The raccoons may have got a lot, but they didn’t get my tomatillos.Leave a comment
Gardening for the People
You Grow Girl was launched in February 2000, as a community for gardeners not unlike myself; people who want to grow but whose garden space is less than ideal. And for those of us with shallow pockets but a big, crazy love for tending plants and making a meal from homegrown fare, wherever home may be. – Read on…
A few weeks ago my beautiful blue jade corn was devastated by squirrels or baby raccoons. We’re not sure which because both have been spotted on the deck since then. I’ve been so miserable about the loss I couldn’t bring myself to write about it until today. Not only did they devour all the immature cobs, but they destroyed all the plants too ensuring that there will be no corn harvest this year. I was so excited about harvesting small cobs of blue corn. I didn’t even think to protect them because I have never had that much trouble with squirrels or raccoons on my deck.
Up until now the worst damage has been some chunks taken out of green tomatoes or a bit of digging in pots. I did lose a tiny sundew plant last year as a result of the incessant digging but that was peanuts in comparison to the damage ravaged in one night of mayhem! Not only did they destroy my blue jade corn plants, devour several tomatoes, tear at the roots of my jasmine plant, dig up nasturtiums and leave a mess in their wake, but they also ate my lovely burgundy okra! Thankfully they did not destroy that plant and a new batch of okra are coming to maturity.
Well at the very least I now have a real, honest understanding of the kind of loss one can experience at the hands of urban critters. Live and learn!Leave a comment
Yikes. It’s been a long while since I’ve updated. Obviously an awful lot has happened in my gardens since my last update. The weather has been the strangest this spring/summer of any year I can recall. It has been wetter, cooler and greyer. As a result, some plants have grown taller and bigger than ever before while others are stunted and sad.
Guest post by Zesty
‘Arbolist’ Look up the word. I don’t know, maybe I made it up. Anyway, it’s an arbotree-ist, somebody who knows about trees.’ George W. Bush as quoted in USA today; August 21, 2001
Well the reckoning has finally come. The cute little apple tree in our back yard can no longer be ignored. This is because it’s now a big fat honkin’ apple tree that appears to be devouring everything in its path.
I’ve read on the net that some apple trees can grow as high as 30, YES 30, feet. We appear to have a thirty footer on our hands. The last couple of years it’s been such a quaint little thing. But it would seem that my extra care last year, which involved some basic pruning and watering, reinvigorated the tree to such a degree that its now decided to pursue its growth pattern in all its glory. This is truly one for the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ files.
I have no idea what the person who planted this was thinking.
It all seemed to happen so suddenly. One day it was a nice little tree. The next, I pull into my driveway to find apple tree branches over the backyard fence and just about touching the windshield of my car. Upon further examination, I discovered that the north side of the tree has branches right up against my neighbour’s house that are now just bending back on themselves as they grow.
Then there are the apples. They give off that lovely ‘applely’ smell. But then I think of September/October when they start to fall off. It’s such a pain clearing the fallen apples every day. If you don’t it’s wasp central, which is profoundly annoying. And this year the apples will be big enough to actually dent my car if they fall from a height. Not that ‘Little Thunder’ is a luxury vehicle, but hey, a dent on your hood is a dent on your hood.
So I?m thinking there’s nothing for the tree but to cut it down. I feel somewhat ambivalent about this. It?s not a shrub or small hedge or something. It?s a tree and losing it is going to make a huge impact on the yard. Then again, we?d have space, no messy clean ups every fall and we could build a gazebo or something. I’m really torn. I just love trees.
Then there?s the fact that my spouse doesn’t want to pay anyone to cut down our apple tree because he can do it. Of this I have no doubt. But I WANT IT DONE. And given the hours he works, when will this happen exactly? When is a good time to say, ‘Hey Pooky. I know you just spent 10 hours in the searing heat wiring an attic today, but do you think you could take chainsaw to the apple tree and haul it away now??
Yup. I’m definitely going to have to call an arbotreeist.
It’s time to start posting updates on my gardens before things get too out-of-hand. Over at the community garden plot I dug in some fresh soil amenders and finished planting quite a while back. Thanks to some rain all the seedlings are coming in nicely. This year I planted:
- Purple Cherokee tomato
- Black Krim tomato
- Lemon Boy tomato
- Striped German tomato
- Purple Prince tomato
- Swiss Chard
- Egyptian Onion
I also planted some chamomile, oregano, valerian, dill and calendula along the perifery. I like to plant flowers to attract beneficial insects. Some of the perennials I planted last year such as red valerian and calamint are doing well. The calamint is currently bursting with flowers. The smell is incredible and strong!
I can happily state for a fact that the hay mulch was the best thing I did last year. There is a lot of debate about whether hay is a good mulch because slugs are attracted to the environment it creates. However, they also say that slug predators are attracted by the mulch so that evens the score. Whatever the case, I don’t seem to have a slug problem although slugs are present in the area. I have found a few underneath the mulch but haven’t seen enough damage to be concerned. Overall, the soil is much, much better than last year and the worm population has exploded.
So far the only problem this year has been with the ‘Two Inch Strawberry’ corn. It didn’t germinate! I was so looking forward to harvesting tiny, red cobs of corn.Leave a comment