Blue plumbago

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I have posted here. I have spent more time in the garden than any other year and less time posting (bad blogger!). Today I spent my time trying to create a squirrel proof tomato cage. When I pulled back the plant which was in a pot I found a six inch wide hole that I could reach my whole arm into up to the shoulder! I don’t think I will have one single tomato this year and I thought I was going to be overloaded. Well maybe my cage will do something. I think each cherry tomato I have is going to cost me about $10 a piece 🙂

At least I am loving my blue plumbago this year. It’s really taken off and all over the place is these electric blue flowers. The humming birds just love them as well. I think I have about 4 hummers that visit my garden now and they have little fights in the air. It’s funny when something so small gets so mad.

War!

Been busy lately and lots to report but last night I discovered a horrible site. A pocket gopher killed about 75% of my garden. He did what I didn’t expect and that is to get into the tops of my waist high planters and ate the roots of everything. Some are three year old plants. Still incredibly mad! I think the picture says it all.

UPDATE: Ok I found out this was not a gopher but a vole. Around in these parts they are called field mice and they mature to adulthood every 21 days and have very large litters. I couldn’t understand why I was getting gophers up in my tall planters. That was the main reason I have them in tall planters. I didn’t know about field mice. I also wasn’t prepared for how cute they were. They look like little hamsters and they aren’t aggressive at all like a rat in the wild would be. I tried a lot of different things to not only repell or kill and nothing really seemed to work. The only thing that would allow me to catch them is the havahart cage like trap. I baited it with cuts of apple and pretty soon I had a stack of traps that I had to figure out what to do with it. Thankfully living in the country there is plenty of open space that I can release them on and not worry about transferring my problem to someone else. One day I had caught three all in the same bin and as I let them go they waited for the other one to be released before they ran off. Obviously I caught myself a little family.

I have to say this thing has been a mixed blessing.There were some plants that were half dead or that I really didn’t like but since they were dead I couldn’t pull them up. I am kinda bad that way. I had to pull a lot of stuff up and trim and now I have lots of space to start new. I have learned a lot since I planted those plants and now I can start again with the wisdom I didn’t have before. Thank you vole!!

PVC structure to protect from pests

Here is my simple structure to protect young seedlings from getting consumed by my little garden friends. To take it off I can just lift it up. Here I am starting some sunflowers in a potato sack.

They are are measured to just fit on top of my bins where I can fasten whatever I want to them. On the back side of the swiss chard are snap peas. I haven’t been able to grow them because the birds eat all the leaves leaving nothing but a bare stem. This will protect them and provide something for the vine to crawl on.

Here are my senorita peppers seedlings next to the bush basil. I started them indoors under a glow panel. I am going to let them hardy up outside for a little bit and then transplant. Before when I did this the plants were gone in less than an hour. Hopefully this structure will give them a fighting chance. Picture below is from when I was growing them indoors.