by Charlene Burgi
A few months ago, we worked the ground by adding amendments and compost. We exercised the double digging method as our forefathers practiced and planted seeds for the vegetable garden. We also tended to our fruit trees during the winter months and carefully pruned in a fashion that would promise good fruit production. As a result of our diligent efforts of properly irrigating, pulling weeds and tending the garden, we can now reap the harvest!
Aside from the shrimp procured at the local supermarket, the salad we ate last night was straight from the garden. I must admit, the star of the salad was the tomatoes. Tomatoes in the store just can’t hold a candle to vine-ripe, home-grown tomatoes. I think I mentioned in past blogs that I tried growing the tomatoes in black five-gallon nursery cans this year, and I am impressed with their production. I even tried an heirloom tomato that surprised me as the first to produce ripened fruit. There is no doubt that the heat generated from the black cans helped during that cold, wet spring we all experienced.
Though we are enjoying the harvest, it is time for another round of planting seeds. String beans may show signs of slowing down now, and it is still early enough to plant more for another fall harvest. Beets, carrots and spinach can also be planted now for autumn consumption.
As long as I have had dirt under my nails from gardening, I still marvel at that first sign of life that sprouts from a tiny seed. I just planted new potatoes and shallots that I failed to plant in the spring and they literally shot out of the ground within four days. And plants are so forgiving. If you recall, during the heat spell a few weeks ago, I thought I lost the oriental poppies still in nursery cans waiting to be planted. I moved them into the shade, gave them water, and now I see tiny signs of life coming from the rooted area . . . at least I hope it is poppies and not weeds. 😉
Speaking of pests, the lilies planted in spring emerged only to be selectively mowed down by something resembling a mad mini lumberjack on the loose. Each day I would find another lily on the ground with the stem cut in half. I also noted that some of the tops of the shorter variety were nibbled down.
One day as I was ready to go out the door to fill a bird feeder, there before the lilies was an adorable bush rabbit. The dilemma for me was what to do? Besides having a passion for gardens, critters are right at the top of my list, and I didn’t want to bring harm to this cute marauder. I searched the internet and found rabbits don’t like garlic powder. Like a crazed scientist, I started pouring this organic pesticide all over the lilies. Amazingly, it worked! Clearly, these rabbits are not Italian. The lilies (or what is left of them) and I are thankful for an easy remedy. As for the rabbit, I set out some lettuce leaves sans garlic powder for his dining pleasure.
A Special Thanks
I want to thank all of you that responded to the blog last week about my retirement announcement. Your well wishes brought me such warmth, joy and even tears. I am thrilled that MMWD will continue to have me write blogs to you. There is a special email if you need to contact me directly, or post your comments on our blog to share with everyone so we can all have a dialog.
Until next week, ciao and have a great weekend.