reinforcements have arrived!

Remember the insane infestation of aphids on my eggplant that I was waging an (admittedly mild) war against? I never did get around to really doing anything about them except for spraying them off with a strong blast of water every few days, and I was sort of resigned to letting them win.  But recently I’ve been noticing a whole bunch of new and much bigger bugs all over the plant.  Just as I was moaning “what now?”, a Google search revealed that these guys are a gardener’s best friend – ladybug larva! They can eat 400 aphids a day as larva, and an adult can eat over 5000 in its lifetime! There’s a huge business in commercial ladybug sales for exactly this reason (what a concept – go and BUY bugs, and release them into your garden!) – but lucky me, I get them for free.  The aphids are much harder to find these days…maybe the dozens of flowers that keep dropping off the plant will finally start to produce some fruit.

large picture is my eggplant, and inset is a google image of a ladybug larva.

The rest of the garden is doing well.  Still harvesting giant zucchinis daily (I have a loaf of whole-wheat-blueberry-blackberry-pecan-zucchini bread in the oven as I type), and sandwiches and salads are benefitting from the greens – though I’m already making a list of what I wish I would have included for next year!  Love the romaine lettuce though – and Alia gets credit for these pretty heads since she planted them herself while I was away. (though I did scoop the awesome chair from someone’s curb on garbage day!)

There are 9 amazing watermelons growing now, and the biggest one is about the size of an orange.  It’s my favorite thing to go out and look at everyday – I don’t know if it’s a result of growing up in the northland where such exotic fruits were imported, rather than grown, but I just think it’s the coolest thing ever that I can grow watermelon in a pot on my deck.  I’ve turned the pot around now and I’m training the long vines to grow on the wires that run along the fence – hopefully they won’t get to heavy and break themselves – or the fence!

We also have what Alia has pronounced “a REAL cucumber” – especially exciting since we didn’t get a single cucumber last year.  And there are several more approaching real status – I can’t wait to harvest the first one!

I’ve also been color-coordinating the sky above the garden lately, just for that finishing touch.  I try to do this in the evening, just before dark so it doesn’t bother the neighbors too much…

Take thy plastic spade,
It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are thy colours.
~William Mason, The English Garden, 1782

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