Sunday, June 14, 2009

It has been raining all morning

We are expecting about an inch or so today, this is on top of all the rain we received last week. It is supposed to taper to just showers later this afternoon. We will see. The garden loves it, though. I am amazed at the growth this week with all the rain and the warmer temperatures.

It seemed like a perfect day to make a big batch of tomato sauce. Both K and I have an Italian background and tomato sauce is a staple in our house. I like to make a big batch and freeze portions for later use. Earlier this morning as I opened the cans of tomatoes, diced up the store bought onions and garlic, and added dried herbs, I couldn’t help thinking that the next time I make a batch of sauce, it will be from fresh ingredients. At least this time I can add some fresh oregano and chives from the garden. I’m letting the sauce simmer all day and will add these fresh herbs at the end of cooking so the flavors are not diminished.

I took some pics of the wet garden when I went to snip the herbs for the sauce. I didn’t get the grass paths covered like I planned. I was able to weed whack the grass close to the ground, but I didn’t have enough material to do what I wanted. It seemed like a lot of cardboard boxes in our recycle area in the basement, but once we got it outside and spread it out, it wasn’t enough to cover the entire area. Now I am even questioning if I have enough bark mulch to fill the paths. I may have to raid the recycle bin at work this week.

I noticed the tomatoes are not only growing in height, but the stems are about double the thickness they were when I transplanted them. I was a bit worried at the time as they were very leggy and seemed so frail. I could only trench and bury the stems so deep in the SFGs and SWCs. I am pleased with their development so far.

Here are the Super Sarno Marzano tomatoes in the SWC:

Here are the Window Box Roma tomatoes in the SWC:

Here is the first open blossom on one of the Fast Break Melons. The others have blossoms forming too.

Bush beans are growing fast, the Royal Burgundy are still well ahead of the others. I am not sure if they will eventually catch up, or if my yield will be staggered. Either way, I plan on canning up a LOT of beans this year. I only have a small pressure cooker, so small batches are preferred anyway.

I think some of my cilantro is already bolting. I guess I didn’t realize how quickly cilantro matures. I snipped some for our Mexican night dinner last night. Boy it was good. I have more seeds, so I’ll plant some more.

Here are a few pics from yesterday:

Here are some bugs that I found in the gardens over the weekend:

I am usually able to enjoy the blooms on my Rugosa Rose Bush for about a week before these guys arrive and chew the blossoms to pieces. Several weeks later they are joined by Japanese Beetles. Both will move on the foliage of the beans and the grapes later in the season:

This guy was walking around my water bucket. Kind of looks like a stinkbug. I flung him into the woods. He'll probably come back and eat stuff in my garden.

This is a Red Lily Leaf Beetle; these guys can absolutely destroy my Stargazer Lilly if I am not rigorous in hand picking them off.

I think this is a lady beetle, but the spots and coloring looks quite different from the ones I normally see. I decided to leave this one where I found it on my pepper plant. (I also just noticed the buds on the pepper plant as I was editing this picture!)

I am really bad at identifying bugs. I tried searching the internet for matches to my pictures, but didn't have much I got myself all creeped out. I try not to get too worked up about the insects in the garden, unless I can see they are causing harm to my plants. However, knowledge is key and I would like to know more about them and what type of damage they can do.

That's it for now. The tomato sauce smells really good. I am going to make lasagna tonight and use some parsley from the garden.


  1. Oh god....I hate jap beetles! Your garden is coming along nicely.....

  2. One of my gardening friends shared this Bug Guide. I posted it on my blog cause it's such a great reference.

    Maybe it'll help you!

  3. Do you think it's a bean leaf beetle?

    I'm like you, I'm not good with bug ID. I usually leave them or fling them to the lawn unless I know what they are and that they're doing harm.

    I'm going to save Toni's link, that may be a useful one.

  4. I found your lady bug. It's a Propylea.

  5. I should have mentioned it's a Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, and it's one of the good guys. It feeds on aphid.

  6. Thanks EG, I hate Japanese Beetles too and I just know they are coming soon.

    Toni, yes this is a great link! Thanks for sharing.

    Amy, no, the spots were quite different from a bean leaf beetle. This is a great link too, thanks!

    Granny! That's it! Propylea and it IS a type of Lady Beetle. This site shows some wonderful pictures of it. I have never seen one like this. So glad I left it alone to do its work :)

    Thank you all for your comments and links. I am going to have a great library of websites to research bugs soon.

  7. (Sorry about the late comment, GM)

    I must be really lucky. My rugosa has been around for maybe 15 years now and I don't think it's ever got a blemish. The rose chafers tend to visit my peonies instead, go figure.

  8. Miss M: How strange! I have a couple peonies and the rose chafers seem to stay away from them.