I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.


Well, that’ll teach me.

Yesterday I went to my local nursery and bought some shade/hail cloth and a container of Diatomaceous earth. I was really mad at the ants as they had destroyed (or helped destroy) three of my Brassicas…..two cabbages and one brussels sprouts. I mean, every time I looked at the cabbages on the one side of the bed, I could see tons of little black ant bodies clustered around the stem.  After a while, the cabbage would fall over.  It sounds like a cross between a cutworm and ants, but I never saw any cutworms….and why would they be working together anyway.  Ants want something that will attract aphids, a dead plant will attract no aphids.

So I poured out my vengeance. I prolly used too much of the Diatomaceous earth.  It does dry things out and I dumped a lot right on the ants clustered around the stem, so I prolly killed the cabbages too……sigh. I didn’t think it would kill the plant.  I only have one healthy  looking plant out there right now.  The other 11 are dead or very wilted. Maybe the wilted ones will spring back to life.

I bought way too much of the shade/hail cloth.  Math has never been my strong point.  The only time my dad swore at me was once, when he was trying to help me understand a math concept.  He was so embarrassed that he never helped me with math again. However, he did teach me how to change tires, the oil in my car and how to put on chains in the ice and snow.  In college, I needed to rotate my tires, so I arranged to use a garage that belonged to one of my mom’s friends. This friend had 3 daughters and they all had boyfriends. As I was working on the tires, a boyfriend would show up and ask if I needed any help. I would shoo him off and then about 5 minutes later another boyfriend would show up.  I thought it was quite funny.  I got the job done without any help and I got a glass of lemonade after. Go me.

So I bought 8 feet of the hail/shade cloth.  What I didn’t pay attention to was how wide the cloth was. Probably about 20 feet wide. (they tole me in inches, I should have suspected something…).  I rolled it out and began cutting and got all the beds covered that I wanted and I still have an 8×9 foot piece left over. At least I will not be running around in my Chinese Rain Hat whilst the hail is pounding down around me.  My kids got me the Chinese Rain Hat.  It is one of those classic cone-shaped hats you see on workers in the field .  It works great to protect your face and shoulders from hail. Let’s see if the hail/shade cloth works as well.

Leave a comment »

Argh! (and aints)

I come home from 2 days…count them, two days….in Denver to find my corn seedlings have been dug up and destroyed.  I thought the squirrels only ate the seeds, which is why I did what you are not supposed to do…..transplant corn seedlings.  I started 20 corn in the greenhouse and planted them in the garden last Friday.  I swear, they grew 2 inches in two days. I figured they were very happy.  Then I had to go Denver on Sunday.  Came home tonight, to discover them dug up and only one left. ….

sad face.

You can’t have just one corn, they need to cross-pollinate; you need to plant a block of them so you can have corn cobs.  I will try again, this time I will put netting down.  I just don’t think they will be knee-high to an elephant by 4th of July…..

A friend suggested “baby electric fencing” a lower voltage electric fence that won’t kill them, just knock them for a loop.  I just can’t quite figure out how to set it up?  Do you run the wire next to the seedlings?  Do you make a little box around the whole area?  Squirrels are agile and arial little creatures and there is a tree overhead.  They might just parachute into the garden rendering a fence line in-effective…unless you run wire over the seedlings too. That might be bad for my health. I don’t know if it is worth it for 20 plants.

I shouldn’t have fed them leetle furry-rat-varmints this winter and then stopped feeding them when the weather got warm.  They are taking revenge.  My book on how to deal with squirrels should be arriving soon.  Then I will take re-revenge.

In other news, my squish is doing well.  I am growing both winter and summer squish. The summer squish is the ones doing well, the winter squish hasn’t shown heads up (or should I say leaves up) yet.  I am trying to start some Acorn and Butternut squish in the greenhouse, but they didn’t get watered when I was in the big city.  They got pretty dry in there.  We shall see.

My Egyptian Walking Onion is doing great!  We have had the leaves…tubes…green things growing str8 up without any bulbettes on them, for dinner several nights in a row.  They have a strong flavor and are great both raw and fried.  Thanks to my friend Erica, who is a fantastic, under-appreciated librarian, for giving me a start.

No lettuce or Swiss Chard yet.  Spinach and carrots are starting to show. The sugar aints are eating my Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts. I’ve lost three plants over the last week.  I must away to the garden shop and buy diama……diamota……buy that white earth stuff that you sprinkle around plants to keep them safe.   Last year I had to dig the aints up to convince them to leave, but they showed themselves before I planted anything last spring.  So, this year, I am going to have to resort to other methods. I don’t want my Brassica’s covered in Aphids.  Those 2,000 ladybirds I wee-weased are gone to parts unknown. Oh, Bob, I hardly knew ye….. Hey, Bob is a lot easier to remember than 2,000 names.  Don’t judge.

When my eldest was a small, he was fascinated by ants. He conducted various experiments on them all the while saying, “Aint, Aint! very pointedly. Most of the ants didn’t survive the experiments, which included things like stepping on them or dropping rocks/dirt on them.  This is why ants, aint.