Monday, November 30, 2009

the attack of the caterpillars

My friend Jackie kindly pointed out the fat green caterpillars happily munching away on my broccoli and brussels sprouts plants.

You can see one of them lazing in the sun on the broccoli leaf, in the lower left hand corner of the picture.

They are sneaky! The green blends in beautifully with the leaves.

How to get rid of them? That is the question.

And thanks to facebook, I got lots of answers!

- Take them to an empty lot (where they will starve)
- Let chickens eat them
- Organic pest control
- Attract some birds
- Make fences around each plant with a plastic bottle - cut off the top in a jagged edge
- Sliced cucumbers around the plants
- Ice cube trays filled with beer placed around the plants
- Companion plants that will repel the butterflies and their eggs

Hmmm... what's your favorite?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

i'm a believer ... raised beds

Until this week, I was not a raised garden bed fan. Seemed like a lot of work and last summer I couldn't tell that much difference between raised bed and in-ground veggies. Well, now I'm convinced!

Here are two photos of broccoli I planted on the exact same day and they receive the same amount of water. These two plants are about two feet apart (note: the Storm Trooper figure is there to scale, not to scare).

This one is in the in-ground bed:
And this one is in the raised bed:
Oh yeah. Thanks to my best friend Denise, we have lots of wood (from her demolished wood fence, she gave it to us for FREE) to create more raised beds in front.

Next summer we'll be swimming in large veggies.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

beginnings of our rose arbor

Scott, the Burning Man Welder, put together this rose arbor for us.

Ryan found the long top metal piece somewhere, had a vision of roses tumbling over it, and brought it home.

Scott welded on leg pieces and some top supports.

Once the roses are trimmed and guided onto the arbor, it'll be a nice entry point into the backyard from the side yard.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

securing the fort

Ryan found a metal gate somewhere.

Then he found Scott the Welder (part of the Burning Man crew that was in our yard in August - that's Scott in action in the photo).

Then we ended up with a gate in front of the driveway. Score!

Our next move in the gate department is getting some kind of solar-operated automatic opener so I don't have to get in and out of the car to open/close it (lazy of me, right?).