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Fall Garden Update: Week 5

October 10, 2011

The last of the broccoli plants in the pots next to the garden died late last week.  It wilted and when I tugged at the stem, came out of the ground with ease.  The roots of the plant had been eaten and I noticed some little worm like bugs crawling in the dirt.  I caught one, bagged it and tossed it in the freezer.  On Friday I took it to the UF Extension Offfice in town to see if they could identify the bug.

It turned out to be a termite.  They eat cellulose and decided my broccoli was a tasty meal.  I am happy they went for it instead of my house, but was sad to learn aside from baited traps and heavy duty insecticides there was no way to prevent termites from destroying my broccoli.

On a happy note, the cucumber plant has exploded with buds and I noticed several little mini-cucumbers growing on the vine.  The green beans are also starting to flower.  The carrots are continuing to come up and the wispy leaves are about 2 inches long.  Sadly, the other broccoli and collards appear to be stunted.  I am not sure they got damaged by termites too, but they are not growing well at all.

As for the beets, when I thought I was thinning them out I was actually killing them off. Who knew beats sprouted multiple leaves from the same seed? I do now.  Accordingly, I planted 9 new seed in the front square foot and a few where one of the broccoli plants used to be.  Hopefully this batch will fare better than the first.

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