Since discovering the onslaught of maggots raging their way through our onion plants as a result of an onion fly mob attack, I have been keeping a close eye on my two remaining plants and I’m afraid it’s not good news.
Today I had to remove and destroy them both as upon very close inspection it was clear a batch of freshly hatched critters had appeared. I will admit to being disappointed and disheartened for I was proud of the little green shoots and really enjoyed watching their speedy progression. My knowledge has grown with them and their presence on the kitchen window inspired me and encouraged me to continue with my little steps towards self sufficiency.
A friend of mine reminded me however that all is not lost and perhaps much more has been gained. This entire process, start to finish has taught me that gardening and growing your own vegetables requires more than just a desire. It requires research, careful consideration and understanding of a plants physical and environmental needs. You begin to realise that although certain fundamentals of plant care remain the same, each different plant has a unique set of requirements be it the need for shade or direct sunlight, the amount of water, plant feed, particular soil or compost types, trimming, splitting, re-potting, protecting etc. I have learnt that just like humans plants can be affected by disease, bacteria, fungi, pests, lack of nutrients and extreme weather conditions. To be successful in establishing a fully functioning vegetable garden you need to understand the environment you are planting in and how your crops could be affected and what actions you may need to take as a method of prevention or defence. That some plants require less care than others and you must factor into your calculations your geographical location and it’s seasonal variants. I’ve come to appreciate the amount of planing and dedication that must be applied in order to run a successful homestead.
Does all that sound like hard work? Absolutely!!
Am I at the stage where I have that level of knowledge? Absolutely not!
Am I put off by the prospect of the amount of learning and energy I will need to invest to make this dream a reality? Not in the slightest!
I am disappointed in how my onion experiment turned out but I am positive that I will not give up and together with this new knowledge and a little more preparation I will pick up and try again.
In April we will be heading back to Egypt, the land of sun and sand. We have a pretty small balcony but I am determined to utilise a portion of the space to get started on learning how to grow vegetables in a hot desert climate. I’d like to try to create an urban balcony garden and already have a few ideas that I’m chewing over and hoping to put into action once we are settled.
In the meantime however since there’s very little point to starting a new project here, for I would be unable to see it through to completion, I’ll be using this time to read, research, and keep dreaming!