Deer have been an almost constant annoyance as I have spent nearly a decade developing the yard and garden. For the main vegetable patch, a fenced area measuring roughly, 30 feet long by 20 feet wide (10 meters by 7 meters). Inside that area I have 7 raised beds, a section with 2 blueberries and planning for 3 more in 2018 springtime. Additionally, there are the 2 asparagus beds which are permanent. Any vegetation suitable for human consumption and not within the confines of the fence are fair game for deer fodder. There are methods for preventing total devastation….but…that’s a topic for another day.
The old fence I erected in autumn of 2008 has served its purpose, but it is a tangled mess of wire that is becoming dysfunctional. So, neighbor James and I have arranged a deal. I have the lumber for posts and he has the skills and tools. I will pay him for his labor and any other supplies needed to finish a proper fence with gated entrance. It all sounds simple enough, but it’s the part about actually getting the job completed that seems to be the hang-up, gets hung-up, is hung-up right now….. Updates to follow. He is about half-way finished with the most difficult part of the job – digging the post holes and pouring concrete. After that it should be a breeze.
The new fence will also expand my square footage of area I can plant. Training plants to climb a 6 ft. fence is one creative gardening trick to expand use of space. Plants like melons, vining squash, peas and more make good climbers with just a little help from the gardener. Nice.
The weather has been superb for outdoor activities, perhaps a little too warm, but dry and pleasant in morning and evening especially.
Asparagus fronds will stay standing until the first heavy freeze. At which point I will cut them back and mulch for winter. Due to the extended warm and dry spell the marigolds and nasturtiums are looking very autumn-like as they display the golden, reds, orange and yellow blossoms.
I have seeded the raised beds with a cover crop of winter wheat. Underneath the nasturtiums are a crop of leeks, I will check after downing the nasturtium.
The late bloom of marigolds should produce a lot of flowers that will dry and be useable for seed planting next summer.
I allow a few dandelion plants to grow deep roots in areas of the garden. Dandelion is an excellent source of vitamin C and roughage. It is hearty much of the year and also makes a nice leafy green for stir-fry.
There is a terrific looking second growth crop of basil I will pick before the nights get too cool.
More pesto? or maybe I will try to preserve it in another way. I have read of one way to season salt with your favorite herb. Simply place leaves from the plant into the salt and should draw out the moisture while imparting the flavor into the salt. Another interesting way to preserve basil in particular is to place a leaf into an ice cube tray, then fill with water and freeze. The nice thing about this trick is that you don’t bruise the leaf. The fresh leaves of basil are easily bruised and turn a dark brown to black. This ice cube method avoids that problem entirely. Just place an ice cube or two in your soup or sauce.