Category Archives: garden

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.

SERIOUSLY?

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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Roto!

Before

This is the earliest ever that I churned up the garden. There was decent weather so I ran over to colleagues 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.

After

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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Squash News

This is a scheduled post. I am out of town this weekend.

I know I didn’t finish the Tacoma trip. Still hoping to get to that.

This part of the squash harvest. I still have several growing out front. The backyard squash took a big hit when the deer were hanging out.

I have thrown seeds out front but haven’t had success in years. I think this year I watered better because I have new plants out there.

I’m not sure if this was deer or what but I got up one morning and found what was left of this one. The red kuri are delicious! I already cooked a couple. I’m snacking on the leftovers as I write this.

I often take a photo of something I cooked and then look at my terrible oven and decide not to post. I deep clean it periodically but it’s been awhile.

These loaves are so pretty and amazing and this is the only photo I got. Whole wheat sandwich bread. Pretty easy but need to plan ahead. Recipe here.

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Not For You

It was really hot and dry so I scrubbed the bucket and put fresh water in and put it back in its place.

I also put out a little dish for animals that can’t reach the bucket.

But also: the camera has been mostly blank, night after night.

Then this guy showed up. With friends? Not clear from the clip but there were 2 turds. How can deer turd that much? Or do they hold it all in until they get to my yard? They damaged the apple and pear tree.

I was slacking on setting up the motion sprinkler. Sad to admit but one reason is that it’s dark when I leave for work and I don’t like stumbling around the backyard trying to turn it off.

Also, this cutie coming through, seasoning the water with his dirty feet.

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Fresh Tomato Sandwich

These are a couple of the giant tomatoes I was talking about before. There are more out there.

Bob was gone for a couple of days and for lunch and dinner for 2 days I turned one of those tomatoes into sandwiches. They were so good.

I also made a peach berry pie last weekend.

Something about foods you can only eat at a certain time of year make them extra delicious.

Here’s a little raccoon print.

The trail cam has been quiet lately. It went so long without a photo I thought it was broken.

But I got clip of a cat running through the other night so it works.

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Backyard Update

Sharp eyes will count all five of the raccoon family traipsing through the yard the other night. In the foreground you can see the motion activated sprinkler not doing anything. I think it’s because the sprinkler is pointed up a little bit to catch the deer.

This morning we went out for an early walk since it’s supposed to get hot this afternoon.

As we were coming home I spotted one big raccoon and three little ones dashing across the street. The mama waited on the curb and gave us the stink eye.

Pretty soon one more little one scampered across the street. Mama gave us a few more seconds and then went after the kits.

This was the house 2 down from ours. We started walking again and watched one of them climb a tree while the rest ran through a gap in the fence. Then the last one climbed to the ground and went through the gap.

Has to be the same family.

I do this every single time I change the batteries in the trail cam. I set the clock wrong. I ran the camera all day instead of night.

We have some very active blue jays. Not just around our yard but you can hear them screeching around the whole neighborhood. There are at least 5 around our yard, swooping back and forth from the front to the back and next door to our house. I watched one land next to 6 doves eating seeds under the bird feeders and stomp its feet once or twice and the doves flew away.

I love all the birds.

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Harvest Update

Percy the fig tree is producing! This is from one day. We’ve been getting about this many each day all week.

Here are some historic pictures of Percy for your memory.

On the side is a yellow tomato and a tiny cherry tomato. I have some still-ripening tomatoes out there that are gigantic. I can’t wait to harvest. I can’t remember the last time I had tomatoes that big.

This is just a tiny fraction of the potato crop. This batch weighed in at about 5.5 pounds. The little dish at the side is for the tiny potatoes that I will bury in the fall and next year we will have too many potatoes, again.

I am hit or miss with my potato recipes. It seems like they never cook enough. I roasted some last night and kept them in there 3x as long as the recipe said. I finally dumped them into a Pyrex and nuked them and then put them back in the oven for a final roast. Last week I made a quiche and cooked the potatoes as instructed but they had a good bite to them.

We will be having potato salads and whatever else we come up with.

Not pictured: Peas and green beans. We had some delicious fresh peas earlier and we are still eating green beans but not as good as the first crop. The blueberries aren’t too impressive. I need to fertilize for next year and I need to research bird discouraging tactics.

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