So. I've made several traps that have varied in success rates, with the least catching the odd passing ant and the most becoming quite the little jail for all sorts of pesky flies.
However- this has not stopped the capsicums getting about as big as my half my palm (which is a very small palm) and then dropping off, covered in black spots. Somehow the bloody flies ignore the lure of the traps. BOO. Then I consult the Yates Garden Guide, an Edible Gardens Gardening Australia DVD, the latest copy of Organic Gardening Australia, Allan Seale's Garden Book of Pests and Diseases (yes this is a real book) and go onto about 100 gardening blogs looking for other hints.
I follow all the hints, implement a NUMBER of other approaches, thinking that I will get the best of those bugs. You know what? If they say to put boiling water at the base of the plant- I'll try it. Yes, I'll mix up some of the various potions to spray onto the leaves and I'll even try organic commercial product that claim to rid the plants of the flies. I'll do it all and you know what? I have been going out to the garden every day to check - and EVERY SINGLE CAPSICUM IS STILL COVERED IN BROWN DOTS, my EGGPLANTS STILL HAVE MASSIVE HOLES IN THEM FROM SOME STUPID BLACK CRATER BUG who clearly thinks that eggplants would be better with a moon, crater type skin then it's glossy purple birth skin.
To top it off THE BEAN leaves have decided to go all yellow and horrid. Which, after reading about that, means that they are lacking nitrogen, so I had better replace it by putting some sheep shit around the place or sprinkling that foul seaweed smelling crap for an instant hit. Talk about NEEDY.
You get my point. The garden, at the moment is a tale of woe. Even the rocket is at the end of it's run, sprouting up flowers to signal it's retirement. How am I going to cope *sob sob* without any of the most peppery rocket in the world?
I've also been made aware, that the broccoli and cauliflower seem to be shooting quite well (some are much bigger than others?!?) but there are a few holes in the leaves - so they too will need some kind of pest killing potion to ward off the evil little enemy.
The leeks seem to be slow to take off too? Perhaps I shoved too many in together? I tried to separate them as much as I could, but heavens above- isn't that a time consuming process?! My whole garden could be made up of leeks if I separated every single strand out of the one tiny pot.
Luckily, for my sanity, the parsnips and carrots are sprouting green and even look a little bit crazy. The sweet potato has really come into it's own and seems to be a star now the Big Z bush is gone.
The kale is just steady as she goes. Can't wait until there is enough to have some kale chips.
The silverbeet seems to be going okay, when it isn't wilting in the rather warm March sun.
The Patch next to my Patch has again half been cleared thanks to a bit of my hard yakka last week, and I'll clear the other half possibly tomorrow or the next day, pending on the schedule (which is, I must admit- is quite busy for one who is technically on holidays.) After that, I'll take my Gfather's ute down to get a load of shit (or as some would prefer - manure- but I'm feeling hostile, so let me have it) and will attempt a version of a home made compost. Hopefully that will help with the gardens overall health and productivity.
Speaking of my Gfather's ute- a funny little thing happened the other day. Gfather comes in to announce that he is going to wash his ute (which is a hilarious little red subaru thingo that he tootles around in). I ask him if he would like a hand but he assures me that he is fine, and "takes me less than 20 minutes to do because it's easy to reach over the top and get all the spots on the top of the roof." I don't think another thing of it, until I see him out the front, dutifully washing the red beast down. Dad pops home for a minute and notes Gfather washing the ute, and then pops back to work.
A few hours later, I hear Dad arrive in the driveway and get out of the car. The next minute, he is hysterically laughing. I walk out to see what all the fuss is about, and the tears are basically rolling down Dad's cheeks and he is pointing at the red beast and quite possibly, the worlds worst wash job. The beast looks like it has literally bitten the dust and then rolled back through it on the way home. For the life of us, we cannot even fathom how the ute managed to get dirtier than when Gfather began, but he has somehow achieved that great feat. The funniest part about the whole thing is that Gfather is completely oblivious to the mess he has created and now seems satisfied that the ute has been washed (allegedly.)
Maybe this was one of those 'You had to be there' times or maybe my family have a sick sense of humour- but even a few days later, I hear Dad walk out to the driveway and start laughing. Dad has sent a photo message to everyone in the family to show them, and they all laugh hysterically, so perhaps it is the latter. Dad wants me to 'borrow' the ute and sneak it down to the proper car wash and give it a good going over without Gfather knowing. I will probably do this after I go and get the load of manure to feed to my needy garden, but in the meantime, will have a little giggle when I look at the ute. You can't really see how bad it really is, but you get the gist.
Perhaps this feeling of frustration towards the garden is caused by the change of season or maybe I'm a little less than satisfied due to slump in productivity after the massive summer crop haul. It could the realities of being an organic primary producer finally setting in. I have to tell you, this gardening gig isn't all fresh vegies and envious neighbours poking over their heads over the fence for a stickybeak.
There are times, like now, when I could just retire from the whole game. That is... until tomorrow morning, when I decide to make some yum-chaesque shallot pancakes or think that a tipple of fresh rhubarb cordial would go down quite well. I can pop out to the garden to grab both, fresh and better tasting than any commercial vegies I've ever had. Maybe a few cheeky snow peas will pop onto the vine or the first little radish sprouts will shoot through the soil and then ....all will be forgiven. Until then... I'm still a little bit miffed with you ol' garden.
In other non-gardening related but VERY exciting news that I just have to share (because I am literally so excited I may bust) one of my very dearest friends got engaged today. Of course, this would be super exciting in itself, but this latest development is even better because it means that she will be moving back to Aussie land to live with her wonderful fiancee! This is honestly, the most exciting news I have heard in a long time- and these two are enough to make you almost believe in love. I am just SO HAPPY for them (and happy for myself too- that she is coming back!!) I'm probably not even supposed to go blabbing this everywhere- but I know, this is just between you and me. CONGRATULATIONS YOU GUYS! xxx
So tell me, what do you do when the garden gets the best of you?