Wow! I can’t believe I am still actually working in Big Garden – all the way to “The End” instead of just Continue reading
Tag Archives: corn
With water already boiling on the stove, I picked the first four ears of our much anticipated Silver Queen Corn. It’s officially the only kind we grow due to not wanting to risk cross-pollination. To assure good pollination, you need … Continue reading
MacGyver and I are that odd couple who actually gets along better when we are working on a project, side by side. I provide the challenge and he provides the solution – it works for us. Provided we both are interested in the results.
And, did I mention my love for fishing line and cable ties and conduit – many things we have done have involved those very items… Yeah, I know it sounds like a shopping list from 50 Shades, but we were doing it first…
While I love getting his help on my ideas, I especially love it when he helps with my gardening ideas. I only really get his time for that when it involves protecting the plants he is interested in: tomatoes and corn.
So, it was with a twinge of sadness, and a surge of encouragement, that I announced just before dinner that my weeding trip to the garden had revealed a pile of deer scat, two okra seedlings with no leaves, nibbled borage, and the top missing from the in-ground Better Boy tomato (not to confused with the one in the ugly white 5 gallon bucket sitting in plain view! on the pool deck, behind fencing, and now also being supported by a new tomato cage. The cages in BG are old, rusty, and held together by… wait for it… cable ties! But, I digress…)
I had his attention now and he agreed to a post-dinner trip to Lowe’s to purchase 1/2″ conduit! I even suggested we use 3/4″ conduit to sink as sleeves into the ground – I looked brilliant! When I asked if I could wrap cable ties on the conduit in 1′ increments to act as ‘rests’ to prevent the fishing line from slipping down, I had him. This is engineering foreplay at its best!
When we returned from said shopping trip with seven conduits (1/2″ diameter, 10′ long), he then promptly found seven scraps of 3/4′ conduit that could be cut to 18″ lengths with one end hammered to a point so that they can be driven into the ground as sleeves. (See? After 25 years, I have learned a thing or two. Having taken a Strengthsfinder 2.0 test after being downsized a few years back, I was classified as a Maximizer – surely only because hubby has rubbed off on me…)
Oh, I also admitted that I had done a little research on-line for how this deer fencing could work but admitted that I hadn’t seen anything too ‘official’ – just from fellow bloggers and on Pinterest. Hook, Line , and Sinker!
Then, something even funnier happened. MacGyver went to YouTube for some more ‘expert opinions’ of how to do this than I could offer and we enjoyed three videos about preferred methods of fencing out deer:
- Bamboo stakes holding 12-15 lb test fishing line along the length of the garden with overturned buckets at intervals supporting tin cans tied to the line that fall when a deer moves the line – interesting…
- 30 lb test fishing line held taut between stakes – I have 15 lb so will upgrade as this post mentioned trials and errors with thinner and thicker line
- A more complicated system involving lines layered diagonally to create a fencing system wider than my area will allow but one that can be lifted for mowing
All of these seemed sensible and insightful until we struck upon a video about designing a water spraying device to deter a cat using motion detection. After many minutes of admitted epic failure on the trials of making the system work, the host admitted that it had taken him 3 weeks to perfect the system only to find that the wannabe banished cat had, in fact, been put to sleep two weeks earlier.
Maybe it is my snorting laughter that keeps MacGyver inspired?
Aside from rhubarb, I have not been a successful fruit/berry gardener yet. To be fair, those plants have fallen to Donny most of the time. At one time or another we have tried strawberries, blueberries, a kiwi that was supposed to be perennial even in zone 6 and gooseberries. The last two were my additions. All failed for one reason or another.
Strawberries were something Donny had grown in his father’s garden growing up, so that was his first suggestion. They grew but I forget why he ripped them out; maybe they didn’t produce well or were too much work.
About the same time, and this was a while ago, he put in a couple of blueberry plants but the birds got them before we did and an occasional harsh winter took their toll. I also seem to remember that our soil conditions weren’t well suited but knowing how to grow them was not my job.
The kiwi turned out to not be so perennial and the gooseberries, coincidently planted in a be that we’d mistakenly first planted with gooseneck loosestrife*, had thorns and no one liked the taste.
So, it is a little unusual that I debated converting a big (9′ x 10′) bed in the front of the garden to blackberries. But, I didn’t need it for rotation purposes since expanding the back of the garden to include 3 9′ x 10′ foe corn and vining plants like pumpkin and melons. I debated too long to order plants – see a returning theme here?
Today I picked up two plants from a local nursery who recommended that 2-3 plants were all I needed for the space. I decided to be conservative with the space with only two. Maybe I am learning from past errors?
I hope so because now I have to learn how to make these plants productive enough to justify their vast space.
I did do a little research and got tow varieties even though they are self-pollinating; one website I visited suggested this and the nursery agreed. I have a Triple Crown and a Chester, both in 2-gallon pots so not bare root. In fact, there already some berries on them. I will be looking for pie recipes next!
*If you are a new gardener and someone offers to give you plants because they have “plenty”, accept them graciously as you are being useful, but compost them – you can always claim to have forgotten to water them. Just DON’T put them in your garden or you too will soon be looking for another newbie to pawn them off on.