Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Garden Update (and a Macro)

We just got home last night from a long weekend camping at Inks Lake State Park. I had a wonderful time in spite of having a migraine on the first day. I just hope that others do not mind the fact that I may not be around 100%. I am learning to just go and have fun and if I come down with a migraine (or something else), to just deal with it and pray that the others understand if I disappear into the tent. Why let health issues stop you from having a good time if you can. I did enjoy the rest of the time visiting with family and observing the kids run amok. I was not up to taking pictures though. Maybe next time we go and yes, we are going back to this particular park.

My Pathetic Garden Produce

I went out early this morning to tend and water the garden. I discovered some bell peppers were ready to harvest. One of them (the nose above) is yucky; but, the other two (the eyes above) may be okay. While out there, I noticed an insect that I had encountered in Houston in my attempt to grow tomatoes. It was an aphid and these particular aphids will suck the life (moisture) out of fruits and plants. I believe that is what is wrong with the yucky bell pepper – it may have been attacked by an aphid. Ugh!

I will have to research natural insect control and try again in the future. I may not have to resort to using natural insect control as we have lots of beneficial insects that eat aphids around here. So far, I have only seen one aphid whereas I had dealt with dozens in Houston that totally destroyed my tomato crop before I could even attempt to do insect control. We will see in the future as I still have a few bell peppers maturing. I prefer to keep my garden as organic as possible; but, aphids are hard to control. At least, the ones in Houston were. I am not going to let problems I encounter stop me from trying to grow a garden. I am determined to keep on trying in spite of them and find a solution(s) that work.

While weeding, I pulled up some fern-like weeds around the onions as there are some similar ones growing around on the property. To my shock, they were immature carrots (the smile in the face above)! I thought none of the carrot transplants (from seeds) had survived. It was growing practically right beside the onion; so, it is better that these particular carrots are gone. The only thing I can think of is that a particular hard rainstorm pushed a carrot transplant underground and towards the onion and it survived and tried to grow from there.

The marigolds in the center of the plant bed are flourishing. The two strawberry plants are gorgeous. I just have not been able to harvest a single strawberry due to the mockingbirds. (I actually witnessed a mockingbird land in the garden bed and eat part of a strawberry.) I do plan to plant more strawberry plants in the future after I build some screen protectors. The potatoes I planted are stunted. I will try a different method next time. All that is left is the onion and the bell pepper plants.

Since I was not here to do a Macro Monday, I will leave you with a macro picture of an beneficial garden insect that was on the siding beside the back door.

Praying Mantis; 06/25/2013

This one was approximately one inch long. Most of the Mantis I see around here are brown. Maybe this particular Mantis will work its way towards my garden and eat that aphid I saw. (I was not able to kill as it got away from me.) By the way, I have seen HUGE walking sticks around here, I observed one “walking” and it would rock slowly as it moved! I should have taken a picture of two; but, they were in a bad spot to take pictures. If I ever see one in a good location, I will try to take a picture of the mega ugly insect.