The Goods

The Potatoes…

potatoes

These were the harvest from one bucket. I didn’t wait for them to flower…I am waiting for the other potatoes in the garden to flower, but they are not, they are just turning yellow.

The Eggplant…

eggplant

The Beans…

beans

The deer were kind enough to leave me a handful.

The Tomatoes…

tomatoes

The Anaheim Peppers…

anaheims

The Strawberries…

strawberries

The Eggs…

eggs

The totally homegrown  organic breakfast for 1 …

breakfast

There are 7 people living in our household…sometimes a few more, sometimes a few less.  So far The Goods don’t even feed 1 person. Does this mean that I would have to multiply my gardens by 6-7 times? That is kind of scary!

180 tomato plants

18 + buckets of potatoes

Hopefully the tomatoes will pick up and the green beans, too…  I covered the beans with my daughter’s golden tresses after I gave her a haircut, and put up poles with twirly silvery CDs to ward of the deer…

Hopefully we will have a good harvest yet to come…  🙂

The Newest Painting…

Southwest DesertSouthwest Desert

Have a great weekend…

Pest of the Month ~ Voles?

Such a beautiful morning…I gathered up onions, tomatoes, swiss chard, and lettuce in my big stainless steel bowl and headed over to the strawberry patch.

This is what I encountered…

vole hole

My first thought was moles. I looked it up online and found out a lot about moles and voles.  Moles eat earthworms and grubs, but voles eat vegetation…grasses, flowers, fruits, vegetables, bulbs, and roots.

Something has been chewing on the strawberries, so I have been picking them a little early when they are not quite ripe…just catching them when they start to redden and then letting them fully ripen on the window sill. I have been wondering what was gnawing on them…

Cute, isn’t he or she?

Young Field Vole or Short-Tailed Vole (Microtus agrestis)

This photo is from a great article by the Farmer’s Almanac… Pest of the Month: Moles and Voles

I guess we will be getting out our traps again.  This time a mouse trap might work, according to the  North Carolina Cooperative Extension

You can use a simple, wooden mouse trap baited with a peanut butter-oatmeal mixture or apple slices, although often you won’t need to use bait, because voles will trigger the trap as they pass over it. Trap placement is crucial. Voles seldom stray from their runways, so set traps along these routes. Look for burrows and runways in grass or mulch in or near the garden. Place the traps at right angles to the runways with the trigger end in the runway. Examine traps daily, removing dead voles or resetting sprung traps as needed. Continue to trap in one location until you stop catching voles then move the trap to a new location 15 to 20 feet away. Destroy old runways or burrows with a shovel or rototiller to deter new voles from immigrating to the site.

Trap4identification-MU-300x211

This trap picture is from the University of Missouri…more tips at their site…Controlling Voles

The Sage Butterfly also has some great tips… The Vole in the Garden : Control Tips

Anyone else encounter these garden pests?

Where are the hawks and the owls when I need them?

It’s April

Time is flying by… It’s April already and here’s my garden update…

Added more border to the strawberry bed…

border

border 2

Planted cilantro, carrot and beet seeds…

seeds

Found some garlic growing in a big clump, so I transplanted it next to the garlic that was already in the bed…

garlic

Peas are coming right along…

peas

Red lettuce and parsley in the greenhouse…

lettuce

And kale…

kale

Tomatoes and peppers under the gro lights…

peppers and tomatoes

I don’t really know what went wrong with the tomatoes, but I ended up thinning them out and throwing out half of them that seemed unhealthy and some that had white leaves. Perhaps they were too close to the lights, or maybe it got too cold. I’m really not sure…

tomatoes

Looking kind of bare…but we still have about 40 tomato plants. I also started some sunflowers and fennel.

My son found some hanging tomato planters at a garage sale for 3 for $10.00. We bought 6 of them.

You can also grow strawberries and cucumbers in these Topsy Turvy planters.

Now the most exciting thing that happened here this week is the pergola that my son built…He measured everything so carefully…

pergola copy

pergola 2

And here it is almost done…

pergola 3

So proud of my son. He did a great job!  LOVE IT!

pots2

Until next time…

Hoping for a Plentiful Harvest

 

I want to show you what an amazing gardener daughter I have…

After turning over the grass she is placing paper and topsoil over the new strawberry bed…

preparing the bed

Then she got the mulch that she and her dad and brother had shoveled and hauled back to our place and dumped it on the bed…

mulch

And she raked it all out and this is the finished bed…Way to go, Anna! 🙂

Finished bed

Now we are ready for planting…This is a pretty big bed… I bought 3 flats of Ever-bearing strawberries from our local family run greenhouse, but this wasn’t enough.

3 flats

Here they are planted…I think I need to buy two more flats.

planted

I really hope and pray that all our labors and your labors this year will bear sweet fruit…a very plentiful harvest! 🙂