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Gardening 2021

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Elsa
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This is Japanese beetle week around here but I haven't seen any yet. I think it's because the weather has been so wonky. We have yet to hit what I would call, "summer".

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Elsa
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Jilly and her sister went to a Lily sale/festival where gardeners sell special lilies. They got me one called, "Eyes Of Evening". I have no idea what it looks likes / color or even type.  I stuck it in the ground this morning and we'll see!

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Elsa
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veggies

Cabbage today and that is a "golden zucchini" in front. Never tried them before but will have them again. Prolific!  That is the first I've cut. There are at least 10 more on the plant.

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CocoPeaches
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My garden is doing great, and so is the community garden where I volunteer... but we are having an outbreak of gyspy moth caterpillars in my area, and they've completely defoliated every single oak tree on our property. They are creepy-crawling all over our house and basically every surface like the hose, picnic table, fences, gate latches, etc.. and they are absolutely disgusting. Their poop falls from the trees in such a quantity that it sounds like rain, and it gets in my hair when I walk to my garden. And they give me a terrible itchy rash even if I don't touch a single caterpillar, because it comes from their tiny hairs that float through the air. It's horrible and it's really putting a damper on the growing season here. Last year the gypsy moths were bad and I knew they'd be back this year, but I didn't know it was going to be this horrific. The population has completely exploded. They're even eating the needles on our conifer trees now. I use Bt, which is an organic pesticide, to protect my garden and young trees in our yard. But it barely makes a dent because I can't reach the mature trees that surround us. Praying that our trees will recover, and nature will correct itself by next year.

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Elsa
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@cocopeaches  what a bummer. I expect the trees will recover. Our first year here, Japanese beetles stripped virtually ever leaf on every (fruit) tree.  They did come back.

This year, something defoliated an un-killable rose bush we have. I have not figured out what yet. The rest of the yard is untouched. I am not sure it will survive. So far, there's been no sign of recovery.

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Warped
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@cocopeaches 

It may be too late in the season, but there are Gypsy Moth Traps you can hang in your trees to disrupt the mating cycle. I see them for sale online, at HD, etc., and also DIY instructions.  Worth a try?

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CocoPeaches
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@warped It's not too late, they haven't pupated yet. But I've read mixed reviews about the traps. They only catch male moths. The females can't fly. Our population is so large, I am afraid that catching a fraction of the males will not really do anything. Possibly still worth a try though? It looks like you can catch a decent number with the DIY traps. I'm looking into ordering the pheromone lures. Thank you for the encouragement.

Regardless, I do think the forest will be fine. And I'm just so grateful that my garden hasn't really been impacted. I have beautiful salad greens (like Elsa!), I'm starting to get ripe strawberries, and I have garlic scapes! I made rhubarb kombucha and it turned out awesome.

Two weird things happened at the community garden yesterday but I can't really expand on any of it. One was hilarious but slightly problematic for me. The other thing is heartbreaking but none of my business. It's going to be an interesting summer!

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Warped
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@cocopeaches 

Wow, rhubarb kombucha! 

If the males are trapped before mating with many females there will be less next year.  Worth a try!

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Elsa
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fresh salad

this is for friends. It has red romaine, swiss chard, a little bit of kale, purple and green cabbage, patty pan squash, golden zucchini and some cucumber.

Tomatoes, garbanzo beans and olives are from the store. Everything else, picked fresh this morning.

Now I'm going to make dressing. It's for a family with six kids. They all love veggies.

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CocoPeaches
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Gypsy moth population got knocked down by a naturally occurring virus and fungi. Yay! But there are still some moths hatching here and there. I’m noticing the females are about half the size of what they were last year, so I think that confirms that the species is very stressed and unhealthy. God I hope they aren’t prevalent next year. Some of our spruce trees  look like they aren’t going to make it, but we’ll wait a year to see for sure. Oaks, maples, and apple trees are all leafing out new growth. 

My greenhouse kit that was supposed to arrive this month is now pushed back until September. This is unfortunate because we can get frost in early September, and I planted a bunch of things in pots with the hope that the fruits would have extra time ripening in the greenhouse. We’ll see.

Heck, we got frost in June. Same as last year, right around the solstice. I covered my tomatoes and they are mostly ok, but that sort of event always stunts growth a little bit. It really zapped my potatoes, but they have recooped.

I want to harvest my garlic so badly! But I’m holding myself back for another couple of weeks to give the bulbs a little more time to grow larger.

I need to clean out my freezer and pantry to make room for all of the stuff that is about to pour in! 

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