Over the weekend, I pulled the last of the garlic, a few surviving beets and some of the onions. We had to clear some beds that were eaten by grasshoppers (turnip greens, beans and beets). Grrrrrrrr. My husband stopped by the farm yesterday to water the garden (STILL no rain!) and informed me that the squash bugs have won the war on the zucchini plants as well. I am quite angry.
When we started a garden, we decided that we would only grow things organically. And we have stuck to that. It’s important to us. But I can also see why people get frustrated and end up spraying their plants to prevent devastation in the garden. It’s double hard for us since we don’t live where we garden and the garden is in the middle of the country where bugs throw ginormous parties. We have tried Neem oil, insecticidal soap, hot pepper spray, garlic spray and flour at the base of the plants. I could literally hear the bugs laughing at me at each application. Nothing worked.
We have decided that despite the short period of good garden weather remaining, we’re going to try to squeeze in some new plantings this weekend. We have nothing to lose. I purchased some screening and will attempt to keep the invaders out that way.
I am thankful for what we have so far, which is two full beds of onions, garlic, lettuces, five kinds of peppers, mint, radishes, some turnips, a few beets and some beans. The tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe and watermelon and doing fine (fingers crossed) and the peanut plants seem to be thriving. The potatoes appear to be ok too.
The onions that I pulled are curing on the porch and I plowed through all of the garlic in order to preserve it. What I do is clean and peel all of the garlic, mince it (I use my coffee grinder) and put it in jars. I then cover the minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil and freeze it. Due to the oil, it never really freezes solid, so I can just scoop out what I need and plop it right into the pan. Works out well for me. Otherwise, you can dehydrate it, use it to make sauces or even just freeze it whole. Whatever works for you.
I’ll let you know how the new plantings work out. It’s a long shot, but one I’m willing to take. Look out grasshoppers, squash bugs and aphids…this is war!