Monday, July 16, 2007

More from the garden

This is terrible of me - I have two sewing projects still to show off, and I've started on a Babette blankie, but I'm showing off the garden instead (why? Because I can still get decent light outside, and I think it's interesting).

The first thing I planted after we moved was a lavender. I wanted to test my green thumbs, and figured that if some fool put our washing line over a garden bed, at least I'd scent my sheets with something. It's just put on its first show of blooms. I'm not sure how the lavender gets from this (click to see the individual little pale blue blue flowers):

to those sort of long, scented pod-things that are dried lavender.

It's surprised and embarassed me to realise how little I know about the process of growing, actually. I know what a fully-fledged broccoli looks like, but I really had trouble imagining how it would grow - would it be shrouded in leaves until it burst into, ah, ripeness? Turns out no - you get a weeny little pale broccoli and (hopefully) it gets bigger.
See that yellowy-green bump right in the middle of all the leaves? Yes. That's a bubba broccoli.

I've been on caterpillar duty these last few days. My big broccolis haven't had any cabbage moth caterpillars, but the littler ones further down the bed have. The only organic way to get rid of the 'pillars is to hand-pick and hand-squash (and the vegetarians say they don't kill things to get their meal!) Needless to say, the task is incredibly distasteful. I use a paper towel as a barrier between me and bright green caterpillar guts. I read that leaving the dead caterpillars on the leaves discourages moths from laying their eggs, but I don't think it worked. And it was kind of extra-gruesome, trying to wipe these mangled bodies onto the leaves. So now I just bury them. I'd leave them for the birds, but I've also been spraying with petroleum oil (organic gardeners can use that) for aphidy-things, and I worry that while the caterpillars are immune to the oil, the birdy eating them would not be.

1 comment:

KnitXcorE said...

you're doing the babette blankie? it's incredibly cute!

I've been throwing coffee grounds arond all my vegiies to keep the caterpillars away.... hope my parsley doesn't taste like french roast :-)