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?
April 18, 2014 - Meet The Great-Grands
4 hours ago