Once spring arrives, I begin dreaming of our garden. This fantasy is filled with healthy plants and a bountiful harvest. When summer arrives, reality hits. Although we try to make adjustments based on the previous year, there may still be a few roadblocks.
May arrived with lots of rainfall which has continued a bit into June. Due to rain and cool days, we had to delay planting a few plants outside. In June, so far, we have had eight days of temperatures of at least 90 degrees. Plants we have in pots or grow bags had to be watered more than plants in our raised bed. Our boys love to water plants, so this was fun for them.
Our foe and nemesis the cabbage butterfly struck again and decimated three of our six cabbages. We sprayed off eggs and our boys picked off caterpillars, but these aggressive bugs still managed to cause significant damage. We follow One Yard Revolution on Facebook. Patrick shared in his video last week one benefit of polyculture was confusing insects such as the cabbage butterfly. In the video, a cabbage butterfly happens to be flying around, but it has difficulty finding a place to lay eggs because the plant it's looking for is not all grouped together. All of our cabbages were in the same location just like they were last year. Even worse, we had others members of the brassica family next to it: kale, greens, and Brussels sprouts. In 2017, will we not make this mistake. To rectify this situation now, we planted some okra and peppers in the raised bed where the cabbage previously was. The cabbage that survived was made into coleslaw. We planted a new red cabbage plant in a different location next to the zucchini. We already have nasturtium in this bed by the kale and we plan to add a few herbs in a couple of weeks.
We moved our onions to a bigger bed this year to increase harvest. This year was the first year we had onions that bolted. The previous location was partly shaded. Our new location has full sun exposure. The hot days contributed to this problem. Our boys enjoyed watching bumble bees visit the flowers on the five onions that bolted.
A few of our pepper plants and greens have spots on their leaves. This is caused by a fungus. We have removed the infected leaves. The affected kale has started to grow new healthy leaves. The pepper plants are still struggling; it is a wait and see situation. Luckily, only a few pepper plants were affected.
As a gardeners, we pour our heart and soul into our plants and still some don't make it. Although, it is frustrating; it is part of gardening. Learning what went wrong is key to avoid missteps in the future.