Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This Means War.

Snap Peas, just minding their business....
With 2 weeks of 85-90 degree weather comes....bugs. Leaf miners are taking more and more spinach leaves each day, but since we've only got a few more days before the spinach is finished, I'm not too stressed about it. The arugula is already out of commission. We've finally seen the deer in action, and they bit the tops off most of my snap pea plants a few days ago, which I cannot abide.
See any blossoms? No, because they were all munched!!

New cabbage worms hatch every day and leave the tell-tale little holes in anything in the cabbage family (Kale, collards, Cauliflower, etc.) Today I went on the offensive and rubbed both sides of affected leaves with soapy water. This killed the caterpillars, hopefully removed some of the insect eggs that were just waiting to hatch, and made the leaves inhospitable for buggies. I think the soap makes it so they can't breathe.
The soaped-up underside of an attacked cauliflower leaf

Naturally, every time I do this (or spray liquid fence), it decides to rain. Today was a doozy. The poor chickens were out of their minds. The wind was bending the trees at alarming angles and spraying water everywhere, so I felt for the babies. Their safe, warm coop was just a ladder climb away, but either it didn't occur to them, or the trip would have been too scary. Instead, they were cowering under the coop, where there is a wind break on one side, but open wire on the other.

I know the fastest way to a dead chick is to make them cold or damp, so I pulled on a hoodie, went out in the rain, scooped them out from under the coop (no easy task) and penned them up in the coop until the storm was over. Maybe they'll do it themselves next time. My arms aren't quite long enough to make that a pleasant job.

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