Sunday, May 6, 2012

Community garden bed, aphids and aphid mummies!

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the garden space I was allotted is in a community garden that is closest to my house. I watched as this community garden was built last year with lots of excitement, as I'm sure other residents did too. This garden is located just on the boarder to the rougher part of the neighborhood - well, not "rough" Baltimore rough, but not as nice as the other parts of the neighborhood. It used to be an abandoned lot/park space with 4-5 trees and a couple of shrubs. It wasn't one of those nice urban green space, it was more...well, sketchy. During the day it was fine, but definitely at night it was a corner that I avoided. The transformation to the community garden happened almost overnight, and it made the area into a great green space.
Each *first year* community gardener is given one 4x12 raised bed. The city provides compost and you can add any amendments as long as it is organic. After the first year, you can rent a second raised bed.  Being accustomed to container gardening, the raised bed feels gigantic. I'll see how this season goes and decide if I want a second next year. For now, I am just really excited to have so much space!

Back in the container garden, my vegetables are growing really well. There is a patch of aphids here and there, but nothing that cannot be handled (yet!). Among the aphids, there was a cluster of white-looking bugs. Initially thought it was white flies, but it turns out it is shedded aphid skin. I also found these tiny silvery bugs, the size of aphid, but round. It looks like one of the creatures in super mario brothers. Again, I thought this was some new kind of bug, but I think it is an aphid "mummy". Apparently there is a parasitic wasp that lays its egg in aphids and when the eggs hatch, the aphid blows up and becomes a round aphid mummy. I found this information at this page here. As much as I hate any sort of insect, this information is kind of cool. I sprayed the romaine lettuce with some soapy water to start managing the aphids.
Lots of aphid skin


  1. wow, that's awesome! THat does look like a large bed. i love that the city provides it during the first year. what a great way to help build a feeling of success.

    1. It really is a great resource! I'm so happy I was able to rent the space!