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Archive for July, 2011

Where do I start?? This year was by far my least productive spring. I am now getting okra every day and a few peppers here and there, but the rest of the garden is a huge disappointment.

The green beans are all dead. The butter beans and hot peppers aren’t producing. The tomatoes, melons and cucumbers have all been eaten.

So what happened?

1. My garden got a late start. I had just moved in and had to put up deer fencing before I could plant. It was late March before the garden went in. During a normal year this might have been ok, but with the April temperatures mimicking June my plants never got a fair chance.

2. I don’t believe my soil mixture is right. In the past I’ve always done a 50/50 mix of Hill Country Garden Soil and Compost from The Natural Gardener. This year I was having it delivered in bulk and one of the workers told me that there is plenty of compost in the Hill Country Garden Soil and it wouldn’t need any amending with compost. I don’t believe that is true.

3. Rabbits! I wasn’t able to dig several inches down to bury the rabbit fence, since the ground is so hard from lack of rain. The rabbits didn’t find the garden for several months so I didn’t think they could climb under. Well they can and they did. It took several weeks to finally get the fence completely rabbit-proof. By this time most of my tomato plants were not dead, but took a good beating.

4. Squirrels! Once I had the garden deer and rabbit proof I thought I was safe. Not with these squirrels. The ones in my yard don’t wait until the tomatoes etc. are ripe. They are so thirsty with the drought (even though they have bird baths within reach) that they steal the fruit the day it appears. My veggies don’t even have a chance to ripen.

I tried bird netting but the squirrels  just climbed under it. It also ended up catching tarantulas, lizards and giant beetles. I won’t be using that again.

5. Hot, hot, hot! This summer is the worst I’ve seen in my 6 years. It’s so hot and there’s no rain in site. I put in rain barrels in March and since then it’s only rained 2 inches. I’m just hoping the plants can hold on until fall. (At least the ones that are still alive).

I took some pics of dead, sad plants for this post, but does anyone really want to see them?

The current thinking is to build a 4000 sq ft cage. I’m starting to plan it out in my head and hope to get this build within the next few months. We’ll see!

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Move to WordPress

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I have just moved to WordPress, so my blogging will be a little sloppy for a while as I figure things out. Please bare with me as get things up and running again.

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Cicada

Here are a few cool pics I took of a cicada a few days ago. It had just molted, so couldn’t move until it dried out. I’m sure it was less than happy to pose for these photos.

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