It’s been a while…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Weeks, I think.

Life has taken me for a bit of a ride lately which I won’t go into detail about, but I hung on, kept my arms inside the car at all times and managed to make it through.  There’s a break in the action, so I figured it was a perfect opportunity to post.

We’ve had the absolute craziest weather in Minnesota the past couple of weeks.  We’ve had hot, we’ve had torrential downpours, we’ve had tropical rainforest humidity. Hopefully everyone’s garden is flourishing.  My garden is great!  And no so great…

Where to start?  The kale has been beautiful. It’s loved the weather and I’ve loved it back by eating everything that’s grown thus far.  The cabbage is starting to form heads.  I only planted red cabbage this year (my favorite) and aside from a couple of bugs doing a tiny bit of dining they are coming along nicely, as are the tomatoes and peppers. The asparagus is outgrowing its space, but is absolutely beautiful, its soft feathery stalks add grace to the garden. Cucumbers, squash and melons haven’t produced much fruit yet, but I planted them late, so their blossoms should drop and fruit should form any day now.  What else?  broccoli.  Ahhh broccoli. Big, tall, handsome broccoli has, well, nothing… yet.  It might be another year of “not so much” in that category.  The raspberries, on the other hand, were loaded.  They loved all the early rain, plumped up well, then we got more rain and intense heat and many turned to mush right on the canes.  Bummer, HUGE bummer!  The fruit that originally formed on the kiwi is gone.  Not sure if conditions were wrong and they dropped off or if critters just stole them.   Pear trees bloomed beautifully, but only produced about 20 pears (compared to over 100 that the squirrels dined on last year).  They’re still growing so I’m hopeful, but not confident, that we’ll get one of them this year.  Apples… nothing.  My neighbors have had great success with theirs this year, ours have had great success with bugs.  Not sure what yet, because I haven’t really had the time to investigate, but something got to them before they could even produce fruit.  Onto the grapes.  The grapes are flourishing.  They’ve grown at least 15 – 20 feet long this year and are loaded with fruit.  Until a week or so ago they were lush and beautiful.  That was until the onslaught of Japanese Beetles arrived and turned most of the leaves into lace.  I have many names for the Japanese Beetles, but I won’t write them here.  Thankfully they like the foliage more than the fruit, so other than pooping on my grapes (and raspberries), they didn’t harm them.  And nasty as that is… it washes off.

So what did I do about the beetles besides swear at them?  I blasted them with the hose.  Unfortunately that only got them excited, made them flurry around even more and land right back on the leaves.  Prior to this year I’ve never really had much of a problem with Japanese Beetles.  I interplanted curly parsley with my roses, which did a pretty good job of keeping them away.  I could also pick them off the other plants they were bothering.  Until now, I haven’t even felt the need to make insecticidal soap (a nice little concoction of soap, water, garlic, cayenne pepper, etc.).  Although I thought about it, I didn’t spray them, mostly because the plants they were attacking have fruit so it would make picking stuff right off the vine soapy, spicy and well, garlicy.  Yes, it would wash off, but there’s something about picking fruits and veggies right off the vine and eating them immediately that I just love.  Besides, there were so many beetles I would have needed to call in the armed forces to come in and blast them away, so I left them.  I left the nasty, metallic backed, over sexed little beetles to eat my leaves.  And now…. they’re gone.  The plants look awful, but are all recovering. The scary part is, they are now laying eggs in the soil, breeding the next batch of beetles, which will eat the roots and shoots of grass, the garden and anything else that appeals to them.

Basil!  I got so distracted by the beetles I almost forgot to mention the basil!  It’s gorgeous and full and needing pinching practically every day to keep it from going to seed.  I love basil!  And tonight, on my break in the action night, I’m going to make bruschetta.  I have a couple of tomatoes from the farm stand (because other than cherry tomatoes, mine aren’t quite ready) I have basil and need to run and get some garlic.  Friday Farmer’s Market is open for a couple more hours so I’m going to swing by and see if they have garlic (because I didn’t plant any of my own) and grab a baguette.  Then I’ll come home, whip up a little bruschetta, kick back with a book and a glass of wine and enjoy.  I can taste it now.

Ahhhh…. summer, it doesn’t get any better than this.


p.s. – Did I mention I have bunnies?  Uh, huh.  Two for sure… INSIDE the fence around my garden.  I know I’ve talked about living in harmony with nature, but by harmony, I wasn’t thinking I would give them a home inside the garden.  While enjoying my bruschetta and wine tonight I’ll also be trying to figure out a way to encourage them to leave my garden.

2 Comments to “It’s been a while…”

  1. Good article. And if you could read your FB and tell me what to do about my moles and grubs so I actually HAVE a garden for next year ;( I would certainly appreciate it!!


  2. M-M-M-M-M-M- bruschetta


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