Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garden Time

Funny I should write about gardening. I don't really have one. And maybe I should take a step back to say this isn't really a gardening blog. It's just that Outdoor Life is more than just trail running and exercise. It encompasses everything outdoors, including periods of stillness and contemplation AND days of what some people might classify as "work".  With that in mind this blog has a wide range of topics.

Nature's engines are in full swing right now, so why not hop on board? Unless a gardener deals solely with native plants that rely on local weather cycles, a little creativity is required here in the Great Pacific Northwest.  Cool temperatures and wetness doom many a gardener's attempt to an early start. But to really boost one's chances of growing garden variety vegetables protecting them from slug and mice attacks are a must. Mice dig up seeds and a small slug or two can sweep over a seedling bed and wipe out the whole thing in a night!

How do I know this? It happens to me more than I would like to admit. This year I started seeds on an eight foot ledge in the cabin only to discover that a mouse was up there eating all my eggplant and most of my pepper seeds. He/she's dead now but not before my early start was ruined this year.

The spinach and lettuce starts all made it and so did my tomatoes so the situation isn't totally hopeless. The greenhouse, small cheap, protected them - lettuce and spinach going outside today and tomatoes will remain where they are all summer.  Gardening is a challenge, an opportunity, as they say. I'll post some pictures later.

The property is pretty much on an alluvial fan - that is debris from an old creek bed - so it's pretty much gravel with a strata of clay here and there. My only outdoor planting bed is composed mostly of composted wood chips and chicken shit.

Oh and the ducks. The ducks are my slug catchers. The also like to eat young starts but they are my natural defense against the dreaded slugs. Already they have saved my lilly of the valley that were shredded by this time last year.

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