All Things Gardening forum→This might be the year I stop gardening

Page 1 of 12 • 1 2 3 4 5 ... 12
Views: 6038, Replies: 225 » Jump to the end
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 23, 2021 12:16 PM CST
Gardening has been a lifelong hobby for me, I'm constantly starting seeds, trying new plants, learning new things and I enjoy every moment of it. This year though, the bugs! First the gypsy moth caterpillars, then the golden tortoise beetles arrived, then earwigs and now the dreaded Japanese beetles! First there was just a few JBs on the zinnias...no big deal. Then one or two on the dahlias, not a problem. One on a celosa, I can handle it. Now today, there are hoards of them and they've even moved onto the tomatos. They seem to mostly disappear in the evening so the only time I can get them is in the high afternoon out in the blazing sun. Maybe I feel this way from being in the hot sun but I spent lots of time cultivating these plants so I'm determined to see this season through. I have trays of seedling perennials going now but in the future I'm honestly not sure how much gardening I'll do. If you read this far thank you your time, I just needed to get this off my chest .
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.

Image
ElPolloDiablo
Jul 23, 2021 1:13 PM CST
I hear you and understand you.

Maybe you should try Japanese beetle traps? They work, just be sure to empty them frequently and put them in the most rotten part of the garden so not to have collateral damage. Maybe near a troublesome neighbor's garden... Hilarious!

My chief problem is the same as that from the main character of 'The $64 Tomato': I need to plan all my absences well in advance and in some months I cannot even spend a single night away. Otherwise my "helpers" will make a complete mess of things and I'll find myself with a crushing workload upon my return: some folks just don't seem to understand the meaning of "Don't touch that!" and "This one needs to be watered every other day". I spend most if not all my spare time watering, pruning, fertilizing etc and I am still rewarded with a ghastly looking garden. Rotten weather, bad soil and a previous owner who planted stuff with no thought given about maintenance will do that. I am cutting down a digging up stuff like a maniac and, to be honest, I kinda like that little venegance. Hilarious!
The Saviour.
Name: Jay
Shirley NY (Zone 7a)
Region: New York Birds Hummingbirder Dog Lover Bee Lover Region: Northeast US
Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Composter Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jay5613
Jul 23, 2021 3:25 PM CST
I feel your pain, first it was the borers, then the squash lady beetles, now a squash bug.... I've run the gambit this year with the bugs. I'm thinking of only growing peppers next year, because besides for some minor leaf nibble they seem to have the least problems. If I could just get them to make a nice yield and set fruit. Hilarious!
SE Iowa
hawkeye_daddy
Jul 23, 2021 3:56 PM CST
My neighbors and I all treated for grubs this spring, and we have far fewer beetles this year. We used a product that has EX in its name, and was chosen by the neighbor who has a degree in environmental science. It will not hurt bees or other insects. It prevents the eggs from hatching, so it's too late to do it now. Late spring/early summer is the time. The traps do work, but they seem to attract more of the nasty things to come in to your yard than you would normally have.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 23, 2021 7:58 PM CST
Thank you all for your kind words! It's not usual for me to post my thoughts on the internet and I honestly wasn't sure what to expect ๐Ÿ˜…. After writing the above post I had to pull out two beautiful nicotianas that were being overcome by bacterial wilt. The marigolds are being skeletonized and I suspect the cucumbers may have an infection from the squash beetles. At least the petunias can grow faster than the earwigs are eating them.

Jay, I've noticed the same thing with the peppers. I've got a small fruited one called Sweet Cherry. It has excellent yields on it, maybe that could work for you?

Elpollo, I hear you. Sometimes the human element is the most difficult. A certain person is picking the unripe cherry tomatos.... even after I very nicely asked them to stay out of the vegetable patch .

Hawkeye, thank you for your suggestion! I'm wondering whether treating for grubs would help because I'm currently living in the country and thinking they might just fly in from elsewhere.
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
purpleinopp
Jul 24, 2021 1:39 PM CST
I feel your pain as well. I've abandoned some areas I was trying to cultivate. "Shade gardens" are just baby tree patches now.

In the still possible to save areas, I'm losing a battle with chamberbitters, but still fighting valiantly, pulling as much as I can first thing in the morning on Sat. & Sun. From the very first moment of daylight, it's so hot, I can't see from the sweat in my eyes.

Between now and this time next year, I want to start building some raised beds so at least I won't have so much squatting & stooping to do when tending plants & pulling weeds. I've also been propagating more shrubs that can grow out in the mowed area and don't need the coddling that smaller plants do.

Picking your tomatoes is a serious foul. If they are big, their goal may be to make fried green tomatoes.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums Adeniums Bromeliad Tropicals Aroids
Hibiscus Sedums Container Gardener
Image
Macrocentra
Jul 25, 2021 5:57 AM CST
Too bad white Jolokia peppers are tricky to use. I grow them most years as ornamentals, and the yields on them have always been significantly higher than my other types. I easily get 3-4x more fruits than the other plants.

The gypsy moths and Japanese beetles seem to be bad in my area this year too. I've rarely seen the beetles here, and the gypsy moths aren't usually this bad. Now the moths are EVERYWHERE, and I'm seeing the beetles cropping up. Thankfully the beetles I've seen weren't in my gardens.

Though I've noticed someone's munching on my maple tree. Haven't spotted a culprit yet... but a lot of the branches around 7 feet high are slowly being eaten...
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 25, 2021 8:02 AM CST
Tiffany,

Those chamberbitters sound like a real garden thug. It's tough to keep on top on the weeds when they grow so fast . The raised beds sound like a great idea, easier to weed, you can choose the soil and it's easier to keep the bugs off Thumbs up

TK,

I'm also in Ontario, maybe a bit further north than yourself. Am going to look up those peppers, it's always nice to try new types. There were hundreds of gypsy moth caterpillars crawling on everything but only a few moths so far...I guess they're still coming. It could be JBs eating your maple, I saw some red maples not far from me and all the new branches were almost stripped down to nothing. I found about 8 beetles on one Zinnia flower alone Grumbling
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pirl
Jul 25, 2021 8:38 AM CST
I'm with you all. Here I thought I was alone in feeling it's getting to be too much. Deer are my main problem and no spray or deterrent works except fencing and they've gotten through too many times.

About two weeks ago I had so many bug bites that I wanted to find a Cortisone bath product so I could wallow in it.

I'll probably never give up but the problems make it a lot less fun.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 25, 2021 9:33 AM CST
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Pirl. I honestly didn't think I'd get much of a response but it seems many of us are feeling the same.

Us gardeners must be gluttons for punishment, that determination to beat the odds and grow something beautiful.

It's almost noon so that means it's time to go pick the dreaded JBs while trying not to get stung by the numerous wasps that are also out.
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse
Sempervivums Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
Image
plantmanager
Jul 25, 2021 9:36 AM CST
I think we've all felt the same way, Steven. Somehow we all manage to keep on working. We do have that determination to grow beautiful things.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!

raholm1
Jul 25, 2021 9:43 AM CST
I'm new to this site, but agree with y'all regarding what I see as gardening as we get older... We're in "subtropical" North Carolina, where it ain't fun anymore to pick the 'maters in July, in the afternoon.

Say what you want about climate change, but the bees seem to have all but disappeared here. Bought a battery-powered pollinator on Amazon this past week, in hopes I can do-it-myself next year, and get a more decent crop.

Hopin' it makes up for the bees... Take Care.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 25, 2021 11:05 AM CST
I made a rookie mistake today Glare and wore a yellow t-shirt into the garden. It seems like every bee, wasp and JB swarmed directly at me.

Also found my first tomato hornworm and grasshopper today. Completely forgot about those guys.Woo hoo.
They had better stay away though because I'm fast with the clippers...makes me feel like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland Hilarious!
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
purpleinopp
Jul 25, 2021 1:39 PM CST
After pulling out so many weeds - 20 gallons of them between yesterday & today, I realized I have a lot of space still. And I found some ginger that I thought just wasn't growing from some tubers I'd planted about 6 weeks ago. It is growing and was just under the weeds.

I just ordered about 15 diff kinds of seeds from Baker Creek. A lot of stuff I've been missing the past few years, starting with Cerinthe, when I realized a few minutes ago that I've been wanting more for many years. I think I got "weedy" enough flowers in significant enough quantities to really make my pull-weeds nervous. IDK but I feel happy about it so far.

Let the competition begin, when the seeds start sprouting - and a lot of them will be on hold until spring - but then, it's ON.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Peggy
Temple, TX (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Deer Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bluebonnets Irises Lilies
Image
Peggy8b
Jul 25, 2021 1:57 PM CST
I've come to the same conclusions the rest of the comments have shared. I'm 72 and landscaping (as well as food gardening) can be exasperating at times. Fighting the bugs on myself and the plants as well, it's getting to me this year. The horrible Texas freeze killing off so much of what I had lovingly (and with hard work) planted the last five years was devastating enough. Then the yard man whacking off all my Iris leaves, baby rose bushes and some other bedding plants was the last straw for me. Now, plants must be freeze hardy to 0ยบ to be planted, as well as heat and drought tolerant and "carefree". Often those requirements preclude flowering plants. My yard trees are maturing and now shading 3/4 of my square footage this year anyway, so probably a good decision.

My approach from now on will be to stop fighting battles I just can't win. I think that's what they call gardening "smarter"? I don't vegetable garden at all except for 3-4 new grow bags I'm trialing here in the city on the back driveway. May cease that if it becomes "work" or unproductive. Will only garden at our rural place in the established raised beds I set up if the economy gets so bad I can't buy my veggies in a grocery store.

Case in point.....the owner before me planted Nandina 'Heavenly Bamboo' all over the side yard garden perimeter and I just can't battle the suckers coming up off roots everywhere in my central flowerbeds out there. So I'm just not fighting them anymore. I wanted to fill out a big bed with Vinca major to choke out the weeds there. Bought 92 tiny starts on sale at a bargain.....the big-leaf "major' veriety. So what happens? They shipped the 'minor'! Grrr. I planted it, not realizing which type it was, as the starts were in 1" plugs. But now I'm positive it's the Vinca minor. Grrrrrr. Ya just can't win sometimes.

Add to that disappointment the hundreds of Nandina suckers off roots are trying to take over that central bed anyway. I decided yesterday to just let the Nandina saplings have the entire bed. Then I'll just weed whack it down to ground-cover height (under 10") and give up. The saplings are very dense there on one end of the bed already. Thumb of 2021-07-25/Peggy8b/4b2f24
It leafs out real fast when whacked off. I think the lime-green colored saplings look pretty nice against the darker green of the 2 taller specimens of it and the one Yaupon Holly in that bed. I'm just getting too old to fight nandina anymore. Five years of it and I'm done! Why on earth a Master Gardener would plant invasive nandina in such a confined garden is beyond me. Luckily, I have cemented the dirt path back there now to stop it, but it only does so to a certain degree. I am highly suspecious nandina roots are running underneath the cement as it poppin up where there was none before, clear across the driveway!

Same approach being adoipted as of this week out front. Tired of weeding the huge beds the former owner designed out front. Can't get the weeds up even with a hoe in our hard black dirt on this limestone plateau. So I'm filling out the bed edges ALL the way around with Giant Liriope (she planted some 15 of them but randomly in the bed edges). At least then, people driving by and I from my house viewing vantage, can't SEE the weeds as the Liriopes will block view to the interior of the beds. I'll weed whack them down where I feel it's safe to get the whacker in and not whack something I want to keep.
And that's IT! I feel I'm becoming a slave to my yard much like my Dad did, for years. He felt he couldn't take a vacation as he had some veggie or other due to make it's crop right when he wanted to leave..................and this went on YEAR ROUND! I refuse to be a slave to gardening. I love plants, but I don't want gardening to rule my life any longer. Henceforth the words nearly "care-free" will be my criteria in plant purchases. I leave the growing of beautiful, blooming flowers to those willing to give their lives to their gardens. So if I plant it, water it, and it grows, with only Mother Nature...............it's a keeper. If not, it dies. So be it! Most of my plants here are non-bloomers, like Liriope, Nandina HB, Nandina Firepower and full blown mature trees. Might as well resign myself to no blooms and "get a life', whatever time I have left on this earth.


My low-carb recipe website: https://buttoni.wordpress.com
[Last edited by Peggy8b - Jul 25, 2021 3:12 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2560858 (15)
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 25, 2021 9:06 PM CST
Thanks for the encouragement Karen!

Raholm1, I really hope that pollenator works out well for you.

Tiffany, I bought the Cerinthe from Baker Creek this spring and had great germination. My recent sowing of perennial seeds are also from there. All excellent germination as well. I think we have the same strategy of packing in aggressive plants that we like and can hold their ground against the weeds. My go-to are Mint(the soil is really dry and sandy so it's manageable), Yarrow, Artemisia and Dianthus.

Peggy, it sounds like you have a good strategy in place. What's the old saying ๐Ÿค”..."if you can't beat them, join them."!
Someone who lived here previously planted spearmint under the downspout and it's turned into an absolute monster. No hope of ever getting rid of it, so like yourself I've accepted it and just try to keep it under control. Gardening should be something we enjoy!
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.

Image
ElPolloDiablo
Jul 26, 2021 12:17 AM CST
raholm1 said:I'm new to this site, but agree with y'all regarding what I see as gardening as we get older... We're in "subtropical" North Carolina, where it ain't fun anymore to pick the 'maters in July, in the afternoon.

Say what you want about climate change, but the bees seem to have all but disappeared here. Bought a battery-powered pollinator on Amazon this past week, in hopes I can do-it-myself next year, and get a more decent crop.

Hopin' it makes up for the bees... Take Care.


Wild bees (here they can be easily told apart because they have a rusty brown "furry" appearance) are plentiful this year, as are bumblebees and carpenter bees. I won't even mention wasps but those are never in short supply. Hilarious!
But domesticated bees? Pretty much disappeared. More than an overall disappearance it's like I have hundreds of them in the garden one day and the next day they are completely gone. Now, with Russian sage (a major favorite of them) in full bloom there are only Wild bees around there. Local apiaries have probably been rented out and moved elsewhere. Better than stay here and enjoy the real estate speculators (who apparently are already running low on funds).

In spite of this I haven't had any issues with pollination this year. In fact some stuff is doing as well as it has never done before: borage in late Spring and Buddleja in the Summer seem to help a lot attracting pollinators.
That is of course if I can udnerstand what's up with two out of five Buddleja bushes.

Ex horto semper aliquid novi. Hilarious!
The Saviour.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 26, 2021 11:37 AM CST
I think it's time to invest in a bug net. The type that little kids use Hilarious! . Sometimes there's a swarm of JBs on a single Zinnia and it's impossible to catch them all. So I figure if I use the net I can catch many more of them ๐Ÿ˜Ž.

I really hate to see them escape, they fly straight towards my face as if to taunt me . Angry
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: brenda reith
pennsauken, nj (Zone 7a)
nature keeps amazing me
Image
breith95
Jul 26, 2021 1:15 PM CST
all the bees came to my garden! I have more bees this year than ever. they're loving the collarette dahlias. yay something good happened to off set the bad insects. although the Spotted Lantern Fly remain a serious threat. I have more things being chewed this year than ever and I don't know who the culprit is. I've seen JBs here and there but not masses of them. I've inspected inside out and upside down and can't find the enemy. but they're out there. truly a good and not so good gardening experience this season. some slugs munching on the hostas but thats expected. an outstanding display of hydrangeas. the heavy rains earlier knocked the big blue mop heads over but they're still blooming like crazy. the white panicle are starting to flower and they're covered with pollenators. the clethra as well. still it's daunting to have to constantly "maintain"...weeding, watering, bug checking, looking for powdery mildew,etc. this should be enjoyable not a second full time job with no benefits Rolling on the floor laughing if I had my druthers my garden would be all raised beds-at least 4ft tall-with gravel paths and bluestone pavers. there would be no grass{weeds} to mow. just easy to access beds with no bending and stooping. and inground irrigation so no schlepping the hose. and an easy to take with me shade source so I can weed in the shade. on the subject of Heavenly Bamboo..been there had that and it's runners. out it went. bye bye. i have one left in a corner, next to the garage. it's got nowhere to spread to so it can stay-for now. Glare I don't have many house plants because again it's something to maintain. don't do much in the container garden theme for the same reason.less to take care of and I'm ok with that. so I try to choose plants that give me the most bang for my buck and have minimal needs. i broke that mantra with the dahlia craze but it paid off by bringing me the bees. Thumbs up
listen to your garden
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
purpleinopp
Jul 26, 2021 3:16 PM CST
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of nothing but paths & raised beds, no mowing. Put me down for some shrubs too, a solid hedge around the outline of the property, mixed Lantanas, Gardenias, Camellias, a couple Azaleas. The only grass I'd keep would be a little piece out front surrounding a REALLY old crape myrtle. It sends up suckers like crazy and drops seeds, can't garden any closer to it than I'm already trying.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

Page 1 of 12 • 1 2 3 4 5 ... 12

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« All Things Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "echies"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.