Archives for posts with tag: garden pests

Cold, wet days drive Kaye inside. Good thing the garden is planted. But, you have to venture out once in a while to thin seedlings, deal with pests and encounter wildlife. Check out Season 2, Episode 2 of “Late Bloomer,” “Maintaining the Winter Garden.”

Please Like and Share and Comment! Thank you! – Kaye

Please watch and share Season 2, Episode 1 of “Late Bloomer,” “Planting the Winter Garden.” Featuring the original guitar composition of “Late Bloomer’s” new composer, guitar man Jon Pileggi. I’m very excited to add Jon to our lean and creative Late Bloomer team!

I’ve been busy planting a garden, making Late Bloomer episodes, creating an e-book “The Late Bloomer Show’s 10 Steps for a Great, First Garden,” redoing my website, and dealing with my sprained ankle and all the other stuff of life. Sorry I haven’t been blogging lately, but I will get back to it very soon! Are you able to grow food in the winter? Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

P.S. Did you watch the Super Bowl? My American Airlines commercial ran during the game. I play a waitress. I’d love to know if you see it. Thanks!

Please watch and share my latest “Late Bloomer,” “Growing Corn Curbside,” the 20th episode and end of season 1! Also, the corn episode completes the corn, tomato and watermelon trilogy. Watch here, or higher resolution, including HD, on youtube.

Once again, I have to deal with my hard, clay soil, but, it was worth it. With corn this fresh, who needs to cook it?

What’s in store for Season 2? Well, more Monarchs, my winter garden, and lots, lots more! Thanks for your support! Comments welcome! – Kaye

In Southern California, growing food is a year-round activity, passion, and, for some, profession. There are no long, winter months to perfectly plan for the following year, we just do the best we can with what we have and keep going. This is a follow-up to Fall Sprouts – Part 1.

Here are eight more sprouts from my fall garden. It’s amazing that so many of the sprouts look so similar after just opening the first set of heart-shaped leaves. Only the next set of leaves begins to identify the plant. With the exception of the celery seedlings I planted on Labor Day, my entire fall garden was direct-seeded in November.

Various Baby Lettuce Sprouts

Mesclun Salad Mix


Cascadia Snap Peas Hybrid


Mei Quing Choi Baby


Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard


Redbor Kale


Wild Farm Garlic


Veronica F1 (Romanesco) Cauliflower Hybrid


Cherry Belle Radish Heirloom

As you can see, I have some bug and slug damage on a number of the sprouts. I’m going to have to be very vigilant (didn’t I say this in Episode 8 of “Late Bloomer?”) to nurture these plants to maturity. Seeds are from Botanical Interests, West Coast Seeds, and Seeds of Change. I planted 18 cloves of garlic  from a head given to me by Lisa at Wild Farm in Woodside, California, Episode 15. I intermixed them with the leftover Mexican Sunflowers along the street, and it took about six weeks for them to emerge. Nothing was happening till we got three solid days of rain over a week ago, then they started shooting up. I haven’t watered the garden since it rained, as the ground is still wet. Just think how much Colorado River water (that we we exist on) would have been saved if all the homeowners turned off their automatic sprinklers for a week. Grow food, not lawns!

If you haven’t visited Late Bloomer Facebook page, please do, and subscribe by following the simple directions in the top post. There are lots of great links to inspire, educate and encourage, so please Like. And post your own garden photos! Let’s get the conversation going. You can see a clip of my small, front garden here. Thanks for stopping by! What are you growing? – Kaye

My tomato episode is online, and I would love for you to watch it and share with friends. It was a long time coming, because, I kept waiting for my tomatoes to finish for this season, but, it’s November 3, and I’ve still got tomatoes growing! Click here, or for better quality, watch on YouTube.

I grow tomatoes for the first time in my first ever, organic urban front yard garden, with guest, James Kenney, wildlife photographer and expert tomato grower! And Linden the Cat makes an appearance.

Thanks for watching! – Kaye

I highly recommend growing celery in raised beds, so you don’t have to get down on all fours to inspect your celery. I did that today. I went out to harvest some spears for juicing, and ran across a cabbage worm. I ran in for my camera and had to return a phone call and when I got back, couldn’t find it for a few minutes. Searching on hands and elbows, I found this.

Cabbage Worm Cocoon©KayeKittrell 2012

Cabbage Worm Cocoon on Celery Leaf

Let’s just say this cabbage worm will not reach the moth stage. Next, I found this cocoon.

Butterfly Cocoon

Damaged Monarch Chrysalis Hanging from Celery Leaf

It looked a lot like the shape of the Monarch cocoon, but, it was whitish green, so I wasn’t sure what it was. I cut the spear and propped it against the fence, and went in to the computer to look for cocoon images. When I got back out there, it was smashed. I’m not sure how it happened. If it was a Monarch, I’m sorry, but I will have more. And can’t Monarch butterflies communicate to their eggs not to attach their cocoon to edible plants that might be harvested? It took some searching, but, I found the cabbage worm, exactly the same color as the celery stem.

Cabbage Looper on Celery Stem

Cabbage Looper on Celery Stem

I removed all the celery leaves from around the six plants and had enough for a small batch of green vegetable juice.

Fresh Picked Celery Leaves

Fresh Picked Celery Leaves

Next, I juiced them along with organic zucchini and carrots (from the market) and my own parsley.

Celery Leaves Going into Juicer

Celery Leaves Going into Juicer

However much juice I make, the proportions are always about 50% celery, 25% zucchini, 15% carrot, and 10% parsley. I blend in a tablespoon of raw (unheated) honey per quart, to make it drinkable, ha!

Green Vegetable Juice by Kaye Kittrell 2012

Green Vegetable Juice

And down that one went. If I could only get my carrots, zucchini, celery and parsley to grow all year, all at the same time, I’d be in business! Thanks for stopping by. Watch for the next episode of “Late Bloomer” tomorrow, “Kaye’s Tomato Story!” – Kaye

Rhino Beetle Grub

Fig Beetle Grub, on It’s Back

At least, I think that’s what I just dug up! However, a Fig or June Beetle was in my garden this summer, and could have laid eggs, but I think this grub is too large. Please correct me if I’m wrong. You can see the size measured against my finger near the end of the clip. It is dragging itself on it’s back, as those are it’s short legs sticking up in the air. And it can move fast! I plan to gift this to my neighbor’s chickens.

Click here for video on Late Bloomer Show Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by! Isn’t the natural world amazing? 🙂 – Kaye

It’s been five days since my last post, and eight days since the onset of a doozy of a chest cold. I’ve spent no more than an hour in the garden any day for the last week, not enough! Three days ago, my zucchini plant looked great with several fresh new leaves, blooms and zucchinis growing. However, when I looked out on Friday, it was wilted. Since it has not been that hot, I was worried. I posted this photo on my Facebook page on Friday.

Witted Zucchini

Witted Zucchini on Friday

The other vine, coming from the same plant, looked fine.

Zucchini Wilt on One Vine

Zucchini Wilt on One Vine

I had recently been treating the powdery mildew with 10% milk in water solution, and it seemed to be doing well. But, I also added some compost around the base and changed the watering a bit. There is such a thing as water wilt, but, it should have perked back up by the next day. Today, it looked worse.

Zucchini Bacterial Wilt

Zucchini Bacterial Wilt

Though I never saw one in my garden, striped and spotted cucumber beetles are carriers of a bacterium (Erwinia tracheiphila) – it overwinters in their gut – and this bacterium will turn the vines to mush. It cannot be controlled with pesticides (which I wouldn’t use anyway). First the leaves wilt, then the developing squash turn to mush. When I lifted the vine to see what condition it was in, it easily came away in my hand. The whole middle was mush. I read that, first, one vine gets hit and then it spreads. The only thing to do is get rid of the whole plant. Which I did.

Zucchini Vine with Bacterial Wilt

Zucchini Vine with Bacterial Wilt

It was a shame, because I had a lot of fresh leaves and blooms opening. I love this sight!

Young Zucchini Leaves

Young Zucchini Leaves

I cut off all the developing zucchinis and juiced them. This was the last of my illustrious zucchini made famous in “Zucchini Madness,” the 17th episode of “Late Bloomer!

The Last Zucchini Harvest

The Last Zucchini Harvest

I’m sad to see my zucchini go, and truthfully, I don’t know if I will try zucchini again next year, because it requires a lot of space, and is so susceptible to powdery mildew where we live. But, February is a long way off, so I shall see how I feel then. Thanks for stopping by!

Please visit my Facebook page for tons of interesting articles related to gardening, farming, raw foods, all over the world. I am encouraging a world-wide audience for “Late Bloomer.” (Unfortunately, I can only speak and write English!) – Kaye

I was out watering, and doing a minimal gardening job as record heat is expected today, when I spotted my first Monarch Butterfly! If you haven’t yet seen my Monarch episode of episode of “Late Bloomer,” please check it out!

Female Monarch Butterfly

Female Monarch Butterfly

After my visit with Loree Bryer, citizen scientist for the Monarch, I planted three Tropical milkweed, three California native Fascicularis, and one Cinderella Butterfly milkweed. The tropical and butterfly weed stopped blooming a week after I put them in, so I did not expect Monarchs to find me this year. But, today, a female appeared!

Female Monarch Butterfly Landing on Tropical Milkweed

Female Monarch Butterfly Landing on Tropical Milkweed

When it was clear she knew exactly where my milkweed was located, I ran for the camera as she started laying eggs. She visited every adult plant. She deposited eggs on each one. She hangs on while she curves her body to lay the egg.

Female Monarch Butterfly Laying Egg on Butterfly Weed

Female Monarch Butterfly Laying Egg on Butterfly Weed

I tried looking for the eggs. I didn’t imagine my scrawny plants had been visited before, but what did I find? Four tiny Monarch caterpillars! The female lays a single egg on a different leaf.

Monarch Caterpillar First Instar

Monarch Caterpillar First Instar Stage

And an egg! It’s not just a white blob. The detail is amazing.

Monarch Butterfly Egg on Tropical Milkweed

Monarch Butterfly Egg on Tropical Milkweed Leaf

For scale, here is a shot with my fingertip. You really have to look closely to find these, usually on the back of milkweed leaves, but, they can also be on the flowers. When the caterpillars hatch, they eat the egg shell, then the leaf and work their way down the plant.

Monarch Butterfly Egg on Tropical Milkweed by Kaye Kittrell

Monarch Butterfly Egg on Tropical Milkweed

I also found some aphids on another plant! Up close, they look quite forbidding! Hopefully, they will leave the Monarch eggs alone and not eat too many of my dwindling number of leaves.

Orange Aphids and Larvae on Tropical Milkweed Leaf

Orange Aphids and Larvae on Tropical Milkweed Leaf

Just so the Monarch didn’t steal the show, the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly reappeared and monopolized the Mexican Sunflower blooms.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower Wings Closed

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower Wings Closed

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower Wings Open

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower Wings Open

An exciting morning of color and discovery. Have you found Monarchs in your garden? What other butterflies have you seen? Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

I thought it might be interesting to go out the morning after my “Evening Observations” post to see what I missed last night. Turns out, there were a few things, particularly this critter lounging on my red cabbage. That notch of missing leaf just beside it’s head was in its mouth.

Imported Cabbage Worm Larvae on Red Cabbage

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva on Red Cabbage

I call a lot of caterpillars cabbage worm, and I know I’m not accurate all the time. This one appears to be. They are fuzzy, green with a yellow stripe, and this one was about 1 1/4 inches long. When threatened, they curl up in a ball, like a Roly-Poly. Caterpillars are one long intestine, and they eat and defecate constantly in their short life before metamorphosis. As I see cabbage moths in my yard all the time, I know to watch out for these. They’ll eat anything.

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Coiled on a Stick

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Coiled on a Stick

This cabbage grew back from a stalk that I left in the ground in June, after I harvested my last one. Something’s been eating on it, maybe more of these, and nibbled off the head, so I’m probably going to pull it out and start over with cabbage when it gets cooler. As I went in for a closer look to see if there were more caterpillars, I came face to face with a pile of its feces. Like I said, one big pooping machine.

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Frass

Imported Cabbage Worm Larva Frass

Next, I moved on to my watermelon patch. I’ve cut out so many drying up vines, that I’m starting to lose hope. There are several blooms still and a few little babies. If I can just get the watering right, maybe there will be time for these to develop.

Baby Watermelon

Baby Watermelon Sprout with Bloom

I’ve got five of these almost this size. This is the biggest. As I am the world’s worst at discerning when a melon is ripe (I always defer to the produce person at the market, and they are not always right, either), I have no idea whether I should cut it now. Clearly, they are never going to get as big as they were supposed to get.

Baby Watermelon on Vine

Baby Watermelon on Vine

I’ve got quite a bit of squash action, still. Here are blooms on my zucchini.

Green Zucchini Blooms

Green Zucchini Blooms

And a half dozen zucchinis ready to harvest.

Green Zucchini

Green Zucchini Growing

And there is life left in the patty pan squash on the parkway with new blooms and leaves.

Patty Pan Squash with Bloom

Patty Pan Squash with Bloom

And the little purple pepper plant is finally starting to produce. There are three little black ones and one red one.

Purple Bell Pepper, Red Stage

Purple Bell Pepper, Red Stage

I would happily spend the day in the garden, but my next episode,”Growing Tomatoes,” would never get finished. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

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