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Garden Update; Breaking Even with the Monsters

April 24, 2010
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In my previous post about the expense of gardening I know I said I hoped not to have too much more non-plant related expense, but alas, I spoke too soon. 

The digging of the raccoons got to be detrimental to the garden. They were taking out so much soil from the bottom, the beds were sinking! Something had to be done. In the end we decided to add another layer of protection to the base of the beds which also acts as a support since the ground is not exactly level. 

Keeping out the Monsters; Before and After

The new wood seemed to stop the digging for a while, but after a little rain, the ground is softer so they are still digging, though not able to actually get into the beds. Score one for us.  Since they could no longer get in from below, they crawled up inside, to …

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Garden Update; Still Battling the Monsters

May 4, 2009

We are still fighting the good fight against the raccoons.
They tear down my fence, I repair it.
I sprinkle pepper everywhere, they use it to season the onions they steal from my garden.
I buy “Critter-Repellent” which contains the urine of larger predators, they reply by leaving poop in my garden pathways.

Actually, to be fair, it seemed as if the Critter Repellent worked, at least for about 5 days, and then they came back with a vengeance, breaking the bamboo posts, tearing down the netting, and digging big holes. In the process they destroyed most of the newly planted seedlings I’d gown myself. I’ve ordered more of the repellent and put out more pepper in the meantime. They haven’t been back for a few days so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

tomato050209 Out of all the tomatoes I planted, some are doing quite well, with fruit already, and some, …

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The Ongoing Saga of the Monsters in My Garden

April 18, 2009

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I have finally figured out what the “Little Monsters” are in my garden.
Raccoons.
The clue was the single footprint on the side wall of one of my raised beds.
Well, the footprint, holes dug into the garden 8″ deep, and plant seedlings tossed about with wild abandon were all clues.
Black pepper and Cayenne sprinkled on the ground around the plants did not deter them so I decided we needed to step up the plant protection. I didn’t want to do anything which might harm them either, despite some of the suggestions I got from people. I also didn’t want an ugly fence which would disturb my view and potentially block sunlight from the plants. So I settled on a compromise solution.

I bought bird netting and bamboo stakes from Home Depot. I did a test on one of the beds, putting the stakes on the inside of the …

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Crabs 101-A Quick Primer on All Things Crab

November 24, 2013
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It’s not hard to imagine why we humans eat certain foods. Fragrant fruits with sweet aromas hang, tempting us from the vine. Who could resist the prehistoric version of a ripe strawberry? Maybe the inspiration came from watching other animals. We know sea otters eat oysters. Bears forage for honey and pull live salmon out of the river.

But who (or what) ate the first king crab pulled from the depths of the sea, all sharp claws, pincers and hard defensive shell?

Who said, “Yes, let’s tackle that sea monster, throw it in a pot of boiling water and crack it open” to then discover the delicious rich meat inside? Some brave soul, that’s who.

Crabs are a member of the crustacean family, meaning they have jointed, crust-like, shells. There are over 4000 different varieties of crab, most of which never see the light of day, dry ground, or …

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Summer Garden 2013- What’s Growing?

May 14, 2013
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I’ve decided to keep it small and simple this year for our summer garden and we’re only using the two smaller raised beds we have. There’s more space available for gardening, just no space in my life right now for more of me gardening. I’m happy with what I’ve got and so far, so good.

This year, there have been no garden monsters, thankfully, pulling up my plants. I’ve finally learned from years past and covered the plants with chicken wire until they were big enough to crowd the boxes and keep the masked bandits out.

Changes this year:

Tomatoes: Almost every year we get big beautiful plants which develop plenty of tomatoes and then get blossom end rot. This year I buried several crushed egg shells in the bottom of each hole where I planted the tomatoes. Supposedly the extra calcium in the egg shells will help prevent …

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Summer Garden 2012

May 29, 2012
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I seriously debated whether or not I wanted to spend the time, effort and money to do a garden this year. In the past we’ve built raised beds, I tracked every expense to see if it’s worth it, and last year only planted half a garden. This year, even though I was a bit late in getting started, I decided to jump in all the way and plant every bit of space in our raised beds. With a little help from family and friends we got the beds ready in a weekend.

We went with a modified version of the no-dig method this year. Instead of hay, alfalfa, compost and fertilizer, I substituted organic garden soil for the compost and fertilizer. Last year we lost a lot of soil in the boxes to various digging creatures and general decomposition. The hay and alfalfa break down every year so …

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