Friday, June 22, 2007


"Canoodling With the Enemy" ACEO can be bid on here.
Copyright Rita Woodburne

Sorry about not checking in yesterday. It would seem that Blogger didn’t share my intentions of enlightening folks about bugs so at least I can share stuff with you today. I told you I’d get a picture of the little buggers... and I did! Below is my arch gardening nemesis, the Colorado Potato Beetle.

If you thought rabbits bred fruitfully, you haven’t seen anything like to Colorado Potato Beetle! These little signs of the Apocalypse started as 7 bugs (that I could see anyway) and have quickly multiplied into an entire colony. I’ve been flicking and squishing them to my heart’s content but I suspect that I may have to pull out the big guns and spray them. Before I resort to anything that requires me to don full body armour and a NASA certified air mask I will try something much more benign... like boiled rhubarb leaves.
The idea is to take the leaves of your rhubarb and put them in a pot full of water, enough to cover the leaves, and boil it for about 10 minutes. Let the rhubarb water cool, discard the leaves and then put the water in some type of spray bottle and start spraying your unwanted pest** of choice. I’ll try this first before pulling out the big guns.

** This will not work on overly critical parents and/or in-laws, your annoying brother in law who thinks he's funny or that cashier at the grocery store that talks too much about her kids.

Also, as I said in a previous post I’m showing you the pictures of the flowers that adorn the potato plants. They’re small and very pretty but it’s really a shame that they don’t last longer.

Speaking of pests and flowers, I figured I’d let you know that almost all of my pansies have been destroyed. I had noticed they were getting little holes in the flowers and leaves and the flowers themselves were curling in. I poked and prodded around them and couldn’t see anything that would have been causing such a thing. Then, one morning I was up quite early and decided to go out and wander around the flower garden and that’s when I saw them, a small (about 3/4") grey-ish worm looking thing. I lament that I didn’t get any pictures of them as I would’ve liked to post it and maybe someone out there in cyberspace would be able to tell me what the heck they were. The best guess I’ve heard so far is that they might have been some type of moth (pre-moth stage) which would explain the curling of the flowers.
The flowers were pretty badly infested and damaged beyond ressurection, really, so I just wound up pulling the flowers and throwing them out. Oddly enough, the pansies were the only thing attacked. They didn’t touch the hostas, clematis’, portulaca or any of the other flowers that were in the immediate vicinity of the pansies. Acquired taste, I guess.

Anyway, other than your regular maintenance of the garden there really isn't anything else to do. If you're growing flowers, something that you may want to do to encourage growth is "dead head" the flowers by picking off blooms that are finito. This will promote the growth of new flowers which will give you a planter full of blooms.
In next week's gardening post I'll talk about suckers and powdery mildew... sounds intriguing, doesn't it? ;)

No comments: