Aphid Attack

I’m not really the most mindful gardener. If I thinned my lettuce–and pulled up the old lettuce plants–I’d probably get aphids later in the season.  Supposedly the abrupt presence of an aphid colony indicates a garden out of balance. Oh well. Every February when we have our first warm spell of 3+ days in the 70s and mild nights my beautiful winter lettuce crop becomes…..inedible. At least for me. It’s impossible to wash off aphids and I don’t like a salad with little things moving around on the leaves.

But, if you’re a chicken, it’s a different story. I picked all my lettuce the other day, loaded it into 5 gallon buckets, and gave it all to an administrative assistant at the hospital where I work: she has chickens. Apparently, her chickens were very happy with the–to them–inexplicable bounty.

I picked most of my kale in the other bed, washed, chopped and froze it; it’s aphid-free at this point, and, I must say, extremely yummy steamed and eaten with nothing added.:

The tomato cage is in the bed for nights when there’s a freeze; I just throw an old bed sheet over the whole bed and the cage props it up. Some poppies have self-seeded in the bed, too. There are also scallions and pansy volunteers.

March 15th is about the last frost date in Tucson; then I’ll plant my summer plants: tomatoes, beans, cukes for pickles.