Saturday, May 2, 2009

Garden Update

Another day of cold and rain here. After those two days of unseasonable warmth in which I got a bit of a sunburn on the back of my neck (missed it with sunscreen and my hat wasn't covering that far), we have had relatively cold, breezy, overcast days.

In the garden, the slugs have been feasting on my tender new seedlings. In a defensive move, I have placed coffee grounds around each plant in the garden and crumbled egg shells around those hardest hit by snails.

I am working on learning how to create my own digital collage frames to showcase several images here in a more aesthetically pleasing way, but for now, here are my update photos:The peas and cabbages are doing well. They have a few chewed outside leaves, but I have been using the coffee treatment on them since planting and it keeps most away. The dill is also a helper in terms of companion planting and pest control. Since our garden is completely organically grown, we have to use creative organic techniques to control pests. I am trying to even avoid approved "organic" packaged insecticide solutions.The container lettuces, peas, and herbs are doing well. However, you see in the last photo above that one lettuce plant seems to be the "sacrificial companion" plant. I am okay with that, as long as it remains isolated to that plant.
See the carnage on my cucumber plants? These seedlings were so pretty and healthy! So we have scattered coffee grounds and crushed egg shells around. The coffee grounds are nitrogen giving to the soil, while at the same time being toxic to some pests. The egg shells should actually be crushed finer and placed in a more complete circle around the plants (but it was cold and raining when we placed them so we were in a hurry).

The egg shells offer calcium to the soil, but are sharp so that slugs cannot crawl over them. They create a nice barrier for your plants. A drawbridge, if you will. They are safer (in my opinion) than even diatomaceous earth because it can hurt your lungs if inhaled. I will keep you posted. Some of my pepper plants have no leaves left to photograph. Just stalks. I am seeding some more to replace any that we lose completely.Meanwhile, the poppies are happily popping up all over the yard, and the irises have had their days in the sun and are beginning to wane.
Big Daddy and the girls are putting their heads together to find the most choice garden morsels. They are almost completely feathered now with only a handful of downy fluff left between them.

Wishing you much happiness and spring bounty!


SLColman said...

You are going to have a wonderful garden! :)

The flowers are so cheery and pretty too!

Splendid Little Stars said...

fun photographs! The lettuces are looking quite lovely. (I grew some lettuce in a pot last year and it must have self-seeded because I have little miniature lettuce plants appearing.) Slugs....aaarrrrgh!
The girls are quite grown-up now.

Sinclair said...

I know, I can't believe how they are just like full grown chickens already! They were just now SOOO tiny and cute. but they are still fun, and they run to me now when I come near. Except if I want to pick them up, they make me chase a bit.

debg said...

My chicks run from me when I want to pick them up too. I had them outside yesterday for awhile and they found their first slug. It was hilarious watching them play chicken chase.

ga.farmwoman said...

Your garden is looking great! It is amazing how fast they will grow.
I use eggs shells and coffee grounds also, in my raised beds.

Your Irises and poppies are so pretty!

Have a great day.

Yanic said...

What a wonderful site. I'm looking forward to seeing your garden in full bloom.

For slugs and snails : We reuse old yougurt containers by cutting out the bottom (throwing those in the recycling bin of course) and place them around new sprouts (especially cucs and lettuces). It protects the new little plants from wind and such and stops the snals and slugs.

Happy gardening!