Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The 2011 Garden Insanity

You may well remember that gardening is a pastime I enjoy thoroughly. Last year we were only able to put in some peas at the old house, and we planted some potted tomatoes once we moved in, but it was meager at best. This year, because of all of the horror stories I heard involving deer, we planted one garden in the yard and made an "insurance" garden on the deck. The deck garden consists/consisted of peas, beans, tomatoes and bell peppers. The yard garden has tomatoes, tomatillos, carrots, and six different varieties of the hottest chilies I could find. So far, we've had an abundance of peas, and then once they were finished we replaced them with beans. The beans are just finishing up now. I picked some jalapenos yesterday, which is the first thing I've harvested from the yard garden.

The tomatoes and peppers in our deck garden, which we planted in case the deer decimate everything outside, are doing horribly. The main issues, I believe, is the soil. We bough several large bags of potting soil at Big Blue Home Store, but we received garden soil instead. Neither one of us really thought about when we made the realization, and I went ahead with planting. I also bought those plants at Big Blue Home Store. Those plants haven't really grown much since the day I put them in. There are a few fruits, but most of them are rotting at the blossom ends. The peppers are only now flowering, and are quite small. I don't expect much from them.

The plants in the garden? Now that's another story. Everything out there, save for a few Thai peppers I picked up at the farmer's market, was grown from seed. Three tomato varieties, carrots, chilies and tomatillos all started in my dining room, and some of which I sowed directly as an experiment. We tilled organic soil and compost into the ground, made some raised beds, and planted away. The results?


I have never had plants grow this big in my life. I planted two of my tomato seedlings in a large pot on the front porch, and it keeps tipping over because the plants are so tall. The cages I bought are three feet tall, and most of my plants are more than double that size. There are green tomatoes everywhere, and tomatillo husks are rapidly filling with fruit. It's so dense I can barely see the interior plants.

Luckily, until recently the deer haven't noticed this lush smorgasbord. But last week I discovered this:


They found us. Luckily, it seems like they were in and out pretty quickly. They just ate the tips of a few branches and didn't touch any of the unripe fruits. I've been vigilant about spreading blood meal and spraying this revolting smelling liquid fence since then, and they haven't been back.

Now the only issue I have is that my cat is using one of the beds as a litter box. Any recommendations, other than driving the cat into the middle of nowhere and leaving him to poop in someone else's garden?

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1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

Wash your veggies and count your blessings.I am almost inspired!!!!