Monday, July 19, 2010

Earthbox Update - Week Thirteen: Win Some and Lose Some

Part One: The Ten Plagues Continue

So I was hoping that after the Attack of the Aphids and the crazy monsoon, my garden might be spared further trials and tribulations. Oh contraire, mon ami, oh contraire.

Next came the cucumber beetle invasion, an infestation of nasty little flying creatures that...wait for it...come in and eat your poor plants alive. This was the last straw. I finally resorted to buying an organic pesticide (I got Rose Rx on the advice of my gardening guru, the ever-wise Aunt Joan at Primex). Let's can I describe the scent of this stuff? Hmmm. Conjure up, if you will, the smell of rotting eggs, sulfur, the city dump, and a really nasty fart. Now multiply that by 22,000 and that's about what this stuff smells like.

Happily, it got rid of the cucumber beetles. It also nearly got rid of me. ;)

If I thought we were home-free, I was wrong. Sadly, we were still to be tested. Next came the Plague of the Powdery Mildew, which is contagious and spreads by water (either rain or from your watering can). It kills the leaves of your plant, after it makes them look really, really ugly.

Supposedly, Rose Rx will take care of this stuff too. (Is there no limit to what Rose Rx can do?! Up next: Rose Rx takes on world hunger?)

We'll see...

Part Two: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

...But first the bad and the ugly

After treating the plants, I gave them a few days to settle. Then I compulsively surveyed the carnage, pacing up and down, wringing my hands, and wailing, "Whyyy? Whhhhyyyyyy?!" (I assume I was was asking in equal measure, why this was happening, as well as why I'd ever taken on this un-fun, monstrous project in the first damn place.)

As a special exercise in self-punishment, I decided to photograph the death and destruction and post it. Well, as an exercise in self-punishment and also an exercise in honesty. I can't just share the good times here, right?

So here we go...dead tomato, victim of monsoon. Dead/dying leaves, victim of aphids, cucumber beetles, and powdery mildew. Dead/dying baby zucs...cause unknown. Pests, plagues, and more misery...oh joy. Maybe I should throw in the towel and call it a summer.

But wait!
Can in be that some are actually doing well? Why yes, it seems it is! Golden Summer Bell Pepper and Carmen Sweet Horn-Shaped Pepper are actually producing healthy fruit!

what's this? My first baby tomato!

Note to self:
peppers and tomatoes are hardier crops and immune, apparently, to aphids, cucumber beetles, and powdery mildew (though not monsoons).

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