I’ve just come in from Round 2 of investigating my garden with a flashlight.  My neighbor, C.L., (you’ll see him in my episodes of “Late Bloomer”) has been telling me to come out at 2:00 in the morning and see what’s crawling around, that I could gather the snails and slugs in a bucket.  I want to be sleeping at that time of night, but, in a dusk cruise around the garden, I saw one slug on a purple cabbage.  It looked pretty vulnerable with the light in its eyes.  But, I’m afraid I had no pity for it, or the other 15 or so slugs and snails I rounded up.

At 10:00pm, when it was fully dark, I decided to go back out and take another look around.  It was a convention!  You know, snails move very fast!  Really!  No sooner than you drop them in – in this case I was using a paper bowl – than they are scooting right back out.  There’s a patch of my neighbor’s grass no more than 4’x5,’ right next to the end of my cabbage patch, surrounded by concrete and asphalt, and I picked up 20 slugs in five minutes.  They all seemed to be headed my way.  I’m sure I would be pretty crazed if I knew just how many were down in there.  I sprinkle Sluggo all around the garden, but they seem to navigate around those little pellets.

In the 7:30 garden cruise, I spotted these tiny white flies, aphids maybe, a pair, on my heirloom rose bush. (I just cropped the photo further and now I see a third creature bottom center.)

Now, you have no idea how hard I’ve worked to get these roses to thrive.  I salvaged two rose bushes from my neighbor, Mr. Gerber’s, yard before he passed away and the lot was bulldozed.  They were heirlooms and the scent was unforgettable.  He never did a thing to these roses, and they were spindly and shoots went up 6′ high.  Not for me.  I’ve transplanted them about four times in four years, trying this spot and that.  This past January, I went to a rose workshop, so I would do everything right.  They start off nicely after pruning, with healthy leaves, but before the buds would open, some creature would bore down in there and they would turn hard and brown before they opened.

Then, the leaves get eaten up by one thing or other.  I was recommended to use a Spinosad for the borers, and after one treatment, I got one nice bloom that smelled intoxicating, but now they are not looking so good.  And there’s the aphids.  I could barely see the white specs with my naked eye – well, the sun was down – so I grabbed my macro lens.  I sprayed them again tonight.

Then, I discovered another one of these.  I’ve seen them before on what’s left of a sunflower leaf.  I think it must be excrement from a very hungry caterpillar, the one that just ate the leaf.  It’s like a little pretzel.

Then, I discovered what my neighbor calls rust on my iceberg rose bush.  I had noticed it on my neighbor’s roses, but was hoping it wouldn’t travel.  Wrong.  I guess I’ll have to buy something to treat that. I removed all the infected leaves.

This Sunscape Daisy, Nasinga Purple, was closing up shop after the sun went down.

Earlier in the day, it had been proudly displayed in the sun.

For more photos, check out the Late Bloomer Show Facebook page.  If you have advice for me regarding pest management – for an organic garden – please let me know!  Thanks for checking in!