Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Spring!!

Ah, spring in the Carolinas... well... spring in the Carolinas means 80 degrees. At least we have a month or two before the big drout.
This will be year #2 for me to plant a garden. Last year was my first attempt, and with help from my grandfather (he is an expert gardener - from Conway/Marion), it was a success. I had a few issues with bugs and lack of water, but I think I've learned my lesson. The only thing I can't ask Granddaddy about is organic gardening because he has no issue using pesticides, so, this part has been a new venture for me.

Last year, my garden had tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, zucchini, and green peppers. I also planted okra and an herb garden which consisted of mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and basil.

(tomatoes, eggplant)

I planted this a little later in the summer. Okra likes hot hot heat.

 Herbs: basil, oregano, parsley, mint

I was diligent in watering my plants and as the leaves grew and flowers bloomed, I noticed little white bugs on my cucumber plant.

Yuck. So I did some research and found out they were mealybugs. One article suggested spraying your plant leaves with a combination of dish detergent and water. I did that but I think the combination was too potent because it also ruined the leaves of my plant. That slowed fruit/veggie growth. :(

Next step was to plant African Marigolds. They have a pungent smell that bugs don't like. And they're pretty!!

That worked a little better and I just ignored the remaining bugs. I still dont have a complete answer, but I'm not going to use pesticides, what would be the point?
So this year, I'm planting some different things. I got seeds for canteloupe, watermelon, okra, jelly bean tomatoes (similar to grape), corn, and spinach. I think i'm going to go back to the store and get the strawberry plant too. It's always fun experimenting with different fruits and veggies!! I hope I get a better crop this year. My goal this weekend is to plant those little seeds.
Last night, I planted my herb garden again but because I have flowers in the bed I usually use for herbs, I decided to use a window planter. I'm not putting it in the window though, because these herbs needs a lot of sun!!

Oregano, basil, dill and cilantro

My little marigolds (pre bloom)

I just added the pic of my fern because I love it and am excited about it :)