|Our 3 baby box gardens|
It’s been almost three months since we planted our 2011 box garden, and there are several things this humbled homemaker would like to report.
This year, our mere second year of gardening, we’ve definitely had our fair share of disappointments, but there have also been some victories—and lots of things we’ve learned.
- Green Beans-Whereas we had an overabundance of green beans last year, we haven’t had one this year. Rabbits ate the green bean plants as soon as they started to sprout. We re-planted. The rabbits re-ate.
- Snap peas-This one was totally our fault. Snap peas are an early crop, and we waited until the first week of May to plant this year. We had a HOT May, and our poor peas just couldn’t take the heat. Whereas we had plenty of peas last summer, I’ve picked all of two from our poor, wilting plants.
- Spinach-Again, we waited too late to plant. We only had a handful of spinach come up. We’ll try re-planting in the fall.
- Squash/Zucchini–Rabbits ate our squash, and beetles devoured our zucchini. We did harvest a few zucchini before the beetles killed them. I’m now on the hunt for an organic pesticide.
- Peppers-We’ve gotten plenty of peppers: banana, bell and some other jalapeno-type pepper that we didn’t even realize we bought! I’m planning on freezing our abundance!
- Tomatoes-This is year, we staked our tomato plants right! We’ve already gotten some big juicy ones, and plenty of others are just waiting to ripen!
- Lettuce-We had enough for several large salads. We’ll re-plant this cooler-weather crop in the fall.
- Blackberries-Ok, so we had absolutely nothing to do with this one, but God gave us an abundant harvest of wild blackberries on my parents’ land!
|If we had started with this fence, the rabbits may have been disappointed.|
Things We’ve Learned
- Plant earlier. We waited until the beginning of May. That was way too late.
- Use a fence. We ended up putting one around each box AFTER the rabbits ate the green beans.
- Seek out an organic pesticide. Part of our reasoning in growing our own food is that we will avoid conventional pesticides. However, it seems we need to invest in a non-toxic, organic one–at least for our zucchini! Does anyone have any ideas??
How’s YOUR garden growing? What are your biggest disappointments and victories? What have you learned so far this year?
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The organic pesticide we use is a capsaicin based one and it works really well for most pests. Ask a small nursery or look online, it is basically pepper spray, you could probably even make your own! However, if you have a large infestation of blister beetles it doesn’t do a thing. I would consider it more as a preventative, instead of one to use when you really have a problem. Hope this helps!
Our experience was similar…we did pretty well with peppers and okra, but no tomatoes. Best guess is they didn’t get pollinated. We used Marigolds as a natural pesticide, seemed to work well enough (I wonder if that’s what kept the bees away?). Sweet potatoes were disappointing also.
For natural pesticides you can try more varieties of companion planting, nasturtiums drive away most beetles, as does garlic, radishes, and sage… pretty much anything that smells strongly seems to confuse them. Might want to check some of the combinations though as some plants can have a detrimental effect on others due to what they take out of or put into the ground.