Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Time is on your side when gardening down South, especially in the coastal plain of North Carolina. If  it is not the right time for one plant, hang on, it is for another. It is no longer time for potatoes, but in their place I planted okra. Same with sweet peas. Out they came due to heat. In went field peas, aka Food of the Gods, in their place.
The time for green beans is upon us. Their window of opportunity is short. As the superheated subtropical heat pushes up from the equator, or the arctic air subsides, depending on your point of view, green beans fail. Tricky they are. The plants remain lush and green, the flowers continue to bloom but...the pollen of these self-polinating wonders becomes infertile in the super-charge heat of summer and beans do not form.
Now is also the time when ants emerge hungry. Very hungry. Native ants farm. They farm aphids. Aphids make a sticky sweet substance that ants adore. They suck the life out of the tender tips of plants like green beans for the ants.
Itty bitty baby bean! Victory! 
Time has taught me to look for ants crawling up and down the stems of plants. In no time aphids will appear. How do I deal with aphids? I squash them with my bare hands, gentle gardeners. If there are too many? I blast with the garden hose. If that doesn't kill them? I use diatomaceous earth. Take care. It is organic but, like all pesticides, it is indesciminate. It can hurt you too. Read the label. Especially your eyes.
Meanwhile. Sex and murder in the garden! As good as any trashy mystery novel!

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