Garden Skills, Year Two

I have been working on keeping these beautiful plants alive and bug free this week. It’s been a struggle with the 100+ degree weather and trying not to use chemicals (aka organic). I am definitely excited about the first rose on my first rose bush.


I have learned to water early in the morning (which has become the husbands job because I struggle to rise early). Red clay is not ideal, even with the added garden soil, so this week I’ve added a solution of Epsom salt (1/2 cup Epsom salt to 1 gallon water) to my flowering plants and vegetables. My squash plants have a bout of blossom end rot, so the Epsom salt should help with that as well. In the fall, we will prepare the soil much differently!

Squash bugs are a HUGE problem, again. I have mini tins filled with beer that are attracting (and killing) other bugs but the squash bugs aren’t attracted to it. I found a recipe for DIY insecticidal soap to try out on the squash bugs when they run away too fast to be caught and squashed or drowned. I’m normally a non-violent person but when I find squash bugs you can hear me yelling “die!” as I squash or drown them. (Pun is totally intended because they are killing my squash and tomatoes, they are called squash bugs, therefore, it’s only fitting they get squashed!) For my insecticidal soap I used Dr. Bonner’s pure Castile soap, purified water, and garlic powder. I’m also having problems with “something” eating my bean plants and I hope it will work to keep the Japanese beetles away from my rose bush.

Gardening is a lot of dedicated, hard work. Especially doing it organically. I hope to reap the rewards this year by getting more than one zucchini and yellow squash per plant and having more than enough tomatoes to share with neighbors and friends.

Here’s to dead bugs and a big harvest!

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