Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gardening Update and Interesting Observations

In the past I haven't done real well on letting you know how my experiments have gone in the garden. I would reference them in another post, sometimes even a year later, but I haven't gone into detail on the good and bad. That isn't good. This year I am going to do just that.

Weeding in the garden has been a breeze. The cardboard has worked great.  We have had to water a lot more than I would have hoped, we have been really dry. Even with the lack of rain, none of the plants have wilted. Just pulling back the mulch a little shows the soil is still damp.

I am actually thankful our garden is smaller than normal. My job has ramped up and I wouldn't have time for much more.

An Interesting Observation

Our primary garden has not had really any insect problems. In fact only one plant has shown any sign of insect damage and it was on the outer edge.

We have tommytoes and Roma tomatoes in a much smaller bed on front of the house. These plants have not been so lucky. I have pulled 23 tomato worms out of a bed that is only 4 foot by 8 foot. 

We planted flowers in with the tomatoes just like the main garden. The only major differences are location and this bed was not mulched. At this point, I cannot say that the cardboard and mulch are what is causing the difference, but that appears to be the case.

When dealing with these tomato worms, we used no chemicals. All I did was go to this bed every day and look over the plants, removed the worms, and dropped them in a bowl of water and dishwashing soap. After doing this for several days in a row, we have had no more problems.

What perplexes me about this observation is the fact that tomato worms do not come from the ground. They are the larva of a moth. If they came from the ground I could explain the difference, but at this point I have not rational reason for this. If you see a tomato worm that looks like below, leave it alone and let it live. The white eggs on the back of this tomato worm are actually from a wasp that is a predator of the tomato worm.

Even though our garden is small this year, our harvest is looking promising. I am looking forward to homemade spaghetti sauce and homemade ketchup. Talk to you soon.

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