Fresh new blog, same old bugs

So it’s September and here in San Diego it’s been excruciatingly hot. Yes, I know we’re spoiled by the near-constant 72 degree weather but that doesn’t make the heat any easier to take. As a welder this is my least favorite time of year. It’s really hard to talk myself into putting on boots, jeans, three shirts and two pairs of gloves and standing over a hot piece of steel with a torch. Who wouldn’t rather be in the garden?

Sadly, the garden isn’t enjoying this weather any more than I am. My poor greens are wilting by 3pm and the cukes and zukes have called it quits. The only thing thriving in my garden are the stupid White Cabbage Butterflies. They and theirs have been dining on my kale for months but now they’ve gone a step too far… they have destroyed my beautiful baby kale seedlings!

Kale Seedlings Destroyed by CWB caterpillars
Kale Seedlings Destroyed by CWB caterpillars

Those stalks you see used to have pretty little leaves. Actually a bunch of those “stalks” you see are nasty green caterpillars! It’s very sad. I think I managed to salvage my chard and spinach but these kale are goners. Time for a nice soak in some soapy water.

Distressed as I am over my poor lost sprouts I still want to plant at least a small fall garden. I haven’t planted in the fall before so I’m trying to figure out what will do best. Given the abundance of CWB’s I think I’ll focus on non-cruciferous veg. Beets are on the short list. I love growing beets because the greens are so pretty and tasty. I feel like a huge success when I come into the house with a beautiful basketful of beet greens! I also love roasting beets on the grill wrapped in foil with evoo and fresh rosemary sprigs. A little vinegar, salt and pepper over the top and they are like tangy candy.

Roasted beets with grilled baby red onions
Roasted beets with grilled baby red onions

And I’ve been reading that we can plant potatoes here in the fall for an early spring harvest so I’m going to give that a try. A contractor friend gave me a pallet/box and I’m thinking it will work great as a tater container. Luckily we’ve been digging up the backyard to build our new workshop and I’ve got piles of nice sandy soil I think they will enjoy. We shall see…

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