After a very successful tomato harvest last year, we thought we’d give it another go this year. Unfortunately, we also got rid of our vegetable garden to build a BBQ area so we put our tomato plants into tubs this year. I also planted some pak choi (chinese cabbage) and some lettuce with the kids, so that they could watch their plants grow.
The first lettuce and pak choi seedlings succumbed to slugs when we had an unusual amount of rain. The second lot of lettuce seedlings got ‘harvested’ by the kids who wanted to pull out the weeds and the third got decimated by caterpillars! I decided to take on the caterpillars/slugs with a homemade, organic pesticide (see recipe below) and, at the moment, both plants are flourishing. The lettuce leaves are about 15cm long and I could probably start using them. We have also harvested out first tomato and a second is nearly ready for picking.
As if this wasn’t enough, my wife decided that a piece of land in her folks’ back garden would be perfect for growing veges so last weekend it was my job to prepare and plant this garden too. I spent Saturday afternoon turning over soil and digging in the compost from the compost heap. I came face to face with some of the biggest earthworms I have ever seen! Sunday morning was spent planting radishes, tomatoes, lettuce, capsicums, garlic and potatoes.
Let’s hope that all this work isn’t in vain and that the heat doesn’t destroy everything. We are still in a drought in Melbourne after all!
Recipe for organic pesticide:
Mix some chopped onion, chopped garlic and chopped (very) hot chili with hot water. Or stick the mixture through a blender. Leave it overnight, pour it through a sieve to get the bits out then put the liquid in a spray bottle and spray it on your plants.
Pamela(6 November 2009 - 17:11)
I will am going to give that recipe a go – thanks.
I have also started spraying the diluted worm tea over the plants and it seems to be helping.
One of the other things I have heard besides the egg shells is if you place one of those “goldilocks” dishscrubers (open it up) around the plant the slugs and things can’t climb over it.
My husband has just dug up my herb garden to build a braai. I am going to have to try and replant some of them next to my veggies (which are just scattered through the rest of the garden.
Good luck with your garden.
6000(6 November 2009 - 18:05)
I like the way you smashed an Afrikaans Sommer Treffers CD for good luck.
Playing it can also keep the pests away, although your lattuce tends to get LangArmed on.
6000(6 November 2009 - 18:10)
As does your lettuce.
Terri(7 November 2009 - 15:58)
Excellent work, Cuz. I’ll remember to place my orders for fresh, organic veges with you shortly 😉
u/Clive(9 November 2009 - 05:49)
Oh well I suppose all this work is better than getting beat up on the rugby field.
Del(9 November 2009 - 09:26)
@PJ: Good idea with the goldilocks. Especially with the tomatoes!
@6000: Actually, my mother-in-law’s Windows 95 CD. And we all know Windows has all sorts of problems with worms and other viruses!
@Terri: I’ll have my online organic shop up and running soon! You should be growing mangoes and pineapples!
@u/Clive: Can’t wait for the new season to start!
mau(9 November 2009 - 15:26)
The bit about the different fates your lettuce had to face really made me laugh! Especially about the kids harvesting it… My nieces did something similar in my aunts garden – they harvested al the blackcurrants while still green. “We just wanted to help” 🙂