As planting time draws near I am reminded of the damage my evil nemesis the Groundhog can do. Em had seen a groundhog that had been run over by a car on the main road and we had heard other neighbors were setting out traps this year. I was honestly kind of hoping someone else would take care of them this year!
No such luck. Wednesday night while sitting on my patio looking out into the garden, not one but two of these evil things were behind each of my neighbors houses. On both sides of the garden. It was obviously a flanking maneuver.
So the next day I came to grips with having to take care of them myself. As much as I don’t want to trap an animal, I do not want them destroying my garden again. It is a lot of work to seen eaten away. Last year I set this same trapped (borrowed from our neighbor) and filled it with all the things the groundhog had eaten from my garden. It had broccoli, cabbage greens, and lettuce in it for a week and I got zero results. Apparently they prefer the freshly grown varieties of vegetables. Then I tossed in a peanut butter sandwich and caught it the next morning.
This year the peanut butter sandwich is going in first. The trap is set, the pb sandwich is placed inside, and then I did the worse job ever of camouflaging the trap with discarded tomato plants from last year.
Hopefully I catch them quick. We have wonderful friends who live in the country that volunteered to let us release them on their land. That was the biggest concern for me because I don’t want to kill them (also I wouldn’t be able to kill them) and I don’t want to make them someone else’s problem.
The Pea’s planted a week ago are starting to grow up from the soil and are looking good.
Above is one of the tomato cages planted with about 16 Snap peas around it. I have watered the peas every day it hasn’t rained since direct sowing them. I have done the same for the beans but only a handful have poked through the soil at this point.
My planting slowed down during the week but I did manage an evening of planting onions in one of our raised beds. There are around 30 “Alisa Craig” onions in the box that were purchased as seedlings. My hope is the looser soil- a mixture of potting soil and compost will produce a better quality onion then my garden beds have. These are mostly for a bonus crop. We eat so many onions I would have to plant my whole yard with them to produce what we consume in a year. I do not mind buying onions from the farmers market, like carrots, even the organic ones in season are cheap considering what goes into growing them.
Both potato bags I planted with my forgotten grocery store Russian Banana Potatoes seems to be growing great. I am really excited to see the crop I get from them.
I am looking forward to a week of vacation next week (not from blogging and planting though). It is my planting vacation and I hope to get most of the garden in.
I have already completely remade my Vegetable Garden Layout from my earlier plan (you can see version one here). As I started making beds I realized I could squeeze more into the slope row and the main row so I did away with a few previously planned beds. The bed on the lower level by the kids swing set will get to stay as a play area. Em insisted the kids need room to play in the backyard and I can’t make it all gardens. I thought they would be reading quietly in their rooms until they went to college. I was wrong again.
16 of 44 beds are completed- about 33%. Of course most of those are the smaller slope beds so I still have a ton of work to complete next week. I am still undecided on what will go into beds 2 & 44 but that allows me some wiggle room and the ability to make some kind of impulse purchase at the greenhouse. I also haven’t tackled any herbs for containers yet.
One of my bigger projects for next week will be turning this old swing (the seat part broke) into a cucumber trellis and seeing how many plants I can get around it. Usually when something breaks around here Em wants to throw it out and I tell her I can recycle it into something in the garden. She is starting to see that as code for “I plan to leave it in a pile somewhere for a few years and do nothing with it.” So I figured I better do something with this fast!