The good news in this story is that no one was hurt and my garden plants did not suffer the same fate as the tree. Not to be outdone though, the strawberry plants have been experiencing their own issues. We are days away from fresh, homegrown strawberries ripe for the picking. This does not mean the berries will come quietly. I first noticed holes appearing in some of the leaves of the plants after fruits had started forming. This lead to an investigation that turned up two different insect pests! One was easy to identify; the spittle bug. Not a pest that one needs to do anything about, since they rarely cause significant damage, and they move on rather quickly. The other pest was a bit trickier to identify and involved contacting an entomologist. Turns out there are Strawberry Sawfly larvae feeding on my strawberry leaves. How these little buggers got to Wisconsin is anyone's guess since they are normally found no further East than North Dakota! Regardless I have been removing them by hand as I find them, and hope the ones I miss hurry up and turn into the primitive wasps they become as adults.
The hand removal technique has had a wrench thrown into it in recent days, because the strawberry fruits have started turning red. This has caught the attention of other, larger creatures who could care less about the leaves. I noticed some half eaten fruits and decided despite the insects, I had to cover the strawberries. So now they are covered. I checked today and there is no new fruit damage! Success! I hope this means we will actually get to enjoy some yummy, whole berries. So far so good!
In addition to the above activities, I finally got all the tomatoes and peppers in the garden. I also did something new this year; I mulched! I have used black plastic 'mulch' in the past to prevent weeds, conserve moisture, and keep my plants' roots warm. This year I put down the plastic mulch in some areas, and cocoa mulch in the areas I normally put grass clippings or nothing. I am very pleased with the outcome. It looks great! And being cocoa mulch, it smells great too. I also made a point to leave space for walking when I mapped out my garden this year, so that I can harvest easier. Though I am not sure if it will work as planned since things have yet to reach their full size. But at least I tried!
Now I leave you with a photo album, because there were too many pictures to post here. Enjoy!
|Blog Update June 14, 2011|