i have started a new approach to planting in our garden: since the bugs keep eating our plants, even the fairly established ones, i am just planting lots of seeds. previously, i would plant one per sprouting-pot or one per container, but now i am just dropping seeds all over the garden (and in some specified little pots so i can remember what’s what!). for example, we had three thriving collard plants and then they got eaten quite suddenly, now we have only one sickly plant and that sucks. so i planted about 30 collard seeds over the past few days, and hopefully with 30 plants we can still eat our greens when some of the plants get eaten by bugs.
since some of the sprouts have gotten tall enough to transplant, i put them in bigger pots to let them grow individually. here is some progress with the plants. the photos in the first row are about a week or so old, and the last rows were just taken today, with most of the greens only about three weeks or so old.
most importantly, i have finally started using some bug repellents (organic stuffs of course)- because being gentle and talking with the bugs does not work. nor does wishful thinking. while i generally don’t want to kill things… these nasty little creatures eat all my food dammit and it makes me mad! kales, beans, herbs, lilikoi: nothing is safe from the slimy creatures. while salt and dr. bronners soaps kill them instantly, it is not preventative. i learned recently that crushed red pepper works like a ‘ring of fire’ around the plants, but since there has been so much rain the pepper has gotten moldy and is attracting fruit flies. i also tried neem oil, which worked amazingly on the aphids infesting the kalo plants and seems to have gotten rid of some of the cabbage moth worms and cutworms. it does not however, deter slugs from munching the plants. after expressing my dismay with my efforts so far, my friend recommended sluggo, which is a bait to kill slugs and snails, and…. amazing! no missing leaves, no new slug trails, nothing hurting! it’s like a whole new era in backyard farming!
now it is possible to try lettuces, more and more greens, and in lots more locations around the yard. good stuff