Friday, April 18, 2008

Adopt a Crop update: This time with soap

What? I've already posted this photo?


This is a new photo. Of the new plant. That will *hopefully* be replacing the one that was devastated and destroyed by something disgusting that I'm trying to now fend off/mercilessly kill with soap and water.

See, this is when I start to wonder if I'm cut out for the whole organic gardening thing. I mean, I read my books and I stalk other gardeners on the internet and I make assumptions about organic right and wrong based on my gut instincts (Round-Up bad. Manual hand-weeding self to death - GOOD!), but at the end of the day, I usually walk away feeling like it's something of a crapshoot and gee I hope that something grows otherwise won't I feel like a horses ass.

Thankfully, *something* always grows, not always from seed, and I learn a few things each season that will keep me going in the next season when I'm faced again with shit like this where I've companion planted and mulched and floating row-covered my ass off and yet still I can't.grow.cucumbers.from.seed. Due to the damn munching bugs.


So, this season I'm learning the joy of the good old soap and water spray. I'd like to be able to grow the whole damn organic garden from seed with no intervention by me or any spray bottle, but it looks like I'm going to have to settle for a few clandestine moments of tiny bug annihilation with the Trader Joe's biodegradable soap mixed up with some water in my dollar bin spray bottle. Which just goes to show what a total fucking experiment the whole gardening thing is for me anyway.

I'm no professional, which you well know.

So, let's just forgive me for resorting to a soap and water killfest while also hoping to hell it works and lets my cucumber seedlings survive long enough to become mighty enough to fend for themselves without their hourly sponge baths from mommy.

And while I have you hear, why not show you the plants in my garden who can fend for their own damn selves.

Both tomato plants are blooming

The peas are climbing

The strawberries are ripening

The beets are stretching

The radishes are basically doing this...

The lettuce is growing second leaves

The bell peppers are actually germinating. Contrary to everything I've read about their ability to germinate from direct sowing. Take that, seed packet!

And my neighbors gave me a bunch more snap peas from their 100% germinating seeds because they are overachievers.

Anyway, I hope to come back and tell you all what a ravishing success the soap and water genocide was on the plant munching evils. Or at least be able to show off the big strong cucumber plants I found at the nursery. Since that's where I'm going this weekend for a cantaloupe plant because, yes, that bed has been devastated by creatures too large to succumb to the mild threat of biodegradable soup.

Squirrels - be warned. You're on my list.


  1. Finny, Finny, Finny. Look at those poor peee-kid little beets. They're not feelin' the love. They need MORE TLC. You must go to the garden. Love and caress them. Sing to them. Show them the LOVE!!!

  2. Squirrels. Oh, the squirrels. I actually chase them out of the yard several times every day, which fills me with murderous rage and apparently strikes them as a fun game, because they boldly return to eat my tiny little berries (which look pitiful, by the way) and dig in my tomatoes. I'm really starting to hate those fluffy little rats.

  3. Tell me more about this soap and water thing... I just found little somethings on my herbs and I'd like them gone. Do you spray the whole plant or sponge the leaves? What kind of dilution are you using? You're my go to garden expert now!

  4. Tell me, are teh sad little bits of cucumber seedlings left to wilt on the ground, or are they completely eaten? If they are completely eaten, I would think slugs, which would necessitate a beer trap or two. If they are left to wilt, then maybe weevils or cut worms or something else equally as evil. Soap spray is generally useful for aphids and other tiny little things that you can see living on the plant itself.... :) Figure out your pest first, then we'll figure out how to annihilate the little buggers.


  5. Thimbleanna - What? They look good! They are one of the only seedlings not to be mercilessly chewed by bugs! Don't worry - I am spending a lot of QT with the beets especially.

    Meg- They ARE fluffy rats. I let the dog loose on them. Rawr!

    Nell- Soap and water mix works well on most insects, since the soapy mixture clogs their breathing which exists on the outside of their bodies. There is a term for this that is all scientific and stuff which I can't remember. Anyway, I use a few tbsps of biodegradable soap with a full squirt bottle of warm water. It doesn't fix everything, but it's pretty effective on little bugs like aphids, etc.

    Ginger - The sad cuke seedlings get chewed to the nub. Then they vanish completely. So far the soap/water mix is keeping the new seeds safe, but we'll see. I forgot about beer traps, but I might try that. Slugs are getting at my strawberries now!. Ugh! Let me know what you think.

  6. LOL Booooya - it is WAR in Finny's garden!!! All out chemical warfare! NUKE 'EM!!!

    (Seriously, that's how I've felt when I've finally had to succumb to dusting with Sevin, which I'm sure has made me sterile!)

    Oh, and why does it look like you're growing sea anemones next to your lettuce and peppers?

  7. The fact that you've grown anything from seed is a huge accomplishment in my book. I tried to grow basil, mint and poppies from seed last summer. My basil never progressed beyond seedlings, I'm not sure what my mint was and I had 4 poppies. You're an inspiration. :) (This year I'm buying everything already sprouted and well on its way to maturity and just plopping it in the ground.)


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.