Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Growing, Growing, Gone, Grrr!

Just after transplanting
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned all those Roma tomato plants I transplanted into the garden. They are taking to the straw bales in lackluster form. I've been somewhat disappointed in their growth. Coupled with the infusion of a couple days of rain and sunshine, I was preparing the fencing to stand them up because they had started to flower. With all the bees and wasps in the garden, I knew that we could have a bumper crop this year. Due to the heat and the rains I'm down to 25 of 32 plants. They were growing and growing.

The day dawned bright and sunny. I walked the garden to check the plants as I usually do each morning, weather permitting, as part of my morning prayers and meditation time. I glanced at where a Roma tomato was suppose to be. All that was left of the leafy, green plant was a chewed down stalk. Farther down the row was another one and another one, and so on.. "Lord, what could have eaten these plants overnight?!" Honestly, I knew the answer. Caterpillar! Yes, pests have made their way into our organic garden. But there was no sign of them in the light of day. I'm down to 14. So much for a bumper crop. With 14, I'll barely make do possibly.

I went inside and broke out the blender. I'd slow their munching progress. Into the blender I put 4 dried cayenne pepper pods (from last season),  5 large clove of garlic. Once this was ground to a pulp, I added a 1/4 cup of milk, 3 tbs of olive oil, and 1 cup of water. I whizzed it around to combine and poured it into an old Windex bottle that I reuse just for this purpose. I then add 1/4 tsp of Dawn dishwashing detergent. Remember large pieces will clog your sprayer attachment. I give the bottle a shake to combine. Do this gently because you don't want a lot of suds. This "pesticide" is the combination of a couple of different recipes for pest control. If you have pests eating your plants like this, you probably have a couple of them. I make up this recipe a bottle at a time and discard any remaining liquid.

Armed with my Windex bottle, I again venture into the garden. I spray each leaf (top and bottom) and around the base of the plant with the mixture. After it dries, it looks like dusty mildew has attacked your plant because of the milk, but hopefully you checked your plants well before applying the spray so you know it isn't. This solution will have to be reapplied after a rain shower. It's probably  a good time to add Epsom salt, and side dress my plants with rabbit poo tea also.

No, it's not this bad,
Don't ya just love the way one thing leads to another on the homestead? Oh, and we sprung a leak in our metal roof during the last rainy period so Mel so up on the roof trying to track down the problem is. Not that I can do anything if she falls, but Whirling Dervish and I are continually yelling up at her to be careful. I only bought two small tubes of seal flex so I hope it will do the job. Then, it's on to the inside to fix the ceiling.

Y'all have a blessed day.



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