How our garden grows
First off we wanted to show you how to get double the growth out of your spinach plants… as the plants grow you’ll want to pick the largest leaves first!
Ruthie with lotsa spinach…
Now that our spinach has gotten to the point that its about ready to produce seeds and at that point it also goes bitter…
We’ll cut it way back so that each plant has about 10 small leaves… once it’s cut back it’ll grow like crazy again!!
What do we do with all that spinach?? We make a lot of Veggie Smoothies and so we go through lots of spinach!! One cool thing is that frozen spinach tastes just the same as fresh spinach in our smoothies… so I wash it, let it air dry, and then package it into freezer bags! Perfect for smoothies all summer- even after it gets too hot for our spinach plants to grow anymore!
OKAY… so, I know I said we’d have final pictures of our new raspberry garden bed BUT… we had a crazy weekend!! AND, it’s not done yet but we did pick out and buy our landscaping bricks and supplies so, hopefully we’ll have it all finished up this week cuz, we’re having a wedding in the back yard on Saturday.
This week we wanted to tell ya about our least favorite part of gardening… BUGS! Yes, they love gardens as much as we do! Not all bugs are bad, in fact some a really helpful in a garden! The BAD ones however can be really bad and kill our little plants so, it’s important to know how to treat them.
By the way, we’re the proud gardeners of 2 zucchinis now… there’ll be plenty more where that came from!!
We run into 2 bugs more often than any other in our garden… first one is a nasty little guy called a “Squash Bug”! These little bugs can cause all kinds of havoc and even kill an entire squash plant!! They love to suck the juice out of the stems and as they’re doing it they poison the plant. Squash can handle a certain load of these little critters but if there are too many they’ll kill the plant! We lost a couple of plants to them last year so this year we planted a few extras just in case
They lay these lovely little egg sacs which hatch into more and more squash bugs… (eeek!!)
The treatment?? Soapy water… Really! It suffocates the bugs and their eggs as the soap coats them and makes it so they can’t breathe. Just grab those squash bugs and pick off their eggs when you see them on the leaves and put them into a bowl of soapy water. The best ways to make sure that you are seeing these little guys is to take a pretty powerful stream of water from the hose and spray off the part of the plant where all the stems and the squash attach. Then wait a few minutes and the bugs will climb up onto the leaves to sun themselves dry. Then you can grab them and drop them into a container of soapy water. They don’t bite or sting or anything so not too worry but they do emit a nasty smell. If you squish them they also smell pretty bad. I’ve read that this smell both repels more bugs… and attracts them (in separate books). In any case suffocation works well. The other thing you can do is put small pieces of plywood (like 8×8 inch sized boards) out near the squash stems. Check under them every morning. Gather up all the bugs and put them in the soapy water dish!
The next bugs to tell you about are Aphids… Lady bugs love them but WOW they can cause a lot of damage to fruit trees and vegetables.
This is a picture of a some Red Aphids on our tomato plant…
AND this is a picture of of Aphid eggs on a squash plant…
The way to get rid of them is to treat them with Pyola… it’s an effective alternative to harsh chemicals! Made from canola oil and pyrethrins, it controls many stubborn insect pests, including Japanese beetles, Colorado potato beetles, leafhoppers, Mexican bean beetles and flea beetles. Destroys adult insects, larvae and eggs. Pint makes up to 12 gal. We purchase this organic insecticide at www.GardensAlive.com.
AND on a little sweeter note… our Strawberries are on!! Nothing quite like the taste of a home grown strawberry
Our Carrots are busy growing too… the actual Carrots themselves are still teeny tiny though!! Our Beets are also almost ready… they are approaching the size of a golf ball. Beans are just coming up and the Peas should be ready to harvest in a couple of weeks.
Well, that about does it for How our Garden Grows this week!! We hope you’ve been able to learn how to treat a couple of those pesky garden bugs!! AND now you know how to get double the growth out of your spinach too
Ruthie and Drew