Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Around the Back Garden

I harvested a few beets Monday morning:

They aren't huge, but hopefully they'll have great flavor.  I still have about a dozen in the ground, but I think it's probably too hot for them to really develop.  I'll leave them there and see.

And then I got a handful of sugar snap peas:

There are quite a few blossoms still on the vine so I hope despite the heat it's just the beginning of the peas.  It's supposed to be 100+ here for the next 3 days.  So early to be this hot...

In sad garden news...

All 11 of my giant swallowtail butterfly caterpillars were gone when I got home from work last night.  I presume a bird ate them.  I had been checking on them every morning and every evening... so fun to watch them grow so fast...  Sigh.  I guess the plant was sort of exposed.  I need to plant some additional growth around them for camoflauge.  Sorry my little friends... If I see more eggs laid I am so putting netting over the rue!

And then this!  I don't think any words are necessary except one:  Squirrels.

On a less tragic note, nine of my ten asparagus plants are up... my cucumbers are getting bigger... the sunflowers are getting so tall... many types of flowers in my butterfly bed are blooming (most of which I cannot identify.)  No blossoms yet on the watermelon or the birdhouse gourds... 
My yellow squash and my zucchini squash are monstrously huge and just covered in blossoms.  But no squash!  I've had blossoms for WEEKS.  Sunday I went to Redenta's and asked Bucky what he thought the problem might be.  His first thought?  Pollination.  "Do you have any bees?" he asked me.  Yes, I have bees -- they love all my butterfly garden plants front and back.  And I have cucumbers, and presumably they also required pollination.  So then he tells me I can pollinate the squash myself, by taking a male squash blossom and touching it to the female squash blossom.  "Basically," he said, and I quote, "you have to have sex with your squash."   "But what will my neighbors say?!"  He explained how to tell the difference between the types of blossom, and home I went.  Examined the blossoms... but for the life of me I couldn't tell which was which.  I decided I'd have to look that up.  And then last night I was out, and what did I see?  Bees!  In the sqsuash blossoms!!  So now I'll wait and see... I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

1 comment:

Dallas Fruit Grower said...

Your swallowtails my have gone to form cocoons. Also, the wasps are pretty vicious with the caterpillars. They attack the caterpillars and fill them with their eggs. I lose the majority of my caterpillars to wasps. They are good for protecting the brassicas - not so good for the pretty butterflies.

Go to Academy and pick up a critter-camera. They are heat and motion activated, and take photos at night. They are pretty inexpensive these days and are good for figuring out who your enemy is. I am afraid that a different kind of rodent is attacking your tomatoes.