Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24, 2009

Thanks all for your comments.  As for the carrots, they were this year's first planting.  I was thinking back to what I had planted there last year to see if there could have been overwintered carrots there, and that's impossible.  Last year I had corn there.  Quite odd since they came from this year's seed too.  Unfortunately I'm not sure if they were bad Danvers or Purple Haze.  All I can say is there were a ton of them all together in the middle of the carrot patch.  My wife did me a favor and yanked them.  Here's another shot of the lot of them on top of the cole crop leaves destined for the compost bin.

There were about a dozen of them, all woody with thick 3 foot tall bushy stalks.  I didn't pay attention to what I planted where in the carrot patch, I figured if it was purple I'd know when I pulled them, which we have pulled one that tasted fine.  Well, enough about carrots.  What else do you give Rudolph at Christmas?  Yep, apples.

Last night I was at the Mariner's game in a suite for work.  They were loosing of course so I was chatting with the folks in the room and happened upon a gardening conversation.  A co-worker was talking about her apple orchard and her failed experiment at covering them with panty hoes booties.  Aparently it is too much work for a 20 foot tall tree, let alone a half-dozen of them.  So when it came up that I had a small tree with a dozen or so apples, she offered to give me her booties.  Tonight after watering the garden, the boys and I went out and covered some tiny apples.  We wouldn't have done it if we had a bigger tree or tons of apples, but a dozen is no big deal.

Little Owen proudly standing next to his apple tree.

They may be a bit big to cover, but better late than never.  The kids weren't a ton of help, but they sure had fun trying.  Owen for instance held the bag of booties (I have about 200 of them), and Logan put the booties over the apples.

Then, instead of using ties to close the ends, my co-worker suggested I just tie the ends together.  So I twisted the ends and simply tied them in a knot.  Not sure how well it will hold as the apples grow, but I'll check on them each time I water.

Don't they look silly?  Why do this, you ask?  Well, Western Washington is under a several decade-long Apple Maggot quarantine and we have a major Coddling Moth problem (did I mention Washington is the Apple capital of the world?).  How they found my little tree I have no idea, but last year before I picked off the tiny apples to let it grow, I found a couple of moths coddling.  I thought they were a dead leaf so I grabbed it to remove it... eww.  Anyway, I practiced organic pest control... I stomped on them, hehe.  Now I just hope I caught them before the moths found them.

Not only was I productive in the garden tonight, but the kids enjoyed themselves helping me.  Isn't life grand?!


  1. That's just plain weird. Ha! Seriously, though....I thought about doing the same thing to my grapes next year. Gosh, that would be a ton of work!

  2. I wonder if the strange hot weather we had caused your carrots to bolt. It went from cool and snowy to very hot so quickly. I've been having a heck of a time with some of my radish bolting. I thought for sure, now that the weather has cooled off and we're having our typical rainy weather, that the bolting would stop. Well, I ate a few tiny radish this morning that were on their way to bolting again.

    I'd love to see how your apple tree does with the booties on. I wanted to plant some columnar apple trees this year but didn't because of the apple maggot problem. I'm so new to gardening; I didn't want to do something that would cause more problems for the orchards.

    Your cauliflower looks amazing!

  3. Those "footies" unfortunately don't stop the worst pest we have which is the Coddling Moth. They lay eggs right thru the nylon fabric like it wasn't even there. However, it does offer some relief against apple maggot, which I've never seen evidence of around my place. You might soon find hordes of earwigs taking up residence inside those socks around the stem depression if there's any way for them to get in. I gave up on using these things after they ended up causing problems and solving none.

  4. Hmmm. I hadn't even thought about protecting the fruit, but today when I was apple-checking there were moths on the plants. Errrrgh.

    Maybe I'll wrap them in paper or something. What's the method the Japanese use?

  5. I remember seeing a show when I was little about a Japanese apple farmer putting brown paper bags around all his apples to help with the pests and to get a beautiful uniform color on the apples. I don't know if this is common practice anymore since this was well over a decade ago.

    I've been debating over an apple tree and a cherry tree for my yard :) I'm leaning more toward cherry but having apples seem so temping too!

  6. I love that you encouraged them to "help" anyway-thats what memories are made of. Great idea, I can see this also protecting fruit from birds.