Deep Red Flower

Deep Red Flowers

The garden is in full pubescent growth this week.

Basil in ground

Plants are stretching their limbs, uncurling their roots, standing up straight.

Tomato Plant and Cage

Yellow tomato flower

Cucumber Seedling

Purple Iris

Purple Iris and Red Coleus

But as I’ve learned, with all imported plants come imported pests. I now fight a war on three fronts:

  • The red lily beetles continue their advance, regrouping and multiplying on two smaller lilies that were hidden under the peony. The adult population has been greatly reduced by continued squish raids, but a small regiment of gluttonous larvae have been building up strength.
  • What seemed from a distance to be a lovely dill flower growing amongst the coleus, turned out to be a rabid infestation of arrogant little yellow spider mites. Twice daily sprayings of soapy water and/or cayenne water have discouraged them temporarily. I remain vigilant.
  • A solitary pair of (what I believe are) yellow and black striped cucumber beetles have been spotted on the zucchini. One was eliminated; the other remains at large.

Red Coleus

Edible count, planted on May 23rd, for records’ sake:

6 cherry tomatoes of varying kinds; 1 regular sized yellow tomato; 2×2 lebanese cucumbers; 2×2 pickling cucumbers; tray of snap peas; 2 zucchinis; parsley; dill; cilantro; basil

Extra pea, basil, cilantro and dill seeds were planted a few days later.

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Spring and nemeses

Close-up of lily and peony sprout

“Plant one row for yourself, and one for the universe” I’ve read. This is because there will always be some loss from either insect, animal, disease or bad luck. We should accept it, even expect it.

I try to keep this in mind. For the most part, I have a monk-like sensibility about these things. I feel for all creatures of the universe. I try my best to be kind, fair, flexible and empathetic.

Red Lily Beetle on Leaf

But my empathy only extends so far. I mean, how much can you really care for a creature when its offspring devour your flowers and cover themselves in their own excrement?

Poopy little jelly blobs.   Voracious little booger babies.

So the springtime battle begins. I picked off and squished about a dozen of these red lily beetles, two of whom were in the process of making more lily beetles (if you get my drift). I found three egg deposit sites and wiped those clean. For a few minutes, I played God in their beetle world: so much death in so little time. I’ll admit, only a tiny part of me felt bad.

I’ll get you, you hungry little scoundrels!

Spring plant against chainlink

Close up Peony sprout

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