weeds

Onions

Here’s a glimpse of some onions. All the onions were started from seed in February. This photo is after some weeding. The before photo would’ve showed an invasion on galinsoga, lamb’s quarter and pigweed (read weed weed weed). Lifting to row cover made me sob a little to see all the weeds. Much nicer after some weeding.

20140514-195345.jpgI am interplanting beets with the garlic and onions…much easier to plant beet seeds with no weeds!

What the heck is this stuff?

When I see this plant, I am enraged. This stuff has invaded our asparagus something fierce this year. Jordan and I waged an all out war. I call it prickly lettuce, but does anyone know what it really is?

Sow thistle?

Sow thistle?

20140503-205910.jpg

20140503-205945.jpgSee how it has covered the asparagus? No longer – this last bit was yanked up this morning.

UPDATE – the word on the street is that this vile weed is sow thistle. Grrr.

Winning and losing

This weekend was another hectic weekend spent gathered with family. Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely lunch out with my two moms at Our Daily Bread followed by a girls out, quick stop shopping tour (we don’t linger but go for what we are after…in out and on the road).

Sunday, I enjoyed another good lunch with momma Marge, then got to work on the garden before celebrating the kick off of the National Assisted Living week with a dinner with g-ma at Warm Hearth Village.

Though I miss the markets, it is a good thing to have this time available to try and catch up on chores in the garden.

Unfortunately, I call the battle for fall crops a draw…the weeds are still growing rampant despite the decreasing daylight lengths and slightly cooler temps. Win one for the weeds (they are the season winners). Also, the bugs are still finding my plants and are noshing on them. The good news is that my periodic checking under the row covers and squash-o-rama (organic pest control = bare handed brutality) of the beetles seems to be effective. It is probably true that if you had time each and every day to check every row/plant and squash bugs, that you could impact the populations. Still, I think the only reason it is effective at this time is because all that is out there are larvae. The adults are gone and what I currently am squashing are all larval stages. So, nothing to replace these guys at the moment. Win one for the farmer.

Between the harlequin bugs and the flea beetles, they did manage to destroy my red cabbage transplants (pictures will be taken soon). Win one for bugs. I replanted spare red cabbage transplants yesterday, in a different location. Some of my other cabbage plants look a bit rough, too.

The broccoli and Chinese cabbage is starting to take off. Win one for the farmer.

The kale seeds have germinated and with a little rain (WHAT? Did I just ask for rain), they should be quick to grow.

I got more spinach and the first seeds of arugulas (even star, rocket and dragon’s tongue) were planted. Yay!

We are still fighting for fall crops. I’ll take some photos soon to chronicle the battle. Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be back at the markets in a couple of weeks.

Till then….I actually wouldn’t mind a little rain. For the first time this season….the garden is dry! Crazy.

The bad, the ugly…and some good

Ok. So I have been biased. It is hard to not be when you share photos and such with the world. Of course, you want to share the best images, the pretty pictures, the good stuff…but that isn’t always fair. So. In this episode, I will be sharing with you a glimpse of the bad, the ugly and end with a little good because it is just no fun to be all negative and junk.

For the bad…just know that this growing season has turned out to be quite challenging for us. Not only is farming on the weekends a bad idea, it is near impossible to do well. Farming is a full-time job. Add excessive rain and mild temperatures to that thought and you get a garden that gets overwhelming if you are not able to tend to it with full-time attention. So, our part-time care soon got overtaken by nature. For the bad, I am showing you our bean and pepper patch inundated with weeds. Weeds. Yep. Weeds kicked my butt three times to Sunday. Pretty much all the green you see in this picture is due to healthy, vigorous weeds. In the background, you might see a pile of debris. That is all of the tomato plants that were pulled yesterday and will be burned. I was too embarrassed to take a picture of them. They were lost to blight and were not pretty to see. Sorry…bias sneaking in again. Back to the weeds…my hands are permanently stained from hand pulling weeds (see – mechanical cultivation is out whenever rain is involved). And the fact of the matter is that I cannot hand weed an acre on a weekend. Nope. Weeds. Grrrr.

Before

Before

After

After

The ugly. And I mean U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly…kinda ugly. Our other challenge Mother Nature threw at us along with the milder, wetter weather was…bugs. Damn the bugs. Bugs ate our potatoes, damaged our brassicas, destroyed our Brussels sprouts, caused my eggplant starts to completely disappear, ate our kales, and made netting of our bean foliage. Speaking of which…here is the ugly

Mexican bean beetles

Mexican bean beetles

Those are Mexican bean beetle larvae making netting out of our provider green bean foliage. They have found us and in abundance. What is the organic treatment for this? Unfortunately, the most effective treatment is manual squashing. And man, are these guys juicy. It is gross. Sadly, being a part-time farmer makes controlling insect pests a crazy hard challenge. There are not enough weekend hours to go through the whole garden and squash these nasties. They are my ugly. Bugs. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR through tightly clenched jaws.

Ok. So the bad and the ugly have dramatically impacted our garden this growing season. I feel that the weather has impacted all growers. Some have the time and resources to do a more successful battle than we were able to do, but I know it will continue to get better with each passing year and with more experience. I am done about the bad and the ugly.

Now for a little good…

the end result still makes it all worthwhile!

Last market day?

Last market day?