Friday, July 25, 2014

Desolation of the Wyrm

One garden pest that I can't stand is the tomato worm.  They're big and squishy and in my garden.
I found one chilling on the underside of a leaf last week. I realized that had to be an accomplice this morning when one of my plants was practically denuded.
14tomato03 photo IMG_20140725_095701428_zpscuyu8ksn.jpg A few minutes of searching revealed the vile worm taking a rest after a busy night of plant pillaging. For most gardeners, this would be the end of the problem. Having found it, they'd just grab it and smash it. I can't do that. I just can't bring myself to touch their gooshy little bodies. They're SO GROSS!
14tomatoworm01 photo IMG_20140725_095719445_zpsp8mtiodb.jpg Fortunately for me, this guy decided to camp out on a sucker that I needed to prune anyway. I snipped his perch off the plant and scooped him up with my daughter's sand shovel. Then I deposited him in the middle of the street where a hungry bird might find him. Or he'd get run over. Of get fried like a green egg on the hot asphalt. I don't really care as long as he's not my problem anymore.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Midsummer's Update

While I struggled away with the lawn and the garden covers, the rest of the yard hadn't been in suspended animation. Obviously. Gardens never stop growing.

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The pumpkin bed is doing well. The pumpkin further from the wall has a much thicker and longer vine but they both look healthy. Not that you can see that in the photo since the bed is pretty well dominated by lush Hopi blue corn. It got planted in all the vegetable beds on a whim when I remembered I had seed saved from a few years ago.

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The tomato bed is doing all right. There's been one ripe tomato so far, which was fed with all appropriate pomp to my daughter. Two of the tomatoes are much greener and larger. The basil are doing great with the exception of the sweet basil on the end, which is being eaten by something. I've decided that I don't care for the Greek tower basil. It looks too neat and formal. Some of the onions are doing alright. They've been taking the worst of the beating from the dog.

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The apples are doing great! I really need to start planting around them. I want comfrey, clover, walking onions, day lilies, and asparagus.

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The watermelon beds are hanging on. The melons have healthy leaves but haven't really grown or spread much. I doubt we'll be getting any melons this year. The corn in these beds isn't as green as in the pumpkin beds but it's still doing fine. I think these beds dry out much quicker than the ones against the wall.

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I showed off the grass last post, so I won't waste more space on it but I will add a photo of the play area I'm adding on the side. A patio rug under a sandbox, wading pool, and slide. It needs another rug. And maybe a swing hanging from the porch.

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While working on the grass I did uncover some more archeological artifacts of people who used to live here. There's more evidence of young boys but also the first things that I could call girl toys.

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In the front yard, the white carnations are doing well and the mint is happier looking than any I've ever seen. The globe basil, on the other hand, has had a rough time. It had large chunks die off and it was an unhealthy looking pale green. I think it was too wet. Looks better now though.

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The cucumbers are doing very well. They're starting to produce flowers, which my wife is pollinating so cukes shouldn't be far off! The purple carnations are pretty dead though. Time to replace them.

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Lastly, this little yucca is doing well. It was a tony little plant when we first moved in.  Shortly after, when I had some plumbing dine, it was trampled and buried under rock.  Slowly it's bounced back though.  A Google street view of our house suggests that before we moved in it was a rather tall plant that got chopped down so I'm pretty happy to have this legacy volunteer around.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Field of Daydreams

I greatly dislike grass. It's everywhere, produces nothing of use, and, especially in the desert, consumes a lot of resources.
However, my dad is a major advocate of the all american lawn. He's been trying to convince me that my yard isn't complete without a patch of green for my daughter to run around on. He finally won me over by offering to pay for sprinklers and sod, as a present to his granddaughter.
So, for the past month, I've been hard at work digging trenches, laying pipes, amending the soil, and finally putting down grass.
Now, at very least, I guess I have a use for the lawn mower dad gave me for my birthday two years ago.