Okay, the last week was a little hard for me and my garden love. All of a sudden the pests seemed to be winning the battle for the garden real estate. I had bunnies (who returned to eat the tops off my carrots and munch on tomatoes), harlequin beetles, mexican bean beetles, cucumber beetles (both striped and spotted), earwigs and stink bugs. OMG.
I almost gave up.
I’d already surrendered my zucchini to the vine borers, squash bugs and powdery mildew picking the last fruit and pulling them up two weeks before. The pumpkins were goners and I’d already given in to it (though I hadn’t had time to pull them yet). Their vines now lay dead and rotting in their bed because I haven’t had time to get them out either. I know how bad that is, it’s poisoning my soil for years to come and no pumpkins (or other squash) will survive there. My cucumbers too wilted and died from bugs and probably disease but I only managed to pull and pile them, not remove them completely.
It seemed insurmountable.
You (if you don’t know me well) might be wondering why I didn’t just DEAL with these issues. Well, I have four small children to deal with. I’m lucky if I get to pick tomatoes on any given day, picking off bugs and dealing with diseased plants isn’t usually on my list of doable chores. I’ve been really frustrated lately with the children stealing my gardening time away. It was easier being hugely pregnant because at least I didn’t need to worry about one child waking up and crying while I played outside with the others. Peanut isn’t on a regular schedule so I steal times when he’s sleeping to work outside. Having the other three outside with me hasn’t been very productive either lately. Someone seems to always be getting hurt or bothering someone else so screams of pain and frustration are often heard echoing through my yard. Not the relaxing gardening time I’ve enjoyed in the past. I often say, “Next year will be different,” when I’m frustrated with my children (the twins especially) and it will be, one can only hope that it’ll be BETTER.
Do I just let the pests win?
NO. It’s MY garden.
So I fixed the fence.
I pulled up bush beans (both old and those that hadn’t yet flowered) and the pole beans are coming out next.
I plopped about 30 beetles of varying types into a cup of soapy water (and an earwig or two).
I crushed bug eggs under my shoe.
I will remove dead and diseased plants and toss them in the trash, not the compost.
I’ll prep my soil for new plants.
I’ll plan for next years expansion.
I will take back the garden.
It is mine.
So, having said and done that I’m still hopeful that my organic gardening venture can work with four small children in tow. Next summer the girls will be almost three, Peanut will be one and Punkin will be five. It’ll be a different year and I’ll be able to do things differently and hopefully better! I’m just not quite ready to give up my dream of having enough vegetables to freeze and can and move with us into the winter. Not quite ready to admit defeat after only two years of work.
Watch out pests, Mama’s got her fighting face on!!!
(and I’ll try to post some pictures of my pests soon, I hate posting without pictures!)