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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Earwig Armegeddon (Black Thumb of Death Gardening)

Edit: I have imported this from my The Black Thumb of Death Gardening Blog to my regular blog...  

I bloody detest earwigs! We had those and mormon crickets appear. They were decimating blooms and leaves left and right. The paper rolls for the earwigs were not getting it. I found out the area was having the same problem. Certain insects seem to appear in large numbers every few years. We spent two weeks hand-picking them bugs off and squishing them. It helped a small bit. Being out at midnight with a light and gloves, gently looking through the leaves was not fun. I am still tired.

We gave in and bought some Neem oil. In the evening when the sun no longer hit the plants and the bees were no longer out, I sprayed a mixture of the oil and water all around the various plant beds and the leaves, especially on the summer and winter squashes. lettuce, strawberries and melons. It worked! I was careful to avoid any blooms, too. We now have zucchini, spaghetti squash, crookneck squash and melons forming.

Speaking of which-
The watermelon is a little bigger than a baseball. Cool!

We had been eating off the lettuce for about 3 months. I harvested the remaining and will start a new bed this week. The cabbages looked good, but had holes on the outer leaves. Then I found an earwig and damage. <insert foul cursing> I pulled all 7 small heads. I removed the damaged leaves and any damage from the earwigs. Still beautiful and the taste raw was amazing. I washed the cabbages well, finding only a couple of worms at the outer part of the heads, catching them before they did any real damage. I made a nice cole slaw, with sour cream because mayo is a nasty thing, and dehydrated the remaining chopped cabbage. I filled a 1/2-gallon jar.

One strawberry remains on the plants. Dang things took out the the second batch that came in. At least we had a lovely few months of eating strawberries, freshly picked.

The tomatoes are doing nicely, as you can sort-of see. I put a shade tent over them around noon so the hot August sun does not burn them.
I check the plants at night for hornworms, though I have not seen any damage occur.

You may be able to see, if you squint, twist your head and partly imaginee, some of the ears of corn that are forming right now. More have already appeared since I took the photo below. I circled a few ears. You will have to click on the photos to even see the circles. I will be putting veggie oil on the silks, in hope that trick works to keep any borers out.

Our impromptu garden out in the meadow is doing well. Get this, the fishing line strung around the poles surrounding the area really does keep the deer out. They get spooked or something when they come bump into it and move on. I am surprised.

I have saved seed from onions, radishes, and various blooms. It is impossible to get to the back window in the tiny craft room. A worthy cause.

I am enjoying gardening. I learn something every day. It does not hurt that my good friend Steph, adept with plants, listens to my blathering and helps me out with great advice.

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