Monday, September 27, 2010

Bees swarming

For the last several years we've had a beehive in a crack in the stucco exterior of our house. Most of the year I'm only somewhat aware that there are thousands of bees living in my walls, but this time of the year they swarm, presumably because they have an extra queen in the hive. I know when they're swarming because I'll find bees flying in the bedroom...

I leave the hive alone. I need pollinators and love bees. My garden is always full of them, and I never mind them when they sting me in the garden, regretting only the misunderstanding has to end in the bee's demise.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Cool season planting

I'm a bit behind in this, but only a week or two. I planted the classics for the cool, dry season... which is just 'round the corner:
  • Cauliflower (Snow Crown)
  • Broccoli (Blue Wind)
  • Collards (Champion)
  • Lettuce (Jericho)
The garden's pretty beat-up. The end of August saw periods of prolific and extended rain, followed by very dry and muggy conditions. With waning days, that spells FUNGUS. My watermelons succumbed (those that were left after the #*(&(*#%R raccoons ate six of them in one night). My eggplants are struggling but will make it. Bye-bye, cucuzzi.

On the plus side, a drop of one or two degrees at night has done wonders for fruit set on my limas and yardlongs. I got hardly any beans in August, but now the vines are covered and I gathered my first good basket of the season yesterday. I've talked to other gardeners in the area and they had the same problem--lots of growth, lots of blooms, but little in the way of beans. I guess our above-normal nightly temps are to blame.