September 16, 2018
I was surprised to find so many cabbage moth caterpillars on the cauliflower in the greenhouse again. It's only been a few days since I killed the last batch. I decided to look on the bottom of the leaves for their eggs, and found lots of little quarter inch caterpillars. Apparently they stay on the bottom of the leaves until they get larger. Didn't find any eggs though, which may be the result of my old eyes, and the size of the tiny specks. Found some white flies though. I'll need to be more vigilant in there. Got to pick fall spinach by the handful..
A 7' row yielded a gallon size zip lock bag stuffed so full it looked like a balloon. I shouldn't recommend planting the seeds as close together as I do because it's probably wasteful, but it's so much fun that I'll keep doing it. I sprinkle them in the furrow like you would radishes and don't thin them. I get a hedge of spinach that is so dense you can grab five leaves at a time. That's my kinda picking. I use Bloomsdale Long Standing because it seems tolerant of overcrowding..
September 17, 2018
With the beginning of cooler weather the aphids start to appear. All of my crucifers are attracting them, and just washing or brushing them off is not always successful. I've already lost a plant that I tried that on, so I've started carrying my soapy water spray bottle with me. Aphid can carry disease that they spread to the plant, and it's more lethal than their nearly sucking the juice out of the leaves. To a trained eye the garden is not nearly as peaceful as it appears. Everything is eating, or being eaten by something else..
It's a jungle of life and death with everything competing for nutrients, sunlight, water and space. There is a battleground under the surface where each layer of soil harbors specific microbes that function most effectively at that depth. They go about their lives in total darkness. I wonder if it's loud with all the violence and gnashing of teeth going on? Do microbes scream when they get impaled?..
September 18, 2018
I forgot to water my Kohlrabi yesterday and they all fell over. What a bunch of sissies. They were all standing back up in the afternoon though. I was amazed at their quick and uniform recovery. It made me rethink the top soil on my hills. It's too porous for shallow rooted sprouts to go a single day without water. A denser soil with more clay particles can wick up water from below more effectively than loose friable soil..
This isn't the first time the garden has taught me to pay attention to the different areas of plantings. I have many different zones of variable porosity that need to be treated with forethought. Shade issues also develop over the summer that become more evident in the fall. I have stunted cauliflower on the north side of a four foot tall tomato plant. All the broccoli plants are leaning to the South because the ten foot tall grape vines to the north of them block the sky. I would think direct sunlight would provide all the light they would need, but apparently the sky is a significant contributor..