Thursday, November 10, 2011

How's It Growing?*

Well, as I feared, my dogs did quite a number on my vegetable bed.  They were certain that it was their new "sand" box, and my attempts to convince them otherwise fell on deaf ears.  I did get some plants sprouting up, but much of them stood no chance.  The only survivors were the tomato plants (except the "red beefsteak"), the peas, the beans, and the cucumbers.  So I decided to replant.

This time I went with seedlings, thinking they stood the best chance of survival.  I replaced the "beefsteak" with a "big boy" plant, and got cabbage, strawberries, rhubarb, basil, spinach, romaine lettuce, and red leaf lettuce.

The dogs still went after them, so my dh went out and put up a fence.  Now the dogs are not a problem, but most of the plants are still struggling.  The white coating is due to "salts" that we have in our soil that come up when the ground is wet.  I have a feeling that that cannot be good for the plants, but don't know what to do about it, so I'm going to The Avocado this week to see if they have any ideas.

The tomatoes are surviving for now, but they were hard hit by white flys that come from all the cotton plants that the neighboring farms have growing, and the soapy water used to treat for that.  There are even a few blossoms, but they should be doing more than this by now.

The cucumber and 2 cabbage plants have given up the ghost.  I've decided I'll try some onion there now that I can keep the dogs out.

The beans are doing okay, but I'm anxious to see some further growth on them. The flys got to them a bit too, but they seem better able to stand it.

The peas are also hanging in there, but I'd like to see more growth on them as well.

The flys have really made meals out of the basil (right) and spinach, but as both are showing new growth, I'm holding out hope for them.

The strawberries seem to be somewhat neutral.  They don't really seem to have much, if any, damage, but they also don't really have much, if any, new growth.  They are still green and apparently alive, however, so I'll just be grateful for that.  One cabbage plant is also clinging to life, and showing some new growth.  Hopefully, that will continue.

Finally, we have the rhubarb and lettuces.  The rhubarb does seem to have a bit of wilt going on, but also seems to be holding on, so I'm keeping hope alive for it.  The lettuce it thriving.  I'm not sure why they haven't been damaged by the flys, who have been making themselves at home on them, but they aren't showing any damage.  There is also a lot of new growth, and I'm looking forward to being able to harvest them.

There are a couple of "volunteer" plants sprouting up too.  I'm not sure if they are truly weeds, or if some of the seeds I planted miraculously survived both the dogs and my replanting, so I've decided to let them grow for now.  If they do end up being weeds, I can always pull them later.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions to get this whole thing healthy and thriving, I'd love to hear them.

*I apologize for the horrible pun, but I just couldn't help myself.

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