Kalyn's Kitchen

Garden Update #6

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m home from Venice Beach where I had a great time visiting Rand and Bradley. If you’re not a regular reader, that’s my brother Rand and his partner Bradley who are the design/tech support team for Kalyn’s Kitchen. While I was in California, they redesigned my blog into three columns, and added some great headings in the sidebars. What a talented team those two are! I appreciate their help and support so much.

Besides updating the blog, I also got my very first laptop computer while I was in California. I feel like I’ve finally entered the technology age! Bradley helped me set up the router so I just had to plug it in at home, and now I can sit out on the porch (or more likely, in front of the TV) and read my favorite food blogs! We also visited some great L.A. restaurants and Rand created a very interesting version of Caprese salad, which I’ll be reporting on later.

If you’re coming here looking for Weekend Herb Blogging, it’s being hosted by Virginie of Absolutely Green this week from Nantes, France. She won’t be posting the recap until Monday, so you still have time to send her your entry. Send it to absolutegreen AT free DOT fr by midafternoon on Sunday, U.S. time. Be sure to link to Absolutely Green with the words Weekend Herb Blogging somewhere in the post.

Going away in the summer is always a mixed bag for me. Of course, I love traveling, but I also miss my garden and wonder what’s happening there. The previous week I’d been working on getting rid of the grassy weeds in one of my flower beds, (one of the summer projects I promsed to tackle), and the vegetable garden got neglected a little. When I went out to inspect it this morning I found some good news and a little bad news, but overall, the veggies seem to be doing well.

Last week I showed you my first lilies starting to bloom. This has now turned into an entire row of beautiful lilies across the front of my house, with a few daisies, red hot pokers, and yarrow plants peeking through in the background.

The first Brandywine tomato is very good news. This heirloom tomato is one of my favorite tomatoes for flavor, and they start to produce a lot later than the other tomatoes. This year I gave up on putting these in cages (they always tip over) and I’m just letting them sprawl on the ground.
I also found the very first tiny spagetti squash. I love to eat these when they’re still fairly small and green. I’ve been doing this for more years than I want to admit, and everyone else in my family does it too. Last year when my blog was still very new I posted about how to cook spagetti squash when it’s still green, and if you have this in your garden I recommend trying it this way.

My curry plant is starting to get some flowers. I haven’t grown this before so I’ll be interested to see what the flowers look like.

You can’t really tell from the photo, but this cucumber is nearly a foot long. Too big for great flavor, but luckily I have 5 other cucumbers big enough to pick. Looks like I’ll be making some cucumber salads this week.

I think the arugula is also big enough to start eating some. A few of the leaves are being eaten, but overall this looks pretty healthy. I’m going to try cutting it off and see if the plant will produce new leaves. Anyone know if this will work?

Now for the bad news. Something is seriously eating the leaves of the zucchini plant. Some leaves look fine, and others are completely devoured like the leaf skeleton you see here. The leaves of my green beans are also being devoured. I don’t think it’s snails this time. Any gardeners have suggestions for what to do? I prefer not using poison to kill bugs, but I won’t put up with this for long.

Even worse news, the same pest is also eating the basil. My young little basil plants are about half eaten, and the bigger ones look like this. Grrrr. This is not acceptable. If I don’t get suggestions in the comments I guess I’ll be visitng the garden center tomorrow for advice.

That’s it for the garden update today, but here are links to my other garden updates if you want to see how things are progressing.

first garden update
Garden Update #2
Garden Update #3
Garden Update #4
Garden Update #5

If you’re not really into gardening, no worries, there are other weekend happenings. Visit Eatstuff for Weekend Cat Blogging, Sweetnicks for Weekend Dog Blogging, or My Life as a Reluctant Housewife for Weekend Baby Blogging. There’s also a new every-other weekend event coming that I just learned about. Send your posts by July 10th for Weekend Breakfast Blogging at Saffron Trail.

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    16 Comments on “Garden Update #6”

  1. Oh! Overhead sprinklers,pests..
    hmm…But even if you spray some chemical,won’t it have the same problem of over head sprinklers? How often do you water them? Maybe if the Utah sun is no too hot, you should cut your watering to one in two days? And spary with soap solution or something like that?

    I hate to see that on plants 🙁

  2. Nandita, good luck with the Weekend Breakfast Blogging. I’ll be participating.

    Rachelle, you missed it but a few weeks back I tried the thing with the beer and didn’t get a single snail. And the problem with spraying with a soap solution is that I have a BIG garden and overhead sprinklers, so it’s pretty labor intensive. So far I have not seen any more damage like that. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  3. i hate chemicals too. i have been lucky with my small garden (knock on wood) but i have some BENEFICIAL insects in my garden too, like ladybugs, and spray the rest with insectisidal soap. but i’m wondering if you do the plate o beer again you might attract what that is in the garden.

  4. Those radishes make me want to bite off my screen LOL!!!

    Thanks a ton for that event mention Kalyn, I was feeling a bit shaky about hosting- but with support from friends like you-I think it will be OK!


  5. Christine, thanks. I’ll look for it. I just wonder if my sprinklers will wash it right off.

    Doodles, love the sound of cantelope, pecans and gorgonzola!! I’ll check it out.

    Erika, thanks. I’m lucky to have Rand and Bradley.

    Ruth, thanks for the welcome. It’s always good to be home.

  6. everything looks so lush!!! I’m jealous.

    Thanks for sharing and welcome home.

  7. The new look is great!

  8. Kalyn your new blog looks terrific…great job. and aren’t we special with your laptop….they are great to have. I would miss mine. Sorry about your basil….farmgirl seems to have a good solution.
    Now about that gorgonzola that I am adding to a cantalope and pecan sald….yumm!
    I’ll try to post the snap tomorrow

  9. Hi Kalyn, I was going to tell you to try some diatomaceous earth but Farm Girl beat me to it. I try to apply it early in the morning when there is still dew on the plants, that way it will stick better.
    Out here we have a small green beetle with black spots that will eat the leaves of basil and beans if not controlled. Even though they have a hard shelled body, I’ve found that diatomaceous earth works just fine on them.
    Good luck. Your garden looks wonderful. I love that you got a curry plant.

  10. Rebecca, thanks for the suggestion. The only problem is my garden has overhead sprinklers so something like that washes off after a few days, and it’s a big garden, so it would be hard to keep everything sprayed.

    Farmgirl, I am so picking some arugula today. You inspired me to grow it. I will check out gardensalive.com. Thanks for the congrats. I love the new look.

    Ilva, thanks. It is good to be home. I miss visiting my friend’s blogs when I’m traveling.

    Ed thanks. Actually one is my brother and the other is his partner. They’re lots of fun to visit and really talented too.

    Mae, sorry to hear about your basil. I was so sad when I saw mine. Grrr again.

    Steven, I am soooo excited about the laptop. I don’t think it is snails. They usually don’t eat it so completely. But who knows?

  11. Welcome home and congrats on the new laptop. I hope all that damage isn’t your little snail friends again.

  12. What a beautiful garden, Kalyn. The flowers have really grown.

    On the sad note, my basil looks just like your basil. Something has eaten it all but a few young leaves are starting to come out.

    I really like your new look – i think i’ve said it before but no harm saying it again. Rand and Bradley have really done a great job. The tomato on your header looks fantastic!

  13. Kalyn – Sounds like you had a great trip! Your brothers did a great job on your website. I love the 3 columns. And congrats on the bountiful garden (minus the pesky pests).

  14. The new look is great, so much to look at! I have to take it a little at time! I’m so happy you’re back home, I have been missing you!

  15. Wow, your garden sure has taken off! Those lilies are absolutely stunning. Love the color. Yes, your arugula definitely looks ready to eat–you can pick tender baby leaves when they are only a couple of inches long. This year my arugula harvest was all “thinning”–the patch was so thick I simply kept pulling out little plants and the others would move in and take over the space–so I’m not sure about snipping leaves and having them grow back. This definitely works for lettuce and mesclun mixes. The other thing is that arugula matures so quickly and then the leaves get strong and bolt–there might not be time for more leaves to form. But of course it would depend on your weather.

    As far as those horrible pests attacking your plants–I’m not positive what they are, but if they are any kind of softbodied creature like worms (which are notorious for devastating plants in one night) you might try sprinkling diatomaceous earth liberally over the leaves. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Also many worms are on the underside of the leaves.

    GardensAlive.com sells all kinds of natural pest control products and has tons of helpful info on their website.

    In my garden, the worms explode in population after it rains, as they love the moisture.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S. Congrats on the new look of your blog!

    P.P.S. Ooooh–interesting tip popped up while I was typing this. Must try it.

  16. I was just watching a segment on our local news this morning. Apparently making a solution of 1 cup of milk, to 10 cups of water, and spraying directly on the plants is an environmentally friendly way to get rid of pesky, leaf-eating bugs. I don’t like using herbicides either. I plan to try it and see if it really works.