I was really excited to move to a lower elevation and have a longer growing season. But with every new garden comes new challenges as well. My new weed nemesis (which I will happily accept instead of bindweed in Colorado) is annual bugloss, which is in the borage family, and has the prickles to prove it. It is absolutely everywhere, has been coming up since April, and is STILL germinating.
I have an infestation of cabbage maggots (which as of this writing has taken out all of the radish, several Chinese cabbage – five of them went directly from rosette to flower stalk, forgetting to make a head of cabbage altogether due to stress – two Cauliflowers and two Broccoli plants – but so far no actual cabbage plants). The solution to the maggots? Plant for fall rather than spring (I’ve already replanted seeds) and use row covers. Tilling may have helped, had I had the resources to do it this spring.
Due to the wet weather, I have now acquired what I think is powdery mildew or some other kind of fungus. This is a big bummer as the spinach was just starting to take off. The solution to the mildew/fungus? Neem oil spray, which I’ve never used for this purpose before. Hopefully with the neem and the warmer weather, the fungus will subside, as it is affecting all of my chenopodium family plants (spinach, swiss chard, beets).
Today I found a Colorado Potato Beetle (ironic, as I didn’t have issues with them in Colorado). So the fun never ends.
But my tomatoes are looking much better in the last few weeks. I threw them some left over blood meal (I planted them with fertilizer but it wasn’t having much effect), and they greened up and started growing. Several are setting fruit and one (which was on the plant when I put it in the ground a month ago) is actually starting to turn red. I may have a ripe tomato before July 4th!
We are starting to work through the piles of scrap lumber that are in several places on the property. The best thing about this little stool? We did not have to go to the hardware store to make it. We even had the dowel already. AND it is Butters the cat approved.
I was out in the garden the other day and I suddenly realized that I could hear the bees, which I normally can not hear from the garden. So I went to investigate. The bees were very upset. The whole hive was buzzing, and there were lots of drones (male bees – no stinger, big round black butt) trying to get into the hive and lots of guard bees fighting them off. There must be another hive somewhere nearby that was either looking to rob my hive, or looking for a new place to live. It happened again today, and I was able to take this short video. Thankfully, my hive is very strong, so I wasn’t too worried about them not being able to defend themselves.
Our tree swallow family next to the front door continues to thrive. The male brings the female food, and sits on the fence posts and twitters at us. The other day, he had a chicken feather in his mouth. He dropped it, and it caught on the wind. He flew up and plucked it out of the air like an insect and landed back on the post. My husband and I gave him applause. Then he did it again, and I said, “OK, now you’re just showing off”. They often line their nests with lots of feathers.
Our rainy days have made for some spectacular skies. This picture was taken in our yard as we grilled locally grown pork chops in celebration of our house finally selling in Colorado. Thanks Colorado. It was a great ride.
Miles Away Farm Blog © 2011, where Loki the dog is shedding his undercoat, and we like to think that some of the exploded dog fur bombs that dot the yard from brushing him end up in a bird’s nest somewhere.