Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gardening and Earwig Update

Well it's been a while since I wrote about my garden.  Since the problems with the earwigs have subsided, things have improved tremendously.  I found a product that worked better than the Captain Jack's Deadbug I mentioned in any earlier post Gardening - Getting Rid of Earwigs.  It is a organic insect killer spray for lawns and landscapes made by EcoSmart.  You attack the bottle to your hose and spray AROUND your garden.  The spray is made for lawns and landscapes so I would not spray directly on vegetable plants.  I sprayed on all the lawn around my garden and even sprayed around all my pots.  I noticed a difference immediately.  I did spray again a week later and then another two weeks later for a total of three times.  After the third spraying I did see the occasional earwig (I don't think it's possible to get rid of every last one without chemical insecticide) but nothing like the infestation I had prior to spraying.  Unfortunately, for some of my vegetables it was already too late.  I lost all my beets and most of my turnips and strawberries.  I was so upset, I ripped the strawberries out and replaced them with flowers (bottom photo).  The funny thing is two of the strawberry plants came back up.  Strawberries are perennials so they will come back every year.  I do have many strawberry plants in pots also but they did not produce much this year. 

The plants that are doing awesome are the tomatoes.  The cherry tomatoes taste the best. They are incredibly sweet.  Next year do yourself a favor and buy Botanical Interests Gardener's Delight cherry tomato seeds.  Make sure you use at large pots (15" across and 12" deep).  I used smaller pots last year and my harvest was significantly less.  We have four cherry tomato plants that are producing unbelievably (top photo on trellis to the right and middle photo on the left). Every day I come in with a bowl of cherry tomatoes.  We have so many we pop them in our mouths all day.  Two Roma and three beefsteak tomato plants (middle photo) have also done fairly well.  The beefsteak tomatoes started splitting recently.  Splitting is usually from too much water so we cut back.  So far I am peeling and freezing most of the Roma tomatoes for sauces and soups in the winter.  If you have a huge harvest, canning would probably be better, but we will eat all our tomatoes before winter is over.  

My green beans came back from the earwig feast fine and the parsley, chives, and green onions did well also.  My carrots were small but good.  I think carrots grow better in compact soil.  This year I used a "fluffier" soil.  I also have basil, oregano, and mint in pots which are doing well.  I had a difficult time germinating peppers from seeds so they got a late start.  They are growing fine now but may have to be taken in during cold nights because they have at least one more month before harvest.  Except for one, the pepper plants are in pots.  

As happy as I am gardening, I'm always happy when the season is over so I can have a break.  But I will miss those tomatoes.  :-(

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