Make yourself comfortable under the Tulip Tree.

My name is Victoria and I am gradually creating a suburban homestead in Central Illinois.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

japanese beetles are back

Japanese beetles, also known as popillia japonia, are invaders that we truly need to prevent and control. They love to feed off of the yard's life, defoliating leaves and fruit. I was going to town with a spray bottle full of soapy water and olive oil. Last year, the beetle defoliated both cherry trees. I hope to stop them this year before complete destruction occurs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

beautiful iris

Beautiful iris from the Amish lady at the Farmer's Market. It has three blooms that alternate with opening and closing: left, right, middle, repeat. Weirdest thing I have seen in the garden.

Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors...

Edith Buckner Edwards, 1961

potato harvest...not good so far

red potatoes still growing strong
  The reds look good so far.

The gold potato plants were dead when we got home from vacation. we had a drip system set up to give them water. So we pulled the pile. 

At least 6 bigger potatoes had started rotting in the wet earth. I dug through 100 pounds of composted soil and straw to the bottom to find a few potatoes.

We did get bigger potatoes but not very many and they were only at the bottom of the barrel. I don't see how people gets "hundreds" of pounds of potatoes from a vertical system.

I followed directions. Oh well. We'll have to maybe throw the potatoes into one of the boxes and try rows next year. 

Homegrown new potatoes taste wonderful!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


The soft-necked garlic looks ready...falling over. I dug up 4 small cloves. I left the others in the ground for a few more days.

The elephant garlic needs another week or so.

A great page for garlic: http://www.hoodrivergarlic.com/garlic-calendar.htm

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Drip system worked...sort of

The drip system and timer worked very well while we were gone for 10 days. Some plants didn't get as much water as others; one can tell from the size of the plants.

The basil had a great growth spurt despite being dug by a chipmunk!  To each side, are the flowers that just loved getting watered every day.

Yes, the chipmunks managed to dig out there tunnel which I had blocked. They, however, did not eat my brassicas to the ground like last year. So, win. There is now a pound of camphor inside and a large brick over their hole.

In other news, the poor cucumbers are battling. They did not get as much water as the centered yellow squash and melons. This one has only 2 true leaves, and has blossomed. Weird!

Friday, June 1, 2012

vacation hiatus and meditation

Headed off to vacation and a disconnect from the digital world. I leave you with leafy carrot tops!


bodhii svaha