For each of the last four or five years I've had a panic attack when it comes to bugs in the garden. I took a cup of soapy water with me to the garden two or three times a day and took great pleasure in popping in each and every squash bug and Japanese beetle within sight, even enlisting the small ones to help scope out the enemy in the underbrush. They never saw me coming. I silently slid around to the leaf or stem where they were quietly reposing and then, with the smack of doom, upset their balance and toe hold quite effectively until they, in a state of supreme shock, plummeted unsuspectingly and met their soapy demise. Ninja.
This year? Not so much. I didn't do a fall or winter garden and the spring one was minimal, but this summer I planted hard and left everything to fend for itself. The only effort I've put in is to hand pollinate the zucchini/squash because the bees didn't show up until last week. For the most part, I've watered every other day if it hasn't rained and gone out to pick every other day as well. It was okay if production was down a bit. We still had zucchini and squash left over from 2012. I could handle the pathetic yield weights and the emotional trauma of diminutive yields, and then I come to realize that I've wasted a hell of a lot of time in the previous years.
I can't tell a lick of difference between my vigilante bug snatching methods and this one.
I have stocked my freezer, left numerous goodie bags with neighbors and family, and brought a basket full of decadence to the school's front office each Monday and there's STILL MORE. Note: This is a good thing.
Above are the two beds in the main yard. The beans on the back of the trellis on both are looking a bit sick around the gills, but that's the damage of Japanese beetles. It makes me upset, but then again, I'm likely ready for them to be done anyway (insert shocked gasp of northern gardeners whose beans may or may not be producing yet here). The potatoes are ready to be pulled. I'm just waiting a few more days for the vines to die back. The okra is going strong, the squash is busting out of the boxes as well as is the zucchini, but I've gotten VERY few zucchini out of the deal comparatively. Garlic is pathetic in size, but it is what it is.
The zucchini/squash is already full of vine borers, but it's still producing so I'll let it be for now. I think the kids and I will go fetch some more peppers/okra to put in its place when it begins to show signs of dying back. That, and we need out of the house. We got hit with a doozie yesterday. I don't know quite how this will play out, but we'll find out within the next week. NOT awesome, but I suppose it's to be expected. I'll let you know what it is and how it plays out as soon as I get round 1 taken care of.
I need to fix that box in the foreground. I forgot it got bumped by the lawn tractor.
There have been some triumphs and a very, very big garden failure this year. I'm writing up and scheduling some posts while I'm thinking about it as this one is getting long as it is.
The morning comes early - even during summer vacation. Sweet gardening dreams.