Summer Garden battles about to begin

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Lloyd-ss

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Location
Charlottesville, VA
We have had a vegetable garden forever, and even though I really don't enjoy it much anymore, my wife does, so I just smile and do the grunt work. Then, add on the bugs and varmints and drought and weeds, and it feels like a loosing battle. My wife often shows me various cute "memes" from facebook... usually about cats. I had no idea what a meme was, but I finally figured it out this morning while cleaning up the garden in preparation for planting food for the local wildlife.
Here is my first ever meme.
Defiant-Squirrel-meme-1.jpg
 
Our wives must be long lost triplets :)

Actually I was the gardening enthusiast for about 15 years, but realized that the deer and racoons took about 80% of what I grew every year, and just stopped about 5 years ago. This year with veggie prices on the rise, my wife has "Suggested" I plant a garden again.

You can hunt deer in my back yard with an apple and a hammer. The racoons give us nasty looks before moving out of the way when we pull into the driveway at night. It's going to be a bountiful summer for them...
 
Our wives must be long lost triplets :)

Actually I was the gardening enthusiast for about 15 years, but realized that the deer and racoons took about 80% of what I grew every year, and just stopped about 5 years ago. This year with veggie prices on the rise, my wife has "Suggested" I plant a garden again.

You can hunt deer in my back yard with an apple and a hammer. The racoons give us nasty looks before moving out of the way when we pull into the driveway at night. It's going to be a bountiful summer for them...

Raccoons are edible. Make them pay.
 
OMG, You guys are funny. ;)
Are any of your wives Irish? My wife has some holes in her ancestry dot com family tree on the Irish side, so these new relatives might be a break-thru for her.

You can hunt deer in my back yard with an apple and a hammer.
I have never heard it put that way, but they are abundant, and adaptable. And such a nuisance.

I really love the wildlife around here, but you have to play by their rules. I have a 7-1/2 foot high fence around the garden to keep the deer out, but the raccoons and squirrels are happy about that because it reduces their competition. And how do they manage to plan their harvesting about 2 days before I do?

Here is a pic of our garden back in its prime about 5 years ago. Maybe 5 hours of labor per pound off food?
07-08-2016.JPG

And here is a pretty fella looking for a cat-food treat. I thought I had a raccoon trying to get into the chicken run, but was very wrong.
Bear-1a.jpg
 
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Raccoons are edible. Make them pay.
its getting closer to spring here too. The annual battle over weeds by he fence . I have the makings for ultimate wed killer again . I sprayed and outed the stuf on the weeds. Stopped all green froth right there . Including massive holly hocks and towering sunflowers . I have a Kant that the former owners put in grass has sprouted in its midtst they also place bricks with corners up or down makes mowing a nightmare . Have tools to dig these out then I do a no grow strip around the plant it gets some mangy blue flowers for a few days in the spring. If I still had my big truck I’d rip it out. I don’t have a big yard but this plant adds about a half hour to grass mowing asvinhavevto make multi passes around this thingy he stupid bricks mak it so the mower can go over them then drop down nickingvthe blade I got rid ofvthe landscape rocks last year so mowing that section is the easy part
 
he stupid bricks mak it so the mower can go over them then drop down nickingvthe blade I got rid ofvthe landscape rocks last year so mowing that section is the easy part
Yup, mowing isn't the hard part, it's going over and around all the borders and rocks and roots and bricks and trees.
Have you tried laying a piece of 2x4 over the bricks at the edge and whacking them into the ground with a sledge hammer? Take out some frustration? Do it when its really wet so the mud will splatter.
I use a rider and plan on at least one new set of blades a year. I just keep running over whatever sticks up and eventually it all gets chiseled away. My wife mows occasionally and it makes a heck of a racket when she runs over some of the rocks that are sticking up a half inch too far. But if shes mowing, it is fine with me.
 
Yup, mowing isn't the hard part, it's going over and around all the borders and rocks and roots and bricks and trees.
Have you tried laying a piece of 2x4 over the bricks at the edge and whacking them into the ground with a sledge hammer? Take out some frustration? Do it when its really wet so the mud will splatter.
I use a rider and plan on at least one new set of blades a year. I just keep running over whatever sticks up and eventually it all gets chiseled away. My wife mows occasionally and it makes a heck of a racket when she runs over some of the rocks that are sticking up a half inch too far. But if shes mowing, it is fine with me.
I had rocks too and some random tree branches but like you just keep mowing untill they are gone . Replace blade occasionally I was on project farm site today he has a mower for sale with 120 re builds. Another week or so and it will be dry enough for the first outing. There is a community scrap bin planned again. I still have an old computer and monitor so I’ll toss them we got a few pictures off the hard drives but I’ll remove them permanently .
Byron
 
Funny stuff - Life. I just spend the minimum of time - A mow once a fortnight (weather permitting) and winter pruning. The perennials outgrow the weeds... (I think?). The squirrels eat the walnuts, the hedgehogs eat the crittures that may their "messages" black (And stink!)... the birds follow me around expecting me to dig worms for them... If the fox visits he leaves the worst smelly stuff you can imagine... but after drying for a week it shovels up and goes in the compost with everything else (dead birds included). The only stuff for the waste pin is the odd bit of plastic that blows in, or a carcass where the sparrow-hawk has had his dinner.
But I just sit in the chair in the sun reading and watching them dig their own worms!
A garden is for enjoyment, not slavery. - They go to industry, like I did!
K2
 
Here in Tasmania, Australia possums are the nightmare. However 3 strand electric fence on top of the vegi patch fence and pointing outwards seems to discourage them a lot :)
 
There are only so many hours in a day...... or so many hours of "energy" in a day. Between the garden, grand kids, flower beds, landscaping, machine shop time, and family time, finding a balance that keeps everybody happy was impossible. And guess what was always the first thing to go? So last year, at age 70, I ended up hiring a guy to do the weekly yardwork. He does the mowing, edging, leaf-blowing, and any extras I might have for the week. He is super reliable, it looks better than when I did it, he is done and gone in 2 hours, and it gives me back one full day a week. But the funny thing is, there still aren't enough hours in the day. ;)
Lloyd
IMG_20210416_150830824_HDR.jpg
 
A lovely bit of green space to relax in.... Weather permitting!
Sounds like we all need to learn from your experience and fingers a handy-jack for a couple of hours in the week.
Just spent all my energy today changing the "sparkling plugs" on the car. Had to strip off the throttle chamber and intake manifold to get access to the plugs. But that is done (4th set from new) for the next 36,000miles. Gaps on the old plugs were exactly as they went in.... (platinum plugs). But I know from tests when I dealt with Champion engineers in a previous job, that the aged ceramics are still good, but will fail sometime in the next 50,000 miles, and could do serious damage to the engine. Also the surface texture is deteriorated after that much combustion attack, so eventually will trap enough muck to become conducting and flash-over. I doubt I'll be able to detect the expected 1/2% improvement in fuel economy. So my Engineering says follow the service interval! It is not worth the gamble from here onwards.
Enjoy your gardens!
K2
 
A lovely bit of green space to relax in.... Weather permitting!
Sounds like we all need to learn from your experience and fingers a handy-jack for a couple of hours in the week.
Just spent all my energy today changing the "sparkling plugs" on the car. Had to strip off the throttle chamber and intake manifold to get access to the plugs. But that is done (4th set from new) for the next 36,000miles. Gaps on the old plugs were exactly as they went in.... (platinum plugs). But I know from tests when I dealt with Champion engineers in a previous job, that the aged ceramics are still good, but will fail sometime in the next 50,000 miles, and could do serious damage to the engine. Also the surface texture is deteriorated after that much combustion attack, so eventually will trap enough muck to become conducting and flash-over. I doubt I'll be able to detect the expected 1/2% improvement in fuel economy. So my Engineering says follow the service interval! It is not worth the gamble from here onwards.
Enjoy your gardens!
K2
we possums and armadillos . My K9 German Shepherd got an armadillo took it in the woods . Last I saw of it . Then I saw the hole he dug to get it out from under the deck. I never did teach him to fill in his holes . I YHINK he actually preferred to chase and capture human animals
Byron
 
I have two high tunnel gardens. Last year I planted plum tomatoes and Big Boy tomatoes for fresh eating. Also planted Bell and bannana peppers. Beans and butternut squash grows up on chicken wire panels . Spinach , kale and swiss chard also.
Carrots in a raised bed and a few leeks there too.
I had failures with cantolopes and watermelons. Lopes were small and rotted before getting to any size. Watermelon plants looked great and had an abundunce of flowers, All the flowers were male until October. You only get fruit on female flowers. The few female flowers that I got melons on came too late in the season. First frost and they were done.
I am trying lima beans for the first time. These will grow on eight foot high frames lined with chicken wire. I have about 20 lf of these frames.
I do not have a pest problem anymore. I tried to get rid of white flies with lady bugs , green lacewings and then chemicals. Lacewings did work for a while. Lady bugs were a waste of money as they dissapeared in two days. Chemicals worked but not very well.
I was told about Neem Oil. Tried it and was pleasantly surprised.
Kept all whiteflies , aphids and other insects out of the gardens.
Also found that Neem Oil works as a fungicide.
If you use Neem Oil read the directions carefully. Only spray when the sun goes down, otherwise the plants will wither and die. Make sure the mix is exactly as noted. Too strong a mix and the plants will die. Often the oil will solidifly. Set the container in a pot of hot water, not boiling. The oil will return to a liquid.
I had rocks and tap roots in the way when I first planted these gardens 39+ years ago. Probably spent 40 hours removing tap roots , raking rocks and removing a small area of marl ( clay).
Still finding a few rocks every year.
We had a groundhog problem, solution was a 177 caliber pellet rifle. Had to hide the critters as the wife thinks their cute. These "cute" critters can destroy a garden in a few hours.
mike
 
There are only so many hours in a day...... or so many hours of "energy" in a day. Between the garden, grand kids, flower beds, landscaping, machine shop time, and family time, finding a balance that keeps everybody happy was impossible. And guess what was always the first thing to go? So last year, at age 70, I ended up hiring a guy to do the weekly yardwork. He does the mowing, edging, leaf-blowing, and any extras I might have for the week. He is super reliable, it looks better than when I did it, he is done and gone in 2 hours, and it gives me back one full day a week. But the funny thing is, there still aren't enough hours in the day. ;)
Lloyd
View attachment 135579
What is the phone number of this 2 hour superman, how much do you think HE would pay for a holiday in Tasmania, Australia?
 
I have, garlic, onions, potatoes, growing. 2 more months it will look like a real garden.


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We've always grown as much of our diet as possible, and had about 1/2 acre of garden for decades. We've moved into town now and cut way back on garden, as our town place has a half dozen or so raised beds and not much else for garden space, so we will probably get a garden plot in the local community garden so my wife can keep her 20+ varieties of rare and uncommon potatoes. My job is ordering seeds and starting plants. Then I get out my clip board and lawn chair and supervise my wife's work in the garden, recording what is planted where and when. My interest in weeding etc started out low and has gotten less in the past 50 years, but our system works fine so far.
 

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