Summer was quickly becoming my least favorite farming season before the summer blooms started.
Every week I struggled to keep the rows weed free and keep my young seedling moist in our desert climate.
I watched as the plants I grew for months indoors, died as transplants. Most just were not robust enough to be transplanted without the roots falling apart.
Then came the insect war.
I’m looking at you earwigs and caterpillars.
Right when I got my water/weeding schedule down and most of my plants started thriving, the insects started hatching. Multiple species invaded and started munching on the plants I fought so hard to keep alive!
I feverishly started investigating what bugs were eating the dahlias to nubs, shredding the zinnias and punching holes in my sunflowers.
At one point I just covered my dahlias at night with mason jars.
Once I got one pest under control, another group moved in or another wave of evil insect babies hatched.
Sluggo plus, soy traps, BT, neem oil and DE became my weapons of choice.
I prayed for my garden every day and noticed the large number of birds that would hop around the garden eating pests in the morning. I chose to leave my own tasks till the evening so the birds were undisturbed.
I also did my best to promote healthy plants and encourage beneficial insects.
Now that it is mid July, the summer blooms are finally starting to take off!
Here are my summer tasks:
- Weeding (every week at first then about every other week once plants are bigger)
- Fertilize with Seaweed and Fish Emulsion (every week)
- Pinch (once plants are 8-12 inches tall)
- Adjust drip line times (to address weather shift – my lines go off for two hours every other day now)
- Pictures and Posts for Marketing
- Harvest or deadhead (2-3 times a week)
- Order spring corms/bulbs & seeds
- Start Hardy Annuals (for fall planting)
- Farmers Market