5.19.2015

Getting Our Little Square Foot Garden Ready For Summer 2015

  May 16, Peggy and I, along with BeauxBear da bratty Bichon and assorted kitties headed out to 'play' in the garden.    We harvested our radishes, pulled up the broccoli, beets and carrots and other winter things.  I turned over all the squares that we had divided off by our strong white string, making each little plot a 12'' square; hence that's why it's a 'square foot garden.  We only worked on the squares that were recently vacated by the plants I had yanked out that were done for the season. Then Peggy raked it smooth.  I applied some organic fertilizer and added a couple of big bags of Miracle Grow garden soil we had scored on sale at Lowes.    Once Peggy had raked it all in and smoothed it out again, being careful around the plants that are still standing, we planted Yard Long Beans along each end of the garden, so they could take to the trellises, and then we put okra seeds in the other empty squares.
The bird netting you see on top, (if you can see it) is not to keep birds out, but to keep marauding kitties from scattering our carefully placed seeds.

No doubt about it, they are cute, but last fall the three of 'em got into Peggy's carefully planned and freshly planted herb garden and stirred all the seeds up and turned it into a real mess of stuff growing every whichaway.  Instead of getting mad though, we just let it all be and vowed to try to keep our veggies in their given places next time by blocking out the kitties with the bird netting. Peg did manage to get a lot of salads and herbs out of her garden, once it got established, but it wasn't all growing in the nice neat divided patches she had envisioned when she had planted the seeds.
 Just before I uprooted the cauliflower, I noticed that the little white vegetable heads were beginning to show, but then I got very worried about their survival this late in the season, what with the heat index climbing higher and higher each day. We're told they are cold weather plants, but...we got 'em when we got 'em, and planted 'em, hoping for the best. I was going to pull them up, but when I saw these babies peeking out at me, well, I thought, as long as they were willing to give it a try, who was I to stop 'em?
Thrilled to be growing them for the first time, but still worried about them in the steady climbing steamy summer heat, I consulted my friend, Sam, who comes from a long line of gardeners and is quite knowledgeable about such things.  He told me that in the old days farmers would cut the bottom leaves and lay them over the opening heads to shade them.  He said that it helped, but then the cut leaves would eventually rot in the steamy heat and soak into the white heads of the cauliflowers, making them hard to clean and not fit for market without a lot of cleaning.  So, they devised a technique of tying the leaves closed over the heads, which much more successful. He suggested that I just bunch the leaves over the heads and hold them closed with a rubber band, so we're giving that a try.
If it works, I'll brag to him about the late season Cauliflower that *I* grew.  If it doesn't work, I'll blame him for it. The poor guy can't win; how he remains putting up with us, I'll never know, but I'm sure glad he does.
 Time will tell how it goes and I'll let yall know.
Now, just this morning when I went out to play in the garden a bit and see how it's going, I discovered one of the kitties, who will now be knick-named Houdini and pronounced with a growl, had managed to get in around the bird netting somehow, and play around in the dirt there, himself. Never fear, we will not be deterred by a cat, we will find a way to keep him out!
Just as I was thinking that whichever kitty did this, couldn't be any more exasperating, as I was walking back to the house, I found one of those miserable birds that ruin our fruit, dead  plus a dead mouse nearby, and both presented to us on the front doorstep by one or all of them, as their 'contribution' to us, their pack. I suppose they think this totally redeems them. It does not, and I'm not buyin' the story that he had to get in there to fetch out the bird and the mouse. An' I think I'm telling Peg to pull up all their catnip; this is not funny!
 
 

 
 
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