Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gardening Things I Learned Today

I was out today getting rid of the dead leaves and stems from a variety of flowers I have planted in our flower beds, strawberry patch, herb garden. Actually, I think the only place I didn't touch was the vegetable garden.

But I learned a few things today.

Oregano is a perennial herb. I didn't know that. So, in my herb garden right now I have chives & oregano. I bought some sage & rosemary seeds (other herbs that are perennials & I think I will pick up some thyme seeds as well, and make my herb garden a little more self-sustaining. Now, if I could only get my vegetable garden to be self-seeding (although last year the beans that grew came from plants that re-seeded them selves, and I had a couple tomato plants that did the same thing.) I think the only herb I will plant in my herb garden that I really would like to have fresh in the garden is cilantro.

Strawberries & Rhubarb should be transplanted in April or September. The neighbor behind us saw me outside cleaning up my strawberry patch (just as I was thinking I wanted to get a few more plants as some plants didn't come back this year - planted them last year, I think they were squuezed out my my pumpkins & squash vines taking over the strawberry patch.) Anyways, she came out & told me that they are not doing a vegetable garden and are pulling out the strawberries & rhubarb and I was welcome to what I wanted. Yeah! I don't have to go buy strawberry plants anymore. I am happy about the rhubarb as well, because the stuff I planted in my garden is green rhubarb and they have red rhubarb and it will be nice to have both varieties, especially if she is getting rid of hers and I wouldn't be able to grab some of theirs. Although, I don't think she realizes that rhubarb is pretty hard to completly get rid of, the roots go pretty deep. I had to look up the transplanting times online.

Hummingbirds arrive in Minnesota in May. The same neighbors put out all their bird feeders and filled them, including the hummingbird feeders. I had out hummingbird feeders last year and got several hummingbirds, which was nice. But I have never seen hummingbirds this early, but I didn't know if that was because they aren't here yet or I just never got my feeders out until later. Well, after a search on the internet I found out that they don't arrive in Minnesota until May. A good rule of thumb of when to put your hummingbird feeders out is the same time you would plant your vegetable garden in MN.

Rabbits like tulips. Bah! They never bother the ones by the house near the carport, but the ones i have planted in that area I landscaped area are being eaten. In my vegetable garden I just put up a chicken wire fench to keep out the rabbits (& dog) and planted marigolds around the perimeter, but it's too early right now for marigolds. So, I looked up some other stuff I could do. I don't want to kill them or trap & release. I wanted a humane way to deter them that I can do in April. I could plant garlic or onion bulbs near them. Apparently they hate the smell of them. Or I can spread human hair around, which I don't have access to enough, or use hote pepper spray on the leaves (which I do have - but I read this awful post about someone who watched a squirrel who touched the leaves then their face and was basically tortured by the hot pepper in the eyes, so I don't think I want to do that) or spread bloodmeal around the plant (don't have that) or make a spray out of garlic & oil & spray the leaves (again, the hate the smell and will go away.) I think I will try the garlic thing.

Andy is thatching right now and then we are going to toss that on the garden to mulch & probably try to get the compost out of my compost bin and throw that on the garden too, & spread out the grass clippings from last fall that we threw on the garden. I want to try that Lasagna Gardening I wrote about in a post this winter, but we need to start getting the layers going. We'll start with the clippings & compost, and we're going to add ash from the firepit (good way to empty some of that) and I'll also go buy a couple straw bales from the feedmill & we'll get some peat moss & maybe some manure to out on the garden next week. We'll the layers a good soaking so that they start to decompose together and then by time it's time to plant we'll have our lasagna garden ready. I'll let you know how it turns out....this type of gardening is supposed to be very easy to maintain and doesn't require weeding, digging (you just pull back the layers and insert plants and seeds) or any year I just throw some more layers on (but I probably won't have to go buy anything since the base will already by started).


peppylady said...

Rabbits like tulips, and so do deers

Meow said...

I'll be over for strawberry shortcake in a few weeks.

Lame Shrill Owl said...

Well, we live in town and haven't really seeen deer in town, just outside of town yes, but not deer. Lot of rabbits though! When the dog sees a rabbit in the yard she likes to chase after them.