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The remains of the garden. - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
The remains of the garden.
I had high hopes for the garden this year. I took the little border around the edge of the patio, and put in all sort of plants - 8 tomato plants (some in pots), basil, rosemary, oregano, a red pepper, a yellow pepper, 6 jalapeños, 6 sugar snap peas, and mint.

The results?
  • Everything was constantly over- or under-watered. We got 3 times the normal rainfall this summer. Several times it rained every day for a week.
  • One tomato plant grew to about 10 ft tall and never put on a tomato. I got a total of 3 tomatoes out of the rest of the tomato plants (two big and one pear).
  • The peas all broke off at the ground during a particularly nasty week of thunderstorms.
  • I lost the basil and the red and yellow peppers to snails.
  • The rosemary struggled and struggled and finally gave up the ghost.
  • The oregano is still alive, but not noticeably larger then it was when I planted it in April.
  • The jalapeños did well until this last week. I came home from work one day, and one of the plants was missing every single leaf. I didn't think much about it, since the peppers were already ripe - I just picked the peppers and shrugged.
Yesterday, we were sitting out on the patio when Mike noticed why the jalapeños were missing their leaves - there were two tomato worms working their way through the rest of them. I debated squishing them, but since I'd already picked most of the peppers, I figured they could just have the plants.

It's amazing how fast they're devouring them. In 3 days, they've eaten all the leaves, several leftover peppers, and are starting to work on the stems. I had no clue there were bugs that could eat an entire jalapeño, including the seeds.

Next year, I'm going to find a nice organic bug repellent. And the tomatoes are going in upside-down hanging pots.

But, hey, I seem to have grown myself some fine-looking tomato worms!

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Current Mood: amused amused

4 comments or Leave a comment
alioth1 From: alioth1 Date: September 3rd, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
We've had 275% of our normal rainfall (and therefore, a severe lack of sunshine).

One of my washingtonia palms is while not quite dead, it's certainly in Death's lobby admiring the artwork. It stopped growing and started to rot at the base, mulch had built up a bit there and being constantly soggy caused it to rot.

My jalapeno peppers are still flowering, and only just now fruiting. This year they are in a little plastic construction I made to keep them warmer. Last year they started fruiting in July and they were just left outdoors. However, the yield is up from last year even if the peppers are a bit on the small side.

The constant blustery winds this "summer" have really buggered my tree fern. Every frond is distorted and blackened.

Instead of that caterpillar type creature, we've been inundated by slugs. I lost two jalapeno plants to slugs (completely devoured). I had planted 6 runner bean plants - four were devoured by slugs. I lost one Queensland Blue pumpkin plant to slugs. (The other Queensland Blue though has taken over the patio and is making a bid for the shed). The wisteria is showing evidence of slug attack. About the only thing the slugs don't seem to attack is the apple tree and the palms.

Things that have done well (even thrived) in the pouring rain, wind, and otherwise dismal excuse for a summer that we just had:

Canary Island date palms - I have four juvenile ones that are looking very green and healthy even if they didn't grow much.
Chamaerops humilis - the only native European palm - the one in front of my house has grown 6 inches of trunk. Chamaerops are usually a ground hugger "dwarf fan palm". Supposedly it needs summer heat to grow well; mine seems not to have read its own Wikipedia entry and has happily put out a dozen fronds.
Cordyline australis, a New Zealand native. They are very common here. I have the much less common 'Torbay Dazzler' cultivar, and a 'Sundance' cultivar. Both have put on a lot of growth. I also had a red cordyline but it never rooted properly, and the head fell off a couple of weeks ago.
Bamboo - I think I'm going to need root barrier because it keeps making a break for the neighbour's garden.
Mallow - both mallow plants grew to about twice the size the label said they would, pretty much overwhelming everything around them. Although it means no pesky little kids will scrump my apples, since the apple tree is totally engulfed. (I just dug through the jungle to pick one - the apple tree is still just a stick with a couple of other sticks, but it had 6 apples this year).
The Queensland Blue has grown to unbelievable proportions. From Australia (a neighbour gave me a seedling he'd grown from seed he brought back from Oz) seems to have liked the excuse for a summer we've had. Hopefully, I'm on course for half a dozen pumpkins come Halloween. Pumpkin pie recipe? :-)
alioth1 From: alioth1 Date: September 3rd, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and there was a very lush looking...um...cannabis plant growing behind a neighbour's house too. It has unfortunately disappeared though. Someone is having a high time.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: September 4th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've always heard that the trick for getting rid of slugs was beer. You put little bowls of it in the garden, and the slugs climb into them and drown.

Or you could just end up with slugs too drunk to eat your plants. I'm not sure which.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 4th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

the horror!

I have an absolute horror of worm-like creatures -- worms, centipedes, leeches, caterpillars. The squishy segmented bodies, bud-like legs... ::shudder::

That's why I can't garden even if I wanted to. The bugs would have me running screaming for the hills.

4 comments or Leave a comment