Kallo and Zmey Acres

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  • Zmey

The probably-won’t-make-it Garden.

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

garden hot pepper home grown homestead
Peppers growing at the old house.

One of the things I did do before we moved was planting a charming, even if small, salsa garden. There were two cherry tomato, 1 basil, and 2 Hungarian hot pepper plants. I had hoped some of it would be ready to harvest before the closing date and I did get a little bit of harvest out of it! I got a lot of basil, it was quite bushy and prolific; 3 little tomatoes and one large, somewhat hot pepper. Once the sale was final, I felt like I had a little more time on my hands to do things around the new property. I knew it was very late in the season but what did I have to lose?

basil homegrown homestead garden plant
Basil 'bush' from the old house.

There was no compost to use, of course, so I bought a few bags, along with some topsoil to fill a couple of containers that we had laying around. I had radish sprouting seeds, spaghetti, and carnival squash seeds I’d saved from squash we’d eaten, and a well sprouted sweet potato.

container garden sweet potato squash radish
Planter boxes, filled and planted.

I cut slips off the sweet potato and planted in the largest container, and gave them a healthy amount of the compost.

Sweet potato sprouts paleo gardening organic chemical free
Sweet potato slips are growing. It's Alive!

Next was the spaghetti squash seeds. I wasn’t sure they would even sprout, so I planted 3 into a somewhat small container. Last, but not least, I planted radish seeds into the smallest containers.

A few days later the radishes already had their two leaves up and soaking in the sun, and the sweet potatoes were perking up nicely. There was nothing coming from the squash seeds but it hadn’t really been long enough, so I kept my fingers crossed.

radish sprouting seeds used for container garden chemical free
Radish sprouts - yes, there were too many and watering messed up the neat rows.

Lo and behold the squash sprouted up beautifully! Now that everything was growing, I realized the sun in that spot was more lacking than I’d originally thought, so the planters were moved to a more sunny spot in the yard Sunny spots are hard to come by on our new property, since it’s a heavily wooded lot.

The plants were all doing great until one day I noticed leaves were missing bite sized chunks, which only grew worse in the next few days. I found the culprits hiding in the dirt under the radishes and sweet potato leaves: slugs. Gross, slimy, pale little monsters, and lots of them!

slug pest damage on organic chemical free sweet potato homestead garden plant
Slugs are chomping up my leaves.

After consulting with people who have been gardening longer than my measly few weeks, I decided to try the beer drowning pool method. We have plenty of McDonald’s cups laying around, due to Kallo’s Diet Coke addiction, so I cut the bottoms off a couple of them and buried them up to the rim in the planters. I filled it up with a beer that had been wasting space in the fridge forever, since no one would drink it.

slug beer trap organic gardening raddish plants
The first killing pit sluggy victims.

It worked! Within a few hours, I already could see a couple of slugs in each of the three traps. The next day there we dozens of the dead bandits drowned in the beer. My radishes have sprung back to life and there has been no new damage done.

dead slugs in beer trap pest repellant chemical free
Death becomes them. The slimy invades!

I‘m still doubtful that even the radishes will be ready to harvest before hard winter comes, but a girl can hope! I feel like I am still learning valuable lessons, even if I don’t get any edible goodies this year. I know what to do in case of slug invasion, and what to do with beer that no one wants to drink. I’ve also learned where the sunniest parts of the yard are.

As perky as the radish plants are, the squash plants are doing much better than expected. They’ve even opened their big, beautiful yellow blossoms. It was so nice to walk out this morning and see the gorgeous splash of color standing out from all the soggy green and brown that’s the usual.

I can’t wait to sit down with some seed catalogs and pick out things to grow next year, even though I’m still hoping something will be harvestable out of the garden this year.

I love this squash flower, waiting to open up. So much potential!

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