I was out taking a look around the garden yesterday and some things in the garden are in a sad state of affairs right now.
I had just cleaned up the front porch and refilled Windsock’s food this morning. By the time I came back in the early afternoon, the birds had obviously been having a feast. Cats are supposed to stalk and chase the birds. Windsock, are you listening?
The birds are eating more than their fair share.
I planted a Gloriosa Lily bulb three years ago and every time it stuck it’s head out of the ground, I would stomp it, kick it, squish it, by mistake, of course. Everytime I unintentionally take it to the ground I figure that’s the last I’ll see it. Lo and behold, I came out last week to find the plant thriving from neglect. I decided to be proactive this time around to save it, so I know this is a little tacky, but I want this vine to live even if it means I break a toe!
I thought my citrus were doing fine until I found this on my Satsuma tangerine. Time to do a little reading. I also found some caterpillars on my two tangerines in back that were UGLY! At first glance, it looked like bird poop which worried me because that would be a big bird, but then I realized it was alive. Looking closer, the larvae had symmetrical white spots on a black body, but the creepiest things was its snaky looking head. Ugh! After a little research I discovered that the larvae, known as “orangedogs” are destructive, but they do eventually hatch into Giant Swallowtail butterflies. Check out this site to see some pictures of what I’m talking about.
Citrus Disease problems
I need to pay attention to my watering needs because I found this poor guy completely wilted. I just bought it last week because it was so striking and fortunately it came back nicely after I soaked it for a couple of hours. Way to garden…..NOT!
Water would be a good thing...
On a final note, I caught the rat! Somebody owes me breakfast!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gardening in SoCal is kind of a cake-walk so we don’t have much to complain about. My mom has to deal with deer and gigantic snails in Hawaii, friends in the midwest complain about rabbits and bugs, and squirrels are wreaking havoc all over the place, but other than the occasional slug and snail war, I live in harmony with the little creatures who wander through the garden. Except the rat.
It was cute at first. “Oh, look, he ate an orange.” “Hmmm, he picked a tomato.” D***mn, he took bites out of all the tomatoes.” Well, you get the idea. It’s not cute anymore. Ringo, the dog, is going bonkers out there every night because he knows the rat lurks. Last night Ringo was crashing into things, knocking pots over and generally, he was just over-the-top manic about finding the rat. Mi esposo went out to monitor the situation and the rat ran over his foot while Ringo was looking the other way. Smart rat + dumb dog = disgusted husband!
Today I was with my friend Susan who is having her own rat problem. The rat at her house is taking bites out of the ripe avocados on their tree and basically has left a trail of hanging fruit covered in gnaw marks. We took a trip to the hardware store this morning to check out rat traps. She bought a classic Victor trap for $3.95 that is going to snap the rat to death. I bought the “Rat Zapper” that “humanely kills mice and rats” for $43.49. (Don’t tell my husband! ) My trap promises “approximately 40 kills per set of batteries” and uses “advanced electronic technology to deliver a deadly shock” so who’s laughing now?
Susan and I will be setting our traps at precisely 7:00pm tonight and we’ll see who snares their foe first. Loser buys lunch!
This isn’t breaking news, but it is a big factor if you are interested in growing citrus. When I bought some citrus trees a few months back, they all had a blue band on their branches showing they had been systemically treated and were not to be removed from the country until further notice. Also, the nursery where they were purchased told me not to eat any fruit that had already set because the plant had been treated systemically so I cut them all off and a few that started developing a few weeks later just to be on the safe side.
Parts of San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside counties are under quarantine for Asian citrus psyllids. According to Federal law, host plants cannot be moved from these quarantined areas to the American Samoa, Arizona, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, nor to areas of California and South Carolina that have NOT been quarantined because of the presence of Asian citrus psyllid.
In order to ship host plants from locations under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid to areas other then those listed above, however, the plant must be treated, inspected and accompanied by a limited permit that prevents distribution to any citrus-producing states or territories where the Asian citrus psyllid is not present. Here are a couple of websites that have useful info:
Save Our Citrus
Report A Pest or Disease
I feel like I’m finally getting caught up on garden work that was pushed to the background while I was busy on the Flower Show. I have started seeds for cantaloupe, eggplant, snap beans, watermelon, Lemon & Armenian cukes, and lots of sunflowers. I’ve started all these seeds later than I had planned, but being on the coast is a little forgiving so it will probably work out fine. Most have sprouted since last weekend and I’ve only lost a couple of seedlings to snails, which is always a problem.
It was damp this morning so the snails were out in droves. Snail hunt! I gathered about 40 of them.
Two problems with these guys: they are destructive and now my hands are slimy. Ugh!
While I was gardening, Ringo was on a mouse hunt. It’s in there and he knows it. He was busy for hours!
I was cleaning up and moving things around in the garden and came across these egg sacks for brown widow spiders, those nasty relatives of the black widow spider. Their egg sacks are unusual in that they look like little mines. I don’t think I’ve actually seen one of these spiders, but obviously they are in the garden. A little disconcerting. Read more about these spiders….
They’re out there so it helps to know all you can about your nemesis.
Check it out:
Snail info sheet