10 July 2010

Catchin' Up, 10 July 2010

Unless you feel some personal connection to me, skip this post... it's mostly mundane.

My garden:
I tilled it late because I couldn't decide how to protect it from Bambi and Thumper. I finally had an idea I thought might work and turned soil over the last week of May. I normally plant seed in week-apart shifts so I can harvest sweet corn and beans until late in the season.
All went well the first couple weeks... my fence seemed to be working.

Sara Jean always makes fun of me because even when I get my plot out early enough, by the first of July or so it's bein' overrun with grass and weeds. Not this year...
On two different occasions I got out on 90+ degree days and weeded the entire plot. Hard work for a couple hours each time, my cutoffs and T-shirt were soaked to me like they were painted on...

Loved it, and the plot looked better than any garden I've ever had. After the second of these instances we went out to eat Chinese and when we returned I took the dogs "potty" around the house into the back forty...
There, in the middle of my garden plot stood Bambi's Mom, watching intently to see how close I would approach. I took out my cell phone to call my wife, but she came around the side of the house before it started ringing. I turned to her and put my vertical index finger against my lips, then pointed to the big doe.
From her mouth... "You've got to be kidding!"
We walked slowly toward the garden, and the doe fled, ducking down to cross under my lowest strand of fishing line, (at about the two-foot level) without so much as stirring it...
Amazing agility.

She had eaten ALL the corn, and had started snacking on the tops of the beans.
In the two weeks since, she and her like have devastated my garden. In addition to the corn and beans, they have eaten all the cucumber leaves. They make their way to within 20 feet of the house to eat the buds and leaves off the tomato plants in my "Topsy-Turvy" planters hanging from the clothesline. (No buds... no tomatoes.)
So it's been a lotta hard work for nuthin', unless you consider fattening up the deer to be a worthwhile endeavor. Still, my fence worked for three weeks or so, and I'm not totally defeated... I think I just need more strands of fishing line, some of it lower than 24 inches, and some mid-way between my low strands and my highest one. That's the plan for next year, along with some sort of "Deer Guard" repellent... I'm told they actually work now.

Change gears- My New Desktop:
Three months ago Big Bubba bought a new desktop computer because he needed bigger/faster/more audio-visual capability. I inherited his old (hardly old, really) one. I was excited, 'cause I knew his old machine was four times the device I had sitting on the desk in my office. I hooked it up with excitement, turned it on, and soon was pulling out my hair...
It wouldn't recognize my wireless router, no matter how hard I tried. After working with it all night, I finally gave up and hooked the old machine back up. The new machine has been gathering dust against the wall since.

A month ago, for reasons I'll enumerate, I decided
to try
one of these.
It's a portable WiFi hotspot and supposedly will support up to five signal-using devices. It solves my internet connection problem during traveling...
Airport wants to charge $10/hour for access? Ha.
Go to Destin hoping to hijack someone else's signal while we're there? No longer necessary.

Now the question is, will the new desktop recognize my new gadget?
I haven't had time yet to try, but when my present shift ends I'll once again be hookin' it up and keepin' my fingers crossed.
I'd appreciate it if you'd cross yours for me too.


the golden horse said...

Feel your pain for the garden GB.
I have grown some of the most amazing tomatoes here,some over 8' tall, only to lose them to pests and critters.
Never got to harvest them. My mouth was watering for some fried green tomatoes, kiss idea that off.

The birds just love ripe tomatoes. They will come onto the lanai and sit right on the bucket and help themselves while looking at me. They think my fountain is their own little bird bath. It is up under a tarp and near the house. No fear here either.
So I came up with an idea for a birdbath about 20' from the house, that seems to help a lot.
Bugs are another story I have gone to the nursery and bought an organic safe spray, they drink it like it was a coca cola.
Deer, we have none here, but does a scarecrow with noisey tin plates flying in the breeze on a string help? I had heard there was a flower, you can plant around the perimeter that wards them off. The name escapes me, but it is the little yellow and orange flowers that stink to high heaven. Are they scared of a motion detector, or do they just pose for it?
They have always told me that lizards eats bugs, well I am here to tell you they also eat plants, they love my bougainvillea. I do a sweep about twice a week to pick up snails and squash the slugs after the lawn is watered. The snails will eat anything not tied down.
So, the next time you are in the area, we should sit down and discuss our next plan of action over a margarita.
The best of luck to you this year on the garden.

Greybeard said...

Marigolds, GH, and they don't work...
Found that out last year. They may help with rabbits though.
I'm now hearing cayenne pepper from some...
In a solution w/water, spray it on the foliage, and whatever is eating the leaves will learn not to do that.
Wish I had known that a month ago.

Rain said...

I tried everything to protect my roses from the deer. Dried blood sacks, repellant, the place looked like a witch lived here, and nothing worked. I finally gave up and had Farm Boss build a 6' tall fence with lattice to let air and light through. They still eat anything that peeps out through the openings but that's all I ever found that worked.

This year I had something weird cut off my pepper plants. Just cut the stems and leaves right off and leave them there. I was blaming squirrels (why not I blame them for everything else) but Farm Boss thought cut worms. Why though just one plant?

In the Tucson house, I plant nothing that rabbits like. I see beautiful plants, so tempting but know what will happen to them within hours of being planted. Javelina will dig up some also, just root them out. and there we have leaf cutter ants which can take every leaf from a plant. Poison is the only solution for them and remember to repeat it.

camerapilot said...

Growing up in a "beach town" there were only two jobs available to a kid; Gardner or bagging groceries.
I did both and had a great time doing it especially tending the garden of an old lady on the hill overlooking the Pacific.
It might be hard to believe nowadays that cougar, deer and bear might be a threat to a garden but back in the day deer would come down and nibble tender shoots of anything I planted. On a foggy morn with mist rolling from the ocean I'd walk teared levels of garden on steep banks behind Maggie's house and find deer prints amongst the vegetable patches. What was left of the crop after the critters had their fill seemed sweeter.
A garden is a good place to be.

the golden horse said...

Yeah, Marigolds, that's it. Been on the tropical flower circuit too long and couldn think of the name.
Hubby suggests a 8'privacy fence with constantine wire at the top.
Really, he feels for what you are going through also.
I hope you find a solution, keep us posted.

the golden horse said...

Hey GB, Saw a show tonight, they were talking of getting bear or coyote urine in powder form, they claim you just add water and use it as thedeterent. Don't know never tried it, but might we worth trying. Or maybe a tape recording of growling or barking connected to a motion sensor.
Good luck to you.