Archive for June, 2007

Cilantro

The cilantro was good while it lasted, but with this warm weather, it just went to seed. Eric planted more this week and they are sprouting already. We’ll need it for the tomatoes when we make salsa. Below is a picture showing cilantro bolting. We are keeping it around because we want to see if we can harvest the fruit, which is the spice, coriander.

Cilantro Flowers

Bugs or Birds?

Next on the agenda: Earwigs, also called pincher bugs. They are all over. And they run fast.

At first I thought the pretty, little gold finches were eating the cucumber and Chinese long bean leaves, so I put out some reflector tape to scare them away. But the more I looked at the leaves, I thought the damage might be caused by bugs. So I put some diatomacious earth at the base of the plants. It’s suppose to scratch the bugs bellies, something they don’t like, so they leave. That didn’t seem to work either. Since we saw so many earwigs, we thought “Could they be doing the damage?” I looked up info on the internet and concluded it was them. But if the diatomacious earth wasn’t working, what now. There are earwig traps. The kind where they go in and don’t come out. And I read we can make a trap easily out of rolled up newspaper. You are suppose to set out the newspaper in the evening. The earwigs are suppose to go into the paper and then you go back in the morning and put the newspaper in boiling water or soapy water to drown them. Eric tried this method last night and only caught two.

Holey Cucs

Eaten Up Beans

In the meantime, I had to pull all of the green bean plants. They just would not grow or rather, could not grow with all the holes in the new leaves. I did replant a section this week and those seeds are already popping up. If the weather continues to be warm, I think they will have a chance to outgrown the bugs.

What’s Left of the Beans

Dang Varmits! The saga continues.

So we bought 4 of these expensive Molechasers, totally expecting them to work. I mean, all of their information and testimonials said they would work, so they ought to work, right?. Work meaning chase the gophers, voles and moles away. We thought we had read the instructions correctly and gotten them into the ground deep enough, but after 4 phone calls to the company in Oregon where we purchased them, 2 phone calls to New Jersey to talk to tech support and 2 emails to the tech support, you would have thought we would have the answer as to why the varmits are digging RIGHT NEXT TO THE MOLECHASERS. I swear, the name should be changed to MoleAttractor.

Finally we talked to an experienced person in Oregon who told us the critters are attracted at first. They don’t like the sound, so they go towards it with intentions of getting rid of it. She had placed a Molechaser in her lawn and the gophers actually dug it up! She also told us to bury the Molechaser. No where in their instructions do they say to bury the thing.

Our next challenge was how to dig holes that deep in our rocky, hardpan earth. We had to go down at least 18″. We didn’t have any tools to accomplish this job, so Eric rented a drill thingy. He brought it home and started to drill holes all over the upper garden. He figured since he had rented the thing, he might as well drill some holes, thinking maybe he would move the Molechasers around the garden. Not long after he started to drill, the thing starts to smoke. I only noticed it because it smelled so bad.

Eric Drilling Holes

Eric Drilling Holes

We decided there were enough holes in the upper garden and he should move to the lower one before the thing breaks down. So wouldn’t you know it, he’s just about finished drilling one hole and the machine dies on him. Back to the rental place to see if they can fix it or loan us another one. Well, they didn’t have another and it couldn’t be fixed that day, but they did waive the rental fee…which was real nice.

So the upper garden has 2 Molechasers buried at opposite ends of the garden and the lower garden has 1 buried. I stuck the other one in a gopher hole, sideways, until we can drill another hole.

Are they working? you ask. Well, it’s been about 3 weeks since we installed them properly and even though we have seen some activity, it has lessened. We haven’t seen gophers in either of the gardens in about 10 days or so, but we do have a mole in the lower garden. He hasn’t done much damage, except mess up some of the mounds for the squash.

Next varmit to tackle: EARWIGS (Yuk! They are everywhere.)