Garden serenity is getting difficult in the afternoons with the dual challenge of ever-rising temperatures and afternoon winds that seem like they’re powerful enough to give Dorothy another trip to Oz. The morning and evening calms, however, make it all worth it.
For those who are starting their gardens, we’re in that unusual lull between the end of the final winter harvests and the beginning of early summer harvests. This means you can’t plant things like lettuce or radishes or else they’ll bolt. Unless you like eating radish pods rather than their roots, it’s best to save the cool weather seeds for September.
We’re also at the time when summer crops should have been planted and are on their way to maturity. You might be able to get away with late planting things like tomatoes or summer squash due to our long growing season.
That’s my long-winded way of saying what could be planted should be in the ground, and you’ll probably be watching your plants for those first signs of edible fruits and vegetables.
I hope you’re enjoying your first garden snacks, as I’ve been enjoying the last of my winter peas and the first few sets of strawberries and zucchinis.
Heat and wind aside, the garden has provided a fantastic ice-breaker as neighbors pass by on their walks. At first they focused on all the flowers I used to attract bees, but now the giant eggplant and zucchini leaves are hard to miss, as are the rising tomato plants.
One comment topic I keep hearing from everyone in Pine Canyon is insects. This year almost seems worse than any prior, as those bugs are out in such force that many fellow gardeners tell me they can’t even get seedlings started without them being pillaged in a single night.
How much and what types of poison you want to put on your food plants is up to you. I choose less toxic methods of control, such as diatomaceous Earth, but from organic to full-poison approaches and everything in between, everyone’s shared complaint is the resilience of those pesky earwigs.
The internet is abuzz with oil traps. I haven’t found a bait that works to attract the numbers shown in YouTube videos, and have to assume, like much of the content found there, we may be watching hokum and fakery.
The only method I’ve found that truly works is nightly visits to the garden to control the pests in person. Search, locate, destroy, repeat. Sometimes for only a few minutes, sometimes for upwards of half an hour. They’re always back, the next night, but I’m ready for them.
The cool nights of an approaching summer offer their own form of serenity. The gentle breezes kick up the scents of the herbs and vegetables, and the usually clear skies offer a beautiful rural view of the starry skies.
The garden continues to offer that place of peace, that time to reflect on the calm side of things. And I don’t know about you, but it’s certainly welcome at the end of these hectic pandemic days we’re living through.