Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Squash Bug Killer!

Oh goodness. I just zoomed in on that photo of the bird in my previous post and I do believe that he's about to chomp down on a squash bug! Check it out...

See his open mouth and that brown blurry spot about to get devoured? I love this bird!! What is it?? Brown on top with a light yellow underside.


That's right. I decided to QUIT GIVING UP on my war against the squash bugs. I went out this morning armed with my weapons of warfare.

Gloves for squishing

Scissors for cutting away the dead/shriveled stuff - and chopping any squash bugs if I saw them

& my secret weapon....

For sucking those little buggers right off the leaves! It was satisfying watching them swirl around in the hurricane inside since the bottom is see through. Then I dumped them out into a bucket of soapy water.

I found some surprise squash hiding behind all of the out of control vines and ground cover. Yep, I finally pulled that stuff out and now I can walk behind those beds again. Here's the one that I didn't even know existed....

Here's the original first bloom that is still hanging on

Then, while I was busy vacuuming bugs I saw some movement in the other squash box. There was a little bird perched on the stalk/vine of one of the squash leaves. I thought to myself...I hope it eats some squash bugs! Well he hopped up the vine and started tilting his head this way and that, then he attacked and I saw a green worm go down that beak!! That bird is my new best friend!! LOL. He hopped from leaf to leaf, but I couldn't see what else he was catching. I ran in and grabbed the camera for a pic. Had to be quick, but I caught him :)

Oh, and the purple beans are coming in!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The watermelon wasn't ripe...

Drat! It sounded hollow, it was dull colored, it's vine was yellow with browning wilting leaves... it was all white inside except for a few hints of blush. So I yanked the rest of the vines out and we'll start over.
The zucchini was just getting nasty so it got ripped out too. Those things take up way too much space. I'd rather have my bush beans in that box than one big ol' zucc.
Then I wandered over to the squash. I have given up on the battle with the squash bugs. I'm so tired of them. I eyed the squash menacingly and debated pulling it out. But there's actually 2 decent sized squash on them. Still...I'd rather have tomatoes for salsa and ketchup and salads than just 2 squash. So the squash in that box got a reprieve. But the one in the other box. Well it is over 20 feet long and going but it hasn't produced a pollinated squash yet. And I need space for tomatoes!!
Next year - no squash! :) Or maybe one that I plant NOT at a trellis and let it wander through the paths. I could do that.
Anyhow, mostly I neglected the garden this week. Rain, tired, busy, etc. I hope to plant a few things this weekend in my newly opened areas and replant some things that didn't take.
That's all. I missed out on a nap today and I'm dragging, so have a great weekend! zzzzzzzzzzz

Monday, September 7, 2009

Shut Up about the Watermelon already!!

Ok. I can't stop talking about the watermelon. I am excited about the watermelon! Every day I check on the watermelon.
Last night at 9PM we measured the melon and it was 13 1/2" around at its widest part. This morning at 10AM we measured and it was 14 3/8"! Tonight at 9PM we measured and it was 14 3/4"! It grew over an inch in 24 hours.
Ok, we're too obsessed with the melon. Step away from the melon...
But it is just so fun with things actually growing this year! Plus it is in Jake's box, and you're always happier when it is your kids' stuff that is having success!
I will try to refrain from even mentioning the melon the rest of the week.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rain = Crazy Growth

I popped out real quick to check the garden this morning. Wow! Jake's watermelon is just growing like crazy. Yesterday it could sit in my palm, today I had to cup it to hold it there. Here's a pic from today.

And this squash, looks like it got pollinated! It must have doubled in size overnight, maybe more than doubled. This is the same squash as the last pic in yesterday's post.
So, I'm very excited about this season's potential. Last year I didn't have much success during fall planting, although winter did pretty well. I'm certain it was lack of enough good compost. I had the right ratio's down for Mel's mix, but I think I really needed more compost.
At this point I have the original 3 part mix in the box under 6" (i have 12" deep) of the aged horse manure. I'd love to get some other types in there next time I fill. I filled these things to the brim with the horse stuff and they've already dropped about 2" below the board. I toss bunny poo on top every week when I clean the bunny cage. We have a few worm bins going that I use, but neither of those puts out in the amount needed for all of the beds. Okay, so the bunny tries and does a really good job LOL!
We've also had more rain this year, so that is good. I have to remember that I'll need to water when it stops. I did the same thing last year. The sky had been watering the garden for me every afternoon that I just forgot watering had to be done when the rain season left LOL.
Anyhow, like I said. I'm just very excited about what the possibilites are this year. Now, I really need to go out and squish a few squash bugs I saw while taking pics. I didn't have gloves, and don't have EG's bug bravery LOL.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Catching back up

I know it has been a few days since I posted, but this week has been a whirlwind! My son, who is 12, was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent). So needless to say there is a bit of stress and confusion - and information overload- going on.
I'm going to go off topic for a few minutes just to say how cool God is. And since it is my blog I can do that, LOL. A few years ago I got my personal trainer certification which also deals with nutrition. Beginning to prep for a figure competition myself and a very brief time training others for the same taught me how to count cals & carbs so easily that I could now do it in my sleep. It is something I really understand. A few months later my anxiety attacks came back and some depression set in and I began gardening simply for the sake of therapy. It was a chance to get outside in the sun and fresh air, dig in the earth, be alone for a little while and enjoy nature. Now that garden that was planted from just a small thought has grown and can provide the fresh vegetables that will be vital to my son's diet. So when you look back you can see how God worked out every thing that happened, all the desires planted into my heart, to bring me to the place I'd need to be for this time. Jesus is awesome!!!
Ok, onto the pictures! Jake's watermelons are finally hanging onto the vine and growing. He's so excited about this.
Watermelon size on Sunday:
Size yesterday: (about the size of my palm)
Some peppers!
A few female flowers. I actually have quite a few, but how many squash flower pics does a person want to see? LOL.
Yay! Lots of stuff growing :) .
On Monday I planted:
A 3x3 box full of 3 types of lettuce - with a few spaces saved for spinach in Oct.
Bush Beans
And some indoor seedlings of the same, plus a bunch of herbs, in case they won't start out there. I think we've had rain every day since I planted them.
That's all!