have you ever had one of those days, or weeks, or even months?
Let me tell you my story. LAST WINTER I was invaded with aphids, I tried everything I could find short of pesticides, and eventually ended up destroying the plants for lack of a better option (they were pepper plants, so no really big loss! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
Any how, spring rolls around, all my plants out doors are doing great, and behold, I see the black fungus that grows in aphid droppings... my face reddens, anger rises... I am hacked! "Why won't they leave me alone? I am a NICE GUY!" I think to myself... well, I decide since the outbreak isn't to bad, To treat it with wintergreen alchohol and cotton swabs, gently swabbing down every leaf (Or so I thought) proud of myself for not using nasty chemicals, I go on with life, thinking everything is great.
Mid Summer, I buy 3 Praying Mantis Egg Cases, all casses hatch... rain promptly washes all the young out of my garden. Grrr....
Late summer, My Cucumber and Bird House Gourd vines are looking pretty bad, and I know I have been killing the grass hoppers with scissors, they can't be responsible... so I go out looking... and low and behold... aphids... so I look closer... not only are they on those plants... but their munching on my passin vines too... grrr... on my hibiscus, they are EVERYWHERE!!! (They always come when we get rainey weeks here... who knows why)
Well... needless to say.. I had had it. I go to home depot and buy Ortho's Bug Be Gone for gardens (safe for veggies if wait to harvest.) so I use it, and use it, and use it, and eventually, it looks like they are all toast.
WELL... this morning I go outside, and now, some of you know my time any where has been limited lately since I tore my ankle up playing basketball, mobility is (was) an issue, and now that I cna get around, I spent some time outdoors... I pulled up the old cucumber vines, and the gourd vines, and my wild flowers, and basically ripped out everything past it's season and tossed it into the scrub behind my place (It's a flood plane, and over grown with weeds and bushes, so a little extra dirt and dead plant material only enhances the appeal right?) [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] I am feeling great with potting soil under my nails mixing up some nice compost and soil and poteet strawberry sand for my mix for the veggies (I planted more cucumbers, Cilantro, Snow Peas, Green Beans, Tomatoes (planted a couple weeks ago) lavender, chives, and Sweet Purple Basil, and oh, Artichokes... (Mmmm!!!![img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] So I am feeling p[retty proud... I am done, so I position all the pots, water them, and then decide I should clean up... and what do my wondering eyes do I find when it's all said and done?
1) Aphids, all over my hibiscus
2) orange caterpillars with black spikes munching down on my passion vine!
Let me tell you I am ticked... I was so incredibly angry at this development that I went inside, and dirty as can be (with potting soil residue up to my elboes and nasty streaks on my face) I grabbed my keys, jumped in the RAM, and drove over to Home Depot, I looked and looked, to see if there was something affordable and of enough quantity to treat my entire garden... no more mr. nice guy... I was going to eradicate insect life from my porch for the next few weeks (I don't care about good insect, but I wanted the aphids, caterpillars, and all the other nasties GONE!!!! friendly fire casualties were at this point, acceptable.)
So.. I grab the bottle of Ortho Bug-B-Gone that I settled on and head home in a hurry... now.. note... the operative word here is 'hurry'. I get home, set the spray, and start pumping... I am spraying the tops of leaves, the bottoms of leaves where those nasty aphids hang out, I am spraying stems, I am spraying RIGHT ON THE FRIGGIN CATERPILLARS... and then I notice something...
"Oh $1%*" I say to my self... i stop.. I realize... that after spraying my hibiscus, my passion vines, my CARNIVOROUS PLANTS (very lightly) all my veggies, and so on, pretty much my entire garden.... that the bottle does not say Bug-B-Gone, but "Weed B Gone..."
In my infinite supply of anger I threw the bottle off my balcony as hard as I could out into the scrub... Mad at myself now... ran inside, grabbed a hose, hooked it up to my sink (now, fun thing is that in San Antonio we apartment dwellers all get LOW FLOW faucets and toilets to save on water) run outside and start washing all my plants down as fast as I can... I spent at least an hour out there pumping water all over my plants hoping I can save them... I used saran wrap over the tops of the pots to minimize the amount of water that gets in the soil... and... I prayed for rain... now, draw what conclusions you want, but it started raining within 15 minutes, (granted, we had showers all morning long, but this was a veritable deluge.) I tipped my pots so all the plants could get raind directly on them... and then set out into the scrub behind my house, with an acheing and weak ankle to find the plant killing bottle of herbecide I so intelligently threw into the Edwards Aquifer Recharge zone and one of San Antonios more elegant green belts...
As I sit here writing this, with my bottle of Orthos Weed B Gone (covered in mud in the trash can) me, covered in mud as well mosquito bites, a newly even more sore ankle, and of course, the requisite scrapes and bruises you get crawling through mountain cedar, I think to myself... that with all the spraying and rain and what not to get the chemicals out of my plants soil, and off their leaves, I probably washed it away into:
A) My neighbors considerable potted garden below me
B) the Apartment Complex's nice lawn below me
C) The recharge zone I ventured into to get the bottle out of...
but what can I do... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]
Well... I can say this with absolute confidence... I know that for the first time ever, one of my Carnivorous Plants Bloomed today. lets just hope it survives. (Sarracenia Purpera.)
By the way, at Home Depot, Ortho Bug B Gone and Weed B Gone sit RIGHT NEXT TO ONE ANOTHER... I would write and complain... but that is like filing suit against McDonalds for being fat... wait... hmmm....