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Green blues

Some of you may remember an earlier post where I babbled on excitedly about our gardening plans this year. I thought I'd give a much overdue report on our season, though I've waffled on what to share.

While it has been exciting to have more gardening space, the food growing efforts have been severely disappointing. Our back yard does not get enough sunlight and although we discussed this early on with our landlords, the limb-trimming that I was hoping for never happened. That, combined with a very wet/cool/buggy season, the various critters who like to come a-nibbling and a bit of a late start all have had me eating much less self-grown produce than I am used to.

Now don't get me wrong, the garden is lovely. I'll try to post pictures soon so you can see how the owners have packed in a lot of lush landscaping (complete with pergola). Sadly, none of that landscaping is edible - and what is edible has been slow, so we've only had herbs to bring up to the kitchen. While I've been grateful for the basil, I've also felt very discouraged by what I perceived to be a big gap between our food values and that of our building owners.

I finally had a discussion with one of them yesterday (as I was harvesting what few things I could) and expressed how vital growing food is to me. It is the main reason that I wanted to be in this apartment and is a huge part of my activism and spirituality. I am hoping that I was heard and that promises to trim branches next year and/or to discover more sun-kissed gardening options will manifest. Somethings got to change. I'm not willing to have a repeat of this year.

To try to get over our disappointment, the roomie and I did eat from the garden as much as we could yesterday. While the veggies had to be procured from the Farmers' market, we had basil on our tomato/yellow zucchini sandwiches and added nasturtiums, parsley, basil and wood sorrel to our salads. The result was so colorful I had to snap a pic.

I also whipped up a good sized batch of pesto...so all hope is not lost ;>)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
I feel your gardening pain!

I've had similar disatisfactory results with trying to grow veggies in my yard! I don't use pesticides, I garden organically. It seems that what the insect don't devour, some sort of blight carries away. I've all but given up on growing tomatoes. My herb garden is fantastic but I want more fresh veggies.

Aug. 11th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
We've made up a spray of water, Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and vegetable oil (not much soap or oil, about a tsp per quart). This seems to help with the bugs. The bunnies however will not be deterred.

Good luck! Love ~ J
Aug. 11th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
we have some of the same problems with lack of light - but the major issue (bar size - the garden is about 10feet square) is slugs and snails....nothing seems to be able to deter them or survive them.
Aug. 12th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)

I don't know if you've tried these things - but here are some tips from Mother Earth News:

If slugs are a huge problem, you need to remove their habitat by raking up your mulch in spring and composting it. Then, start your garden in open soil, and wait until early summer to add a fresh blanket of mulch.

You still may have problems because your soil may be well stocked with slug eggs. A few years ago, a U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist found that crabgrass contains a substance toxic to slugs. Since then, many backyard slug slayers have experimented with crabgrass cookies, which are made by mixing chopped, dried crabgrass leaves with corn bran, cornstarch and beer. The baits are then placed beneath plants, where the slugs eat them and die.

Another option is spraying coffee on plants that are plagued with slugs. Caffeine in any form — including a few No-Doz tablets mixed with water — is a slug neurotoxin that will kill these unwanted pests.

When you’re down to only a few slugs, you can fall back on the traditional organic control, which is to trap them with beer. Put an inch or so of any beer in a cup, bury it in the garden nearly to the rim, and collect your drowned slugs in the morning. Or, put some beer in plastic drink bottles and lay them on their sides in the garden. The slugs will crawl in and drown. Dump them out and start over again every few days.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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