Category Archives: garden

Early Morning Scramble Before Going to Bed for the Day

These two are hilariously always active. Sometimes twenty or thirty clips a night. They either barely move or else they sprint across the yard.

I woke up around midnight one night and I was in the kitchen for a drink of water and I saw the motion light go on. They look much bigger in person.

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Quick Garden Update

I’m pretty excited about what’s going on in the garden except the part where the deer ate all the apple and pear blossoms. Well, not all of them. There are 4 apples and 6 pears. I counted. I took The fig tree is also not as impressive as I would have hoped by now, but still good.

Look at these blueberries! This plant only had about 6 last year. The branches are bending under all the berries. There’s an equally loaded plant on the other side of the yard. Plus a third plant that always has a lot of little ones.

This is the general garden looking pretty good. Lots of potatoes. Some greens. Peas and bush beans. Pumpkins. Sunflowers.

Also the raspberry patch is super loaded. It’s going to be good.

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Home Grown Tomatoes

Sorry for the terrible photos. I kept forgetting and and when I’m doing this my hands are dirty and I have gloves. I have to take off the gloves and grab the camera. And I did a super half-assed job of it.

Please contact a manager for a full refund.

I have put 5 tomatoes in and all of them came from seeds I saved and made the starts on my windowsill.

They get really tall and skinny. I used to try to plant them like this and had a lot of fails.

Then I discovered this one trick! If I was good at social media I could make a movie of my face very confidently telling you about this like I invented it.

But I’m not and I didn’t. Someone on Reddit described it.

I take almost all the leaves off and dig a trough. The long stem goes in the trough and just the last little bit is above the dirt.

Ta da! I have had great success with this method.

I planted one in the backyard and the next day it looked comically wilted. But a few days later it perked up. It still looks a bit scraggily but I think it will make it.

I had another smaller plant I put in the backyard.

I came out the next day to check on it and it was nothing but slug trails and dirt. The entire plant was gone. Dang slugs!

I don’t keep track of what I start but I think they are all smaller sized tomatoes. It’s been awhile since I had a huge crop of tomatoes. I intend to put a couple of raised beds in a corner I am currently rehabbing and think that will help. But not ready yet.

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The Tale of the Sad Fruit Orchard

I have a fuzzy trail cam clip but I don’t have the energy to fix it up to post right this second.

The deer returned.

I saw their hoof-prints and turd-piles so I knew they had been through.

I looked over the apple and pear trees and initially thought they looked okay. Just a few nibbles. But after I saw the clips I took a closer look and realized that the fruit buds are gone. There are maybe 2 apple and a few pear left. They didn’t damage the new trees because they are too new and have nothing on them except tiny leaf buds.

Also, there is one new blueberry out in the front of the house that is missing all the buds.

The bird feeders are down. There is no intentional food for them out there. I’m super bummed. It seems like the solution is deer fencing but I’m not sure how that is going to work in our yard. I don’t want to turn it into an obstacle course.

I just want a happy place where fruit trees and wildlife can live together in peace but I will get the fruit.

This is from the Orleans trip. This is Summer wading through a giant puddle.

Mom wanted me to drive through this puddle.

I told her no, I have a city car. It doesn’t go through lakes of mud.

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Asian Plum and NectaPlum in Year 0

I bought two more fruit trees. I knew they were coming in April so I’d mostly prepared the spots where I wanted to put them.

Dang, it is hard digging up lawn.

I finally got the email that said they were on the way. They including links to four (4!) videos for how to plant my trees. That would have been really helpful with my other trees.

I checked my front porch for my trees every half hour on the day they were supposed to be delivered. I had the planting spots all ready to go.

Finally, it was dinner and I was filthy so I cleaned up and as we were eating I heard the delivery on the porch.

I had planned a more elaborate documentary about planting the trees but it didn’t work out. They spent the night in the shed and I planted the next day.

Here they are! The Asian plum has several varieties. I need to map it out before I take all the tags off. The Spice Zee NectaPlum™ is approximately 1/2 nectarine, 1/4 peach and 1/4 Asian plum. Supposedly it’s really pretty, too. I am very excited about my new trees.

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Too Big

Yesterday I was settling in for a little yoga and looked over to find this sweetie hanging out with me. Generally, I’m not bothered by spiders but I don’t love these big ones. After a brief negotiation, I trapped it in a jar with some cardboard and relocated it to a new home outside which I’m sure means that it ran after me and is back in the house and also mad now.

WELL! I am having a weird issue with my photos and Adobe and my troubleshooting didn’t fix it and you know what? I don’t have the time or energy to solve *that* problem right now. So I managed to get this photo to save and I have another AI generated photo for later in the week.

Today’s topic is: The yard. I’ve been doing some research about my fruit trees and blueberry bushes and looking for tips about pruning and fertilizing.

Where is the fertilizing for dummies material? Everything I found was like a science project and suggested I send my soil out and get it analyzed by a lab.


I just want some berries for my cereal.

I did look it up for curiosity and there is a university extension that will test your soil for $$$$. I think that’s for environmental testing. It looks like you can buy a kit at certain stores. I still don’t think I will do it. It sounds too high maintenance.

The pruning advice also seemed overly complex so I think I’m just going to trust my instincts. Worst case is I get no fruit and I don’t have any fruit now so not like I’m going to lose out.

Possible photos to come.

Meanwhile: I am obsessed with the Big Bear Bald Eagle live cam. Three eggs!

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This is the earliest ever that I churned up the garden. There was decent weather so I ran over to colleague’s to borrow the rototiller. I bet I do it again before I start planting.

Quite a few potatoes came rolling out during the process. I don’t think you can ever stop having potatoes once you’ve started.

I thought I threw some cover crop seeds out there but nothing is growing except grass and weeds. My garden technique is admittedly super half-assed.


I need to go through the seeds I already have and see what I should buy or decide on a strategy for this year. Normally what I do is go through the catalog and buy a ton of stuff.

Later, when I go to plant, I realize I still have zillions of other seeds from the year before. Then I take all those seeds and toss them out there because I figure they’re old and most won’t even germinate.

But of course, I’m wrong and there is chaos. Which is fine. Some areas of my life I needs lots of order but I like chaos in the yard.

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Late-Night Visitors Return

Look who’s back!

The birdfeeders were mostly empty because on the weekdays I get home after dark and don’t refill them. The deer hung out for about a half hour, wandered all around the yard leaving deep hoof-prints in the mud. Also left me some poop.

Same night another visitor. Almost missed it. The deer are in the way back in the upper left and an opossum hiked through, seen at the very bottom.

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Free Bird

I thought I could take a picture of the snow except it’s cold and I don’t feel like going out there so I just took a picture through the window. Enjoy!

The bird feeder has been crazy-busy and a joy to watch.

In previous years I have never had luck with the suet feeder (that square one in the middle.) More than once I’ve ended up chipping moldy suet out of the thing. I put it away for a long time and used that hanger for the hummingbird feeder (that I haven’t had luck with.)

But last time I picked up bird food I decided to try again and picked a suet block with peanuts.

Maybe that was the magic?

On weekdays I leave when it’s dark and when I get home when it’s dark-ish, so I rarely fill the feeders during the week. When I finally got around to filling them the suet feeder was stripped clean.

I have had Northern Flicker in the yard, mostly on the suet feeder. Not a regular so I was happy to see that. And then yesterday I spotted a Varied Thrush which I have never seen before. It’s been hanging out eating the nuts and seeds with the rest of the gang.

I’m not good at identifying birds but I have a little backyard bird guide that helps me.

I can recognize the starlings which are not my favorite. Earlier today there were so many crammed in the fly-through feeder you couldn’t imagine how they fit. Later when I went to add more food there was poop on the feeder — they pooped in their free food. Not my favorite bird.

Tuesday forecast says freezing rain likely with rain/freezing rain likely later so I bet we don’t leave the house.

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A Big Bunch of Figs

Generated with AI ∙ October 8, 2023 at 5:45 PM

I worked like mad doing garden related activities most of the weekend but it feels like I didn’t get far. I love being outside and like yard work but it’s always hard and takes forever to make progress.

I chopped up some of the tomato plants after picking everything green that looked like it had a chance. I left a couple of plants out there but it looks like we’re getting heavy rain for the rest of the week so I should have just taken them all out.

I went through all the green ones we already brought in and tossed the ones that were bad and rotated the red ones to where we would see them.

I found enough to roast and we had some delicious sauce last night with some pasta.

I also roasted a tray of red kuri squash because the deer had a sample bite of every single one and I didn’t think they would keep very long.

Other yard things: dug up some ivy and berry vines. Cleaned up a corner of the yard that was compost in ancient times but ended up being a place to toss deer turds and ash from the BBQ and big chunky sticks. Yanked weeds and pulled up icky grass. Moved rocks to the front gravel spot. It was all really hard work but I can’t point to anything and enjoy how nice it looks now.

Things are going to be pretty busy for the next several weeks. Might be a time before I get back to this.

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