In the garden, as in life, endings and beginnings are easily confused, one for the other.
I thought it was spam, and then a scam… A Nigerian prince offering riches beyond my wildest dreams. For a price. The e-mail read: “Dear shopper: You have received this notification from Prairie Moon Nursery because you received a gift certificate from Admirer for $400.00. Message: ‘A blog admirer is sending you a gift certificate to thank you!’”
Friends and supporters have requested that I complete a series I began last year on Organic Pest Control. Prior to doing so, I thought I would provide a link to the series so that new readers can familiarize themselves with my approach to the subject. Check out:
Looking forward to the gardening season!
I’m not fooling: my fall turnip crop is gorgeous. I mean, knock-on-the-neighbor’s-door-and-brag-on-myself gorgeous.
I went out to the garden the day before yesterday to thin my root crops out a bit. I wanted to make sure there would be enough room for the remaining roots to get some size on them. It wasn’t until I got the turnips and beets into the kitchen to wash them up a bit that I noticed the luscious armload of turnip greens, each one as long as my forearm, with nearly no pest damage. Friend, one pound of self-admiration + half a pound of cool autumn weather = one Sho’nuff Sistuh, swamped in a wave of nostalgia that nothing would satisfy but a big old mess of grandma’s turnip greens with salt-pork.
Here’s how you do it.
Right around this time of year, landscaping and yard service companies start cruising my neighborhood. They come in search of easy prey: nice middle-class homeowners eager to keep a tidy yard, and concerned about the danger large trees supposedly pose to telephone and electrical wires, the roof, or the neighbor’s five-figure fully winterized RV. They’ll leave flyers in your mailbox or dangling on the doorknob. In my case, they come on up to the stoop and ring the doorbell, having greedily eyeballed the monstrous pin-oak that towers over my house, the phone lines, and the neighbors’ houses on two sides.
“If we top your tree before leaf-fall,” encouraged one sly salesman, smiling his honey-sweet money-shredder smile: “you won’t have any raking to do. We’re insured.”
Get thee behind me Satan, indeed.
1) Cole crops with… wait for it… white flies?
2) Cabbage and broccoli are far tastier to rabbits in the fall than in the spring. I want my hasenpfeffer!
3) If you’re going to grow 14 broccoli plants and 14 cauliflower plants in the fall garden, when you typically only grow 4 of each in the spring garden, you have to have 28 wire cages, instead of 8, if you want to have 28 plants by harvest time. #mathavoidance
4) Cabbage whites in September. Who knew?
5) You can’t harvest sunflowers with pruning shears. Buy a machete, fool.
6) This year’s flock of chicken’s favorite mode of locomotion = flight. #nospinach4me
7) Dear chickens: if you decide to roost in the trees at night one more time, I’m LEAVING you there for the owls. I’m too old to climb a ladder in the dark. Chumps.
8) Guess what? Cole crops like cool weather. #Ireaditinabook
9) You still hafta water. #flaccidturnips.
10) Mosquitoes. ‘Nuff said.
There’s nothing quite like coming home from a long, hard day’s work to find a tag on your doorknob from the water department telling you that the water main has ruptured… on *your* side of the meter.