawl in, get drunk, and die).

So we head out to the backyard really late one night in our jammies with flashlights to see what the nightlife in the garden looks like.It was pretty ugly!

We found footlong nightcrawlers in the garden. It was so gross! The whole thing just slithered with creepy crawlers, but no slugs. Worms are good for the soil, so we weren't too worried about that little finding.

Then we headed back to the compost heap to see what was going on back there and it was enough to make me GAG! We found out why we don't have slugs in the garden...they all live in the compost heap!!

The picture above is a bunch of 6 inch long (at least) slugs eating a cantaloupe rind. GROSS!

Here's a close up of their nasty little eyeball/antenna things. YUCK!!

We figure if we can keep them satisfied in the compost heap that is good enough, but if they get bored and venture to the garden, then it's going to be a beerfest for all of us. So we keep feeding everything we have into it the compost and haven't had any slug problems yet.

On a less disgusting note, all five of the tomato plants have baby tomatoes on them now and we should have a seriously good harvest in a few weeks!

Did you know that the tomatoes grow right out of the little yellow flowers? This picture below was taken right as one was busting out.

My favorite part of having the garden is seeing things change on a daily basis and all the baby steps it takes to get to the final product. It takes a lot of patience but it is so very satisfying to see the progression!

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