May 21, 2012

Raised Garden Update

Remember the lineup of 12 DIY Goals I set for myself for 2012? By all accounts, I am proud to say I am doing pretty well so far keeping up!

In February, I shared about my Board and Batten Hallway Command Center (March’s goal), and last week, I gave y’all a tour of my summer front porch, including the front porch swing that was my May DIY goal.

Today I thought I’d give you an update on the progress of our raised-bed garden, the goal I completed for March. I shared about the construction process for the beds way back in February, and then at long last, a couple of weekends ago we were finally confident enough of the risk of frost being past to go ahead and fill our beds with a plethora of goodies!

Overall, we used a square-foot approach when it came to planting our garden, although I wasn’t absolutely meticulous about ensuring that each crop occupied precisely 12 square inches. I have to say that it is amazing how much we were able to plant in just two 4×8-foot beds! Here’s what you’ll find in our little garden:

  • Tomatoes (Roma and Cherry)
  • Peppers (Red, Green, and Serrano)
  • Green Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Crook-Neck Squash
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Okra
  • Leeks
  • Zucchini
The beds look so nice and tidy at the very beginning!

The photos above were taken just after the garden was planted, and I have to say that everything is already coming along quite nicely! Most of the crops have doubled in size, as you can see below with our tomatoes (which I have got to get in cages this week!)…

…and our zucchini.

I am starting to see blooms on our squash and tomato plants already, and there are tiny little bell peppers on our red bell pepper plant!

One issue I have, though, that I thought I would throw out there for your advice: see these little holes on our green bean plants?

It appears this little guy is the culprit: a brown type of beetle that is apparently very much enjoying make a salad bar out of these plants right now, and I am too selfish of the thought of fresh green beans this summer to be generous enough to share.

Any insight into some organic, kid- and pet-safe ways to get rid of these? I called a local nursery this morning, and they recommended Sevin spray, but I would really like to use something natural if at all possible.

I also saw this critter on our zucchini this morning, with a few little holes starting to emerge in those leaves as well. I suppose it’s time to figure out what to do about him, too!

I hope y’all had a great weekend! Thanks so much for stopping in.


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16 Responses to Raised Garden Update

  1. n8'swife May 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Those are squash bugs on your zucchini and I would recommend picking them off your plants asap or your plants will be sucked dry in a day or two. No tips for after that, because my plants we dead within a day and I never got to try any organic methods for getting rid of them.

  2. kerihow May 22, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    we planted our raised bed garden about the same time you did. it looks great! i have seen those same bugs on our cucumber, squash and zucchini plants (the yellow ladybug:), but they haven’t destroyed them yet.
    i just did a search and they are actually called spotted cucumber beetles.
    anyways, apparently you’re supposed to use floating row covers once you plant veggies that these insects like. not a lot of organic choices. here are some links:
    http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Spotted-Cucumber-Beetle_vq2494.htm
    http://organicgardening.about.com/od/pestcontrol/p/cucumberbeetle.htm

    good luck! i wonder if it’s too late to do the row covers….

  3. Christine May 22, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    I’m not positive that’s a squash bug on the zucchini, simply because it doesn’t look like the ones I dealt with (solid brown, not spotted), but I guess there could be different kinds of them. ACK! Speaking of squash/zucc, I need to get out and wrap the stems with either old t-shirt scraps or window screen so the borers don’t get to them. They killed all of my plants last year because I didn’t know about them.

    Any bugs I see on my plants get picked off (usually the darn caterpillars) and dumped in a small tub of soapy water. Those I don’t see, those that are too small, or those that are too many get sprayed with a soapy water mixture (I use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap — I had once read the peppermint would help repel, don’t know if that’s holding true or not). Any eggs you see on the underside of leaves need to be scraped off and discarded as well. I also use diatomaceous earth for the crawly things (mostly slugs). Google some info on companion planting — marigolds and nasturtiums are great, as well as garlic and a few other herbs.

  4. Sue May 22, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Darn that pesky little beetle!

    Okay, Amy, now I am inspired! It’s time to get out in my yard, get my hands dirty, and plant my garden!

  5. Stef May 22, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    I’m interested to read what others suggest. I don’t know my bugs, but I know that when the bugs hit the garden, I just give up. I’ve heard to use soapy water, too, but I just don’t have the time to go out and spray/pick off all the bugs every day. Last year, I had some kind of nasty new-to-me squash bugs that destroyed all my squash and my pumpkins in a day. This year, I got chickens. :) At first sight of bugs, I’m setting the chickens loose in the garden. At least maybe they’ll get rid of the bug population for next year, even if they destroy the plants. Are chickens on your DIY list for June perhaps??? j/k
    Good luck, Amy, your garden is looking great!!

  6. Deidre May 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    I have had success with a dishsoap listerine concoction just add water and spray it on.Your garden looks awesomw:) Deidre~ http://simplysimplisticated4.blogspot.com

  7. Bronwyn May 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Everything looks so green and lush. A few good rainfalls from now- everything will be huge! I’ve never planted squash – maybe I’ll give it a try this year, too!

  8. Marek May 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    I’ve done the Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap with water or water with some peppermint essential oil in it and it’s worked for me so far. Also, I’ve tried chili powder mixed in with water and it’s helped. Here is a website with recipes I’ve tried, as well. http://drnataliecolicci.com/wordpress/?p=57

  9. Shindlemama May 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    I haven’t used Sevin yet, though that is my plan this year as well. My next door neighbor does use it and it is organic, or you can at least buy the organic variety. They love it and they are an organic family.

  10. Shindlemama May 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I haven’t used Sevin yet, though that is my plan this year as well. My next door neighbor does use it and it is organic, or you can at least buy the organic variety. They love it and they are an organic family.

  11. t j May 23, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    Cayenne pepper tea spray!!!!! even adding a drop or 2 of soap!! Spray under the leaves & on top if you see the critters there!!

  12. OLS May 23, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    First of all good for you for doing your part to make this world a better place! Your family will love the bounty and it’s good for getting kids outdoors when you need to weed, water and harvest. I don’t like to use commercial items either. I’ve had so much success using cayenne pepper in my garden to keep squirrels away that I’ve committed to keeping things as natural as possible. Don’t be afraid to check with a local University that has an agriculture or horticulture program, they are a wealth of free info. The U of M in MN is awesome for questions like yours. The first thing I would try is the dish soap and water. You can use the sprayer bottles that are intended for hooking up to your garden hose for spraying weed killer. I’m not sure of a ratio but Google it and see what comes up, you have nothing to lose. 2nd try would involve the mint oil or extract & water. Good luck and keep us posted on what works…..

  13. Jayne May 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Lookin good Amy (well except for your bugs!) Good for you in working toward your goals! :)

  14. James Mills August 10, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    I’ve heard several decent home made weed killer recipes. I’m not sure about pesticides though.

  15. Kallie April 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Planting marigolds, chives, and other flowers and herbs can help repel pesky bugs from your garden. This is one of my favorite lists: http://www.squidoo.com/toptencompanionplants

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid April 24, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks for the link, Kallie! Great tips.

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