Saturday, February 28, 2009

Where Have I Been?, Around the House and Gardens, and Questions Answered

This is where we spent Mardi Gras.
No. We didn't catch anything as usual, but we did have a lot of fun.
Flip flops and Amarillo buds! Warm weather's pretty much here!

Lorapetalum blossoms.
Even Flossie likes looking out of the bedroom window and seeing Amarilla blossoms.
One of the beautiful romaine lettuce heads I grew this year. A big bunch of greens! This bunch includes, turnip greens, collards, curly mustard, parsley, green onion, carrot greens, arugula, beet, bok choy and mixed Asian greens. That means I'll make ten new friends soon.

Questions Answered:

What is a King Cake? It's a traditional cake baked only around Mardi Gras. It's really a sweet yeast bread that's topped with a white icing glaze and green, purple and gold sugar. After baking, a tiny plastic baby is placed underneath. Whoever gets the piece with the baby must buy the next King Cake. This goes on until Mardi Gras season is over. It's named "King Cake" in honor of the "Kings" of the different Mardi Gras Krewes that parade. I do not celebrate or go to Mardi Gras parades because of what goes on at them...drunkenness, public nudity, general stupidity and silliness....but I certainly don't mind eating King Cakes!

Do I use any organic sprays such as soapy water? I rely on planting at the proper time, predators, and mixing many types of plants in an area to confuse pests. If a bug gets out of hand I pick them off, or if the problem is too bad I just pull the infested plants and give them up for lost. There's always something else in the garden to eat. For aphid infestations I spray them off with a strong spray of water. I find that poisons kill everything good and bad and really mess up the balance of the garden. I also find it amusing that people who get all indignant at the possibility of maybe eating a bug have no qualms about consuming poisons that are sprayed on conventionally grown veggies. I fertilize with compost and chicken manure.

What are you going to do with all that cabbage? Eat it....and share some :)


Sandy said...

Ooo . . . I like that concept of mixing your plants. Especially those that attract a lot of bugs, like potatoes and broccoli. This was my garden's first year (with imported soil and compost) so maybe this year will be better. It was tough with the bugs last year. I see your amazing cabbage photos and think of my plants in the cabbage family -- many holes from pests -- and stand in awe of your accomplishments. You make a good point about sprays / aphids. The worms I had on my broccoli were so intertwined within the flowers that you literally couldn't even pick them out. And there were TONS of the whipper-snappers. Swishing / crunching into several worms in one bite isn't something I could handle - though. I just had to throw them out. Sad. -Sandy

Kristi said...

Ewww...I'm with you...Throw them out. It is discouraging when you worked so hard to give up on a plant, but maybe once you have been gardening for a while in the same area you can learn to fool them. Did you identify the worms? Maybe they are only really bad at times.

Idahogardener said...

Regarding cabbage bugs, aphids and worms...if you cover your cabbage, cauliflower, brocolli, brussell sprouts,etc. with window sheers (as in those old curtains that you can find at yard sales or thrift stores)you will eliminate most of your problems. Just fasten the sheers down with bent pieces of wire, making a U shaped pin. The sun and water can still get through the fabric. I heard about this trick from a wonderful old neighbor here in Idaho.

Kristi said...

Thanks Idahogardener, and Welcome to my blog. That's a really good idea. I wonder if I could protect my tomatoes this summer in the same manner from stink bugs. I have never had a successful crop of tomatoes.