- Ann Schwarz
- I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Plant Saver to the Rescue!
One of the joys of summer is having lots of fresh food to eat. Whether you grow it yourself or buy it at a local farmer's market, fresh fruits and veggies abound this time of year. But bugs, fungi, and animals pests can attack at a moments notice and without warning. It is enough to make a gardener weep. This year I've had another problem with one of my tomato plants having end blossom rot that it is trying to spread to my other plants. I've also had insects attacking the decorative hedges in front of my house and have been fighting gall on my forsythia bushes the last couple of years. It can be downright maddening. It can make a person want to throw in their gardening gloves. But I refuse to give in to these foes.
Instead, with advice from an extension agent and a biologist at the local university as well as my bug book, I pinpointed the insects responsible for my hedges suffering and losing leaves. I researched what kills them and how, and sent my husband out to save the day. He's good with chemicals. The gall is an ongoing battle I might never completely win, but I'm determined to give it my best shot. I've decided not to buy my tomato plants from a certain place ever again and am hoping that by continuing to rotate my plant placement I will avoid the end blossom rot on next year's tomatoes and by picking off the infected fruit this year as soon as I see it I can spare the fruit on the other healthy plants.
As for the wildlife that is determined to eat my fruit and some of my veggies, what fences don't keep out I'm currently training my dog to hunt down and chase away. It isn't an ideal solution but hopefully it will discourage the rabbits and squirrels some.
All of these problems have solutions if you are determined enough to look for them. And at the end of the day you can feel like a super-hero when you've bested your enemies to your plants. "The Plant Saver triumphs again! Hooray!" I can almost hear my plants cheering. Best of all you get to reap the rewards.
Well most of the time. I'm still mad at the squirrels who've been eating my strawberries every spring. I thought in previous seasons it was the bugs getting them, but my husband spotted one stuffing its face red pawed this June. Oh well, forewarned is forearmed. I'll be ready for the devious rodents next time. I just need to formulate a viable plan.
What about you? What are your favorite things about summer? What battles do you fight that make you feel like a super hero?