failed popcorn crop 🙁

I harvested most of my popcorn this week, but there were almost no kernels on the cobs and lots of worms again. I guess it had low pollination. It seemed the bed had richer soil at one end than the other – the corn grew well at one end and much slower at the other. It all matured at different times and I bet this was not good for pollination. Oh well. The worms enjoyed it anyway. Next year, I will feed the WHOLE bed better. I’m also going to…

lacy bean leaves

A bad year for beans. Rampant Mexican bean beetles. I left 2 full beds of my plot for beans this year, but am pulling faster than I plant. Time to give up. I pulled the last of my snap beans today. The photo is my shell beans. I’m tired of spraying and squishing the beetles, so these will probably be pulled soon. 🙁

mesh-covered green beans

I came across the beautiful beans last week in a plot at the Belmont Victory Gardens. Why are they covered with mesh? Does this keep the bean beetles off? They sure look great with no signs of beetle damage, unlike most plots around here. But then the adjacent and uncovered pole beans look good too. Very nicely mulched with salt hay, too. I bought some stray/hay mulch that I will be spreading today in my gardens. I hope it looks as nice as this.

farm links and parasitic wasps

Its fun to read about real farmers, especially this summer with the bumper crops. Here are a few links I’ve come across: Shared Harvest BlogRiverland CSA Farm (Sunderland MA) newsletterWaltham Fields newsletters I emailed yesterday and asked Piccadilly Farm what they did to get rid of corn ear worms this year. Susie told me they are using a parasitic wasp that feeds on the European Corn Borer. Well it sure worked great. I will look into this but I hear it is expensive. Maybe other gardeners would want to share…

bean bugs

I have a very ugly yellow spiny bug eating my bean leaves. They are all over the leaves and are completely eating them down to the veins. Yuck. A fellow gardener recommended a homemade spray that she has used successfully: Mix 12 garlic cloves, 12 very hot chili peppers (habenero would be best), 2 Tbs Murphy’s Oil soap, 2 Tbs salad oil and food process til pureed. Filter through cheese cloth. Dilute with 1 gallon of water and spray on the plants. I am not sure I have the energy…

rabbit eats marigold

This cute bunny is growing fast. He now eats a surprising quantity of my garden plants. I didn’t really see a need for him to eat my nice big marigold. They can’t taste good. They have a pungent odor and I plant them mostly as a pest deterrent. But the rabbit started in on the big yellow flower, and then he ate the smaller yellow flower, and then the leaves and stem. Well, yes, the stem was hanging out over the path and probably did need clipping – but it…

squirrel and apple

Today I was watching out the window as a squirrel tried to steal my single apple from my little Fugi apple tree. I have a knee-hi over the apple to protect it from apple maggots. What to do to protect from squirrels?! I banged on the window and chased him off twice. He didn’t come back by nightfall, but I think he will very likely find a time when I am not standing by and guarding my tree. I don’t think it will be ripe enough for me for another…

squirrel eats tomato

I’ve figured out why I have so few tomatoes this year. Unfortunately, I could put up chicken wire to keep a rabbit out, but there’s not much that will keep a squirrel out of the garden. The poor squirrel was sad to drop his pretty tomato from the fence post. After the last photo above, he went down, out of my sight and I suppose found it and finished it off.

no soy beans

This is what the rabbit did to my soybeans. I love edamame, especially fresh from the garden. And I prefer a variety called Butterbeans. It has big pods and very good yields. I planted a patch earlier this year using seeds left over from 2 or 3 years ago. They did not spout (about 1 on 20 sprouted and the rabbit ate the few that did sprout). Maybe this is a seed that does not store well. So I looked up online to find more Butterbeans. It seems they are…

so cute …

What to do about a very cute baby rabbit that has taken up residence in my garden? Every morning when I open the blind and look out to my side yard garden – there he is. Cute as ever. A rabbit is a bit of a novelty here in suburbia. As I watch, he mostly eats weeds I have missed: grasses and clover. Those, oh and the dill, soy beans, and all the perennial trilobia (a pretty black-eyed Susan type of plant) that I grew from seed last winter. But…