Not long after planting vegetables, herbs and melons into my CedarCraft elevated garden planter and eclectic assortment of other containers, the weather turned cool. The plants seemed to be suspended in time, not growing at all.
I peered at the plants everyday, and one day noticed that many of the leaves on food plants had turned yellow. This reminded me it was past time to fertilize. I checked the calendar and realized a month had gone by much quicker than I’d thought! I meant to pick up fertilizer when I purchased the plants and seeds, but had forgotten. Oops. Methinks I should have invested in a potting mix that contained a slow-release fertilizer. Hind-sight is always 20-20! I fertilized the plants and waited for them to turn green.
If you plant it, they will come
Have you ever noticed that not long after planting a garden,the neighborhood freeloaders like to take a few a bites? It just doesn’t occur to the birds and bugs (and sometimes critters with fur depending on where you garden) that the produce planted in their territory wasn’t planted for them, and that we humans don’t like to share. 🙂
One of my favorite cherry tomatoes, ‘Sungold’, had numerous chewed and missing leaves. I inspected the plants for caterpillar poop but couldn’t find any. It doesn’t help that my balcony is a bit hard to lean over and that I have short arms. The best way to catch a thief is to go out at night with a flashlight and sneak up on them. But even then I didn’t find anyone, and I tried several nights in a row. Luckily, the culprit decided to move on and my plant was able to recover. Just last night I ate the first cherry tomato of the season, yum!
The plants started to grow and green up slightly, (plus the weather warmed up a bit), but many of the plants were pale and yellow. I suspected some sort of insect was to blame and decided to investigate. I got out my 10x loupe and peered closely at the undersides of the leaves and discovered some VERY infamous critters known for sucking the juices out of plants. They love dusty conditions, which describes my porch garden as leaves and dirt seem to drift onto it daily. Can you guess who I’m talking about? Stay tuned to discover whodunnit in my next blogpost!