Sunday, April 15, 2012

Propagation Event

 What seemed like the wind that had broken off my tomatoes at the ground and blown them around the yard, was actually discovered to be Rolly Pollies (Pill Bugs) having nestled down into the moist darkness next to the stem and they chewed through the stem of the tomatoes and the wind just took off with them and blew them around the yard. So I took the limp broken tomato plant and stuck it into some moist potting soil and placed it into a large terrarium, sprayed it with a fine mist and covered it to keep in the humidity.

 The next day I see that 3 more tomatoes had fallen to the evil Rolly Pollies! So this called for a larger moisture retentive covered something so that they would all fit, and this storage box was perfect.  I sprayed down all of the tomatoes and added the glass of water for additional moisture and quickly put on the lid.
Here are the tomatoes the next morning completely rehydrated. If we go on like this, they will sprout roots and hopefully do so fast so that I can get them into the ground and get plenty of tomatoes this summer! This collection of tomatoes currently hanging on by a thread are Sweet 100, Roma, Brown Sugar and Hawaiian Tropic.

I then went outside and sprinkled Diatomaceaous Earth down into the holes around the stems the wind created by blowing them in all directions, because that is where the Rolly Pollies are hiding out during the day.  Last year I had tomatoes and zucchini with holes in them, and I suspected mice or something because the holes in the fruit were huge. Then I found one of my pepper plants laying on the ground and when I picked it up there were 100's of Rolly Pollies on it! When I found that out I raked up all of the mulch in the yard in an angry rampage because those bugs had multiplied into an pillaging night army!

Now I am considering placing mulch in the walkways for asthetic reasons, and I might have to shake myself and rethink that whole idea!  In the meantime, I am using the D.E. and also a snale and slug bate that is made of Iron Phosphate that is essentually coated iron pellets (think yellow Grape Nuts)that when they Rolly Pollies eat it, they cease eating and eventually die. 

I am sure that this will be an ongoing problem but hopefully this year I won't have to pick my tomatoes while they are still green like I did last year!

Thank you for visiting! To all of my gardening friends, carry on and hurry back!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Waiting with Longing

The iris are blooming. It is the event that I wait for all year long. I am sure that I am waiting secretly for next years iris blooming even now. The lovely iris on the lower left were a gift and I planted them and waited over a year to see their color and they are delightful! It is called Jesse's Song.
These blue iris are called Full Tide and I hope they take the place over.
In addition to the iris blooming, the Carnation Poppies are starting to flower. I hope these take over too!
Here is a lovely iris that someone gave someone else who had them in a pot and they had never seen them bloom, but they didn't want them anymore because they didn't want to wait I suppose, so they gave them to me. They are fabulous! Right now I have yellow iris that someone gave me that I planted in the ground, that I have never seen, so I have a bit of ambivilence too I suppose. If they bloom this season all the better, but I might be in for another year.
All of my tomatoes are planted into the ground now. I had 35 tomatoes planted and so far I have lost 7 to the wind. It seems that the rolly pollies are nestling down in the moist dirt next to the stem and munching away at the stems below ground in the moist darkness until the stem is eaten through, so the wind blows and just picks up the top of the plant and blows it away! So I stuck the broken stem (lower leaves removed) into some moist potting mix, and place it into this terrarium and sprayed it with water in hope that it will grow new roots! This is a sweet 100 tomato and as I grow my tomatoes by seed, I cringed at the thought of having to buy a new tomato plant especially after I had given away about 50 plants because I didn't have any space for them all. So I looked up propagation boxes on the internet and now I am going to be sticking tomato cuttings until I get a handle on the damage that those evil rolly pollies have caused!
Thanks for coming by for a visit! To all of my gardening friends carry on and hurry back!