Sunday, June 28, 2009

entering week 3 of daily moisture

And it's not so funny anymore. The vegetables, without sunshine, seem unable to mount a decent defense against the onslaught of insect predation. The usual suspects are having a field day on the potatoes and what laughingly are referred to as 'squash seedlings'. The squash business really steams me as it was the ONE thing I wanted most to harvest in abundance. Now I'll feel happy to get a handful of butternut. I know there's always next year but I constantly think of those who lived long ago who did not have the convenience of grocery stores and a failed crop was serious business indeed.

So, speaking of predation, mine has just begun...just came in from a 'they'll be emerging any minute now' photo shoot. As if things weren't grim enough the Japanese beetles are about to make the scene and unless the weather changes and my vigilance isn't in the category of super power I'm pucked for sure.

Oh, and my momentary reference to heat the other day was just that, momentary. We continue to have below average temps, which wouldn't be bad for somewhere that has the luxury of a couple extra months on their growing season but our window of opportunity is so short lived under the best of circumstances..(Gee, even I am beginning to feel sorry for me now!) Sniff, sniff..

Optimistic is not a label I can say has been used frequently as a way of describing me but I have made a conscious effort to keep the beat at least nominally up...however Three Weeks of this has finally taken it's toll. The solitary plus has been the spectacular perennial flowers this season, of course they'll be chewed to smithereenies by the JBs. And yes, I've tried milky spore but I have yet to find a definitive article touting it's true reliability in this zone and I've yet to see any diminution of their numbers. ack!


El said...

RE: the JBs: we use a spray of kaolin clay on our grapes and apples to keep the hungry f*ckrs from eating the leaves into Swiss cheese. It works wonderfully: the leaves go white, become unpalatable. The clay, a colloidal product found in face masks and makeup, is a completely organic method: it's dirt, after all, albeit dirt from a part of the world other than the land you're standing on.

That said, it wouldn't be terribly gorgeous on your perennial flowers, and all that rain would render it useless...but for our fruits it works quite well.

randi said...


Mr. H said...

That's really too bad Randi, all that rain makes for a slow garden. That happened to me about four years ago, it was like summer never really came.

How are your cole crops holding up? They should be doing ok in this weather. I was wondering if you like/grow kale?

I have been saving seeds off the Russian varieties for a few years now and they seem to be very adaptive to various weather conditions. They do really well under our winter hoops and will be some of the first greens to feed you in the spring. The slugs don't even bother them too much.

Anyway, I would be more than happy to send a sample of seeds your way, if you are interested? July (mid) is the best time to plant them for winter greens, and they like the rain.

goodidea said...

It sure looks like a replay of last year's stupidly wet summer (using the term summer loosely). The bugs haven't been too much of a problem up here (NEK), but the fungal diseases are beginning to show up on the onions... Let's hope this coming predicted week of precip is a prelude to a couple of months of sunny dry weather...

randi said...

Mike, what a kind fella you are..thanks for your offer, I'd be happy to try ANY seed you recommended.
This is my first year growing kale,scotch,which I've used a bit as it's bigger and redbor that's somewhat smaller. I didn't realize you sowed kale mid season. I plan on doing a blog about offering up any seeds I have, mostly flowers, but I'd love to share if there's anything anyone might want. I'll get a list going shortly.

randi said...

goodidea..I've decided to believe we're going to have a couple of wonderful months ahead...(of course I also believe in the flying spaghetti monster!)

Mr. H said...

Cool Randi,

Send me your your address via my email and I will send some seeds your way. You can plant the kale anytime for winter greens, it just seems that a slightly smaller plant withstands the cold better... in our gardens anyway.