It's been a busy couple of weeks, both in and out of the garden, mainly because I've been trying to get all of the veg and annuals in the ground as well as keep on top of the weeding. The garden practically exploded with growth once the weather warmed up in early May - during which time I was away, of course! - so I've been doing a big ol' game of catch-up every since. I feel as if I'm behind, but in fact, I actually think that I'm way ahead of where I normally am at this time of year as I've been devoting several hours to the garden every single day.
Unfortunately, that also means that I've been neglecting my blog writing and reading, which I'll apologize for - I'm setting aside some time to catch up on that today.
It's been a while so let's start off with a little bit of gorgeousness, shall we:
|Bright Lights® Pink Osteospermum|
I'm all about the realities of gardening, not just the glamour shots, so lets take a look at how the weeding is going. It's been a tough job this year, especially in the newly mulched garden expansion on the west side of the property. Even though I used cardboard & mulch to squash the grass/weeds, bits of grass and persistent weeds still tend to poke through in the first year or two. So long as I keep on top of it (which is the key!), they are relatively easy to remove and each year it will get progressively easier.
|Top of photo: What I'm dealing with in the worst sections.|
Bottom of photo: Weeded but needs a mulch top-up.
|A variable buffet of weeds and invasives:|
Buckthorn, wild grape, Queen Anne's lace, goldenrod, bindweed
and wild honeysuckle (likely tatarian)
|The 'Before' shot|
|I'm using straw this year under the tomatoes in an effort to prevent or at least delay|
the inevitable early/late blight that seems to show up every year.
There have been a couple of pest issues in the veg garden this spring (surprised? I thought not.) First, let's talk about Something Old - my "friend" leek moth. Not on the leeks (I'm actually not growing any this year), not on the onions, but on the garlic.
|I have never seen this much damage in the garlic bed before|
|A load of frass and 2 larva hiding in the leaves|
And now for the "Something New". Every year I seem to get a surprising new pest in the garden and 2018 is no exception. I've noticed asparagus beetles and their larva on the ferns. Not happy.
|Asparagus Beetle Larva|
Netting will deal with the leek moths, but I'm uncertain how to handle the asparagus beetles. I'm wondering if I've contributed to this problem by using the dried out ferns to cover the asparagus beds over the past winter. This year, all the ferns will be chipped and composted once they die down in the fall and I'll be using fresh straw to cover the beds for the winter. Not sure if there is anything else I can do to prevent their overwintering - I think some research is in order and, of course, if anyone has any suggestions on dealing with these critters, I'd love to hear them.