Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What's Growin' On: 6/13/06

Four Month Old Tomato Seedlings Tossed Into The Compost Pile This Morning

Realization Of The Day:
Sometimes admitting defeat feels really, really liberating.

Minding The Moonsigns:
Today, tomorrow, and Saturday are all fertile days in the third quarter. These are excellent days for transplanting--tiny seedlings into individual plugs, larger seedlings into the garden, potted plants into roomier quarters, etc. Also good days to plant things that grow underground such as potatoes and garlic. Click here to learn more about this whole minding the moonsigns business.

The First Spring Onions!

From Garden To Table:
These onions sliced and piled on homegrown, grass-fed, grilled beef burgers. YUM.

Questions From Readers: Garden Pests!
Tabitha is having a big problem (in her gorgeous spring garden) with aphids returning to her tomato plants (despite using various organic methods on them), and super gardener Jeph has kindly offered to seek out solutions for a groundhog-infested co-worker.
Can we help them?

Beyond The Garden Gate:
I'm still in Haying Recovery Mode, so it'll probably be another day or two before I can properly respond to your comments and put up meatier (veggier?) posts. I have lots of photos and info to share, just need more time. (Don't we all?) Thanks for your patience, kind words, enthusiasm for this blog, helpful advice, and support.


  1. Here's my two cents regarding the aphids; having exhausted all your organic control methods you have to ask yourself "Am I gowing this to eat or to stay true to organic principles?"

    I TRY to keep organic, but if it looked like I was going to lose the garden to pests after trying every organic method I had at hand, I would do my research and find the least toxic, most biodegradeable pesticide I could find.

    Luckily I haven't had to make this choice, but considering the Township drives a 4 wheeler through my yard every year spraying for mosquitoes I'd say my garden wasn't organic already.

  2. FG - Did you ever think you'd be turning into a garden help forum where you have to turn the questions back out to your other readers? LOL Are you telling me you don't know ALL (insert angellic music here), and have the time to answer every question!?!?! I'm shocked!!

    The field pics and garden pics are looking beautiful by the way! That Carey is SO pampered!! She's a lucky, lucky girl!

  3. Last year we had little black aphids ALL over our corn and I read that planting marigolds in the garden helps. The marigolds attract some sort of fly which eats the aphids, or so they say. I just planted the marigolds though so I don't have any "hooray, it works" or "darn, it doesn't" conclusions yet.

  4. I have some mole killing, rabbit eating Lab mixes that would probably take out some groundhogs and be thrilled to do so. That's some lucky dogs that get to be dogs. If the groundhogs are in Missouri, I could loan them out :)

  5. blogger is acting up today!

    Companion planting - Marigolds work, also chives work well with tomatoes against aphids. I had aphids on my tomatoes in my garden and once I planted marigolds and chives, had not had any problems.

    On the other hand, I have a tomato planted in a container on my sidewalk by itself. . I had aphids baaaad on that one. First I sprayed it with NEEM, which I later read should be your last ditch organic effort. It is an organic oil that smells citrusy, that bad thing is that is also kills all other useful insects. You have to spray the plants a few days in a row for them to finally go away(this goes for whatever you organic spray you use). So a few weeks with no aphids. . . I have aphids again. This time I am going to go out there with a soap and water spray. Ivory, or Dr. Bronner's is suggested. I anticipate having to spray several days in a row, and I hope it works.

    Good luck getting rid of those little buggers!

  6. thanks for asking for me! i live in a very non-organic area, and have few resources here for practical help. i find most organic books to be vague and unhelpful in this department ( i.e. 'spray with an approved insect soap'-- umm, then what)

    steven: our reasons for growing, for example, tomatoes, are many. yes, we need them in order to survive. we have chosen a lifestyle that requires us growing our own food. but also in the mix are our strong environmental convictions and really foremost our children. we cannot use non-organic methods. we simply cant. it isnt about pride. it is about safety and ethic. i am pregnant with my third, my children run through the bean trellis and laugh. i cant poison them or the earth they will someday inherit.

    about companion planting: check! we have nasturtiums, basil, marigolds, carrots, parsley... every sort of companion for tomatoes. no chives, though i ca get some started now that i know they are useful. chives are like mint, here, though, and i may have trouble geting rid of them.

    currently i am using Safer Brand insect soap spray, diatomaceous earth, and wood ashes. i spray/ dust every other day. my biggest concern is the taxing effect on the plants. many are setting fruit but they also seem to drop about 50% of their flowers.

    thanks againa nd more advice is welcome! someday i can have an answer for others... i hope!


  7. Tabitha, I totally respect the path you've chosen and I hope you get the aphids under control.

    One of the things that drew me to organic methods in the first place was an aphid and whitefly infestation in my tomatoes about 10n years ago. I asked a neighbor why his tomatoes never seemed to have problems and he said; "I never use Miracle-gro like you do, it causes too much rapid growth and the young shoots attract the whiteflies and aphids."

    I second the suggestion of Neem Oil as long as you apply it judiciously and never when plants are flowering.

  8. I have tossed a few tomatoes on the compost heap....because they are doing so poorly. I feel frustrated that my attempts to grow them have resulted in sickly plants but liberated, too. Can anyone suggest a good tomato to grow in Florida in containers?

  9. Diane,

    My coworker (and I) live in NE Ohio, so I think we're a LITTLE out of the way for a dog loan! ;-) But thanks! I've let her know there are more recommendations for garden dogs....like Steven has.

  10. I just recently got rid of a major aphid infestation overnight using a mixture of regular dishwashing soap, a bit of olive oil, and water. We also learned that ants FARM the freaking aphids. Type in ants and aphids to read all about it. Nature is truly amazing.


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

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