Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

Luscious tomatoes…and not-so-welcome critters

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

For the first time ever, I wanted a BB gun.  I wanted it bad.  First it was the rabbit, the one with a head and back full of lumps, probably tumors. The four-foot chicken wire fence around the raised bed garden put an end to the rabbit(s) nibbling on peas and sunflower seedlings. I thought I was home free.

When the first tomato turned red, I wanted to leap for joy.  When I checked it the next day, I wanted to find the critter that ate it. I suspected a raccoon, crawling up the trellis and reaching in to hold it firmly while she (he) took large bites out of both the giant Romas and the Russian Blacks.

I let go of my BB gun fantasy long enough to search the internet for another idea.  I found a suggestion to sprinkle Epsom salts and black pepper around the garden.  For good measure, I sprinkled pepper on the leaves and tomatoes, as well.

The carnage hasn’t stopped, but my efforts seem to slow the rate of loss.  I’m picking the fruit when it begins to turn red and adding more pepper, as needed.

Garden-in-Progress-1

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

My sixth garden is underway. The first two yielded not much, each lasting a season. By the third, I had years to make a garden that satisfied me and pleased visitors. The first year of Garden #3, I gardened with a friend who had big dreams for a vegetable garden. For the next seven years, I planted and tended mostly flowers, both perennials and annuals, and had a few tomato and pepper plants. I hauled barrels full of free processed cattle manure from the nearby ag university to my very dense, clay soil. I left that enriched, created garden reluctantly. For the fourth garden, I was confined to a small townhouse plot,

my request to expand voted down by the townhouse committee, many of whom voted for more rock landscaping at every opportunity and a minimum of green plants. This I remedied by moving to a small house with gorgeous chocolate-cake-like soil about five blocks from the Missouri River.

After another seven seasons I left this well-developed garden, again reluctantly. Too bad such things are impossible to transport, even if you take a few cuttings along with the move.

I think of the current garden, Garden #6 in a longer time frame. My gardens mark not quite all the major moves of my adult life. I’d like to stay put now, relieved that my footloose ways are calmed and my hummingbird heart has found a perch.

My mom’s good friend from childhood gardens this year, knowing that she’ll have hip-replacement surgery in the fall. In her early 80s, she doesn’t want to miss a summer of gardening. I understand. Neither do I!