About Me

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Montgomery, Alabama, United States
I'm a Zone 8. I'm doing a little gardening to satisfy a curiosity to see whether or not I can do it. People make it look so easy-- what's stopping me from making it work? Contrary to my name ("Hana" means flower in Japanese) I have a history of killing plants. Well, most of them. Let's see how this one goes!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Oy, so I discovered the other day that Red Robin will give you a free burger on your birthday completely gratis, so the boyfriend and I went in to gorge ourselves. As a result I am feeling quite ponderous. I probably eat two or three burgers a year, so just half of one hit me quite hard.

But I took pictures today and feel that the blog must go on! I'll start with something horrifying, then progress to the happy from there.

As mentioned a couple days ago, Choccy got attacked by caterpillars. He has new growth now, but you pretty much get the point:


I am not entirely sure what this thing is, but he was sunning himself on one of my Insuk's. I decided to let him be.

Just when I thought that picking off one aphid or leaf hopper at a time was bad, I discovered this guy:

Talk about a trap crop. This is one of three weeds about five feet away from the garden. I'm almost afraid to remove these guys because then the aphids might move along to the garden proper. It's a pretty chilling sight, though. *shudder*

But now for the happy! My pole beans are really climbing along.

A hand of ginger was starting to sprout in my kitchen, so into a pot he went! I hope something nice comes of it.

Two of the tomato plants that I pruned thoroughly:

And two that I did not. It's a race to see which one does better!

Unexpectedly, the first tomato to flower was one that was ravaged by insect damage. It seems to have bounced back, and while it seems a bit too small to be producing I'm going to let it try to set fruit.

Borage! I put two seeds in the ground maybe two months ago and one is finally starting to pop out of the ground.

Marigolds! I'm not entirely sure what kind, but they're bright and happy for sure. The second one is so yellow that my camera had trouble taking a good picture of it.

It's supposed to rain again tomorrow, which is great, but holy cow the temperature is supposed to skyrocket to the mid-90s by Thursday. This does not excite me as that means the mosquitoes will be out in force. Long sleeves for me in the heat, woohoo.

Ah, but something very sweet from fellow blogger, Vanilla Lotus (Priscilla) in sunny San Antonio:

She likes my blog :3 I now feel that, for both you, my dear readers, and for my own benefit, I'll update more often and with better content. In the meantime, be sure to visit her wonderful gardening blog, New Sprout. Cheer her on as she totally rocks her final exams!


Anonymous said...

First off: your site's title had me rolling with laughter and secondly: newbies must unite! lol!
I see you have your own case of the BUGS! They are HERE TO DO US IN WITH EVIL, VILE THINGS! AARRRRUGH!
Good Luck in the Garden and I can't wait to compare notes as the newbies we are! Cheers (with a cup of hot coffee as well) to you, fellow 'wing it' gardener.
Maggie from Gardens of Casa Martin!
PS-I would love to add you to the ol' blog roll...would that be cool?

Vanillalotus said...

I don't eat burgers often either and never can eat a whole one. Unless I go to Krystal Burgers them little things are addictive.

So is your Choccy, Chocolate Mint, perhaps? If so my chocolate mint got attacked my aphids and ants so I gave up and chucked it out.I'm sure it will come back as mint is really tough.

Not sure what to do about your infested weed. I have had the same thought about plants I have had infested with aphids. I was scared to kill them and then have them go to another plant instead. I say just do it. I remember reading if aphids attack a plant it's because it is stress or producing alot of nitrogen. Not sure how true that is.

Congrats on all the wonderful things growing. Even though we all have failures and problems there are still many more things that survive and are doing well. Thanks for cheering me on with my final exams! I got one down now 2 more to go. I'm going to be super busy and on super speed mode today to finish my landscape design project for TONIGHT. So bad of me to wait until last minute.

Nancy J. Bond said...

It looks like your good far outweighs your bad, though those aphids do look like nasty little things.

Karen said...

That is a scary picture of the aphids! ughhh! I like your idea with your tomatos "race to see which does better" :)

Wicked Gardener said...

Good luck on the kitchen ginger - let us know how it goes!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I find your tomato experiments very interesting--that you are pruning back some and not others to see if it really makes a difference. I look forward to hearing your results.

Was that a giant thistle with the aphids? I had one, too. It really is a trap plant, isn't it.

hanako! said...

Maggie-- Hah, thanks! I will blithely take that to mean that you're laughing *with* me and not *at* me (although safely ensconced in your home I would never know what you're thinking!) ARGH and BUGS-- the eternal struggle of man vs. beast. It's so sad that tiny almost microscopic critters have such a stranglehold on us! Coffee sounds like a great thing to toast with, so I, too, shall raise my mug to you!

Priscilla-- I haven't had a Krystal burger since I lived in Alabama in the second grade (they served them for school lunch on Mondays-- can you believe that?) but man, your mention of them really brings on a hankerin' for one (or like, five)!

You're probably right about the aphid thing. I guess there is a reason why they attacked a weed and not a juicy, luscious tomato plant. My next hurdle is handling the plant-- I don't want to touch it! Even with gloves! *shudder*

And hey, you will make it through finals and you will come out rocking solid.

Nancy-- Oh man I do hope that you're right :3 I'm just waiting for something underneath the soil to just suddenly explode. For no reason. At random. In the middle of the night. But for now good is outweighing bad for sure!

Karen-- I think I hear the sound of racetrack music playing in the background for my tomatoes!

Wicked-- Thank you! A Taiwanese lady I know pretty much exclusively grows ginger plants from grocery store rhizomes, so I hope it will work out, too!

Mss-- I have heard mixed things about tomato pruning, but the gist I always get is that pruning = less but larger fruit, while letting it run amok = more but smaller fruit. Since I am indecisive I am trying both :D

And the thistle-- It's a thistle that is giant for sure, but I'm not entirely sure what type it is. Its trapping qualities make it both interesting and repellent to me. Lord knows what I would do should I accidentally bump into one.

Meems said...

hanako: Once again I commend you on all your diligence and hard work. You are doing great! Your garden is looking great and it sounds to me like you have it under control by figuring one thing out at a time... as far as that wicked looking weed with the aphids I think I would put a plastic bag over it and pluck it by its roots aphids and all. They should fall into the bag - tie it up to suffocate them and praise your tomato plants for repelling the ugly eaters.

I like your spotty marigold... I planted some in my veggie garden and they look to be the same type as yours... some bloom out gold... some orange.
Keep it up... glad you're getting rain... send some this way okay?
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Bonnie said...

I figure plant a whole bunch of stuff, enough that you just don't mind if one or two get muched by bugs. Of course, I say that but when it happens I'm all up in arms about it. But I love finding them and blasting them off the plant with a strong spray of water. I figure I might as well make them work for it.

sjp8987 said...

Hi Hana,

I got a link to your blog through Digging and I was reading this post and laughing to myself. I also planted some ginger ( I got mine from HEB, i don't know where you got yours) but I wish i could show you how I planted mine. As a gardener, you would probably laugh. Here is a link to my blog if you want to check it out http://greeneggsandsam8.blogspot.com
It's under 'Ginger, From the grocery store'

I know you don't know me, but I just thought i'd share that with you after seeing how you correctly planted your ginger.