Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All Weekend in the Garden and More

"The Masters" Augusta National Golf Tournament was on this weekend which ment I had two full days to myself as the boys were glued to the TV, and did I take advantage of that!

Lets review the weekend...

As always click on photos for larger view...

Saturday April 11th

Today was feeding day. I started with the tomatoes giving them a good watering of seaweed extract and a top dressing of home made compost.

Photo below: Compost dressing around tomato.

Photo Below: Full shot of bed 1. Front row squares 1-4 have carrots and square 5 has spring onions. On the arch there are two cherry tomatoes on each side and in the middle two bush tomatoes. All seem to happy and heathly.

Photo Below: Closeup of the Container Tomato "Super Bush" Seeds from Renee's Garden.

Note: Renee's Garden is a local seed supplier about 45 minutes from me. I can find her seeds at my local hardware store.

Photo Below: Bush tomato buds.

Photo Below: Orange Cherry Tomatoes "Sungold".

Photo Below: The carrots are starting to get their first set of true leaves. I planted them on February 22nd. It took them seven weeks to get to this point. The one thing you learn about carrots is to be very patient.

After bed 1 was completed I moved on to bed 2. I needed to plant the remaining three cucumbers I had in the greenhouse. While I was digging the holes I came aross these two creatures...

Photo Below: Wireworm

From Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Wireworms are the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles. They resemble mealworms and are slender, elongate, yellowish to brown with smooth, tough skin. The body is usually cylindrical, but flat on the lower side. There are six short legs close together near the head, and the tip of the abdomen bears a flattened plate with a pair of short hooks.
Wireworms may remain in the soil as larvae from 1 to 3 or more years, depending upon the species and the food supply.

Wireworms feed on seeds and root portions of a wide variety of plants. In corn they can destroy germinating seeds and tiny seedlings. Often the wireworm will be found near the damaged or missing seed or plant. Wireworms will also attack young plants, resulting in weakened plants or a reduced stand. Damage is most likely to occur where corn is planted into a field formerly in pasture or weedy alfalfa.

If wireworms have been a serious problem in the past, a preventive seed treatment or a treatment at planting may be necessary.

I also found this on the web...

Wireworm larvae feed on germinating seeds or young seedlings. Stems of young seedlings are shredded, usually causing the central leaves to die. Damaged plants soon wilt and die, resulting in thin stands.

Host Crops
Wireworms prefer grasses but often attack corn, carrots, potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, lettuce, and onions. Strawberries are also attacked.

Wireworms are slender, jointed, and hard-bodied. They have 3 pairs of legs behind the head, and the last abdominal segment is flattened with a keyhole-shaped notch. Full-grown larvae may reach a length of 1-4 cm (0.4-1.5 in.).

Adult beetles emerge from the soil in the spring. From late May through June, the female beetles lay 200-1400 eggs in loose or cracked soil and under lumps of soil. The young wireworms hatch and begin feeding on roots or germinating seeds.
The larval stage lasts anywhere from 1-5 years, depending on the species involved. When full grown, usually in July, the larvae pupate in the soil. The adults do not emerge until the following spring.

I'm thinking I should cut up a potato and bury them down about two to three inches and see if I can lure them away from the corn I have planted in that bed. I'll keep my fingers crossed I don't have any in the potato beds!

Photo Below: I spent about 10 minutes following this guy around the garden to get a photo and to see what it was up to. It appears to be a female cabbage butterfly. Good thing I’m not growing cabbage or anything in the cabbage family.

OK, back to the cucumbers. In bed 2 I now have 3 English Cucumber "Chelsea Prize" seeds from Renee's Garden and 3 Perian Baby Cucumbers "Green Fingers" seeds also from Renee's Garden.
After planting I gave the cucumbers and corn a watering of seaweed extract and a top dressing of home made compost.

Photo Below: Bed 2 Cucumbers

Photo Below: The back 3 squares have Early, Bi-Color, "Bon Jour" next to that I will have 3 squares of Early Sweet, "Casino" Don't worry they will not cross pollinate.

In bed 3 I have 12 squares with a mix of Bell Peppers "Jewel Tone Sweet Bells" and Mini Salad, "Baby Belle" I also have 4 squares of Cilantro, "Slow-bolt" and a row of Spinach, Baby Leaf, "Catalina" The peppers all were fed with Fish Emulsion and top dressing of compost. The cilantro is doing so well it didn't get a feeding and the spinach just got a real good watering.

I also have a tray of Pumpkin on a Stick in 4 inch pots that I need to find homes for. I planted one in a large container and will plant a few in my sisters yard in the next week or two.

Photo Below: Bed 3

Bed 4 only got a good watering. I'm growing red, yellow and white onions and garlic in rows 1 and 2. Set were bought at my local hardware store. In row 3 I have a mix of Lettuce, "Heirloom Cutting Mix", Lettuce, "Farmer's Market Blend and more Lettuce, Container "Garden Babies" which may not mature before the weather gets too hot. In row 4 I have one square of carrots and at the moment can't remember which ones. The rest of the row will be planted with Beans, "Tricolor Bush" and Row 5 will be left empty. Row 6 has 2 Winter Squash, "Small Wonder", Spaghetti. Seeds from Territorial Seed Company and 2 Squash, Zucchini, "Ronde de Nice". Row 7 has 4 squares of Spinach, "Oriental Giant".

Photo Below: Bed 4

The two photos below are full views of the garden beds. Once the greenhouse comes down in the next few days I will take photos of the rest of the yard.

So at this point I went in to start dinner. While I was walking into the living room I spotted this little guy hopping around the patio. When I took a better look at what this bird was doing... it was collecting dog hair! Check out the next two photos to see its dog hair mustache...

After dinner I headed out to the greenhouse. My Basil seedlings have stopped growing. I'm thinking they ran out of food, so I transplanted them into 4 inch pots with a mix of potting soil and home made compost. I also added a few more seeds into each pot just in case my efforts of saving them doesn't work.

Photo Below: Sickly Basil

Only 3 of the 6 Cracker Jack Marigold seeds have come up. I added three more seeds in the empty cells.

Photo Below: Cracker Jack Marigolds

Photo Below: Bush Bean seedlings.

The watermelons are loving the heat of the greenhouse. I'm going to have to get them planted soon. The weather is going to start warming up by the end of the week so I will plant them in bed 2 this weekend. If needed I'll place the mini greenhouse over them if it cools too much. I have 2 each of Petite Treat and Sugar Baby from Territorial Seed Company. I'm sure 4 melons are way too many for the space I'm giving them. But if needed I will let them spill out on to the patio.

Photo Below: Watermelons in greenhouse.

OK that brings Saturday to a close. Lets move on to Sunday...

Sunday April 12th

I didn’t get out into the garden until noon and managed to spend four hours just putzing around.

Photos Below: I transplanted the pole beans into their new home. They will be sharing an arch trellis with the sugar snap pea’s. I placed river rock over the soil for mulch. This should keep the area from drying out too fast. It could also make a good home for slugs.

I spent the rest of the day doing some much needed trimming on all the potted plants and taking a few photos around the garden to share with you.

Photo Below: Antique marigold. I love the feathery look of the leaves.

Photo Below: Raspberry bloom

Photo Below: Parrots Beak bloom

Photo Below: Nectarine fruit

Monday April 14th

Photo Below: My first Sugar Snap Pea!

Photo Below: As I was walking around bed 2 I spotted this guy walking around with a broken wing. I can't find him in my insect book so I'm not sure what it is... That tail looks like it could hurt. Update 04/15/2009 Photo Below: Female Snakefly

Snakefly, common name of a predatory insect with a snakelike posture and appearance. There are about 200 known snakefly species, occurring mostly in Europe, central Asia, and North America. Over 25 species live in the United States from the Rocky Mountains west to the Pacific Ocean. Adults are commonly found on shrubs in the spring and summer.
The adult snakefly has a dark, shiny, flattened head and a prolonged necklike thorax. It can raise its head above the rest of its body, much like a snake preparing to strike. It has long, slender antennae and a brown or dark reddish body that measures 12 to 25 mm (0.5 to 1.0 in) in length. Its four wings are membranous, clear, and heavily veined with a conspicuous spot on the front margins near the tip. When at rest, the wings are held up rooflike over its back. The adult snakefly generally captures only small and weak prey, such as aphids and young caterpillars. The female has an extended, tail-like organ called an ovipositor used to lay clusters of eggs in bark crevices and other hidden areas.
Snakefly eggs hatch into larvae that live under bark and in leaf litter. Larval feeding habits are not well known, but it likely eats various soft-bodied insects such as wood borer larvae and codling moth pupae. The snakefly larva is flattened and long with a shiny, dark brown to black thorax and head with prominent jaws. It resembles the larvae of certain beetles. Its long abdomen has ten segments and is mostly brown to dark red, commonly with pale spots or rings. The larva undergoes a complete metamorphosis without a cocoon stage and develops through 10 or 11 growth stages, or instars.
Scientific classification: Snakeflies are members of the family Raphidiidae, order Neuroptera.


  1. I have click beetles, too. They just decided to show up, when the corn was planted last year. Your garden is starting to fill out nicely, and in a month - will be completely full of foliage. I noticed you're doing bean transplants, and I am too. I really didn't know if I could transplant or not, but now I know it's not a crazy idea, afterall. Good luck!

  2. Your garden is a work of art. It has to be my favorite garden to look at, of all I view.

    I battle wireworm here, too. That's why I quit growing potatoes for the past few years. I didn't see any at all in my new gardens last year, but already I'm finding them this spring...lots of them. And cut worms are getting to my beautiful peas :-(

  3. The garden is coming along beautifully. The bird with the dog whiskers is really a unique picture. I showed my family and they thought it was cute and chuckled. How often do you topdress your tomatoes and fertilize with fish emulsion? They look healthy. I see your cherry tomatoes are making their way up the arbor as planned.

  4. EG,

    The wireworms are a drag. I just checked the soil around my corn and can see lots of little white worm looking things. Not sure what they will grow to be. I'm hoping my potato idea will work and if they are wireworms I can draw them away from the corn. As for the potato beds... who knows what's going on in there. How did those click beetles know I was going to plant a buffet just for them ;-)

    I was told not to even bother to start pole beans in containers... well I'm a bit hard headed and didn't listen. They have been in ground for three days now and look very happy. Even with the 50 MPH wind we had yesterday.


  5. Granny,

    You are so sweet. I can't wait to get the greenhouse down. That's when the funny begins.

    I'm sorry to hear about your peas and the cutworms. I haven't had any damage yet... key word "yet" As I said above to EG... I'm afraid to look in the potato beds. How are you dealing with the wireworms? Are you spraying anything on them or just turning the soil to expose them and hand picking?


  6. Daisy,

    Thank you so much. Isn't the bird photo just the cutest thing. The baby birds will be nice and cozy in their fur lined nest.

    I'll be feeding the tomatoes every two to three weeks with fish emulsion. I may only top dress one more time... maybe. When I planted the tomatoes in the bed I mixed in tomato food and a little green sand in the hole with home made compost. I'm sure that will keep them going for a while. The cherry tomatoes seem to be doing OK. The leaves are looking a little blotchy. Not sure if it's from the wind burn or if this is something new. The flowers seem healthy and I'm not getting any bloom drop.


  7. You garden looks great (as usual). I've got a couple of robbins that have adopted my yard. They chase all the other birds away. They're so comical to look at.

  8. Thanks Cheryl!
    A few yesrs ago I had this one hummingbird that would not let any other hummingbirds come any were near my yard. He would also sit in the tree over by bed 2 and just talk all day long. I miss the little guy.


  9. Looking pretty good so far! Hope you figure out what to do about the wireworms. So far, the bugs haven't found my garden, that I can tell. Of course, it's only been an official garden with plants and all for a few days, so I have no doubt they'll be along any time now...

  10. Hi sb,

    Thanks for coming by. I hope I don't have too many pest problems and I'll cross my fingers they don't find your garden ;-)


  11. Liisa, I think about the only way you can eradicate wireworm (which is common in our E. WA soils) is to constantly drench the soil with Diazanon. Well, that is out of the question (it's no longer marketed to the home gardener, and I don't want to poison my soil anyway), so I've gotten over my revulsion of picking them up and squishing them between the fingers of my garden gloved hand! I expect there will be a lot of damage to the root crops, but I have a sharp paring knife ;-)

  12. Thanks for the info Granny. I'll be hand picking as I see them and I'll get my paring knife sharpened.


  13. Love the birdy whiskers! What a cute photo. Of course your beds look amazingly healthy and vigorous (despite lurking pests - oh my!). I'm with Granny on loving to look at your very productive and cozy garden. My only regret is that you're not closer so we could sit, drink coffee and talk about your plants together smack dab in the middle of it. X^D

  14. Hi Jenn,

    Thank you so much. Yes cozy it is. Oh I would love to sit in the garden with you...and starting tomorrow there will be somewhere to sit!