It started innocent enough; longer strings of cool weather yielded a nice extended harvest of greens and spring crops. Then the wild ride began; heavy rain; flooding; sheer and tornado winds. Now repeat all of that in cycles for a few months and you have the current disaster that is my garden. :0
This shall be the summer of the snail. Continued damp conditions alternating with intense heat and humidity have opened the door to a diabolical army of slimy voracious snails. They are on everything: kale, green beans, tomatoes, and even the squash. I tried picking them, squishing them, feeding them to the ducks.. then there was some herbal chemical application; today we must accept it; the majority of the garden has gone south!
When you can't beat them- heat them. Beds that have become overrun to the point of no return are currently being pulled out, fed to the flocks, and covered for the rest of the season. It's time to solarize the soil and hope for the best next time.
Solarizing the beds offers the garden a chance to fight back as naturally as possible. Beds can be emptied then covered with a black or clear covering allowing the heat of summer to 'cook' the impurities out of the soil. This intense heat can kill out pests, their eggs, and weed seeds that have taken up residence in the bed.
In addition to solarizing, we are considering adding new beds to the area. This will increase our ability to rest and rotate more efficiently next season. The greenhouse is due for some attention as well; the outer cover is split and the doors are bowing from weather and wear. Maybe the decrease in garden needs will lend me time for that task.
Today I take a deep breath, straighten up tall, and remember that fall will be here before I know it. Cooler weather will bring a renewed hope for the beauty of growing things.
Maybe I can get some of my closets cleaned out too?