Friday, May 17, 2024

Gardens and other things

It’s been a strange garden year.

I have planted carrots three times and gotten nothing.  Planted beets three times and got very little.  Cliff’s white radishes he loves so well, on the other hand, have flourished!  They get huge.  He ate all of the first ones, and now a whole row is almost ready.  Many of the plants have just stayed where they were in March, looking cold and rather sick, and beaten with hail until the last three weeks.  At least that’s how it has been with the cabbage, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe.  I have tilled away some crops because so few of them came up and then replanted only to get the same result.  I’ve had a lot like this bean row:

I planted the whole row, and you see how few bean plants came up.

On the bright side, the potato and tomato plants are doing quite well, unless the load of water in the ground has started to rot the potatoes; I’m afraid to look!

No blight yet, but then there wouldn’t be yet    

We’ve been eating strawberries every day, either on cereal or with shortcake; sometimes both.  Even so, we’ve given some to the grandson, and to our daughter and her husband.  Also, there are quite a few in the freezer, and we should get a lot more.

Some bags have two cups, some have three

The strawberries really don’t like the chilly, cloudy, wet weather.  They aren’t as sweet as they could be, and they look a bit faded.  But they are still making berries.

I had forgotten the fact that when there’s a lot of rain after a long drought, ants will come in the house to find a dry place.  I have an ice cream bucket on the dryer I put coffee grounds, vegetable leavings and so forth to toss out on the garden.  Went in to wash clothes and the ants were all over those leavings.  I sprinkled Borax onto the dryer around the bottom of the bucket, left it there for a couple days and the ants were gone.  Then I found them in my bathroom, dancing around my sink.  More Borax, and POOF!  I didn’t know exactly where they were coming in, so I just put Borax all around the sing and left it for three days.  GONE!!  Last night they had found the cats’ two dishes and were having a feast.  Sprinkled Borax on it… well, you know the story by now.  

However, there’s another short story in this.  I typed most of this entry yesterday afternoon.  Cliff came in the house, I mentioned Borax around the cat food dishes, and Cliff said, “Remember when I put lime on the floor of the barn and all our barn cats died?”

I told him that wouldn’t happen, because I googled to see if it would hurt pets.  Some people said it would, but most said no cat or dog would eat enough to kill them.  

He went back to the shop, and I heard a little voice reminding me I hadn’t seen Blue, the cat, since I let the cats back in the garage for the day.  I called him several times with no avail.  I told myself he was in the pasture or woods hunting like always, but I worried a bit.  Finally, he showed up, healthy and unharmed.  Whew.

This is the first sunny day we’ve had in a long time.  It’s still too wet to till the garden, but I’m getting a lot of hoeing done, and I’ve trimmed the leaves down on the Iris plants, since all but the black irises are done.  I think I’ll be able to till tomorrow, good Lord willing.  I’m going back outside now.


  1. Our carrots eventually came up but they took a long long time. Like three weeks. We planted some okra by seed that never came up and some of our beans look like your row of beans too. Not sure why when the same seed planted a row over came up quite nicely. I'm guessing for now that the seed depth was highly critical for poking through the crusted soil after some of the rains we got. We also planted some parsnips that came up sparsely too.

    1. Well, I feel better now. Misery loves company.

  2. That's very odd. My bulbs (flowers) didn't come up very well at all this year. It was disappointing. I did buy bulb fertilizer and put it on them. It smells vile but I hope it works for next year. I have a pest control service; if I see even one ant, I put out Terro Liquid Ant Baits. They're great--a mix of sugar water and borax. Harmless to pets.

  3. I used to sprinkle a borax/flour mixture all around the house foundation, which did a great job of keeping the ants out.

  4. Anonymous8:51 PM

    Do you have fire ants there. They’ve been here a few years. They are awful. Galla Creek


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