Garden Project: So Close…

One of the greatest joys of this current garden project is that I set a goal, listed the interim steps in detail, gave myself a rough timeline, and have been sticking to it. The end product is in sight. If you want to read about the beginning of the project, check out New Beginnings and Getting There.

Something was eating the strawberry plants. At first, we set the short cages over them, just to keep them safe. But now hinges and chains have been installed on the short cages making them easy to open and close. I’m not 100% sure that the bees are getting through the cage openings, so I’ve been propping them open during the day. I’m looking forward to harvesting ripened strawberries this year, instead of having to pluck them early before the chipmunks and squirrels steal them.

The third and fourth beds will house taller plants, like tomatoes and zucchini. The frames of the taller cages are shaped like four-foot staples. (I have staples on the brain after attaching so many sections of hardware cloth!) The first tall cage was installed on the third garden bed using hooks and eyes, last week. Two flat, removable panels were attach to either side and secured with a simple combination of screws and wire.

This weekend, I managed to fill the 4th bed with soil, finally deciding to screen out a good deal of rocks and debris as I did so. It made the job harder, but was certainly worth the effort. Then, with the help of my husband, we secured the 2nd tall cage to the 4th bed and installed the two flat panels to close the cage. Finally, I attached old cabinet handles to the short cages to finish them.

What a sight to see — all four garden beds filled and covered and ready for the growing season.

Snow peas, potatoes, spinach, and kale have already been planted and are starting to come up. I still need to spruce up the area around the beds, but I’ve got time. In the next week or two, I’ll be taking a trip with my gardener-friend, Dawn, to the Herb Farmacy in Salisbury, MA, to pick up organic tomato and squash plants. I’m so looking forward to this new gardening adventure and hoping these new beds with their cages will make gardening a little more productive and fun.

Stay tuned for the final installment of Garden Project, when everything is planted and I’ve added the last few finishing touches. In the meantime, happy gardening! 🙂

Gratitude Spiral: Day 274

Today, I’m grateful for the challenge of creating a new garden layout.

I’m tired of feeling helpless as squirrels, chipmunks, and a groundhog treat my vegetable garden like their own personal restaurant. So, I’ve asked a local contractor to help design an enclosure to keep them out. Of course, I’m still waiting to find out how much it might cost me. While I wait, it’s fun to map out the best use of the space inside it. Hopefully, I’ll get to implement the plans for next year’s growing season. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 268

Today, I’m grateful for Brandywine beefsteak tomatoes.

Some of the ripening tomatoes in my garden are literally a handful and a half! If I can deter the squirrels long enough, they turn a deep, meaty red. And they’re oh, so sweet!

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 245

Today, I’m grateful for the first small green butternut squash growing in my garden this season.

Hopefully, the local groundhog is long gone and won’t devour it, like he or she did last summer.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 217

Today, I’m grateful for twist-ties and bamboo garden stakes.

The ripening blueberries on my two small bushes would probably disappear if I didn’t have the means to build a cage of netting around them to keep the animals away. I’m thankful that I was able to find netting and poles at a local garden shop. And thankful for a good supply of twist-ties to hold it all together. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?


Gratitude Spiral: Day 216

Today, I’m grateful for ripening blueberries.

It’s the end of June in New England. My strawberry plants have stopped producing, but here come the blueberries! They’re mostly green right now, but I see a few turning purple. Time to cover them before the birds and squirrels take notice.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 205

Today, I’m grateful for the first (and hopefully not last) pea pod from my garden.

The groundhog enjoyed the tender shoots of most of my pea plants this year, and those plants are slowly coming back. But a couple were spared. This morning, I picked one lone pea pod. There’s still a possibility the groundhog could return, so there’s no guarantee of more. But still I’m hoping. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 193

Today, I’m grateful for the resiliency of pea plants.

It gives me hope that my poor plants, ravaged by persistent wildlife, might still grow and produce pea pods. They’re one of my favorites from my summer garden.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 192

Today, I’m grateful for ripening strawberries.

It’s that time of year. Unfortunately, the squirrels and chipmunks know it, too. The battle is on to see who can get to the ripe berries first. I’m thankful for the ones I do get. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?