I haven’t had a lot of time to write up posts, so I figured I’d show a couple pictures taken in the garden since I returned from vacation the other day.
Here’s a shot of the okra bed. It is incredibly overgrown by weeds. When I left for vacation, there were a few weeds in there, but nothing like this. I think that I’ll need to cut that growth way back but allow it to grow. It will act like a living mulch and keep the soil from drying out. I just think that if I pull that all out, I’ll do some damage to the okra roots. The okra seems happy. You can see flowers in there and I’ve harvested at least 1 pod off of every plant in there.
I talked about the wheel bug nymphs that I have all over the yard. They grow into the biggest assassin bug in the country. Since they are all over the yard, they end up all over the garden as well. When I come across them, I try to gently move them into another area of the garden. Most of the time they are just hunting, but yesterday I came across this big wheel bug nymph having a meal. I just had to grab the camera to get a shot. I lucked into the ant being there as well. It looks like he was checking out to see what was going on. I think that it is a cucumber beetle that the assassin bug is feeding on, but I’m not sure.
Here’s another shot of the assassin bug feeding. I didn’t notice it before, but in the background there appears to be a small grasshopper peering around the edge of a leaf. I usually start seeing grasshoppers in the garden in late July. I don’t usually see many of them, but the ones I do see tend to be fairly large.
I harvested the shallots. I was surprised at how large some of them were. I thought that shallots were supposed to be pretty small, but some of these are bigger than my potato onions. I have no idea what I’ll do with shallots, but I traded some potato onions for them with a friend down in Georgia. I’ll figure out what to do with them and post what I do with them.
The sweet onions look very healthy. The leaves are all still green and not beginning to turn yellow. But I wanted to pull one to see how the bulbs are progressing. I was shocked to see how big they are growing. That’s a quarter in the foreground for scale. I really like the looks of these onions. If they taste good, I’ll try growing them again next year.
I’ve never had problems with Japanese beetles. But I think that’s because I didn’t grow anything that they liked to eat. But this year I planted grapes. They seem to really like eating grape leaves. So I have to figure out how to control them. The past couple of days I have been hand picking them. But I’ll likely make use of neem oil or insecticidal soap to battle them. I may spread some Milky Spore on the lawn to kill off the grubs, but since the yard is 2.5 acres, that would be a lot of milky spore.
I’ll end this post on a positive note. The day lilies are starting to bloom along the fence line. I was walking down to check on the grapes and came across this flower. I just had to get a picture of it. There is a lot of stuff that I wish the previous owner would have done differently, but he certainly planted some pretty flowers.