Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mama Bean is KinderGARDENing (6)

It feels like we have done no vegetable gardening at all. Here's what I have planted at home - tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, soy beans, lettuce, onions, and herbs. That's a lot, but our main garden is so much bigger and we have plans for so much more, and it's just not happening (!!) because it hasn't been tilled yet (we've hired a guy to do it, and he's... MIA? I dunno. Frustrating.) We should have just rented a tiller and done it ourselves. The rain is a factor. I throw my hands up, I tell you! Up!
Papa Bean snapped this pic for me when he went out to plant the potatoes at our main garden. He planted three boxes, it took up five rows, he worked really hard, and I'm happy something is in the ground out there. It keeps my frustration at bay. The reason we need tilling is because there's a big mat of dead quack grass that we (read: PB) doesn't feel like forking through by hand. But if it doesn't get done tomorrow, we're gonna just plant in the untilled ground, leave the grass patch alone (and slowly fork it over the summer) and, I dunno, deal. My hands are up! Up, I tell you!
Okay, we're still having fun, we're still having summer (Finally!) This little Bean-boy of ours is just endlessly entertaining. Top left, he's looking around for the robin he chased into that tree. Bottom left, he's playing with a wheel. Nine times out of ten, when you look at Bean during the day, he's playing with a wheel or something that has wheels or pointing at a wheel - kid likes wheels. Centre pic: hotdogs = summer. Interesting foot placement optional. Top right, walking with dad. Bottom right, poking a 'button' with a stick. Nine times out of ten, when you look at Bean during the day, he's playing with a stick or something that has sticks or pointing at a stick - kid likes sticks. (I think my math may be a little faulty somewhere in there...) Oh, and Sprout's up there, too, sleeping. Judging by this blog, all she does is sleep; not true. justsayin.
Here's some of the pretty that is growing in our yard. Of note are the cabbage and lettuce sprouts in the bottom right area. They're the only edibles in this collage. Alas, some of the cabbage fell victim to the resident rabbit in our yard. Timely, since Kim is talking about pest control this week. The stinky coleus has not worked, as far as I can tell. Strewing human hair (from PBs quarterly buzzcut) didn't help. I sprinkled some blood meal around tonight, we'll see if there are cabbage sprouts in the morning. Do marigolds and geraniums really keep rabbits away? Our neighbour swears the the onions he plants keep them out of his flower bed, but I'm dubious (though that is why we planted onions back there, most of our sets are really intended for the main garden.) Anyone out there think a scarecrow might work? They aren't terribly afraid of us, we have to actively chase them for them to move out of the yard. In fact, we watched a little showdown between bunny and crow which revealed the rabbit had actually built its nest under our lilac bush in the phlox patch - crazy rabbit! We dug it up (no babies) and dumped a shovelful of topsoil in there.

I know we're probably just gonna have to put up chickenwire around the bed - any suggestions on a minimum height? We put up a 5 foot fence our first year of gardening, and it negatively impacted my weeding, because it was cumbersome to move every time I wanted in there - and that was pre-kids, so. yeah. The whole point of raised beds is Ease of Use. We'll concoct some sort of bracket, easy-to-move system, in all of our 'spare time' this summer. Or we'll just give up and not have any veggies - that sounds like an awesome idea.

The thing is, with all the headache getting our main garden started this year, we've pretty much determined we're not doing the community plot next year; it's just not working out with the kids and time and life and stuff. Instead, we're going to build two more 4'x12' raised beds in our yard, which was the plan all along. We'd like to build them before the end of summer (so we can plant fall onions and garlic!) So, I want to come up with a really good rabbit control strategy!

As always, cruise on over to Kim's to check out the other KinderGARDEN action - maybe someone has already written about all the answers I need for rabbit eradication!!
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  1. I find the rabbits don't go over chicken wire but they will on occasion go under it! We left our rabbit to run free in our raised bed portion of our garden last winter and he ate both onions and garlic that came up!

    Your best bet is to fence...I know, what a pain! Either that our get a dog but who wants to see a dog carrying a bunny to the back porch as a 'gift'...not that I would know anything about something like that, sigh. Good luck! Kim

  2. You can have our cat... I'm so tired of ridding the yard of bunny corpses before the kids see them. How about some sort row cover, I've seen DIY with inexpensive sheers or tulle material.

  3. you have all that planted, and you feel like you haven't done any gardening?!

    so sorry to hear your bunny woes. while they are around here, we don't seem to have much trouble with them (knock on wood - i'm sure i've just jinxed myself), so i don't have much advice to offer. but when the deer come through and mow everything down in one night, we feel like giving up, too. :(

    hope the next week of gardening is less frustrating!

  4. I hear you on the bunnies. The other night I drove by my garden to see a mama and a baby bunny together---like she was instructing him on garden destruction!

    Anyway, I did fence in my peppers, corn, tomatoes & basil---and I did it with two-foot-tall chicken wire ($15) and electric fence poles ($16). It was money I didn't want to spend, but it has kept them out so far. Eventually I'll put in a permanent fence.

    Good luck!

  5. As a rookie gardener, I find that the garden is WAY more time consuming than I thought it would be. WAY MORE! For me, I'm just happy that the carrots and sunflowers are still growing. Anything after that is a bonus. Please, just let the carrots and sunflowers grow -- they are all my kids wanted.

    Hang in there! I feel your pain!

  6. last night someone on facebook mentioned that they sprinkled hot pepper flakes on the plants the rabbits were abusing, said it worked like a charm. might be worth a try!

  7. Thanks for your input everyone! I think digging up the bunny's nest in our phlox may have scared it off *fingers crossed* I also dumped a shwackload of bloodmeal in the raised bed, maybe that has helped?? I know we will have to fence it, the trick is making it easy to get around for weeding and stuff. I wish we could have a cat or a dog, but allergies will prevent it (for now. maybe in our next home, i can have a garage cat...)