I don't know about you, but our gardening season has been rough around here so far this year! The winter weather hung on in Northern Nevada for a long time. This caused the planting of the garden to be completed later than planned. Once we planted, we got another frost or two and lost a few things. Since then, we have replaced some of them.
These are the items planted for 2019:
7 varieties of tomatoes
A variety of lettuces, kale, and chard
We also have a variety of herbs. Some of them are new, and others were planted in years past. The herbs we have are rosemary, oregano, chives, thyme, sage, cilantro, and Italian parsley.
Our fruit trees were planted years ago, and I am unsure if they are all going to have fruit this year. Some look like they won't due to the late freeze. We have apple, peach, apricot, pear, and plum trees on our property and we are keeping our fingers crossed there is a bounty of fruit ahead.
The plants in the garden have had slow growth since we planted. The chilly mornings and moderate temperatures have not allowed the plants to thrive. However, I believe this week, the temperature is going to rise, and we will soon be seeing the plants take off.
I have tried several different fertilizers on my plants. So far, I have not found one that I love. I use only organic varieties. The newest one I found is one that you mix with water before adding to the plants. I prefer this type. It has a foul smell and is a bit messy. I'll keep you posted on the fertilizer and share the name with you if I see some great results out of it.
Now, let's talk about the little critters that wreak havoc in my garden. Since we live on over seven acres, the number of troublesome animals and insects seem to be never-ending. The ground squirrels and rabbits have been a handful the last few years. We have resorted to keeping our lettuces and other greens covered. Some insect is eating my kale this year and leaving many leaves with holes in them. Last year we had a horrible take over of our spaghetti squash. I believe they were squash bugs. They killed the large plants with many squashes on them in a matter of days. I read that the only way to get rid of those types of bugs is to place pieces of cardboard around the area overnight. During the night, the bugs will hide under the cardboard. In the morning, you are supposed to turn the cardboard over and pick off all the bugs. There is no way I am going to do this. I do not like bugs, and I am certainly not going to pick a bunch of them up. Yuck! If anyone has any better ideas on how to get rid of squash bugs, do let me know.
We also have a bug called a Boxelder that is eating some of my plants in the front of the house. I read that I can spray them with dish soap and water to get rid of them. I'm heading out there this afternoon to try that.
Gardening is hard! If it is not one issue, it is another. I can't imagine being a full-time farmer. How stressful that must be to have so many uncontrollable variables in your livelihood. My respect goes out to every farmer for their hard work and determination. I feel thankful every day that they provide us beautiful, organic foods. If we depended on my garden for all of our food, I don't think we would survive too long. Hahaha
I would love to hear any tips you have on gardening or any issues you are having that you would like some information on. If you have any good ideas on getting rid of bugs without using pesticides, I would like to hear about it.
I wish you success during this gardening season. I'll continue to keep you posted on the progress at the Just Salt It homestead!