Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19, 2008

First off, sorry for the outage.  Apparently someone was trying to spam slam kill somethingerother the boards and the provider took down the sites to shore up the defenses.  You can tell I'm a reall computer guru...  Anyway, it was short lived and nobody lost anything, so all's good.  Besides, I'm still under the weather and working insane hours so the garden hasn't gotten much attention.

Let's see, the spinach is over two feet tall and shading everything in the bed. The best I can come up with is from various places that sell Space Spinach and say it has an "upright growth" so I guess that means it grows 2+ feet tall.  If I'd known that I would have put it behind things.  Next year I'll have to remember to put the lettuce in front, then carrots, then broccoli, spinach and cauliflower.  hehe  Ahem, I went out to water after writing this and found my mom harvested all my spinach.  She's going to blanch it and freeze it to make spinach caseroles.  While I was out there I noticed the start of flowers in the middle of the stars.  Darn, they are bolting.  Ah well.  The baby spinach is close to being ready.

Speaking of spinach, being sick has made me not want salad.  My last salad was Monday and I'm still only wanting smoothies for dinner.  So yesterday thinking that my spinach was bolting, I called my family and asked my mom and brother to come and harvest greens and radishes. My radishes I planted around my broccoli are all mature and I don't want them to split.

One of the first things I need to do when I'm feeling better is to add a board and more dirt to my potato bins. They're so tall now it's not even funny.

And this one's got real flowers on them. Not sure if I should pinch them or just burry up to them and stop there?

While I was watering I actually found the "lady bug" that my kids found this afternoon while they were harvesting spinach.  It's actually a different one but the same insect.  They seem to be on my radishes for some reason.  Anyway, I know there are imposter beetles that look like lady bugs, and frankly I've never looked at a lady bug close up, so can anyone confirm the insect here?

I put it on my tomato where it belongs just in case it is a lady bug.  If it's not I don't want it anywhere near the plants where it wanted to be. hehe.

Speaking of tomatoes, I was worried that the leaves were curling. It's getting bad, look...

I was really worried.  I "knew" it had water because I filled it last week and before that I'd filled it a month ago. In between it used less than a gallon of water.  Not knowing what to do to a closed loop system, I did the only thing I knew how, I watered it.  Sure enough the reservoir was almost bone dry.  I was shocked. It went through water really quick.  We haven't even had much warm weather lately.  Go figure.  I'll check it more regularly now.  Let's hope its just lack of water and the leaves will bounce back. 

The last pic I've got is of my little pole bean that could.  It's RIGHT next to the four that died in their prime of life, yet it's reaching for the stars (ok, enough of the cliches hehe). 

The last thing I did out there was to respray the Monterey Spinosad stuff.  It's been a few weeks and we've had a fair amount of rain.  I paid close attention to the holey leaves and the beans.  If it's something eating the leaves let's hope this stuff works on them.  I removed the dead ones, they were too depressing.  But I asked for advice on GW and so far all I've seen was spider mites.  There's nothing much on the underside of leaves but specks of dirt, unless they're tiny tiny things.

Well, enough for tonight.  I better get better soon. I've got a ton to do in my garden and it's not getting done without me...

Enjoy your garden!


  1. your tomato leaves are definitely curling because of lack of water- mine can do that in as little a day lately bc/ we have been having 105+ weather and I have mine in containers- after a nice water it perks right up and looks great!

  2. I've been gardening for 4 years in Northern California,
    the reason the plants is being sick or getting pests, is because the soil is not healthy enough, especially lack of minerals. Plants are like human, poor immune causes the sickness. Organic gardening is all about feeding the soil, not the plants.

    I always add dolomite(cal and Mag source), Epsom salt(mag and sulfur, also balancer) to my soil. And apply
    liquid Micro Nutirents once a month to my vegetables, ever since my plants
    never sick again.

  3. Tanner, thanks for the confirmation. I was SHOCKED to say the very least that my reservoir was empty after filling it a week ago. From now on I top it off every week.

    Chi, Very good point about nutrients. I used a great compost to build my soil from scratch this year. It's got 1/3 diverse compost, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 vermiculite. The rest of my garden is doing great or I'd rush out and get a soil test, but my soil *should* be good for a while, especially if I add a little compost when I replant squares. If my peas or carrots (the two veggies next to my beans) start to go sideways, I'll think long and hard about augmenting the soil. Thank you, good points!

  4. It is a ladybug, and a nice one at that.
    This talk about soil nutrients brings up something that I've been pondering about this square foot gardening in our area. The compost you have put in your Mel's mix is from local sources, and is from plants grown in the local soil. As such, they will be deficient in the same ways that our soils are. And by the way, our soils are poor compared to back east where so many veg garden book authors are from. Relentless winter rains leach minerals from our soils, calcium and magnesium in particular. Our soils are notoriously deficient in these minerals. Replacing them is essential for optimum plant health, which in turn is essential for pest and disease resistance and proper nutritional content.
    On the other hand, potassium is abundant and need not be supplemented lest you risk having too much. You really need to read Steve Solomon's book. Mel Bartholomew doesn't garden here. I'm not suggesting you abandon square foot gardening, but I believe you do need to adapt your methods to suit the local conditions. One size does not fit all.

  5. OH My goodness! I can't believe how tall your spinach is! That is so cool. And that your mom is "preserving" it by freezing. Can you believe -- all from your garden! Way to go Sin!

    And your potato bins -- boy your potatoes shot up fast and very tall... they are so heathly looking! And you are at the top of your bin. Awesome! You on'y have a couple more boards to put up and your plants are already taller than your bins. I hope that they completely fill up with potatoes for you!

    Yeah -- you'd be surprised when the tomatoes really start growing. They can go through som water. Using the self-watering containers helps you to realize just how much water. And the good thing about the SWC is that you don't loose alot of water from evaporation... so it is taking less than if you had them planted in the ground. They will come back out fast. If you watered them last night then they will be fine by this morning.

    I'm glad that someone else confirmed that you did in fact have a lady bug. I was pretty sure it was. Just remember if it has 7 dots on each "wing" (one dot will look like it's split in two right in the middle of it's back) then there is a good chance it is a cucumber/squash beetle especially if it is on your cucumbers or squash and the leaves have holes in them LOL

    Hope that you are feeling better really soon!

  6. Tim, what do you suggest for supplementing? I ordered the Soloman book from the library, but with all the new gardeners out there, their 40 copies are pretty busy right now so I'm hopefully getting it within a few weeks. You're right, I do want to learn to garden HERE, not in any other zone 8b...

    Judy, yeah you're right about the potatoes, I am going to do my final filling of dirt and last board this weekend. The spinach is bolting something fierce, so it's gone.

    The tomatoes needed more water today, no surprise since I probably needed to hydrate the water.

    Thanks all, love the comments. I'm still learning and love all comments.