Thursday, January 27, 2011

What WAS this thing?

I saw a bizarre insect in my garden today. It was "standing" straight up and down, as if its bottom half were growing out of the ground. Its legs were up at its head around the eyes. There seemed to be wings folded along its back. I brought out dh to look at it and he said its probably laying eggs all over my garden and the offspring will devour the whole thing. So I squished it, and pulled all the surrounding dirt out - no chances! When I picked it up I found that it's bottom half - very wormy/caterpillary like - was inside an old stalk of some small plant. I mean small like an old flower stem or even the stem of some cilantro or other herb. Sorry about the fuzzy pics but these were the best that would come out. And then of course it was squished/squashed and there were no more photo opportunities.

Anyone know what it is? (was)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'll Remember!

Being that we have a very long growing season here in Florida I have not really played around with starting seeds indoors. I just throw them into the garden and let them do their thing. However, I found these 2 trays that I purchased marigolds in last year for the front yard. It has 18 cups in each one and I thought - why not? After all, this way I'll know it's the plant growing and not weeds. And who knows how many plants I have pulled from the garden thinking they are weeds?
So in went the soil. And out came the seed packets. And I'm saying to myself  "I'll remember" what I planted long enough to grab some paper after I plant them and write it down. Poke the hole, drop in the seed, cover it up.... rinse & repeat 35 more times. Run out and get the paper and pen.... what did i plant? I have the seed packets right here, but where did I put what?
Scrape aside the dirt, look at the seeds.
What is THIS one? I planted several types of watermelon - which one is this? I planted 9 squares of brussel sprouts, which 9?
I finally put together some semblance of a chart. I at least knew which seeds were in which container, just didn't know which square each one was in. Well, that's okay, knowing which container they're in is good enough once they sprout.
But then....
I figure the containers will leak a bit so I'd better put them on something. I found a large lid to a plastic bin, picked them up and set them on it, and didn't pay the slightest attention to which tray I put on first or anything!
LOL, so I have mystery containers for now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have a few things coming up in the garden.That's always so fun to go out and see what's peeking through.
So far I've seen peas, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, radishes,onions & lettuce. Some of the stuff hasn't sprouted yet, but I think it will eventually.
Today I prepared the last two beds for my February stuff. One of them will be a 3 sisters garden, mostly corn. I really want corn this year. REALLY.
The herb bed - which still needs a cleanup - reseeded itself with cilantro and dill. The bunny was thrilled. He's been turning his nose up at the store bought cilantro. He ripped the fresh stuff right out of my hands LOL.
I weeded the other beds, filled the last two, turned the compost a bit, checked on the worms that we forgot about for over a year. Seriously, the bushes grew up around the worm bin and we just totally forgot. There were still worms in there and yes they were alive. I put in some new bedding and food for them.
We've had rain off and on so I haven't had to water in a while, which is nice. There are more weeds that I hoped for, but I just keep pulling them. Right now its a bit hard since i planted some spices randomly and I'm not sure what's a weed and what isn't. So some of them are being left alone until I'm sure.
That's about all. It's nice seeing things grow again and being out there working in the yard!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Starting the New Year with the garden.

I'm a bad blogger. I admit it! But at least some work is happening in the garden. And if I have to choose between getting that done or writing about it, well getting it done produces better results :) .
However, I have a moment here so a little recap:
I trimmed the garden back to 5 beds. I had five the first year I started and it was manageable. I expanded to 10 and it was just too much. Too many pests, too many weeds, too many headaches trying to get everything planted. I feel that I can keep up with the 5 beds and am looking forward to a productive season.
I planted 3 beds on New Years Eve day. Carrots, peppers, watermelon, 4 different lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, onions, tomatoes & some herbs.
I have one prepped for February, and one more that I'm currently cleaning up and getting ready to prep for corn in February. My corn has never grown well and it is the one crop that I was really excited about. I am going to be extra vigilant this year against those cutworms.
Oh, and I guess its really 6 beds. I always forget about the herb box at the back door. I think that is still manageable. Honestly the herbs pretty much take care of themselves. I still need to add some more compost to that one too and get it ready.
I didn't get any gardening done after I cleaned up the beds last fall. And all of the weeds grew back until I basically plowed the one box under. After that one stayed clean I churned them all up and it seems to really have helped the weed issue. No more horse manure!
I also want to be better about keeping the nutrients in. All of this info on blood meal and fish emulsion and bone meal - its enough to make my head spin. But I think if I just read a little bit a day instead of trying to take it all in at once I can manage.
So that's about it. I'm in off season for my figure shows so I have a bit more time to put into the garden. I did walk away with a trophy last season so that was awesome! I'm looking at doing 3 shows this summer/fall so good thing the garden is pretty much dead in the summer.
Sorry to be gone so long, and I'm hoping to keep up a bit better this year. I need to be more productive and organized so that's what I'm working on.