365 Days in the Garden – Bugs, water restrictions and foraging horses

garden update

So while I was having the time of my life over the Christmas holidays, galavanting all around the country with my family, a herd of horses was having the time of their lives on the farm on Christmas morning, galavanting through my vegetable garden.

This is of course not the first time that something like this happened – you might remember that I started this 365-day journey because a herd of cows had a picnic at my expense. In their defense, the gate to their enclosure was left open and thankfully they are much more light-footed than their heavyset bovine friends so there wasn’t much structural damage to the pathways and beds.

garden update

None the less, there was nothing left aside from a possessed patty pan with wild rocket growing in its shade, a rather aggressive tiger marrow and one lost onion. Turns out horses don’t really care for squash. The eating of it, not the doing of it.

I have discovered that the new addition to our mini-orchard, the white pear, has something ominous happening on its leaves. According to my trusty gardening bible, this is pear scab and can be treated by removing the infected leaves and seeing if it’s contained, and spraying with a mixture of 5:1 water to milk and a dash of dish soap. If not, then I’ll have resort to some sort of anti-fungal spray.

The corn – the literally one cob that was not eaten – was also a spectacular failure. I can only imagine how disappointed the horses must have been with them!! I am fairly certain that this is due to the soil not being nutrient-deficient – I didn’t actually plant this corn, it is a left-over of a previous year’s crop and the soil has been depleted. Time to plant some legumes there instead to increase the nitrogen in the soil for next season!

garden update

The patty pan has sprung from a single seed but seems to be thriving madly in spite of all the odds against it. We have cut it down twice already and still it seems to know now bounds. The beautiful tiger marrow seems to have the same idea but it’s going up in the air with excited curling leaves and stems, like a little girl’s top and center ponytail. And from underneath all these curling and twisting stems, popped a bunch of zinnias – so beautiful! I arranged them in a pot with some hydrangea and am totally in love with it.

garden update

So aside from the crazy squashes, my veggies are looking pretty grim, and our incredible water shortages are not helping much. But I started from scratch again, fixing up the broken raised beds, planting new seeds in them and in the seedling trays and mulching to keep things cool.

garden update

On the upside, the apple tree and pomegranate have started bearing fruit that is as yet untouched by bugs. And the beautiful squash flowers play host to an army of ants – at this stage, I have no idea whether that is good or bad.

I also have loads of peaches – all stung – and loads of guavas – all stung. And I discovered last night that the same bug to the tiger marrows as well. Too bad, cause they’re really pretty! I am going to try Efekto’s Oleum to see if I can get rid of the bugs at least. I don’t think they make a product for keeping horses at bay!

So all in all, this is NOT A GREAT START. But, I shall prevail! While I still don’t want to use chemical pesticides in the garden, I am going to have to do something.

garden update

The rest of the garden is looking absolutely lovely and I so enjoy my morning cup of coffee under the giant oak trees before the heat of the day starts to build. From there, I am planning my comeback… and how to keep livestock out of my garden.

Happy gardening!

This post is sponsored by Efekto.

Comments · 2

  1. Sorry about the horses! We have found planting Pennyroyal on the paths in the veggie garden a great help – it escapes into the beds as a water-conserving living mulch and it deters bugs and snails. In fact since we planted it we have not had any snails in the veggie garden!

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