The Modern Victory Garden


Spiders and Bees

Posted on September 27, 2009 at 7:53 PM

It has been a bit of an interesting weekend.   Yesterday was filled with errands and appointments; however, I managed to get out to the garden early in the morning and transplanted the Walla Walla sweet onion seedlings that I had started back in mid-August.   They are hard to see in this picture because they are basically just little green threads at the moment.                 




Right next to them, I planted the multiplier onion bulbs.   Also took a few moments to cut the Cascadia sugar snap peas away from their roots but left the vines hanging on the support.   I want the vines to finish withering down and the pea pods to dry.   Both the peas and beans seem to be lingering in productive mode and are not moving to dry seed mode very rapidly.   The runner beans are even flowering and producing new beans.    I want to save seed from this variety so I would prefer to see it starting to dry down rather than so lush and green.     



Those are cucumbers next to the beans and they are still going strong too.   There is a sure sign though that fall has arrived - in that there is an abundance of spiders everywhere in the garden.    While I was looking at the runner beans yesterday morning, I noticed this beautiful spider and web that spanned a large section of the vertical grow support.                  



Today after breakfast, I drove to the Seabeck area to see Lori Christie's garden.   We had an enjoyable stroll through her garden and visited the rabbits and chickens too.   I then headed home to take care of some garden chores before the weather turns significantly cooler and wetter this week.   First up was to plant the garlic.   Usually I wait until the first week of October to do this but I am going to be traveling to Washington DC next weekend so I moved it up more than a week to ensure it was taken care of.                   


Next I tackled the task of weed whacking the garden walkways.   The grass and weeds in many areas were getting very tall and were harboring slugs.   It is important to keep these areas cleared going into winter to reduce the  available area for garden pests to over winter in.   Unfortunately, I was not 15 minutes into this task when I hit a bees nest under one of the bed edgings.   The resident bees were NOT happy with me and immediately swarmed.   Luckily it was not a large nest but I had one sting me on the hand as I switched off the weed whacker and started running for the house.   Several more were on my clothes and buzzing about me.   I shook some off as I dashed inside but a few managed to come into the house with me.   One went up my pant leg and stung me through my sock on the ankle.   I quickly stripped down and trapped a few more in my shirt and jeans.           


I always have a pretty severe swelling reaction to bee stings so I promptly took a Benadryl pill and rubbed Benadryl cream on the two direct sting areas.   The swelling was still pretty significant but I think it would have been a whole lot worse if I had not gotten the antihistamine into my system so quickly.   Waited a half hour to make sure the bees had calmed down and then went back out and finished up the job before my hand swelled to gargantuan proportions.   I was able to locate the nest as I could see the bees coming and going from it.   I don't begrudge them their home and the attack was purely one of defense on their part.   I will just have to be careful in this area until they go quiet for the winter.    


The garden is tidied up and largely transitioned into fall and winter crops.   I still have peppers, cucumbers, and green beans producing but they are on their last legs and should be wrapping up soon with the forecasted  cooler and wetter weather that is expected to arrive Monday afternoon.   The following  picture shows the emerging green manure cover crop of crimson clover that I planted after I harvested the potatoes on Labor Day weekend (left most bed in the picture).    Most of the winter crops are in the center bed -  including carrots, parsnips, cabbages, late broccoli, and brussel sprouts.



I hope you had a good weekend in the garden - but hopefully without bee incidents!

Categories: Pests, Transplanting, Fall/Winter Gardening