Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Curses! Foiled again!

Something got in the garden - either last night or today and dug in one of my boxes with the electric fence on!!! Thankfully it didn't dig up any of my newly rehomed veggies, but I'm really steamed that we spent all that time trying to keep them at bay and they still got in. I don't know how it got in. Our wire is only about 2 inches off the ground with about 1.5 inches between the first and second string. I'm gonna give it another day and check for unwanted activity in the a.m. before I leave for work and tomorrow when I get home. If the dirt's disturbed in the morning it's gotta be an armadillo, coon (do they dig???), or possum. If it's disturbed tomorrow evening it's probably a squirrel. I guess tomorrow if we still see sign we'll run another string or two of wire, and maybe rearrange the current strands to put them closer together. If that doesn't work - Hello, cow/horse hot wire charger with a constant stream of electricity coursing through you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some picture of the garden set up

Not much to do this evening. I want to put some mulch on the garden to help with moisture control. (Last year the Mel's Mix dried out so quickly, and it was a constant battle to keep it watered.) I have some pine bark mulch here at the house, but I don't want to use it if it will cause my soil to be acidic, so I posted a query over at the SFG Forum on in hopes of getting feedback from some more experienced SFGer's.

So now I wait... In the meantime I figured I'd take some pictures of the garden - such as it is.

The new hot wire set up

The Fi-Shock - previously used for the pups now for use on the other little 4-legged mercenaries

Hope they're close enough to the ground and close enough to each other to keep the little moochers at bay

Fantastic tomatoes in the forefront, Black Beauty eggplant in the back

Crookneck squash - probably a mistake to put them in the same box, but I wanted more squash and had limited box space.


The tomato box

Cherokee Purple tomato plant

The big oak tree that shades our garden. we probably need to trim off some limbs, or top it. There is a danger it could fall on our powerline if we get another hurricane.

Side view of garden

Plants in the ground

But I'm not looking like a fool with my plants in the ground...

I was able to get by the nursery yesterday at lunch and pick up some crookneck squash, zuchinni, and eggplant. Sadly there were no Fooled You jalapeno plants there yesterday. They're supposed to get another truck in Thursday so I'll check back then.

After work hubby and I got started on the electric fence. He had already weed whacked the grass growing around the garden area and put some diesel down to prevent stuff from growing up and grounding out our fence, so we put the clips on the t-posts and we started running the wire. Once that was done Charlie hooked up the box, plugged it in, and to both of our surprise - it worked! yeehaw!!

After we got that done he started picking up his tools, and I got started planting. I got all the plants in the ground, but by the time I was done it was too dark to take pictures, so I snapped a few this a.m. on my phone camera. Will have to drag out the Canon this evening.

The new garden layout with new electric fence - bring it on my four legged foes!

Closer shot of the tomato plants

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The prodigal gardener returns

I had almost thought about not doing a garden this year. Last year between the drought conditions and not being able to keep my garden watered enough, and the critters that ravaged what few crops I did get I was pretty frustrated with the whole thing. All that time, effort, and money wasted. Well, not wasted if you consider the rabbits, squirrels and coons were appreciative.

But I decided to give it another whirl, and hubby and I today started the arduous process of getting the boxes ready for the season by weeding the long abandoned boxes, adding soil, and rearranging my trellises so I could rotate crops around to different boxes. And we drove some t-posts around the garden in preparation of putting in a hot wire to keep the various and sundry fauna at bay. Running the wire and getting the box hooked up to power is on his to do list tomorrow since he's not working right now.

I'm changing my strategy on planting this year. Last year I had 6 tomato plants, but they didn't give us fruit every day, which is what I really want, so this year I'm putting out 17 tomato plants. If we end up with more than we can use, I'm sure my co-workers and family won't say no to some free veggies. I took a trip over to Cook's Nursery to buy the mater plants. Last year we bought some great looking Black Krim and Cherokee Purple plants there, and I wanted to get 4 apiece of those, but I went way too late in the season. I was fortunate to find one (for sure) 1 Cherokee Purple plant. There were 4 other tomato plants in the flat that did not have a tag, and plants in the same flat are supposed to be the same, but we may end up with some Green Zebras instead of the CP's. *fingers crossed* I was dismayed to see that had I made it to the nursery sooner, I could have bought some chocolate cherry heirloom plants. Next year I'm gonna get a much earlier start on the garden! I feel like I'm playing from behind the eight ball right now. The sad thing is I have seeds in the fridge and could have started and planted my own tomato plants, but it was such a hectic late winter/early spring the garden just seemed like one more responsibility I didn't have the time or the energy to deal with.

Since Cook's didn't have the heirlooms I really wanted, I settled for 4 heirloom sweet baby girls, 4 early girls, and 4 fantastic plants. The fantastics are supposed to be similar to beef eaters. We'll see...

Tomorrow I need to make a trip to Lufkin Farm Nursery for some squash, zuchinni, eggplants, and (hopefully) some Fooled You jalapeno peppers. I also intend on planting some okra. I've got some seed here for that too, but I'll probably just buy it there if they have a decently priced 4-pack since I'm getting such a late start. I also need another net for the new tomatoe trellis. We're going for 16 plants on the same trellis. I think I'm gonna be regretting it when I have to tie those darn things up, but we're gonna give it a whirl and see how it goes.

Thank goodness we have such a long growing season here. Gives us late starters time to still get in a decent garden.