Sunday, June 25, 2006

Planted at last

Yesterday, despite the rain, we managed to get more planting done in the vegetable garden. A few days ago, we turned over the soil (again) and weeded, and then mulched heavily with straw. (See the before image on the right). We planted the pole beans, and our squashes -- zucchini, yellow summer, delicata, and winter luxury pumpkins, just moving aside the thick layer of straw to plant the seeds. We planted the delicata and pumpkins under the pole beans, which I've never tried before -- I think will like having the extra space. The final step, a liberal sprinkling of Sluggo to prevent our bumper crop of slugs from devouring the young seedlings.

We still have the Painted Mountain corn to go in next to the row-covered cole crops, but we need to finish turning over and weeding, then fertilizing, that section of the garden. We had overwintered some red-twig dogwoods there, so that section still needs some work. We have a tarp down, hoping the sun on the tarp would kill or maim the weeds, but apparently the sun is vacationing this week.

Of course, Hogdemort the evil groundhog is still a problem, sigh. We discovered that he has dug a hole under our garden shed again, this time at the back. We have a tried and true method to encourage relocation. We will dump the used cat litter into the groundhog den (we have three cats, and use biodegradeable compressed pine sawdust pellets as litter). It will make the shed a tad unpleasant for our use for a few weeks, but it is a very effective strategy for moving the evil rodent out.

That will only relocate the 'hog, so last night we bought some plastic poultry netting to fence the garden in (I've long surpassed the $64 Tomato). We hope between the floating row covers, the new fence, and the not-very-effective dog, he will choose to move on rather than dig under the new fence. Honestly, I'm a big animal lover (three rescued cats and a rescued golden retriever, and the animal shelter gets most of my charitable contribution dollars) but the groundhog is enough to make me buy a gun. And use it.


Tracy said...

I just read a post at Sign of the Shovel about groundhogs, and I thought you might be interested.

Knock on wood - groundhogs are the one pest I don't have.

Ali said...

As much as I loathe the 'hog, I am thankful I don't have a deer problem. Yet.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ali, Good idea about planting under the pole beans. Think I will try that. Mine came up yesterday. I meant to drape a bit of cloth over the bean frame in hopes of keeping the king hog from chowing down on the little niblets. I didn't check them tonight after work. Looks like an early morning job tomorrow. Hope I'm not too late.
I spent Sunday morning making a table top for my big wrought iron coffee table. I made it out of hemlock from the old barn floor. I lightly sanded it and put a coat of all weather deck clear stain on the top and underside. It looks great next to the oak bench in the back yard. Also worked on spreading mulch on the new garden. I used your idea and used every newspaper, cardboard box, pizza box and whatever else I could find to put around the plants before spreading the mulch. I worked past 7. This morning when I got dressed for work my fingernails were still dirty. I thought "oh well, not much I can do about that" Then I looked at my toes and figured I better change from sandals to shoes. That might have been a little more than my coworkers could handle! karen