Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Garden Update #8

Monday, May 26, 2008

Garden Update #8

The themes of the week have been aphids and blooms. Let's start with the aphids. We had thought we had gotten the habanero under control using lemon juice, but we were very wrong. Turns out the aphids were going and hiding under the leaves when we'd spray them and that the lemon juice does not work on them.
Now I know it's not very nice of us, but we are launching a 'war on aphids', it's either them or our plants. So we decided to use a more 'potent' organic pest remedy: a combination of boiled garlic, cayenne pepper, oil, and natural dish soap. I did a lot of research online and found that this is a fairly 'sure fire' way to get rid of aphids, however, I did not take note of the part that said to only spray the plant once a week. We really sprayed the habanero good with the stuff, and then came back the next day and did it again. Needless to say, the spray did kill all the aphids on the habanero, but it also got all the blooms and kind of did a number on the habanero. It's survival is a bit tenative at the moment.

And of course, since our peppers share the same space, now they all have aphids on them. None of them are as infested as the habanero was (it came with aphids from the store), so hopefully we can get it before it gets too bad. We've decided that we will spray them once, lightly, then go back an hour or so later and rinse them off, and repeat in a week if necessary.

Aside from the aphids, which don't kill the plant, they just stunt its growth, we've had a lot of progress. Everything is growing and blooming. Sadly, due to the flippin' constant wind and rain we've had in Missouri this spring, the Hungarian Wax pepper I showed you guys last week broke off in a spurt of wind. But there is more where that came from. The peppers are all blooming like crazy and the Community Garden plot is looking excellent. Blooms galore there as well.

Check out the Community Garden:

And some bloomage:

Here is the container garden (I apologize for the pictures, it has been really windy here lately):

New Mexican Chile start.

Serrrano pepper start.

Hot banana pepper.

So, aside from the aphids, which I think we can take care of, things are going well. And with all the rain we've been having, it's required very little effort on our part.

'Til next time!


romina said...

I think the vegan community can forgive you for the aphid murders. ;-) I can't stand bugs! They drive me bonkers.

Oh your garden is coming wonderfully. The rain really works wonders. We've had a week straight of rain and the garden has shot up like crazy!

Cookiemouse said...

Great pictures. See if you can get some neem oil. It might help.

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, those damn aphids - they always get to my garden too! :0( I don't blame you for killing them!! I would have too!! :0D

shellyfish said...

Everyone is making me so jealous with all their great plants & gardens (ok, minus the aphids). I need to figure out a place to try to put some plants (apartment dweller, no balcony or window ledges).
We used to use neem oil when I was a kid, so I second cookiemouse's suggestion.
Good luck against those aphids!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

The plants are looking great! Sorry about the aphids, we had a similar problem with a plant, and we had to use a mixture of soap too, but it worked pretty well...

jessy said...

yay for another garden update! things are looking great, and i'm super excited for you! there's just nothing like growing your own food. it just rocks so hard! :D

Jennifer said...

Romina - Hahaha, that's good to know. I can't say I like bugs, but most of them don't bother me too much. I am terribly scared of most bugs that fly though......

The rain really DOES help, we went down to check on the community garden after all the rain last week and all the blooms on the plants are nuts!

Cookiemouse - Thanks. And thanks for the tip on neem oil, I did a little research and I think if our current 'remedy' doesn't pan out, we'll get some of that oil.

Veggie Girl - We've had them on our peppers for the past couple of years. They always seem to come from the store.

Shellyfish - Hahaha. Aphid free gardens are great. We are lucky (apartment dwellers also), that we have a balcony facing south. We actually used to live in another apartment within the same complex, but moved into a larger unit with south facing windows for the purpose of gardening and cutting down on heating/cooling costs.

Alice - It seemed like the mixture worked, just a little too well, it killed parts of the plant. I think that's because we put too much on it though.

Jessy - :-) It really does rock hard, I've really enjoyed it. And last year when we'd cook something with our homegrown peppers or tomatoes, things just always seemed to taste better.

M said...

I envy you. I've just been able to start transplanting tomato and pepper seedlings this week, since it was still too close to freezing at night here last week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather's now warmed up for good. I'm hitting the farmer's market this weekend to get a good haul, hopeful jalapeno & cayenne peppers and some plum and cherry tomatoes.

Jennifer said...

M - Having blog readers from all over the world I am starting to realize just how lucky I AM. And to think, I've been jealous of people who live in California!

Ooooh, I didn't get to start my tomatoes from seed this year. :-( I was hoping to, but got a bit of a late start and just got a starter plant from the farmer's market.

I hope the weather starts to go your way, it's been so tenative around here as well, not threats of freezing temperatures anymore, but so much wind and rain this year, it's done a number on the plants.

I can't wait until our farmer's market has fresh tomatoes and peppers, well that or my plants, whichever comes first.

Keep us up to date on the status of your garden.

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