Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Body & Soul: My Garden

When I first started my garden months ago, I had no idea how it would turn out. I wondered if anything would grow or what challenges I would face in my unfamiliar terrain. Now here it is August and my garden is exceeding beyond my expectations. 

In the beginning I had to deal with the birds eating my new little sprouts. It did not matter what it was, they ate it and then I would have to replant. I finally got smart, bought me a net that protected the little baby sprouts and a make-believe hawk. My Mother put a fake frog right in the middle of the pumpkin patch which seemed to help as well. My next challenge were the ants. There would be no sign of them one day and the next they were everywhere. I am on second box of grits, but not sure how affective it is anymore. The ants in the front yard just walk over the grit like they know what it is and aren't about to fall for that cheap trick. I was determine to win so my Mother purchased a couple different remedies to rid the ants from my garden and our yard in general. It seems to be a hit and miss. They would disappear from one area only to pop up somewhere else. It has been frustrating from the first day I encountered them. I thought ants were stupid but some are quite clever. This is an on-going battle. 

Another challenge I faced were snails. I found plenty evidence of these nasty creatures while removing the enormous bush where the pumpkin patch now lies. They have not been in my garden area but I have found them in other areas. I planted a few pepper plants under our weeping cherry tree. They ate them right down to the ground. I was blaming the birds when it was these little devils. I also blamed my youngest daughters bunny when I found my new blackberry shoot nibbled off to a stump. It was by accident I made the discovery when I stepped on one of the snails right next to my blackberries. I found two more a couple of days after the initial discovery. Now I go out daily to make sure every plant has all its "parts." The other challenges I faced have been wind, bugs attacking the apple tree and sprinkler system.

Perhaps that sounds like a lot and I guess it is but with the help of my Mother we have worked out many of the problems. The frog and hawk are working great. We had the apple tree sprayed, although I doubt we will have much fruit this year. The ants have been controlled for the most part and I do not see many snails anymore. We also capped the sprinklers in the garden so I can water my garden with the hose a few times a week. One day I'll have a drip system.

I had no idea how much time and work goes into the care of a garden and yard. The weeds are endless it seems. I could pull weeds all day if I didn't have to deal with our next door neighbors elm trees. When the trees dropped their seeds we had elm trees sprouting up everywhere. For those of you who have not experienced an elm tree trust me it's not pleasant. If you do not find them early on you will be digging out roots that have buried themselves deep in ground. Their root system is like digging up cement. It's almost impossible. I hate them! I literally walk around with my eyes glued to the ground on the look out for these little buggers.

All in all it's wonderful to go to the grocery store and not have to buy all the vegetables I normally would because they are in my garden. I love fresh veggies. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from growing a vegetable garden. Even my herbs have done fairly well. I have used them a few times in my cooking. The flavor can't be compared to a bottle. Fresh is best.