Saturday, April 14, 2018

Spring garden in Queen Creek

Roses are going to town.  Cucumber seeds are sprouting thru the ground and the green beans are going nuts.  Squash are just starting to set fruit, and yes I did have to perform the infamous squash sex on the flowers.  You can read all about this procedure on a previous post because if you do want a good crop you will do this every once in a while in AZ.

I had an odd crop of dill sprout up over the winter, we were pretty warm for the first two thirds of the season, and of course the aphids found the umbels of the dill and went to town.  I stopped in at A&P Nurseries and picked up a tub of lady bugs to sprinkle around the area.  Now I know a lot of people have yelled at me because it seems the little ladies don't stick around for long and they just fly off but...
A few days after the sprinkling, I saw what I had hoped for when hundreds of these little prehistoric looking things started gobbling up aphids like they were Cheetos!  It really took three days of carnage for the baby ladybugs to clear a swath of dill of aphids.  Watching the dainty little bugs crawl out of the shells of the spiny monsters, once they reached maturity, that cleared my dill was a great feeling too.  I just released a horde of bad-bug eating ninjas.  If they don't eat enough of the pests they will lay the eggs that will give you baby bugs that will eat up to 10x what their parents could have.  Not a shabby experience if you think of it on a different level.  Instead of adding more chemicals to the ever more fragile ecosystem I got to help mother nature tip the scales a little more in my favor.  My vegetables will just be a little more safe for me to eat and I will sleep better knowing my little ninjas are flying around the neighborhood just waiting for those aphids to take hold.  Once I had the introduced in my old garden they always seemed to return when needed.

I had to put in my Scorpion and Ghost peppers for a friend that really likes hot pickles.

I had thought I was done with beets but was surprised how the little leftovers matured!

This is the focus of my next few months.  It will be all about cucumbers and tomatoes until the corn goes in!