Garden invasion

July 7, 2010

I heard about how bad Japanese beetles can get in around June and July, but I didn’t realize it can be this bad. I noticed a handful about a week ago, and today, this is what I saw.

Japanese Beetles

Devastating results of Japanese beetles on my poor beans

So, I looked on the internet on what to do with these pesky things. If I don’t want to use pesticides, basically I only have one effective option, which is to handpick them and plunge them into soapy water. Apparently after 4 pm, they weren’t that active, and just chill there. When I knocked around the leaves a little bit, they just fell in and slowly drowning. So, after about an hour of hunting down these critters, this is what I got:

Japanese beetles graveyard

It’s pretty disgusting, huh? It says that there’s no way to totally get rid of them, but hopefully this way it’ll slow down their leaves chowing process and this picture should deter them from coming anywhere close to my garden.

It’s amazing that my cucumber and pepper plants, which are inches away aren’t touched by these beetles. Apparently they really like beans leaves and not others. I might have to keep doing the beetles hunting for the rest of July. We’ll see who has the last laugh.

On a happier note, I also noticed my peppers starting to take shape:

Sweet Banana Peppers


About two and a half weeks ago, I tried to get a head start in planting tomatoes, lettuce and peppers. So, I bought a kit for gardening.

This is what it looks like when I just opened the box: Dry and thin pellets

Dry Pellets

Dry Pellets

After putting hot water in each one of them, they started to grow. The pellets literally grow thicker

Pellets with water

Pellets with water

So, here’s the comparison between the pellet that has been watered and the one that’s still dry

Comparing dry and wet pellets

Comparing dry and wet pellets

Now, about 2.5 weeks later, this is what I got:

Tomatoes, Lettuce and Peppers

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Cut to grow

April 5, 2010

I bought a bunch of house plants toward the end of last fall at Lowe’s when they had sales. Since it was my first time doing this, I figured if I kill the plants, at least they were on sale, right? But because I was totally new at this, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t move any of the plants out of their temporary small plastic pot. I did water them frequently, and for some, that was too frequent because I didn’t even take out the decoration plastic that covers the base of the pot causing the water to not able to drain and it drowned my plants. I didn’t even know this was going on until someone who knows more about house plants told me the plastic for decoration needs to go away and the pots are too small. The temporary pots weren’t meant for long term.

So, this past weekend, we went to Lowe’s to get bigger pots and some high quality soil. We transplanted all the houseplants to the newly purchased pots. We replaced the soil and remove and dried out leaves and flowers.

As I was working on the plants, it occurred to me that there’s parallelism to be drawn between the whole transplanting and pruning with my life or life in general.

1. A plant can only grow so much if the roots were limited by a crammed small pot. The larger the pot is, the more space the roots can grow into, which will cause the plant to grow healthier and bigger. A lot of times, limitations were put in our lives, whether from someone we allow speaking into our lives, or we do it on our own. Fear can also be a big factor for this, or simply not knowing that breaking the limitations was even an option.

To break through and overcome the limitations, sometimes, we need to “transplant” ourselves to a healthier environment. That may means to get a new set of friends or maybe new habits, or maybe new job. Whatever the limitation is, if it becomes the wall in your life and if you want to keep growing, you might need to transplant.

2. Sometimes, I like to try to hold on to something that used to be good and helpful a little bit too long. It was like the decorative plastic and the small pot that looked good but were meant for temporary place. Sometimes it was just comfortable and convenient to just leave the way things are regardless of how destructive they can be if they have passed their time. It’s like a battery that’s left in for too long that the juice started to ooze out and damage the electronic.

3. When I was hurt, sometimes I hold resentment toward the person, or the situation. That could cause my relationship with the person to dry up like the brown leaves or dried up flowers. Until I was willing to let go and forgive, it was like leaving the brown leaves on the plant and hoping the plant will be able to have a healthy growth, which is not likely to happen. So, by cutting off the dead leaves, I’m essentially saying that I’m letting go anything I can use against the person. By doing that, as the new growth with the plant is stimulated, my relationship with other people will be also.

Hopeful Spring

March 29, 2010


I took this picture over the weekend. This is the result of my back breaking hard work last fall. It was hard to work so hard and not seeing the result for another 4 months or so. About a week and half ago, I started to see green leaves sprouting all over the place. It made my day. I was pleasantly surprised that it actually worked. I can actually grow stuff..:)

I think life tends to work the same way.  We don’t always see the results right away, but we do the hard work now and many times incrementally continuing that hard work, trusting it will pay off down the road. Something I learned several days ago that in order to have a significant moving forward in life, “I need to do today what I can do, to enable me to do tomorrow what I can’t do today”. Translation:  set a goal and start doing things intentionally to achieve the goal.

We all have seasons in life. Some seasons are so bad that we can’t wait to get it over with. Some seasons are so good, we don’t ever want it to end. As long as I know the season change is coming, I can anticipate and make adjustments to it, but when a season of life is abruptly terminated, that’s when I lost my bearing and it took me a while to stand back up. It’s almost like in the movie “Truman Show”, when Truman escaped at night and they have to make an abrupt night to day transformation.

The blooming of beautiful flowers, which signifying the arrival of spring, gives me a good reminder that at every gloomy winter, spring is just around the corner to greet those who don’t lose hope.