Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the curious case of the elusive cucumber monster...

I went out to check on my heart and soul (aka. the potted urban garden) this morning and look at the state of my very first prized cucumber!!!!

I was mortified to say the least. What's worse is the guilty culprit was no where to be found... or even if it was, I have no idea what I am looking for. Could those innocent little white "butterflies" be responsible for this massive munch? Or should I be looking for a large caterpillar of some sorts? Garden lovers- help me find the felon so I can send him on his way and restore my little urban Eden!

As I'm on the subject, I might as well show you around the rest of the potted garden.

The zucchinis are still providing- I will have a couple more to pick in a few days, making a grand total of 14 already picked and eaten this spring.

Tomatoes do take their time don't they? It feels like ages since these cherry tomatoes first arrived. I plucked and ate the very first red one a couple days ago, but the rest are still green with hints of yellowy orange in them.

The truss tomatoes are popping up everywhere. I can only hope I get to enjoy at least a few before we go away for three weeks (on December 14th). Otherwise, my trusty watering maids will get to enjoy the ripe fruits of their labour.

The potatoes are growing away in this pot. No idea whether there are any new potatoes there or whether I just have a potato with a lot of green sprouts. I think I'll harvest them right before we leave to go away. Fingers crossed. I planted "Safeway Organic Potatoes" (which is an oxymoron in my opinion), so we'll see if they result in anything at all.

The lettuce is looking lame. We have been picking and eating it probably a little too often, not sure whether it will re-grow or if I'll have to start growing some new heads in the new year. And the curly lettuce in the middle is doing something weird at the top. Does that mean it's going to seed? Does lettuce even "go to seed"?... I am so ignorant when it comes to such things.

Big B's kaffir lime tree is sprouting flowers, which I assume means we might even get a lime or two at some point. I wonder if they are edible or can at least be used in gin and tonics...?

The little red pepper plant is also flowering, hopefully we'll get some spice out of it in the new year.

Finally, our strawberries are still going strong. They went through some hard times after the heat wave, but they keep appearing. I think a bird got a hold of one of them because it has a few pecks in it. I'll probably pick these tonight for L'il B to have with some yogurt for dessert.

Hope someone has some answers in regards to the garden monster, because I was really looking forward to making homemade dill pickles!!



One pair of Hands said...

I think your pot garden is doing remarkably well. Those bites look a bit possum-ish to me but I think he would have taken the whole thing so I'd go for caterpillars, slugs or snails. Snails would leave a shiny track. Check with a torch at night and see what you can find. Yep, your lettuce is going to seed and will probably have little yellow flowers. You may be able to save the seeds for re-planting but sometimes seeds are treated so that you can't do that. Good luck with it all. :)

ecoMILF Meagan said...

For "one pair of hands" you sure hold a lot of info in those palms. (giggle giggle) Thanks for the advice... I will try to save the seeds and see what happens. And the possums! Aha! That explains a lot. I am from Canada and when I saw the cucumber I thought "squirrel!!", and then I remembered you don't have such things. But I totally forgot about the possibility of possums. Interesting... very interesting.

Tania said...

YUMMY garden. I have a theory that before you know it, you'll be UP TO YOUR EYEBALLS in tomatoes and begging for preserving recipe mercy!

PS. If you can work out what is eating every bit of new growth on my passionfruit let me know?

Gavin said...

Hi Meagan, I reckon it was an earwig that ate your cucumber. I have seen similar damage to plants and found earwigs munching on my cucumbers. To check if I am right, leave an old salsa jar, fill with about 100ml of olive oil and if it was earwigs they will make like lemmings and drown in the oil. I don't know why, but they cannot resist it. I have caught of 50 in one jar in one night this way and my garden is free from the little pests.


My Love is..... said...

wow great advice on this post!! Your graden is looking awesome.... even more so considering the recent heatwave. well done!!

Clementine's Shoes said...

They look like tooth marks to me, so I'd be betting possum (or human??). I've heard that possums don't really like to get down on the ground to access a food source, so perhaps have a look at making a bit less accessible to them.
I appreciate Gavin's comment re the earwigs- I think they're devouring my seedlings, so I'll try this out. I have heard that they like linseed oil too.
You're lucky to have tomatoes already- the general rule of thumb I heard for Melbourne is to plant them out on cup weekend, so they must be liking the spot where they're growing!

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