The thought of a fall garden with beautiful rows of cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower broccoli, and beets danced in Dick’s and Jane’s head. Sowing seeds directly into the warm soil beats the spring ritual of growing plants inside. Best of all, light pest pressure, right?
The kohlrabi was the first victim of an unknown insect that toppled seedlings like some mad lumberjack. After hacking down the tender sprouts, did the insect feast on the bounty? No, it left the remains for me to find. What kind of sadistic bug does this? Next to go were the cabbages and the kale and a few of the cauliflowers and beets.
Jane tried several ways to stop the demise of her brassicas. She sprinkled Diatomaceous earth or DE around the plants and sprayed BT (biological insecticide).
DE stopped the dingy cutworms in their path to devour the garden. However, additional applications did not stop the devastation. Was their another type of worm?
After more research about dispatching cutworms, Jane discovered a non-chemical suggestion to defeat the invisible enemy. Put a cardboard ring around the stems. It seemed so simple but would it work? Dick suggested using plastic instead, as it wouldn’t disintegrate in the rain.
Jane cut a recently emptied milk carton into strips and the ends stapled to form a circle. The beets and cauliflowers with their protective collars are thriving for over a week. No more fatalities!
Despite the setbacks, there are successes. So far, Dick’s harvested two and a half pounds of Kentucky pole beans planted in August. Something is nibbling on the leaves, perhaps rabbits. Even so, there’s plenty of bean picking to do.
In the next day or two, the radishes will be ready. For those that are not fond of their peppery taste – try roasting them. That’s the only way Dick likes them fixed. Cabbage, collards, and brussels will get planted in their place. Cold frames will be fitted to the raised beds to protect against the frost and the cold.
The turnips are doing great. Knock on wood that deer don’t come and eat them before Dick and Jane harvest them the first of November.
Though the garden season is winding down, thoughts about next year’s garden are gearing up. High on the list is planting fruit trees, cultivating the wild raspberry bushes, and muscadine vines on the property. What are your gardening goals for next year?
Here’s a tour of the garden. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/S1poyJfr6r0