Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I love growing a garden and now that I'm home I'll have a lot more time to care for it. So maybe this year is the year that it doesn't dry up or become a giant salad bar for all of the creatures that are always traipsing through.
While I was in Mackinaw Larry did some work to get the garden ready for planting. (Per my request.) He dug out some old chicken wire and railroad ties and replaced them with a double layer of new railroad ties to make it more of a "raised" garden, and put in new fencing that is supposed to be specially designed to keep out small animals. He also turned over the dirt which looks really good this year since we added shredded leaves in the fall on the advice of my work friend Alan.
On Sunday when I got back it was ready for planting, so Jeff and I went to the Garden Center and bought seeds and plants. We got the plants a little larger than usual with the thinking that would give them more of a boost to produce. Instant Garden! It looks great!
Of course I remain worried about the deer which in the past have decimated my gardening effort immediately after its been planted. Larry helped me to stretch a special netting that Aunt Chris gave me across the top of the fencing. This created a complete Box of Protection around the garden. I hoped it would be effective but could be a pain when we need to get in there to pull weeds or pick vegetables.
I hung up a wind chime on a hook and planted marigold seeds around the perimeter, which are said to be deterrents. Then I got out this spray jug of "Deer Away" and squired the putrid stinky stuff over all of it. Disgusting, but if it works, worth it.
Finally, after a long day of laboring, I went in the house. As I looked out the window to watch the sun go down, the deer came through our yard, right on schedule. I peeked out and watched them to see what would happen. On of them went up on his hind legs to nibble on a tree branch nearby, but then they wandered away without inspecting it. Phew!
After it got too dark to see anything I sat down and watched some shows on TV. A teaser for the 11:00 news came on. FROST WARNING FOR TONIGHT! I was so busy outside all day I hadn't checked for this. And now it was dark out and not realistic for me to get out there and try to cover all the new plants.
I went to sleep and dreamed of shriveled seedlings. Later in the morning, before I'd gotten the nerve to go outside and look at the garden, there was knocking on my front door. At first I didn't recognize the woman who watches the children next door. They have a baby and a 3 year old, and she brings two other preschoolers over there with her.
"I am SO SORRY!" she said, looking stricken. In her hands were the cute vegetable-face garden markers that I had gotten on clearance last year and had put in right after we planted everything. "I was tending the baby and I looked over and saw the kids having a parade across the yard holding up these sticks I had never seen before. Then I realized they are your planting markers! Now you won't know where everything is!"
It made me laugh that all of the efforts to keep the animals away had not deterred the children from reaching their little hands through and pulling those things out. I assured her that we didn't need those markers to know what we planted, and then I explained to the guilty looking children that they had to get permission to touch anything in there from now on. They were very cute as they listened to my explanation of what we planted, and then they invited me to see their tree fort.
Other than a slight frost damage to the tomato leaves, everything is still looking good, for now.
Posted by Mindy at Wednesday, May 20, 2009