Thursday, April 3, 2014

Garden: Minsky's Garden Journal March 22-March27

March 22, 2014
It happened again, the pest is back! We were doing so well in the garden these last few days and this morning when I woke up and looked out into the garden I discovered the plants were uprooted again. So frustrating! When Tristan and I walked outside to see he was so disappointed. We thought we had figured a solution to the problem but we were wrong.  I called my dad and asked him for some chicken wire because I was desperate to keep the pest out. The plants can not establish their roots if they keep getting dug up.
When my husband, Robert, saw the garden he thought it must be our neighborhood cats. We do have cats that roam all through our backyard and I never thought they would cause a problem in the garden. However, Robert did some research online and we figured they could be the possible pests. We were also able to find a possible all natural and organic solution for deterring them. We read that two things they do not like are lavender and oranges. So I knew I had to try this method to keep them away! I peeled two oranges and cut up 8 sprigs of lavender and scattered them over the garden bed and also the small planter where the squash and pumpkin are planted.  Not wanting to take any more chances,  I also sprinkled black pepper, chili powder and red pepper flashes just in case we do have several different pests visiting us. I am going to hold off on the chicken wire for now and hope I really don't have to use it.
March 27, 2014
It has been five days since we had our last visit from our pests and I am so glad they have not returned. The orange peel and lavender mix I am scattering over the dirt must be working. I stopped sprinkling the chili and pepper because I wanted to see if the oranges and lavender would be a better deterrent and they seem to be.  Everyday Tristan wakes up and looks out at the garden with me and wants to see if the pests came back.  We have been so happy to see they have not.
We have seen some growth in the plants and citrus but I think there might be a problem with our avocado tree. It's leaves all have brown tips and it looks droopy to me. It just doesn't seem right. I am still really new in this gardening adventure but I don't recall the tree looking this way last year. I looked up possible problems and solutions with brown tipped leaves online HERE and I discovered it might be:
Salt Accumulation. 
Avocados are more susceptible to the accumulation of chloride and sodium salts than most other tree crops. Damage from excessive salt appears as burned leaf tips and margins (spots) on older leaves and early leaf drop. Salt accumulation is often caused by irrigation with poor quality saline water, light and shallow watering, inadequate soil moisture or excessive or improper fertilizer application. Salt accumulation is prevented or addressed through leaching salts out of the tree's root zone every four to five weeks during peak water use in summer by turning a hose on to a trickle and letting it run near the base of the avocado tree for 24 hours.
I have started the "leaching" method today and I will keep a close eye on the progress of the avocado tree. Gardening can be relaxing and rewarding but like everything else there are also problems that occur and so far we have had a few. Hopefully I am addressing them quickly and the plants will be able to thrive this season.