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Problem Solving

June 9, 2011

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks at work and in the garden. The last day of school was today. Tomorrow is conferences, Saturday graduation, and then the students will return in two weeks for summer session. While the plants have been continuing to grow, the pest problem has too.

The most frustrating new addition to the garden are aphids. I arrived home on Tuesday ready to finish my last set of reports only to find that I needed to go out to the store to purchase ingredients for homemade pesticide. After some research, I decided to go with a garlic spray. The problem with garlic sprays is that it deters ladybugs (a predator to aphids) as well as the aphids themselves. I figured since I haven’t seen any ladybugs and there weren’t really any other fast, effective options, I would go for it. So far it seems to be working okay, but only time will tell.

After discovering the aphids as well as noticing yellowing leaves on some of the cherry tomato trees, I decided it would be a good idea to try to spread the containers out so that problems were less likely to spread. This was a bit tricky since the balcony isn’t huge, but I did my best.

However, this evening’s weather is looking quite unfriendly. The reports are calling for thunder storms with high winds and possibly large hail. In attempt to save and protect as many plants as possible I moved things around again. I brought the healthiest, most promising, and most mobile plants into the kitchen and moved the remainder of the plants close to the wall and under the table. I’m hoping the plants inside will not suffocate (it’s quite hot) and the plants outside will still have some leaves tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.

While the garden has been a lot of work from the start,with the exception of watering and harvesting, I’ve been able to keep that work to the weekends. At this point in the season though, it’s clear that won’t be possible anymore. Luckily I’ll be working half days for the summer so I’ll have more time to work on the garden.

Plant saving equipment, cherry tomato, thyme, and mint.

The plants most infected by the aphids in isolation.

Other plants spread out.

The strawberries were attempting to take over, but I have since cut the runners (after some research).

Plants squeezed in under the table.

Plants moved together for protection.

Plants in the kitchen for even more protection.

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