Since our return from Florida this spring our RV has been parked outside our house. By the looks of things, and I mean the Corona Virus situation, it will probably be stationary there for quite some time before we think of traveling anywhere. So we have been homebound enjoying doing little projects around the house and garden.
Last year I had a lot more flowers planted but decided this year to try and grow a few vegetables like zucchini, peppers and tomatoes in addition to my usual herbs and radishes. It sounds easy but I have discovered that there are a whole lot of facts and knowledge to be learned in the process.
From an entire package of zucchini seeds only three seedlings made it into plants and it looks like only two of them are producing fruit. Every morning I inspect all the plants and while I was looking them over a red bug flew into the plant looking for a spot to land. I waved it off although it was pretty to look at. I had no idea what it was. Curiosity got me checking at Google to find out what kind of bug I had seen. Well, shockingly I discovered it was a “Squash Vine Borer”. Actually it was a moth called the Clearwing Moth that lays a cluster of eggs on leaf stems or at the bottom of the main stem of the plant. A week after the eggs are placed, they hatch and these larvae are called the “Squash Vine Borer”, quickly bore into the stem of their host plant. The larvae will feed inside the tender plant tissues and will block water that flows along the stem, causing the plant to wilt and die. However, that is not the end of it. This little bugger will then exit the stem and burrow deep into the soil to pupate until next year to start this destructive undertaking all over again.
|I took this picture off the Internet as I didn't have my camera on hand when I saw the insect|
Upon that information, armed with several Band Aid strips, I hurried back out to inspect the plants to see if in my absence this creature had done any harm to my zucchini plants. Just in case I wrapped Band Aid strips around the stems as it was suggested on the Internet.
Of course there are so many more destructive bugs out there and secrets no one will tell you of how to and how often to water, what fertilizers to use, how to prune and on and on that will bring success and satisfaction to growing your own veggies.
A few weeks ago Benno replaced a couple of his saws (emergency buys, while fixing up the house eight years ago) with newer models that have a few more functions, like soft start etc. than his old ones. I thought he should try them out right away and pointed out that we had some cedar planks laying around and they would be perfect to fabricate a little birdhouse. This he did, he built me a gorgeous birdhouse, he used stainless steel screws from our boating days so I can open it up and clean it when the occupants abandon it after the mating season. I really like it a lot and hope he will make another one perhaps with multiple units (bird condo, Haha!). By the way it was occupied within a couple of days and all our birdhouses are constantly in use even now during the summer.
|The new birdhouse is the middle one|
Our local Internet provider, Wave Direct, had contacted us and asked if they could mount a repeater unit on our antenna mast, which sits on a tripod on top of our house. It seems we are the tallest point and free of obstruction in the area and the density of the trees in the area gave many people problems with their wifi reception which should now be somewhat improved.
|This picture was taken with Benno's drone|
Here in Ontario Canadian residents will not have to purchase a license to fish for a couple of weeks at the beginning of July and fishing is free for all. Several of our neighbors have yearly licenses and go out fishing every week or more. David, our next-door neighbor was out this morning for only three hours with his little boat and caught 18 Walleyes and a trout during that time. Sometimes we are gifted some fish and today he handed over a bag of freshly caught fish that he had already fileted for us. Thank you David Weil and we will eat it tonight. Coincidently, our grandkids were out fishing too but their catch was not as plentiful. I could save some fish and serve it when they come to visit. Here is the e-mail I got from my daughter-in-law:
We took the kids out to a little spot by the water, as they all wanted to test out their new fishing gear. It was futile to try to explain that noontime, in full sun; during a heat alert was not prime fishing weather. Hans’ fishing rod came from Dollarama, but Daddy modified it by adding real fishing line and hook…the plastic rod and reel actually held up quite nicely.
After three hours in the blazing sun, Heidi ran some distance over to us, proudly holding out her fishing rod and excitedly exclaiming, “I caught a fish!” She then went on to say, “I dropped the rod, but luckily Annaliese saved the day and grabbed it, and she only fell in the water partly.”
(Annaliese is alright…and so is Hans…you must already know the 5-year-old boy fell in too).
Also, while out there we saw Heidi’s Stand Up Paddle Board instructor from last summer. She remembered Heidi and mentioned that Heidi’s picture is one of the pics on her website…Heidi had just turned 10 last summer…the youth program starts at 12!
Hope you are all enjoying this great summer weather we are having and thank you for dropping in again.
Birdhouse Condos are great for attracting Martens who love to eat insects but especially Mosquitoes.ReplyDelete
I recall my father constantly working on his garden keeping all kinds of insects away from the plants. Planting in Flowerbeds rather then Pots will give you a better Garden when it comes to vegetables.
Be Safe and Enjoy!
It's about time.
Thanks, Rick. I know, but I did not have a suitable flowerbed to plant veggies into this year and so I tried the pots. Lots of Martens are sitting on the Hydro wires at the end of our property. You do not want to park your car underneath though ;-)Delete
Grr I just lost a very long comment. Most annoyed. Let me try again.ReplyDelete
Love love all those bird houses. Would be nice to see some close ups.
I also have grown zucchini for the first time this year. Fortunately both the seeds I planted grew into very large plants. However we have had only the one zucchini as the others are dying from blossom rot caused by either too much rain which we have had or by not enough calcium in the soil. Long story short I ground up one Tum and four egg shells and placed that in the soil along the roots. Apparently the plants take all the calcium from the soil as they grow. What I have read about watering is to water about an inch once per week. No idea how to judge that but I will now only water twice per week.
Your peppers look amazing, no one here has any yet, too much rain and no sun nor heat. I am envious of your tomatoes. We had more than we could eat the past two years but none this summer. Just not tiny yellow flowers so I think I am going to add some organic bloom fertilizer to get them started. Again all likely due to the unusual weather we are not enjoying. I think that you are doing great with your veggies except for that horrid borer moth bug.
That fish looks wonderful. I wold be interested in how you will or have by now prepared it. Enjoy watching your garden and flowers grow.
I didn't know about the calcium and will work on that too. There is so much to learn and trial and error, I guess. I will post some close ups about the birdhouses. Tried yesterday to capture the inhabitants as they are peeking out of the hole or flying out, but was not fast enough with the camera.Delete
Lots of stuff going on at your house, keeping you busy. The garden stuff can be frustrating when you put so much into it and then bugs make short work of destroying them. You can sure tell you're further south than us, your tomatoes and peppers look awesome!! Mine are coming but about 2 weeks behind. Bill's pumpkin looks pathetic, we need some steady rain to perk things up. Doesn't everybody (except TO).ReplyDelete
Love the bird house. Yummy fish for supper, looks great too!
The climate and weather conditions sure make a difference in the outcome of growing veggies. Its new to me but fun. Birdhouses are a joy for me as I am watching the birds raising their chicks. Freshly caught fish is always the best and we are grateful for the neighbours when they share some with us.Delete