Garden Frustrations Abound, But Plenty of Positive Going On

After my “I hate my garden” hissy-fit the other day, I just spent 6 hours manicuring our strawberry beds. Loving them! They look like they are going for round two. It’s times like these that I have to remember all the positive going on so these problems don’t get the better of me. It IS My Garden Haven after all.

First, the bad that is driving me crazy:

  • Root Knot Nematodes are still in our salsa garden. They are affecting our tomatoes. That, coupled with very cool, overcast conditions so far this summer = tomato harvest at risk!
  • Bolting: Arugula, mustard, tatsoi, cilantro, spinach (see “bolting” in positive things below)
  • Container veggies  (tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans): They hate the potting mix I concocted. Creativity and penny-pinching turned around and bit me.
  • Ants and aphids in the artichokes. I spray them off every day, then they are back. It is the black aphids.
  • Bagrada bug: Southern California’s latest organic gardening menace! It has decimated our radishes, arugula, and alyssum.

    Bagrada Bug
    Bagrada Bug
  • Not enough time or energy to do everything needed
  • Tomatoes have escaped their staking
  • Tomato leaves have spotted white mildew on them
  • Heirloom tomato plants are big, but all blossoms have dropped thus far
  • The over-watering dilemma
  • The planted-too-close-together dilemma
  • Blueberries aren’t producing
  • Snap peas not well. They got all covered in white (powdery mildew?) and stopped producing. Good while they lasted, though.
  • Our crazy kitten chases insects and lands on plants, damaging them. I know it’s her.

Things making me happy:

  • Giant sunflowers are giving needed afternoon shade to plants in all day sun, plus welcoming butterflies :D

    Butterfly on sunflower – took me 30 minutes to get this shot
  • Bolting (see above): Actually also positive because the flowers are attracting beneficial insects and will give seeds to use this winter!
  • We harvested our first garlic crop and it is hanging to cure!

    Garlic Harvest
  • We planted peppers where the garlic was, and they seem to like it there so far.

  • Thanks to my husband, we now have two additional water faucets in the back yard, making my job much easier
  • Strawberries really put out this year and they look like they are going for round two!
  • We have blackberries!
  • Our Anna Apple Treehas produced so many apples, there are plenty to share. Several people have said they are the best apples they have ever had. I need to make applesauce!
    Micah reaches for an anna apple

    Oh yeah!
  • We are growing kale for the first time and it’s going well! We have made several homegrown kale green smoothies.
  • Basil has turned the corner and is doing well! We have Genovia, Lemon, Thai, and Italian
  • We have learned how to use our new dehydrator and are dehydrating a lot of our own fruit and herbs
  • Raspberry patch: One cane has baby berries :)
  • The bees are very very happy workers in our garden

    Image courtesy Ken Shortridge
    Honey bee in our succulents
  • Planted tomatoes in the ground from their containers and they are coming around
  • The Sungold cherry tomatoes are delicious!
  • NO tomato hornworms (thanks to borage)
  • Jalapeños are coming on
  • I found a perfect place for planting dill. It really loves the semi-shade spot.
  • We had our first BLT with our own tomatoes (Pastured bacon of course)
  • It smells herbalicious everywhere! Oregano, rosemary, basil, cilantro… Love working the soil and smelling those smells!

Ok, so that is enough positive to shut my mouth!

What do you do when your garden is driving you crazy?


PS: A lot more is happening over at – it’s so quick and easy to post photos and such… Have you “Liked” yet?

Garden Frustrations Abound, But Plenty of Positive Going On

Tomatoes Are In, Mulch Is Down!

Our tomatoes are in and we have laid the mulch down. 

It looks SO pretty! 

By the way, the best place to get organic compost/mulch in San Diego is at City Farmers Nursery


Beefsteak – planted about a foot down

Another Beefsteak

Heirloom, Brandywine with Garlic

Heirloom, Brandywine with Garlic


Tomatoes Are In, Mulch Is Down!

Piddling Around the Yard

Well, it is the end of October 2011. Somehow when I reach this point in the year, I feel like the year is over. 2012 feels like tomorrow.

I spent a little time this morning piddling around and pondering. Piddling is one of my favorite hobbies. Walking around snapping pictures with my mobile phone, I realized there is lots to look forward to for the next two months. There are plenty of projects that I can do. Note to self: “Quit trying to hurry up the end of year!”

While the East Coast is being barraged by freak snow storm, here in San Diego it is truly “Sunny California.” The sun was shining on my hen and chicks. This reminded me how much I need and want to separate them and pot the starts to give away…

Hen and chicks. Background: Yarrow, Jalapeño

Directly below the hen and chicks is where I planted garlic (first time) a couple of weeks ago. I have been staring at the plot for days, willing the shoots through the topsoil… This morning – woo hoo! Hello garlic :) I love the feeling of new life emerging…


Bzzz… Directly behind me were the bees still working the lavender. I love them so much! Trigger happy this morning, I snapped this photo:

Hello Bee :)

My husband had made us breakfast, so we went to the back yard to sit and eat. Our kitty was so happy we were outside. She was running around, terrorizing everything. Then she ran around the east side yard and disappeared into the huge, blooming cosmos patch. This is where we placed a piece of driftwood we found in the ocean off the San Diego coastline and decided to integrate it into our rough path. I wondered how the “jungle” looked to kitty:

Casey must have so much fun exploring!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the piddling as much as I did! Have a great week everyone!

Piddling Around the Yard