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1 minute ago, Orik said:

I haven't been able to impress them with yellow traps when we had them in Japan. What did work was spraying vodka.

Have vodka! Will try. Thanks!

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This may be a sacrilege to mention, but the happiest plants in my fledgling garden are.... Rancho Gordo beans! I have Alubia Blancas, Midnight Blacks and Domingo Rojos, and they are all about 3 inches

pulled one last (and only the second overall) large'ish harvest of tomatoes and peppers from the community garden plot today. would have been more if not for the fact that i failed to go out there for

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11 hours ago, small h said:

Fucking aphids. Does anyone have a good method of controlling them, other than ladybugs, which I have trouble attracting to my fifth floor balcony? I've used neem oil and insecticidal soap in the past without success. Now I've put out yellow sticky traps. But I am not optimistic.

When I used to garden, and when I had a garden, I was fairly adamant about organic gardening. (Fuck, I even subscribed to the magazine). Anyway, aphids were a problem, slugs were a problem, hornworms were a problem, everything was a problem. 

One spring, I read about the brilliant idea of using ladybugs to control aphids and other crop damagers. I ordered a few pints of ladybugs, and per directions, kept them in the fridge until it was time to set the killers loose in my garden.

I think it took about 10 minutes before they all flew away. You know, once they warmed up.

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That's exactly what I'm sure would happen if I bought ladybugs. Every once in a while one happens by, but she never stays. (There may be a country song in there somewhere.)

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Same experience with the lady bugs. Except for one lone one that got in the house. It was almost like having a second pet...until it made the mistake of trying to be friends with the cat 😧

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  • 2 weeks later...

the community garden plot is flourishing. 27 tomato plants, 26 of which are tall and vigorous. The one exception looks healthy but is somewhat squat for some reason (it's a varietal I've grown before--boxcar willie--and i don't t remember it being so). A lot of peppers which are also looking healthy. the broccoli has begun to put forth florets as well. this is my first time growing broccoli; i guess it can be planted much earlier here than i did--we already got some from our csa yesterday. the cauliflower is a little behind but does take a while to come in here.

the herb garden at home is doing well too. i need to figure out what to do with the rest of the overgrown with weeds space there now that all my larger growing will be in the community garden.

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

major devastation discovered in our community garden plot this morning. the majority of the fruit from our tomato plants is gone, including the few that had begun to turn. leaves and stems mostly fine, the fruit gone. at first i thought it must have been a human thief but i went back again to check and found a few tomatoes lying near the bases of some plants a a few half-eaten ones around the perimeter of the plot and near the garden fence. another gardener and i found some scat that didn't seem to be produced by deer. looking very much like it was raccoons. i'm sure they'll be back soon for the few fruit they left on the plants.

the tomato season seems like a near total loss now. very disappointing for me--this was shaping up to be my best gardening season ever with more sun than i've ever had. but absolutely crushing for the older boy who got into the garden in a big way this year and who, after helping plant, had been going every other day with me to weed, water, feed and trellis the plants--he'd designed the trellis "maze" for our three rows of tomato plants (27 total). hoping the deer--who also come in from time to time--will spare the peppers and eggplants and that nothing with a taste for cauliflower will show up late as well.

the really bad news is that there does not seem to be any way of keeping raccoons out of a garden--as this is a community garden on public property i can't put in an electrified fence or motion lights or sound.

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