|Coming Soon--Sugar Snap Peas!|
|And lots of them!|
|This guy is not looking too happy...|
|What? Freaking Ants...|
|And the eventual outcome.|
Then it takes some close observation and head scratching and, often, many a google search to come up with a diagnosis and plan. Unfortunately, the time lag this time was enough for the little buggers to completely decimate the broccoli. Eventually we started to treat new seedlings that the ants seem to prefer, transplanted brassicas, cleome and, of all things, marigolds, with spinosad, a certifiably organic biological insecticide. Then we attacked their mounds that are close to the plantings of these plants with a drench of the stuff. Next, once UPS brings it, we'll used a baited version that the worker ants are supposed to carry back to the nests and share with the whole colony, which should keep their population in check. I don't like having to take measures as drastic as this because it usually means something is out of whack. I prefer to get the whole system into a better balance so that these particular ants are better kept in check by a robust and thriving soil menagerie, but you also gotta do something when you see your hard work flopping over and dying one plant at a time.
|Tomatoes in the ground, lower bed|
|And the upper bed, with stakes|
|unlucky tomato, broken at ground level|
The other thing you should notice from all the photos is how dry it appears. The serious winds and a good couple weeks without significant rain has really dried things out. The soil is seriously dusty on top, but still holding some moisture below. Luckily, as I type, it's raining again, the third day in a row. We won't be exposed as irrigationless morons just yet. There is just too much to figure out and, with the farmers' markets starting next week, we're more focused on making sure we have something to sell than figuring out some of the bigger picture pieces that are looming on the lower portion of our list. We'll get to it, eventually.
|Hannah with a backpack sprayer full of fish emulsion fortified water, getting ready to water in tomato seedlings|
|And Ben looking a little toasty after pounding 150 stakes|