Monday, May 3, 2010

The coast is clear

Well, it's been about a week and no more mysterious holes have been dug in my garden boxes. Perhaps whatever burrowed in there last week got a taste of 110 volts on his/her way out, and decided not to come back. Whatever the reason, I'm just happy that the electric fence is working - so far.

Made a call over to Lufkin Farm Nursery on Thursday, and, sadly, they had not received any Fooled You pepper plants, and the lady who answered the phone informed me they wouldn't be getting any more this season. :( Once I recovered from my sadness of hearing that bad news, I ordered some Fooled You seeds from The reviews over at Dave's Garden Watchdog were positive, so I'm looking forward to receiving the seeds some time this week. According to what I learned it takes about 60 days before the plants start producing, so at best, I'll have some peppers in mid-July. I guess that's not too bad, and we have such a long growing season I should be able to keep harvesting them til late fall. But I am disappointed I won't have any peppers sooner. Guess that's what I get for waiting too late to get started gardening. Yet another reason to get an early start next year!

After reading more about the garden pests that are harmful to squash and zucchini, I learned about the dreaded Squash Bug. It seems the squash bug is a fairly hearty bug that sucks the lifeblood out of squash plants. They don't have many natural predators, and I'm trying to garden as organically as possible (within reason and within the confines of my limited patience), so I decided to order a floating row cover to keep the bugs off my plants altogether. I only have 4 crookneck and 4 zucchini plants. The loss of one plant could prove devastating to our potential yield.

My row cover came in today, so I got to spend a little time in the garden cutting it up and putting it over the squash and zucchini. I ordered a 118" X 50' row cover, and just cut out what I thought I'd need to cover each box and allow for plant growth. I tucked the excess cover down between the interior of the box and the Mel's mix. It's probably gonna be a real pain to water the plants from now on, but if I can prevent squash bugs, I guess the extra effort is worth it.

While I was in the garden I also went ahead and mulched the tomatoes and eggplants with pine bark mulch to help with moisture control. I would have mulched the squash too, but I ran out of mulch. However, while I was putting up my tools, I did notice another bag under the barn. Guess I have a little project for tomorrow. Of course, that means untucking the row cover, and spreading the mulch around, then retucking the cover. Maybe the row cover will help with moisture control, and I won't need the mulch???

Covered zucchini - the row cover is very thin and gauzy

I think that's a squash under there

The mulched maters and eggplants

More mulched maters

The cover Charlie built for the electric fence to keep out the rain (when we get it)

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