Bugs in the Basement

The lettuce is growing fine in the basement.  The only problem is that gnats and/or white flies have found the leaves.

12-22-08_Lettuce With Bugs on Leaves 

I’m going to have to figure out a non-pesticide way to get rid of them.  The little buggers really had a population explosion over this last week.

Last time I picked the lettuce I got two gallon bags full. This time I got one.

12-22-08_Lettuce Picked Today

We’ll see how long it takes until the next picking.  I gave the plants a pretty good leaf cropping.

12-22-08_Lettuce After Picking

It’s probably a good idea to start a new batch of seeds because technically these are about three or four months old already.

Tomato seeds are resilient little things.  Here’s a volunteer, and I can’t figure out where it came from because I used bagged container mix in these planters. 

12-22-08_Volunteer Tomatoe

Everybody’s talking about the weather.  We had a minus 30 wind chill yesterday and another snow storm is predicted for tomorrow.   I REALLY DISLIKE WINTER.  I guess the only upside is we’ll have a white Christmas.


Happy Gardening!!!

Creative Concoction Couldn’t Chase away the Clever Creature


As you can see, the “Me Juice” thing didn’t work (see “Secret Sauce” entry).  I just happened to be sitting in the back and heard the wind chime.  I looked out of the window and saw this invader hanging on the tomato trellis.  I ran and got the camera and was able to snap this picture while he was sitting there deciding what to do when he heard the door open.  The first thought I had was to throw something at it, but I didn’t have my stockpile of rocks.  The only thing small enough in reach were some cherry tomatoes I had picked earlier today.  I decided against it.  Didn’t seem to be a smart move to throw tomatoes at him to scare him off.  I’d just be throwing dinner at him.

Well, now what do I do?  It did rain today and I have been watering the tomato bed.  Maybe the “me-ness” in my Secret Sauce has been diluted to the point of being ineffective.  I’ll give it another try and reload, figuratively speaking, my weapon.

I hope this works.  I don’t mind sharing my veggies with people, but I don’t want to share them with pests.

Happy Gardening!!!

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Secret Sauce for the Scandalous Squirrel

Here is the problem…


Here is the solution…


Last summer I grew cherry tomatoes and bell peppers.  The squirrels ate more vegetables than I did.  I’d go out in the morning and see my bell peppers half eaten laying on the ground.  Same with the tomatoes.  I tried sprinkling black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Didn’t do a thing.  I stockpiled some stones on the porch to throw at them.  They’d move just out of reach of the stone I threw and sit there and look at me.

It got so bad that I gave up.  They won.  I decided to grow flowers.

But over the fall and the winter I ran across information on composting and square foot gardening.  I digested tons of information on the subjects during the winter and even made a few small batches of compost over the winter in plastic storage bins. 

The garden is coming along beautifully.  I had a few cabbage worms which I hand picked (actually I took a stick and knocked them off and then took a leaf and squished them…can’t touch the little buggers).  I had a couple of rounds of them in early summer, and they went away.  I had a short-lived infestation of white flies around the tomatoes.  I mixed up a concoction of garlic powder, a little dishwashing liquid and a little oil.  I sprayed two evenings in a row and once again a week later.  No more white flies. 

Now, almost at the end of summer, the squirrels have found my tomatoes.  I went outside and saw my biggest tomato had been half eaten by a squirrel.  I guess he wanted to share with me because he did leave me half. 

Okay.  I’ve been lucky this whole summer.  I threw it in the compost pile.

The next morning, same thing.  My second biggest tomato has been violated by that @#%*@ squirrel.  I decided I’ll remove temptation from the squirrel.  I picked all the tomatoes that were ripening on the lower part of the stems.  But I knew I needed a deterrent, otherwise he’d be back as soon as some more tomatoes started ripening.

So, what is the Secret Sauce?  It’s a little Me Juice (a/k/a urine).  Now, don’t say ewww.  It’s in a cup that’s sunken in the ground so that it won’t tip over and spill…although, you can use urine in your compost as a nitrogen boost.

When I come outside, the squirrels run.  I figured if I left a little scent of me in the garden it would fool them.  So far it’s worked.  No more squirrel-bitten tomatoes.

Don’t be afraid to try this at home.  We organic gardeners have to use what Mother Nature gave us.

Happy Gardening!!!

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