Friday, May 29, 2009

Garden Critters

I've been meaning to post some more pictures so I can brag about how great the garden is doing, but 1. I haven't had the time and 2. parts of it weren't doing so great. I finally sucked it up today and headed out to the patio with my camera.

I started with the cucumbers.

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I don't seem to have many female flowers. I had two that never got pollinated (I didn't know at the time that the female flowers looked how they looked and thought they were little plants growing) and they shriveled up and died. Since educating myself a little more on the flowers I'm trying to help the process along. I have one that I hopefully hand-pollinated successfully today

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There are two more that I may have not gotten to quickly enough (they had already bloomed) but one can still hope.

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I'm trying to pull off the dead male flowers more and hopefully they continue to produce and I'll get some more female flowers soon.

The pepper plants are the only plants that seem to be doing amazing.

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I've already picked 3 and one plant currently has 3 growing on it and the other two are about to start flowering like crazy.

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Then I moved on to my tomato plants. They're doing pretty good and have several that are ready to pick.

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Then I got a little closer and saw this:

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Something has been eating my tomato plants! Then I found this little guy hanging out nearby.

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See him eyeballing my tomatoes?

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He's even turning red to blend in with them.

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John got home just after I found this and assured me that lizards do not eat tomatoes (Google says iguanas do though) and that it was probably a bird (Google also said this happens a lot). In the time it took me to have this discussion and to Google, sure enough 3 more of my tomatoes had been attacked! Sneaky little birds! Now I have to create something to scare off the birds. Google says to hang cans or CDs - something that is bright or makes noise. John thinks this is trashy though and wants to get one of those giant plastic owls. Talk about trashy. We might as well get a couple of plastic deer out on the front lawn while we're at it! We can have them mount eachother and teach the neighborhood kids all about the birds and the bees.

Now my squash plants had been doing really well and had been flowering and producing, but the new veggies started shriveling up. The first few to grow have been this size for weeks.

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I've pulled off a lot of the dead male flowers and original runners in the past couple of weeks, but the plants still aren't doing well.

My zucchini plant has two that are really big, but the new ones also aren't growing.

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I decided to do some inspecting and sure enough, vine borers.

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I tried to do some dissecting, but I think the squash plants were too gone. When I finally found the borer it was too far up the vine to cover up again with dirt (the downside to container gardening I guess). By the time I finished with the squash and got to the zuc I was so grossed out by the stupid things I just ripped up the whole plant. I did salvage a couple of squash and the two zucchini plants and hopefully they won't have any bugs inside. They look pretty much in tact, but we'll see.

I'm thinking of replanting again though. There's still plenty of time and we have warm enough weather that I think I'll still get a good harvest. Plus I think I'm past the time that the moths that cause the borers come through my area. I also know what to look for now and how to stop it - aluminum foil around the bottom of the plant to distract the moth, panty hose around the stems to keep them from laying eggs, or Neem Oil. So we'll see!

5 comments:

  1. Wow, I can't believe how big all your plants are!!! I'm totally jealous...even if you do have weird critters eating them.

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  2. Your plants are growing so well! I can't believe you have veggies already--none of mine are even CLOSE to producing veggies!

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  3. I think you should get plastic flamingos. Just my opinion.

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  4. I will send my cat over. She is an excellent lizard hunter and they are her dinner of choice!

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