I’m losing control of the garden

22 Nov

We’ve had almost tropical weather in Sydney. It has been a strange mix of 30+ degrees, thunderstorms, then patches of set-in rain for days at a time. I’m trying really hard to keep control of the garden, but the lawn has gone balistic (almost as much as the weeds), and the back yard is scattered with random mess (mostly toys and leaves).

Over the next week or so we have so much on around the house. We have J’s 4th birthday on Thursday, two birthday celebrations on Saturday, then we have lunch guests on Sunday. The garden looks like a bomb hit it, and I really don’t have any time to do anything about it.

This endless rain and humidity is causing havoc with a lot of my veggies. My tomatoes are really not thriving – I think they are suffering from some fungal thing – much like the roses. This breaks my heart, because I really want them to succeed.  I think I may need to break out the dreaded tomato dust.

Very sad potato bed, with raspberries behind and corn interplanted

My potatoes (and beans) have been attacked by green caterpillars. They’ve even had a go at the raspberries- Is there anything that those things won’t eat? I fought back with some dipel, and that worked pretty well, but I think most of the damage was done. I’ve tried to salvage something from the situation by interplanting them with corn – even if the potatoes are a flop, hopefully the corn will do ok.

The side of the house is a total disaster. The broad beans have well and truly finished, but they still in the ground looking- well disgusting, frankly. Every time I get a few minutes to venture out I feel overwhelmed by everything required.

So this afternoon I went out and weeded the front yard, deadheaded the roses and pulled off all the blackspot-infected leaves. I pulled out the stupice tomatoes, which are finished now thanks to fungus, fruit fly and my lack of staking. I wonder how long it needs to stop raining before we can mow?

Next post – I promise optimism!

11 Responses to “I’m losing control of the garden”

  1. Sandy Lim November 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    😦 That sounds so stressful. Fun, but stressful.

    A friend recommended pyrethrum for the caterpillars. I don’t feel right putting that stuff in concentration on things that I intend to eat or feed my worms, but it did get me thinking about companion planting with pyrethrum daisies – the flowers that they make pyrethrum from. I’m still trying to find some where I live (Perth). I think being in Sydney, you might have more luck. Worth considering, maybe?

    • L November 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      Thanks Sandy, I hadn’t thought of that! Dipel is normally pretty effective, but it’s just annoying having to spray regularly. If the daisies work, then that would be fantastic!

  2. Lilian November 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one lamenting Sydney’s weather. Whilst I like the rain, saves me from having to water – too much of it does send the garden berserk and the slugs – arghh – they’ve decimated our strawberry crop… and are munching their way through other leafy morsels of herbs as well. My tomatoes seem to be okay thus far – fingers crossed…

    • L November 23, 2011 at 8:35 am #

      Oh Lilian I hear you! The slugs are my mortal enemies.

  3. Frogdancer November 23, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    I know how you feel.
    I went operatic at the boys last weekend and so the lawns were mowed and the edges done… but there’s so many weeds (with seed heads) popping up everywhere that it’s scary.

    • L November 23, 2011 at 8:41 am #

      Oh Frogdancer – you have boys (multiple) to order about? I’m gonna have to get me some of those!

      Little D – I order you to grow up! (And now I think I’ll be barracking for another boy baby this time).

      As an aside, I was sure I subscribed to your blog, but looking through, clearly I didn’t – I have a lot of reading to catch up on – you’ve been busy!

  4. the green backyard November 23, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Those green caterpillars are sneaky little things, I take great delight in pulling them off and squashing them (and when the chookies return, they can feast on them). I think your garden is wonderful, try and delight in the bits that are going well 🙂

  5. Liz November 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    L, how long have your potatoes been in for? Could they be ready by any chance – the die back looks a lot like mine look just before they are ready to harvest. Enjoy all your birthday parties!!!!

    • L November 24, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

      Only since July 7th Liz 😦 I figured they would need a bit longer than that – what do you think?

  6. Barbara Good November 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Oh I hate that overwhelming feeling of having so much to do, and when the weather prevents you from actually doing it, that makes it even worse.

    As as aside, I was a pretty mean lawn mower myself in my youth – we had a lot of lawn, my Dad was quite particular about it and my brother was less than careful in his mowing technique so the job fell to me – so even with girls I reckon there’s plenty of ordering about the garden potential there. I say this especially as I only have girls!


  1. First potato harvest « 500m2 in Sydney - December 3, 2011

    […] was lamenting recently that I’d lost control of the garden. Well thanks to the motivation provided by a few visitors, an upcoming Christmas party and a little […]

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