What to Do When Plants are Stressed…and More Plantings

May 11, 2013

As I mentioned in a previous post, most of our plants in the BTE garden had to be transplanted. Even though none of them have died, I can tell they are stressed because bugs are starting to eat them.

bugsI remember Paul talking in one of L2Survive’s videos about how one time he transplanted celery – at first, they were being gobbled up by slugs…but as they got stronger, the slugs left them alone. He says (as he always does), look in nature…predators are always after the weakest. The weakest animal in the herd gets taken out and in the gardener’s case, the weakest plants get taken out.

So, what do I do about it? Kill the bugs? That just gets rid of the bugs – it does not make the plant stronger and the plant’s weakness is the actual issue!

  1. I’m going to give it time. The plants were transplanted a couple of days ago and they may bounce back yet.
  2. Again, give it time – time for the beneficial bugs to come in and eat the harmful bugs.
  3. Eventually, I may add some compost tea from the chickens to try to strengthen the plants.

I am fully aware this year’s BTE garden may not be much of anything because our soil is clay but I know, with time, it will only get better. Most people who till see the opposite. Each year, the tiller does more damage (killing more worms, etc.) and each year the bugs increase so each year they need more and more fertilizer and insecticide. The gardener is in a constant battle. With the BTE garden, each year gets better and better as the mulch protects (much like our skin protects us) and conditions/fertilizes the soil continually.

Even if I end up with minimal crop this year, I am still excited for the long term journey! We are already planning where to plant strawberries and sweet potatoes next year ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of potatoes, as I mentioned before, our potatoes are in bloom! They are tiny blooms, making me think they will be tiny potatoes, but again, I am not expecting much this year – anything will be great! I know it will get better each year ๐Ÿ™‚

potato blossom

Still letting the chickens free range until we lose one, which I hope will not happen, obviously, or until I get enough $$ freed up from the budget to buy chicken wire and wood to make some chunnels (chicken tunnels). Oh! And we got our first rooster crow a couple of mornings ago! So we know we have at least one (I think we have 2 or 3 b/c of their size and comb but we’ll see).

One last bit of garden news…I planted 3 tomato plants, 7 pepper plants and one cantaloupe plant from our greenhouses today! I also direct seeded some more snaps and some cucumbers. I am trying to have a constant harvest of snaps so I am planting a crop every two weeks.

peppers (newly transplanted pepper plants)tomatoes and cantaloupe(L to R two tomato transplants & one cantaloupe transplant)

The corn I planted almost two weeks ago is coming up (faster in one box than the other). The seed is OLD (like 4 years?) so I planted a lot in each hole, hoping to increase the odds. I plan on transplanting the extras…just don’t know where… ๐Ÿ™‚

cornTomorrow, the goal is to transplant some kale and lettuce into my side garden I put in the shade – seeing if I can harvest cool weather crops mostly year round, even in HOT NC!

We are still harvesting spinach, lettuce, and kale for salads, but I am fighting bolting left and right so I think we are nearing the end in the main (full sun) garden.

cool crops(kale in foreground. our only broccoli plant left, flowering, and lettuce, which is the only thing that hasn’t bolted yet)

What is your method of dealing with bugs? I meant to take a pic so you could help me identify them…I’ll try to do that soon…

I’m linking to Simple Lives Thursday…one day my life will be simple!…maybe?


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