Friday, August 22, 2008

Not so much fun, huh?

FNow comes the part of gardening that is no fun at all. Bugs. My squash, pumpkin, and now tomato plants show evidence of leafminers. Everything I read says do nothing. Hopefully parasitic wasps will show up and lay eggs in the larvae (ick) and kill them.

Worse, though is what happened to the tomatillos. Something has beheaded all of the little plants. Just little sticks, weeping droplets of plant juice. First it was a few, then this afternoon when I got home from work, a few more. I just went out with a flashlight to check to see if there were slugs. No slugs but now there are only two or three of the little plants that still have leaves. No clue what is dining on my little tomatillo plants. =(

The radishes don't look much better. Yellowish leaves with loads of holes in them so something is nibbling and damaging them. No slugs there, either, at least when I looked just now. Same thing with the okra - the holes, that is, not the yellowish leaves. So far the cucumber looks OK.

One of the pumpkin plants died very suddenly today. It was growing great yesterday but today when I came home it's all wilted and laying down. It's the medium sized plant. The small plant looks bad, too. The big one looks fine but for how long? I was reading up on squash problems and found that it might be squash borers. Solution to protect other plants is to pull it up so I'll do that in the morning. Maybe I can save the big one. I hate to sacrifice the medium one - I was hoping it was the 7" of rain we had this week and it might perk up now that we've had one dry day.

I wouldn't mind the problems if there was a solution but I don't know what to do if I can't see what's eating my plants.

The garlic never came up. One red onion plant has poked its little stalk up. A few thin stalks of the white onions are coming up but not much. The bell pepper never came up. The lettuce is still very tiny and I'm worried the leafminers will get down there. I need to plant the potatoes this weekend - I don't think my little sprouting potatoes can wait another two weeks, but they may cook in this soggy, hot August weather.

OK, my attitude must be that this is a learning season. If I lose a crop... or two... or three... or <*sigh*> more I just need to research and find out what went wrong so I don't make the same mistake or don't take preventative action in time the next time I plant those veggies. Yes, that's the attitude that will keep me working in the garden and not just give up and throw St. Augustine sod over the whole thing.

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