Harvest Monday, October 29, 2012 – Windowbox Gardening Update

Choy Sum
The holes in the leaves were made by cabbage worms

The choy sum in my windowboxes were not looking very happy, not growing well and the leaves had a yellow tint. Thinking they were lacking nutrients, I gave them some liquid fertilizer (they are not provided with the most ideal conditions in a windowbox), but not much improvement was detected.

Turned out they were infested with aphids. I was so focused on the cabbage worms (picking off worms daily) it never occurred to me that aphids were the issue until I saw them crawling on the stems (should have looked under the leaves when I first noticed the yellowing. Not the brightest light bulb, what can I say.)

Anyhow I harvested the usable plants and gave the remainder a thorough spraying of insecticidal soap. Will see if this spray takes care of the critters.

Shanghai Bok Choy

The plants in the bottom box are transplants from the top box. Although disturbed during transplanting, they are larger and healthier than the undisturbed plants.

Reason: the transplants were given good spacing.

Conclusion: Proper spacing of plants is very improtant.

Should have thinned out and discarded the extra plants in the top box.

Harvested some of the Shanghai bok choy. Combined with the choy sum, got a tad under 1 pound, not great for the effort, but not too bad. Washed all multiple times in salted water to make sure I got rid of all the extra potein. Made a quick stir-fry, tender and tasty.

The neighbour kids brought over 14 bags of leaves for me to recycle. While in the garden I had them pull some carrots and leeks (was surprised at the large sizes as they were planted quite late in the season). The kids never had kohlrabi before so I harvested one for them to take home and try. Also found some fingerling potatoes, another produce new to them. No photos.

Expecting Sandy’s visit in a short time. It will not be a pleasant visit. So thought I would end the post with an area of my garden that always make me smile.

Remember my frogs from a previous post? (Click here and scroll down.) I have acquired a few more and decided to create a little froggyland (oh yes, I lack a life). Enjoy!


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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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56 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 29, 2012 – Windowbox Gardening Update

  1. Daphne says:

    I have a lot of aphids this year too. The kale is pretty badly infested in spots. Though it seems happy enough. I’ve never had so many aphid problems as this year. I think there aren’t enough predators in this garden, though I do try to attract them. I might have to resort to soap sprays at some point. I haven’t done that in over a decade. But my last garden had a much better balance.

  2. leduesorelle says:

    Us also with more aphids than we’ve ever seen before. Slugs and cabbage worms also mounting a fall attack… Useful to know that others are having the same problem this year.

  3. Diana says:

    Oh I like your Froggyland :). I learn this week too in my garden that space is important during cold season. Urrghhh…aphids a problem here too.

  4. I’m finding aphids on my kale. Guess this is an aphid year. They seem to go in cycles.

  5. Patsy says:

    I love Froggyland! It really does make a person smile! It sounds to me like you are still getting some pretty nice harvests, despite aphids and cabbage worms. Hope you don’t experience much damage from Sandy!

  6. kitsapFG says:

    I adore frogs – they just make me smile. 😀

    I usually have aphid problems with broccoli and brussel sprouts in the fall crop but so far I have not had any issues – of course I am only growing broccoli so maybe that improved my odds?!

  7. Barbie says:

    Hope Sandy behaves, she really whipped us up down here! Love your froggy spot.

  8. I had LOTS of aphids on my plants too. I was trying to kill them with a solution made with onion, garlic, and chilli powder…well, it did work, but they came back after a little while.

  9. I have aphids too, but I hope that the weather will become cold soon and they will die. I grow oriental greens in contanier too, and many of them are infested, while some (like mizuna) are intact. I found out that placing the pots in a very sunny location may prevent the aphid problems.

  10. Global weirding is bringing all kinds of pests. Looks like you licked your worm and aphid problem though. I have been thinking about the pounding that your garden must be getting now from Storm Sandy. Hope your garden and froggies come through it OK and that you don’t lose power. Keep us posted.

  11. Ugh sorry to hear about those aphids my friend! I wish I could just blow them away for you 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. Boo to those mean ol’ cabbage worms!

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    Good luck with Sandy today, we’ve been watching some NYC web cams and it looks rough. We’re expecting some bad winds and rains as the day progresses.
    I love the frogs, hope they fare well in the storm. I’ll be thinking of you tonight.

  14. Oh dear, I hope everything’s ok with the storm, Norma, I’ll be thinking of you! The aphids are in full flourish here too – we don’t use any chemicals at all (organic or otherwise), so we’re just crossing our fingers and hoping the ladybirds will deal with them – they’re out in force at the moment as well! 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      Thanks for your concern, lost power and cable services last night, no damage, thankfullly, all services are now restored.
      I see aphids problem is worldwide, hope your ladybirds take care of them for you. This is the first time I am using insecticidal soap, not sure of its effectiveness.

  15. Hotly Spiced says:

    I hope Sandy doesn’t disturb you too much. How awful to have your plants infested with aphids. The kids must love coming over to your garden and harvesting things like carrots. I know I would if I was your neighbour! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      I was very fortunate, lost power and cable services, but no damage. Power and cable services are restored and things are back to normal for now. Many people in the area are still without power. The kids do love visiting my garden and I enjoy their visits too.

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    I hope Sandy passes without causing you or yours any damage or bad effect, Norma. Good luck!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Thanks. Sandy did not cause any damage but I did lose power, TV, phone and internet services. All are now restored, I was fortunate. Many in the area suffered downed tree damage and are still waiting for power to be restored.

  17. Nancy Davis says:

    Your froggy land area is cute. Hope you are bothered by aphid problems no more and that you and your garden stay safe from Sandy! Nancy

  18. Eha says:

    Yes, I’m on daily cabbage worm duty also: on my proudly shooting cavolo nero 😦 ! And was so busy etc last week my bok choi got to a somewhat higher size than yours and now I seem to have a yellow flower garden – shall pick mine tomorrow ++ for stirfries too 🙂 !

  19. Your froggy land would cheer any one.. it’s adorable! I have the worse time with aphids.. there’s a certain flower I love… that they love too and I can’t get rid of them!! I will pray for you today and tonight!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbara,
      Thanks for your prayer, I did lose power and cable services but, fortunately, no damage. All is now restored and I am OK, many in my area are not so lucky. This appears to be the year of the aphids, so many gardens are affected.

  20. Sammie says:

    awww! Those frogs are so cuuute Norma!! Great looking harvest again! Sorry to hear about the aphids though!

  21. I hope you and the garden are able to weather the storm okay. At least the cheerful inhabitants of Froggyland will probably still be smiling afterwards!

  22. Juliana says:

    I love your Froggyland…so cute Norma.
    Hope you are well and your garden are safe from Sandy 🙂

  23. Froggy land is a very happy place even if you have problems with your little pests. I am so delighted to hear of your attempts to grow these Asian crops in a different climate as fresh is so much better than having them shipped abroad. Take care, BAM

  24. Kristy says:

    Love your frogs Norma! I’m so impressed you’re still harvesting too. Everything still looks so green. Glad that you made it through the storm safely. 🙂

  25. Froggie went a-courtin’ and he did ride, uh huh – cute frogs 🙂

    Talk about bugville in your garden this year. I hope Sandy didn’t ruin what you have left.

  26. Aphids…truly the bane of the garden. Love your froggies!

  27. Charles says:

    You should live where I live – every year in early autumn we have almost a ladybird “infestation”. Ok, it’s not quite that bad, but they’re all over the place. You leave your window open for a few hours and you’ll have 5, 6 or more flying around in your lampshade or against the ceiling. They’d go to town on those aphids!

    How on earth do the cabbage worms get into the window boxes? I’m really confused about that…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      I have ladybird too, they get into the house even with windows closed.
      My window boxes are outdoors on the driveway. The white cabbage worm butterflies, unfortunately, are not confined to the garden area, they fly everywhere, lay their eggs on the plants in the window box, the hatched eggs beome cabbage worms that destroy my plants.

      • Charles says:

        Ah yes – I didn’t think of them hatching from eggs, duh… I was thinking of them dropping down from somewhere and couldn’t figure out the logistics of that but it makes sense now!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Charles,
        When I moved the window boxes to the driveway I figured the cabbageworm butterflies would not find them, when I saw the butterflies fluttering around the plants, I put a netting over the boxes, smart critters manage to get under the netting, got to hand it to them, wish I was as smart as they are.

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