Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The rain keeps coming, and pests thrive.

Since last post has been remarkably light on sun, so we have been less productive than we'd like to have been. I don't have trellises done for squash, really, nothing much has been done other than picking the 5ish cups of strawberries from our yard on Saturday. Mind you, it is at least a sweet, rewarding sort of thing to have gotten done. It certainly isn't the burst of Saturday activity we usually manage.

But sometimes the weather just dictates what you can and can not do. It also didn't hurt for me to have a little bit of a break on Saturday because I was getting a hair worn out. As for the garden, it is actually mostly doing well. The potato plants especially are just shooting up. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of photos today due to the constant rain limiting camera use, and making for meh photos due to the darkness.

There is one very notable thing about the garden though. Right is our poor spaghetti squash plant. It would be much happier if it had something to grow up, and it will as soon as we have a dry day that I'm not working the entirety of. If you look though you'll see holes in the leaves, lots and lots of holes in the leaves. We have another pest going at our plants. This one is more common, and more difficult to deal with barring mass application of pesticide. Given that we won't do mass pesticide, it's just a problem.

Bottom Right is the only ok photo we were able to get of our delightful little pest, the striped cucumber beetle. We promptly after finding the little bastards went looking for organic control measures. We found this very good set of recommendations, though unfortunately we won't be able to implement many of them this year. The most important of them are planting "trap crops" which is a term we weren't familiar with before. It is just what it sounds like, plant something preferential for the pests first and delay planting of your main crop by a week or two. When the infestation spreads to the trap crop, surround the area with appropriate control measures, and focus control efforts on the trap crop, and keeping them from escaping. In the case of these beetles, yellow sticky traps is the way to do that. We're going to try using some of those between our plants, but mostly what it seems we will have to do is just pick the little bastards off by hand one by one, or two at a time if we can find a mating pair.
I have exactly zero photos of Twilight's litter at the moment because in the woods it is too dark for them to show up in photos. It also doesn't get enough sun to properly bake their manure, so we're going to have to be more on top of the manure in the woods than we have to be around the house.  The trade off is worth it for cooler happier rabbits though. The activity level of the rabbits in the woods is much higher than the rabbits out of the woods, and what that really means is, the babies are eating more. When they eat more they obviously grow faster. I don't have weight charts to reflect that due to the missing scale, but when looking at one then the other the difference is significant.

That said, Comet and Dawn's litters are doing well. They are growing quickly, and other than the occasional heat related ear flop they are handling the weather better than I am. They are mostly friendly, but some of them got their mom's nervousness rather than their dad's gregariousness.  We work on it when we can, but unfortunately work has been a bit crazy lately which reduces our rabbit handling time. Even with losing some rabbit handling time, they're still happy to come up for treats and some petting.

The babies are starting to hit the age and size that we will be moving them out soon, which means I REALLY need to finish up that 3x6 right away. Again, I just need a dry day. That's starting to sound like a refrain isn't it. Either way, it's true. I need a dry day to do a lot of things, and hopefully it's a day I'm not at work.
Last but not least, we've been experimenting with various things out of our garden. Unfortunately we're terrible about "Oooh, dinner's done, eat it!!!" and don't get photos before we dig in. We will try to work up some recipes with what we've been eating, just simple easy things but it's nice to eat them from our own garden.

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