Sunday, May 27, 2012

Garden Invasion

Our garden areas have been barren for quite a long time. The property is mostly browning lawn, sand and unattended ornamental plants. Oh and don't let me forget... ants, lots of ants!
Slowly we are clearing areas, adding in soil and planting. This is a work in progress.

Let me say John Kohler, I admire you so much! Thank you for sharing your videos!

This experiment has posed a lot of challenges already. There is something new to investigate and research almost daily. Not just for the when, where, and how of planting but also how to keep them alive. Watering do's and don't and the invasion of the bugs.

Our first encounter with disaster was waking up to a caterpillar infestation in our tomato plants...every gardener's nightmare I'm sure! To try to rid these guys as quickly as possible but as safe as possible we started with the Neem oil. We sprayed and waited and saw our tomatoes being devoured too fast to wait around for that. We quickly moved to other methods. First a bug light to try to draw the moths(the insect that is laying the larvae) away and Begonias to attract the moths. They supposedly enjoy that type of flower as well. 

We also gave them a couple rounds of bt spore spray. The local nursery told us that bt is a long time, organic gardeners friend. We have managed to get that under control now for the most part.
I was happy to see a frog and a gecko are living in the Begonias now.

Last night a big storm came up and when we awoke this morning we discovered a very large web strewn from the back oak tree to tops of the tomato cages. One teeny tiny white spider managed to catch at least 30 moths. As much as I hate spiders, I was thrilled to know that even more life is taking shape in the back yard. I am OK with letting him stay there if he is the protector of my food!

I will post a few photos below of what's happening in our tiny back yard. The ecosystem is really in charge. I hope to learn how to attract more beneficial bugs and keep our plants thriving!

Tomato Fruitworm

If you look closely, you can see the caterpillar head chewing through the leaf.

Stag Beetle

I understand these to be beneficial bugs. I have seen quite a few of these guys floating in my pool each morning. We rush to scoop them out and save their dear lives. Please let me know if this is a huge mistake!

Tomato stem primordia

I believe we caused this from over watering.



This patterns appears to be from "skeletonizers". This is the information I gathered from my gardening books. Please let me know if you feel this may be something else.


Very tiny in the center of photo. Again, please email me if you have a different opinion.
We are making speculations on daily research and watching the environment. By no means
are we claiming to be experts! :) We sprayed with Neem oil for these guys.

All photographs and blog info © Tammy Sherman, 2012. May not be reproduced without permission. Any questions or comments please email

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