Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Digging in the Dirt

A beautiful sunrise yesterday ushered in a perfect day for digging in the dirt. In spite of the fact that winter's not over yet, I tilled and tidied and planted. It felt good to be back in the garden -- back where I belong.

I kept an eye on the black pussy willows and watched as, in the course of the day, they bloomed out pink and chartreuse (Nature isn't afraid of color) at the base of their black velvet catkins. By afternoon the catkins were a-hum with honey bees, their legs fat with yellow pollen.

The freshly tilled box beds are a magnet for the dogs -- "It's a bed, isn't it?" Maggie seems to say, in her most supercilious manner.

So to deter doggy wallowing, I lay fence posts across the newly planted Brussels sprouts, blanket freshly sown lettuce seed with row cover, set PVC hoops over the spinach and Chinese cabbage seeds.

At least the dogs keep the groundhogs away. A few days ago I was chatting with a neighbor who was out for a walk. We spoke of gardens and planting and he allowed as how he wasn't making a garden this year because in the past, as quick as his plants came up, the groundhogs would gobble the tender green sprouts.

"I told my wife," he said, "if the groundhogs want beans this year, by god, let them plant 'em!"
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Anonymous said...

With the groundhogs, rabbits and most especially the many, many deer here, we have learned to fence first, then plant. The herb garden and the raspberries are relatively immune to their depredations, but everything else must be protected.

Carol Murdock said...

Vicki....I got the HB feeders up yesterday but saw no action. Made it to the nursery but only came back with two large Ferns! I've got the fever for sure though!

Vicki Lane said...

Karen -- we have deer around but, so far (knock wood), the dogs have kept them away. Such beautiful creatures but I know they'll eat almost everything.

Carol -- no hummers sighted here yet -- but I'm ready. I checked the map and they're getting closer!

Unknown said...

Hi Vicki
Have a look at the type of hoop house we use.
Now I live in Western Australia so I have no experience of groundhogs or deer but I do know that Mikroclima hoop houses keep out rabbits, dogs, and on occasions kangaroos!
Have look here

Vicki Lane said...

They sound terrific,John! I wonder if they're available on our side of the globe? I shudder to think what shipping costs would be from Australia.

But at least we don't have kangaroos!

Unknown said...

Hi Vicki
One of my neighbors has a theory that even though to humans Mikroclima is transparent to animals it appears as a solid white wall and they steer clear. I don't know if he is right but so far no problems from animals.

But maybe groundhogs and deer are smarter....?

Yes, Mikroclima is on sale at my website priced in US dollars for the American market.
You are right the cost of postage is high but I found that because of the (currently) attractive rate of exchange posting direct makes little difference to the US dollar price.
Cheers, John

Vicki Lane said...

We're impressed, John, and are going to see what the budget might allow.