Friday, June 17, 2011

What's bugging me

I was on vacation last week and it's been over 90 degrees every day this month - and it shows in the organic garden.  Despite the irrigation system, the plants are all stressed.  We've gotten a big bowl of tomatoes but one of the residents who didn't know any better refrigerated all of them! Argh!  The flowers all look dead or weedy, the oregano is dead and the kiwis don't look very happy, either.  All this amounts to another weekend work day for me.

This has also made me grateful for the simple fact that I know stuff. I'm no master gardener by any means but I do know some stuff and I guess I've just taken it for granted that everyone knows this stuff. Maybe it's because I'm so old, or because I grew up around gardens, I don't know, but somewhere along the line I learned to never refrigerate a fresh tomato.  I also learned how to stake plants and trim them.  And I know that in this kind of heat you gotta watch plants carefully and maybe water them more. 

Anyway, I think it's time for some classes.  The residents here keep very busy schedules and one of my main ladies is gone now and the other one is working so I need to cultivate some new gardeners.  I also need to buy more tomato plants, more herbs, and more flowers.  And I need to spray with neem oil.

Yes!  I'm happy to report the neem oil works like a charm.  No stink bugs!  Fewer grasshoppers. And it doesn't hurt or repel the bees. I love that it's safe for my new little dog.  It smells pretty bad, though.  For Sweetie, I put a few drops in her shampoo when I bathe her.  If she picks anything up between baths I add a few drops to some vitamin E oil and rub her down with it.  It's helpful to her coat, too.   I did find something that just wipes out the grasshoppers but it's not organic - Demon WP.  I use it at home in my yard.  I hate the big black and red grasshoppers that come in droves every single year.  I can't walk without a wave of them jumping in front of me. They strip what few plants I have of every bit of green.  But this stuff works.  Plus, it's murder on fleas!  And I swear since I've been using it I have fewer mosquitoes, too. 

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