Garden Update – 11/10/14 – Things aren’t going so well…

11 October 2014 at 21:33 (Random Randomness) (, , , )

It’s been a pretty bad few weeks. It started with…

watercress-disease

I was really looking forward to eating the cress, but one by one, the plants all ended up like that. White patches, followed by tiny black dots. I had no idea what it was and therefore, no idea how to treat it. It was an absolute mess.

Now you may (or not) remember, but the parsley I kept on the spare room windowsill, since my own was getting a bit cluttered. Well, my mum didn’t like that and I had to bring it into my room.

Next to the watercress.

You see, at that point, I thought the watercress was probably just rotting a bit from all the moisture. Turns out I was wrong. Sooooo so wrong.

parsleyandbug

Now what I HAD noticed on the parsley were these tiny, light brown, elongated bugs. Really tiny. But I rarely saw them, maybe one every few days, which I would pick off and squish. As in the picture. Not vegan, but still okay for a herbivore 😉 Anyway, at the time I didn’t have the photo. So it was back to wondering if it was an infection, or an infestation or crummy growing conditions.

And the rest of the stuff I was growing seemed to come down with it, too.

The dandelions I was growing for my budgies:

dandelion-infest

(No loss, since they never did take to it, anyway.)

The thyme seemed to be catching it, too:

thyme-infected

Yep, another crop of thyme lost, third time in a row.

The only plants that managed to escape were the mystery plant (still no idea what it is), the night scented stock (I think. I’m keeping a close eye on it), and the lamb lettuce is looking okay, so far.

lamblettuce-new

Well, I searched and searched for what could cause white patches with black spots and nothing. Eventually I managed to get a response on Yahoo Answers, and the answer given was: THRIPS.

Which is actually kind of strange, because my sister suggested that near the beginning, but the picture she showed looked nothing like that bug I showed above. I mean, it looked too big and I didn’t have the close up.

Oh yeah, you want to see the close up?

thrip

It’s kind of sad, actually, because it does look sort of cute. But yes, after looking up more photos of thrips, I knew I’d found my culprit.

Now being the kind of person who is loath to use chemical pesticides, a bit of research brought up the suggestion of using neem oil to treat it. So the parsley had to leave the bedroom (the watercress had boiling water chucked on it and thrown into the flower bed ages ago. I hope the boiling water did actually kill the thrips, you know) and as soon as my neem oil arrived, like a demented thing, I went about spraying the crap out of everything.

You can have too much of a good thing, no matter how organic.

As an aside, what would a real vegan do in case of pests destroying their crops?

Speaking of pests…

crazy-squirry

It’s crazy, you know. It tried to get into the house, so as I had to keep the door closed, and it kept approaching me. I was worried it would try to climb on me. Funny thing, I had another crazy stalker squirrel encounter in the park today. Came up close to me and the baby, and just looked at us. Right next to me. It was really weird. Anyway…

crazy-squirryagain

As I was saying, you can have far too much of a good thing. Now I’ve been spraying the parsley like anything, and it doesn’t seem to have done it any harm. I also sprayed it with garlic tea while I was waiting for the neem to arrive, and I don’t know how much good either of them have done. Here is the new growth:

parsley-newgrowth

I’d just like to say, neem isn’t actually toxic to insects. The way it works is it contains a component very similar to the insect’s hormones, so it gets confused and forgets to eat and breed and so on. Assisted suicide, I guess. I feel very mean 😦 Neem also smells quite weird and solidifies at room temperature.

Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on the parsley, see if the neem works.

So, back to too much of a good thing:

comfrey-ohno

comfrey-brownleaves

comfrey-neemdamage

Now the comfrey was fine before I sprayed with neem. I probably shouldn’t have sprayed it while it was in full sun on a south-facing windowsill. I hope I haven’t lost them. Although I hear they are very invasive, so maybe it is best if I only keep one going.

tubbie-figtree

The Tubbies are back. Dizzies as well. It’s funny to play clips of them singing and watch them get all angry and confused at the intruder. I tried moving my mouth like I was the one singing, but I don’t think they fell for it.

And a few other things to wrap up with:

My first pepper harvest:

peppers-yay

There is one more growing, but the plant is in a sorry state, probably caterpillars. They ate my pennyroyal as well.

peppers-last

How do I know it’s time to harvest the quinoa?

quinoa-berries

I think the MGs are winding up the show:

morningglories-ending

And here is something I’ve known about for years, but never thought to actually do. Green manure. I’ve got a few “insurance” ones growing on the windowsill (it’s amazing how they suddenly shot up overnight, so weird) — although what good insurance if the thrips are still lurking. I hear thrips bite people as well. Ugh.

forage-rye

I’ve sown a few in the garden as well. If you want to know more about green manure, here are some links:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/green-manure-crops-zmaz86sozgoe.aspx
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/organic/2002080423030611.html

And that’s all for today 🙂

PS Powdery mildew and potassium bicarbonate.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: