Monday, May 9, 2011

Hardening off seedlings and bugs in the garden

I am now 99% sure the damage I saw on the zucchini leaf was wind/sun damage. If I think about it, I moved the zucchini plants from indoors to outdoors into the strong winds without any transition period (or hardening them off). The reason why the zucchinis on the ground floor are doing better because they are in the shade and the fence protected them from strong winds. The seedlings were so large compared to the tomatoes and peppers that I didn't really think twice about leaving them outside. They are now doing OK, so I am optimistic that they will continue to thrive. I left the tomato and pepper seedlings (which are more delicate) out for 7-8 hours (albeit them being protected in the plastic box) on a windy day. I didn't realize it then, but I now see some damage on the leaves that look very similar (leaves turning white-ish and looking dry) to the zucchini leaf. I read a very good article here. The author says that the seedlings sometime can recover from these damages if they are babied for a while. So I'll keep a close eye on them and hope they will survive.
You can see the leaf is turning white. The edges of the leaf is a little dry.
  I found my first pest(s) in my garden the other day. Aphids on the jalapeno pepper plant! Before trying out dish soap water spray, I tried mechanical removal (twice) with a Q-tip. The infestation wasn't bad so for now I think this is working. I'll keep a close eye on it. I had no idea that aphids had wings...or maybe the winged ones were not aphids.
If you look close, there are some aphids on the leaves. It was much worse before the Q-tip treatment
While my parents were in town, my mom and I found a hornet hive under the balcony. We knocked it off (since it appeared empty) and so I thought that was the end of it. But a week or so ago I noticed the hornets were back rebuilding their home. I'm not sure if I should remove them. I think I will have to since now I am worried that they will come find me on the balcony and sting me.

In DC this weekend I found a couple of fennel plants growing at a parking lot. I didn't realize there was such thing as wild fennel.
Wild fennel
 My friends and I visited the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. It was a great place to have a picnic! Here are pictures of some really pretty flowers (I don't know what they are though).
Purple flowers
Pink flower
white flowers
succulents in concrete container

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