Thursday, February 19, 2009

Catching up.

With the mission trip taking up a big portion of my focus the last week and a half, I'm a little behind. I wanted to have my tomatoes & peppers already started, my second wave of broccoli already planted in the garden and soil in some unused beds turned and composted..........none of which is done! I've also got some pictures of the garden that I wanted to post but haven't. So I'm going to do some catching up. And yes I still have some Nicaragua pictures to post. So here goes:

First of all we have an emergency.................5 small, wrinkly, sad garden tomatoes left! Which is still better than any store bought tomato, but I've got to get started planting my spring! As soon as my wife has to buy one $5 tomato from Publix I'll hear about it (she is a vegetarian)............"doesn't taste like the garden ones", "it feels like plastic", "they have no smell".......... yadayadayada.
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In the mean time I hardened off most of my broccoli & planted them right before I left for Nicaragua. I'm hoping to harvest them in time to plant some corn in their spot by spring.
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I do have some more broccoli that I'm hardening off right now. I burnt some seedlings trying to keep them warm so I have a nice little gap for extended harvesting.
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My potatoes seem to be doing great despite about 5 days in the mid to low 20's and some frost bite.
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I've sowed some squash, cuke, watermelon & pumpkin seeds (we're from New England so we love pumpkin soup!). You may be thinking "wow, that's a bit early" but you don't understand that I have a problem..........pickleworms! If you don't know about pickleworms you're lucky. Moths lay eggs just after sunset (so you can't see them), then in the morning when you're checking your garden the worms are already hatched and on the move.....into the stems of the squash or any relative of the squash. Once they start burrowing, it's over. You just can't kill them. They are known to move up from south Florida around May and move up into the Carolina's where they usually stall out. So the trick is to plant & harvest before they move on through. This will be our third try at growing squash, I got 'em beat this time!
aaGarden 009 Nicaragua 09 032
After tonight's 25 degree low I'm going to sow my tomato & pepper seeds....a little later than I wanted but it'll be all good.

I'll leave with this cool tree I saw in Nicaragua........I was told it was a cherry tree and that it never has any leaves! Weird. I need to investigate to make sure I didn't loose anything in the translation. That happens from time to time. Anyway, I did eat some of the "cherries"..................I thought they sucked. But what do I know, I'm just a Gringo.
Nicaragua 09 176 Nicaragua 09 175Nicaragua 09 177


  1. Your broccoli transplants are amazing, better looking then nursery grown ones!

    This is my second year vegetable garden but it will be my first year growing squash. I am hoping I don't have a run in with these vine bore things. I have read through that the C. moschata varieties of squash have a much harder stem that the worms can't chew into. I think the most resistant pumpkin is Muscade de Provence.

  2. Hey Dan,

    I think the broccoli looks good because of where I live...Florida. I mean how can you screw up with weather like we have?

    As far as the pickleworms.....I don't think they get all the way up to Canada. I'll double check, though. This is my second garden as well so we're going through the same lumps together! But I've yet to eat any squash from my garden because of these pests, and I plan to beat them this time by starting & harvesting earlier....we'll see!

  3. From reading your blog its obvious that you're way in front of us here on mainland UK. I think your wife is right about Tomatoes, the shop ones taste rubbish when you've had the real thing. Bob

  4. UKBob.......I was reading your blog and noticed your located in the 8b zone. I'm in zone 9a! Are we using the same system or does the Gulf Stream make that much of a difference?

  5. I thought pickleworms was another name for the squash vine borer but yes they are two different things. I just looked up these picklerworms and it said they have made it to Michigan & Canada in some summers, that does sound good to me.

    I found the link below, it lists varieties under the control section that are more resistant. Maybe you could grow 2 or 3 different varieties, then they make like one more then the others and leave them alone.

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  8. move up into the Carolin's where they usually stall out. So the trick is to plant & harvest before they move on through. This will be our third try at growing squash.

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