Wednesday, May 28, 2014
In The Garden After 8 Inches of Rain - and the Deer Fence is Still Working!
We have had torrential rains for the past few days. It has been wonderful - all the tanks and ponds are filling up, the trees and gardens got a good drink, and even the lakes from Brownwood to west Texas have received a good amount of runoff. It bodes well for a good summer. Thank you Father God for giving us rain in due season!
We got about 8" total at our house over the course of several days. Although my garden is on a drip irrigation, nothing will make it grow like a good rain. My dad says rain water is full of nitrogen. Seeds I planted a month ago never sprouted until the rains we had about 10 days ago, despite having been watered consistently with the drip.
I wish I had been able to plant more before this rain, but I needed to do some major weeding before anything new goes in. So... I spent about an hour this morning pulling bermuda grass in the garden. YUCK Pulling weeds with tap roots is kind of satisfying, but pulling grass is just drudgery. I may lay carpet over it this winter to kill that patch that does not want to die.
The ground was still awful squishy but I wanted to get after that dumb grass. I got the front half of 4 rows done, need a couple more hours to finish getting the grass out, then I can move to the regular weeding. Hopefully I can finish before it dries out again. Daddy gave me my grandfather's cultivator which works great between rows and has helped a lot, but there are still a lot of careless weeds and such within the rows that have to be pulled.
The tomato plants mostly look good, with many blooms but I don't see many fruiting yet. Yellow and White onions are nearly all ready to cure, and in fact most of the yellow ones are laying out drying right now. The purple onions are still bulbing.
The chard and beets are finally getting going. My chard plants have done famously, and I was able to take some to the Farmer's Market on Saturday, but the chard seed waited on the rain to sprout.
My Deer Mesh Fence has been WONDERFUL! Can you see it in the photos? This plastic mesh fencing is almost invisible, and I tied strips of mylar along the top. Before I added the mylar, deer ran through it nightly - actually, they would jump the mesh, then get scared and run through it to go out. So I put a piece of mylar every 4 or 5 feet. Since then, they have not bothered my garden at all. It crackles in the breeze and makes a noise which probably helps keep them out too. That is pretty impressive because they LOVE swiss chard!
I used Easy Gardener DeerBlock brand - made in Waco Texas - and just attached it to T-posts with zip ties. Some of the extra hangs over at the top to flap, and I let some excess puddle at the bottom because I have read that loose net barrier might keep snakes and small animals out. Seems to be working there too. So for about a hundred dollars I have a good solution. I will take the mesh down at the end of summer and save it to use again next year.