I’m gonna need some more marigolds.

I had a bunch of little things to post about, so here’s a mish-mash of them all. In one post. Holla.

Antigua Primrose marigold; photo credit landscapegeek.com

Fighting the critters already
A couple mornings ago, I was standing in my kitchen groggily drinking hot lemon water and looking out the window into the backyard. Something in my neighbor’s yard caught my eye, and I realized it was a deer on its hind legs eating off one of the trees in his yard. And then I saw another.

Now, I’ve seen deer in my neighbor’s yard before. A few years ago, I did more than once. He has an apple tree in his backyard that they really seemed to favor that summer. Which is fine by me. I’m sure apples are much tastier to a deer than the stuff I’ve got in my garden–tomatoes, peppers, herbs and squash. And they really didn’t seem to pay much attention to my yard.

Then last summer, I found evidence of them in my yard when one of the three hostas that I have had the middle chomped right out of it. Weird. I didn’t think they ate hostas, but then again, I think a deer will eat pretty much anything. So, I bought a flat of marigolds to plant around the perimeter of my vegetables. I had read that they will help with bugs and small critters like rabbits and squirrels. But I had hardly any damage from deer last year–a first for a very long time.

With this siting a couple days ago, I’m wondering if the one flat I bought will be enough to deter the deer from snacking on my garden.

One mother of a Mother’s Day
A few weeks ago, my mom mentioned to me that she’d like to have some raised beds for vegetables this summer. So, I decided that’s what I would give her for Mother’s Day. Jeremy and I bought the lumber and he put two four-foot raised bed boxes together at our house. We then hauled them up to her house with some potting soil and plants. She decided that four foot boxes were too big, so she wanted us to cut them down to three-foot boxes. We did cut one down, and she had some scrap lumber leftover from something, so we made another box for her. (And I got to keep the extra box!!!) I planted several tomato plants for her that I had leftover from my seedlings I started. This year, I started Eva Purple BallJaune Flamme, and Blondkopfchen (aka “Little Blond Girl”) and which I ordered my seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. I also had some seeds leftover for Pineapple, Pink Ponderosa, and Roma plants, which I ordered last year from Baker Creek Seeds. I planted an Eva Purple, Pineapple, Roma and Pink Ponderosa for my mom. She’s a big fan of sweet peppers, so I bought her some Cal Wonder and Sweet Hungarian plants. She also put some marigolds around her vegetables.

Pineapple Tomato; photo credit Baker Creek Seeds

My mom is who really instilled a love of gardening in me, because I remember helping her with her vegetable garden when I was little. But it’s been a long time since she’s had a vegetable garden. The main reason she hung it up was because she got tired of fighting the deer out of it. Maybe a couple little raised beds with marigolds won’t be so tempting for them, especially since there’s a big neighborhood chocolate lab that hangs around her house quite a bit. She has quite an extensive flower garden that was absolutely stunning last weekend, with irises, sweet williams, and red hot poker plants in bloom, with lots more to come throughout the summer.

Which brings me to the next thing… The current state of my delicious potager
I put some veggie plants in the ground for my mom, but I’m still behind on my garden. I haven’t tilled up the garden yet, or put any summer plants out yet because it’s been raining about every two days. But this Saturday, I hope to get that all done. And, I’ll have a new four-foot raised bed now to plant in, and I’m thinking it will hold some kale.

This year I am going to try to grow some potatoes, too, I think. I bought a half bushel of kennebecs last fall from a work colleague’s farm, and a couple weeks ago, I gave about half of what was leftover (maybe a dozen) to my father-in-law to plant. He can grow practically anything, of course it helps that his garden is where a pig pen was many years ago, so the soil is superb. He planted them two weeks ago, and I cannot believe how big the plants are now. I’m going to try a handful of what I have left, too.

The good thing about all this rain is that my spring vegetables in my current raised beds have been going strong. I’ve been eating lots of lettuces, radishes, spinach and arugula over the past several weeks. I have beets planted, too, but I haven’t harvested any yet, save for a few beet tops. Currently in my garden plot, I have spring onions and garlic planted, that I’ll pull up before it gets tilled this weekend. It’s a shame, too, to pull up those garlic heads. I think they have the most beautiful flowers when they bloom.

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