Monday, June 30, 2008

Battleground: Garden

It's bad day in the yard.

I've been saying that this garden is meant to experiment with more veggies than I normally grow - a sort of "practice garden" to try out things I want to grow on a larger scale in a bigger yard. I am having just a few more "learning opportunities" than I wanted just now.

The lush green honeymoon of spring is over, and the long hot summer garden battle is being waged. Drought, bugs, nutrient deficiencies, and wayward neighbors with weed-wackers are all in play.

Yesterday evening, someone came along and weed-whacked the back alley behind our row of houses. Normally, each resident is responsible for maintaining the strip along their back boundary, out to the middle of the alley right-of-way. But SOMEONE thought they should whack along EVERYONE'S boundary. My neighbor and I lost all our spearmint. I also lost iris, salvia, and peony I was planning to transplant on a cooler day. The year's passionflower is probably gone, which will be a huge disappointment to all the solitary bees that loved it last year. I also lost the ripening larkspur seed I was going to save. I usually let the ones in the alley look ratty until I can save seed, so I don't have to leave them looking dead in the backyard proper. I have some seed from 2007 I am going to broadcast instead, to overwinter for next year.

I was at my Mom's when this happened, and my DH was waiting for me when I came home. He looked grim and said, "I have bad news." He and the kids didn't want me to see it unprepared and have a screaming fit. Apparently, the neighbor DID have a screaming fit, in Spanish. I wish I had been there to join in.

I think I saw a Japanese beetle today. I hope I am wrong.

The potatoes look like hell. I may dig some up and see if there are new potatoes, or if the pill bugs have just eaten them all up. The zucchini isn't pollinating - we must be more short on bees this year than last. I am going to try manual pollination. I've only gotten two zukes so far, and I should have had 6 or 8 by now.

At least the celery, parsley, and cowpeas look OK so far. The tomatoes are setting fruit and the eggplants are finally growing and blooming a little. Those mystery "lettuce" plants look more like a brassica of some sort, but they are at least robust in the fish boxes. The onions are looking dry, but that might be normal this close to harvest.

I am going to go buy some fish emulsion, a new hose watering wand, and some more potting soil for herbs. Maybe I need to visit a nursery. Shopping therapy, of the garden geek variety.

1 comment:

MARIE said...

Oh, no! It's bad enough that weather, insects, fungus and natural disasters overcome our plants sometimes. But a weed wacker - I'd have a screaming fit too.

So sorry.