This week in my garden :: July 11

It all started when my husband took a look at our kale bed and frowned.  One of the plants was badly infested with aphids, soon to infect the others.  "We're off to buy ladybugs," he said immediately hopping into the car with both kids.  He was motivated.  In the meantime, I took matters into my own hands by pulling the infested plant out of the ground, washing the salvageable leaves and blending them into a berry smoothie. 

Once my crew got home, they gave the soil a good water and released the little red beneficial insects.  They'll only stay long enough to lay eggs.  It's an ephemeral experience, a frighteningly fascinating backyard phenomenon.  How strangely comfortable I was allowing numerous insects to crawl all over me.  This is our story of how one bag-o-bugs can provide hours of cheap fun.

While we all loved the ladybug extravaganza, my husband and I have been mourning our soil purchase for our new raised beds.  It looked fine and dandy in last month's garden post, but we now realize, it's a disaster.  Our plants are stunted and barely growing at all.  It is terrible soil.  I'm in the process of writing to the company, but just trying to focus on all the green that is growing healthy (in the soil I saved from my pots last year.)  I am lamenting over the carrots, beats, collard greens, tomatoes and basil with which I could be asking my children to fill their baskets.  My main reason for growing food is because my children easily eat vegetables in the garden, not as easily on their dinner plates.  All I can do now is appreciate what we do have: squash blossoms that have been saved from powdery mildew, lettuce that is lasting forever but surprisingly still delicious, oregano that started growing in the pot from the free pile, abundant flowers, tall, tall sunflower stalks, snow peas, beans, sugar snap peas and chubby feet in puddles. 
Note: do not buy from Pacific Topsoils. "They are extremely irresponsible with regard to the environment, have been cited numerous times for unlawfully filling wetlands, and on top of that, their soil is terrible.  I have had experience with them personally and professionally." 
- My plants and I agree, as does a friend of mine who is a forest ecologist 



  1. The lady bug thing is a trip! Where did Taho get them? I've been wanting to take some macros of ladybugs, but they aren't really in our yard at all. It's weird that they just don't show up here like they do in the Midwest. Maybe I need to just go buy some. ha.

    1. We got them from Indoor Sun Shoppe in Fremont (by Theo's Chocolates.) Home depot might have them too. I was thinking about your macro lens, DO it!