Sunday, April 17, 2011

Promises, Promises

Although I feel as though I've simply fallen down on the garden this year, several bright spots rewarded close inspection this morning:

Whirled peas, for instance. The stocky, tendril-y plants are holding each other up nicely. Soon we'll be shelling these lovelies.


In just a few weeks it will be tomato sauce time! I can hardly believe that the plants are already thinking of fruiting, but a few warm afternoons have apparently done the trick!


We hope to get at least a few good apples this year. The Anna is setting at least two dozen small fruit, although I saw some wooly aphids on damaged places on the stems. My so far successful management technique for them has been a quick shot with aerosol cooking oil spray. Smothers them and with a small tree, it's easy to get every colony of them. Doesn't damage the tree at all, either, nor is it poisonous. Win-win.


A hard pruning didn't discourage the grape vine. I'm hoping that regular watering and compost amendment will yield at least a few large clusters.


Dutiful attention to the new strawberry beds has meant stoop work as I carefully pluck off all of April's flower buds. I want the plants to push all of their energy into establishing themselves and putting out healthy root systems. Last year's strawberries, though, well, we're letting them go crazy. At least a few early berries might be worth it.


The poor espaliered apple trees are still suffering the effects of last year's blight attack. Only a few beautiful blooms with promises of fruit:


Juicy new growth on the Meyer Lemon has proved irresistible to the green aphids. Oddly, these are a very different aphid from the gray winter aphids blanketing the sickly kale out back.


Yesterday's hard water spray didn't do much to discourage them, and today was pruning day anyhow, so I cut some of the new growth off. Soapy spray seemed like the only possible response besides pruning, but a close look showed that the calvary has arrived! Fingers crossed that this is only the first of many many hungry lady beetles and their larvae.


And I hope that these are lady bug eggs. They're pinker than I expected, but maybe they're near hatching. Any amateur entomologists out there want to hazard a guess?

13 comments:

muddytoes said...

I love all of the photos -- so green. Also, its great that there's hope for whirled peas. Give peas a chance!

Daphne said...

I think they are ladybug eggs, but I'm no entomologist. So far I have no bugs, but the trees have been budding out right now. I expect the aphids to show up in the next month. Hopefully the predators not too long after.

Engineeredgarden said...

I'm 95% sure those are indeed ladybug eggs....

GrafixMuse said...

I thought ladybug eggs were yellow, but I don't know for sure. I hope someone with more knowledge can help you out with that.

Stefani, please don’t feel like you are “falling down on gardening this year.” Gardening is so forgiving. Think of each seed as a new beginning. There are so many things you can plant right now and achieve a great harvest. Besides from your photos the opposite is true. I love seeing so much green growing.

@ muddytoes said...”Give peas a chance!” LOL!!!

suzeesews.com said...

Lovely! I continue to take inspiration from you. Finally having a spring off from utter chaos (the cancelling of Westerns was a bummer, but YAAAAAY), I took the hint this weekend and set up most of the many, many pots for planting. Next weekend is the beds for vegetables. Late, but plenty of time for salad stuff and tomatoes and sunflowers. Huzzah!

Stefaneener said...

muddytoes -- Oh yes, we can wish! Although things like those aphids make me feel less peaceful.

Daphne, I guess I'll wait and see.

EG, let's hope.

Graphixmuse, thanks for your kind words. I think we all have inner standards we try to rise to. I usually have more salad greens at this point in time : )
Those eggs are going to be fun.

Suzee, I know. . . it's a weird feeling to think, "Oh no!/Whee!!" in equal measures. Lots to do.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

At least you started seeds this year....

I suck.

Stefaneener said...

Lisa, you have bees and marmalade. Maybe we both suck.

The Cast said...

Not sure on the eggs but the garden looks great!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Great tip about the cooking spray, simple and genius! I'd say the shape looks right for ladybug eggs, but you're right, the color seems a bit off.

Stefaneener said...

The Cast, welcome! Of course all I see are the bare areas. . . I'm hoping for more in a few weeks.

CVS, I know! I felt like a total garden genius when I figured it out. Maybe I should post an entire post on it. When the rain stops. . .

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kitsapFG said...

Thanks for the great tip about the cooking oil spray! I will keep that in mind as the pest season gets fully underway in our area.