Friday, June 22, 2012

Garden Wars

It's me vs. them right now. Aphids. It is inevitable that they come to attack. You have to be ready. You need to be armed and you need to be diligent. I get them when the plants are getting towards the end of production but I want to milk every last fruit I can. Right now the aphids are plentiful. I turned my back for a couple days and bam! The leaves are covered. So, every morning, I spray them down with a hose then treat the underside with a little soapy water solution. If I stay on it, I can win the war. I have to admit, when it gets blasted hot in AZ, I sometimes feel like letting the aphids win. But, too much time and money has been put into that garden and I will push forward. If I want to keep with my goal of picking a basket full every day for a year, I can't let them get the best of me! 

The garden has been pretty successful this year with a few set backs. The tomatoes:

The plants contracted an infection this year. I had to pull many but am nursing the ones I have. Not too many this year but enough for a little salsa and bruschetta. 

The new garden has been pretty happy. The Armenians have climbed all over the tops making it a little challenging to access the garden but it looks pretty.

The cantaloupes are liking their trellis. I could make some funny joke how my melons are so big I have to sling them back with pantyhose, but some might get offended, so I won't. But, they are cute and they are getting big and I do need to sling them back with pantyhose. A few more weeks.....

All 20 of my plums are starting to ripen. Some years I get overloaded, some years only a few. They are big and sweet and I will cherish everyone of them. I think I have been eating them all myself. My little treat when I work in the garden. Sorry, kids. You have to be a little earlier to the draw.

One thing that isn't small in numbers is zucchini. We still eat one about everyday. If it isn't on a plate somehow, it is in our smoothies. I grilled up some super duper steak and veggie tacos. I grilled the zucchini with some Mexican lime olive oil and some house seasoning (salt, garlic and pepper mix) along with some onions and peppers. I grilled the steak with a cumin and house seasoning rub with some lime oil as well. I chopped all that up, sauteed it in a little more oil and more seasonings to taste including some smoked chipotle seasoning and wow! Scrumptious! I could eat that for breakfast this morning. I would be fine with just the roasted veggies.

Here's that house seasoning in case you forgot:

1 cup sea salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

I use it for everything! So simple yet so perfect.

I hope your gardens are flourishing. Don't let the bugs get the best of you. Fight them with all  you got. Even if it is just spraying them down with the hose before the sun gets up, that will kick them down plenty. Make sure you get the underside. It takes time and patience but if you have done the work to put in the garden, don't give up! It is getting hot which means the garden will slow down a bit so their is relief in site. 

Happy summer.  


Anonymous said...

oh man we're having the same aphid problem here too! IT'S WAR!! :) gorgeous looking meal too!

kristy said...

First time gardener here...what do you use to get those pesky aphids? So far our garden is free and clear but they have gotten our roses which are not far from our tomatoes.

Shari Goodman said...

I use water with in a 32 oz spray bottle with a T. of Charlie's soap. You can use any good, non toxic soap. Spray it on the aphids (usually underside of leaves) and they dry up. I was getting so many and had to leave town so several of my plants are gone now. YOu have to stay on top of it but sometimes, at the end of plant life, aphids are the natural process to decay for them. It is time for many plants to be finished in this heat, like some cucumbers and some older squash plants. But, fight like crazy and give it all you have! So many are having huge aphid problems right now. I haven't had it like this in years.

kristy said...

Thank you!