Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And the Leaves That Were Green Turned to Brown. And They Wither With the Wind and They Cumble in Your Hand.

Man, if you ever want a lot of extra drama and conflict in your life, grow a garden. People make it seem like it's some kind of relaxing, zen type experience, but let me tell you, baby, it's war. War!

The Monday after I came back from TOMRV, I woke up with the worst migraine I've had in months. Stupid hormones crashing...I had to call in sick to work, take my migraine meds and pass-out in my bed for most of the day.

When I finally did wake up, having shaken off most of the migraine pain and dizzyness, I went outside to obsess over my garden and then I was hit with the garden devastation. The deer had discovered my plants and seemed to REALLY like our Swiss Chard, green beans and beets. Damn them!

I'm not sure what other kinds of bacchanalian, debauched, animal, solstice, celebration took place in our yard on Sunday night, but I also found a dead vole on our driveway. What the hell?

Because my husband is an incredible person with an eye for detail, he looked up ways to dissuade the deer. It is amazing some of the creepy things people tell you to do. John's co-worker said his grandpa always collected human hair from barber shops, stuffed the hair into panty hose and lined his garden with it. Ew! Fortunately, John found an easier, affordable way to keep them out of the garden. He bought some very tall stakes, placed them on the corners of the garden about a foot away from the fence and then we strung fishing line around the garden. It's supposed to work because deer can't see it at night, so when they try to jump in the garden and feel it, they don't know what it is and they get scared. It's been working so far, but deer have an annoying ability to adapt and we'll see if it works for the rest of the growing season.

For an extra measure, Stinky and I, with some supervision from the grand puppy, spray painted cat food cans that John and I saved and cleaned and we hung them up around the garden, hoping that the noise they make works to scare critters off as well.

Even if they don't work, it was a beautiful day and a fun project with my baby girl.

Right now, our garden is kicking so much ass. We have baby eggplant starting to grow...

...And most of the flowers are blooming.

I was even able to pull the garlic up a littler earlier than usual.

Of course, this week my garden was visited by those awful Japanese beetles that want to eat everything. This war, I fought alone. I bought some Neem oil, mixed it with water and sprayed it on the leaves of most of my plants. It's supposed to kill aphids and bugs and mites (which we also have). I ran into a friend of mine who told me that I should kill the beetles in soapy water and leave the bucket with the water and dead beetles by my plants because beetles can smell the other dead bugs (I smell dead people?) and stay away from the garden. Nature is so weird.

On a more positive note, one of my co-workers found out I lost most of my beets and she gave me some from her garden. So nice.

So, we'll see what happens with the critters and the bugs and I'll have to figure out different strategies to deal with the next garden invasion. Get a garden, they said. It will be so peaceful and good for the soul, they said...Lying bastards.


Derek Willard said...

"I'm not sure what other kinds of bacchanalian, debauched, animal, solstice, celebration took place in our yard on Sunday night, but I also found a dead vole on our driveway. What the hell?"

Love it.
How did the Neem oil and soapy water work out?

Tara Coady said...

It's hard to tell. I haven't seen any beetles lately, but they might be hiding from me, now that they know I want to kill them. The aphids that have been terrorizing my eggplant are known by the leaves they turn into lacy patterns with their teeth and I can't tell if the leaves are less lacy or not. I'll have to get it some more time.

Derek Willard said...

When i lived in Arcata, CA (Humboldt), I learned first hand that ladybugs are great biological controls for aphids.

Tara Coady said...

I know Arcata a little. I lived in Leggett (border of Mendocino and Humboldt) and worked all along the Eel River doing Salmon Restoration in the California Conservation Corps in 1985.