I’ve finally started a garden. It certainly took me long enough in the year. If it wasn’t for the free plants I scored on Freecycle I probably would have given up this year. As is I stopped just in time for it to get dark.
I have to admit, I should have planned better. I would have been wise to prep the garden plot before I brought my new plants home. I’m not sure how many will take as a result. The morning glories and four o’ clocks seem to have survived okay, but the basil was starting to wilt by the time we got it home. I stuxk the roots in water to hopefully revive the plants a bit, but we’ll see how it goes. At the very least, I tried.
Originally I had planned to have the kids help with the gardening. I’m really glad I decided not to. I love my kids. They’re incredibly capable. They can handle a lot of hard work when they put their minds to it. I don’t think having them help this time would have worked out as it did in my mind.
First I had to move the friendship tree, which seems determinded to look dead. I’m starting to think I somehow killed it. The spot underneath was the easiest place to clear. Even that was hard work. The grass here is one clump of root that develops a whole section of grass. This tangles with other clumps, making it a pain to clear. I ended up having to take a knife to cut the clumps into segments small enough to pry up and pull out. Several pieces had long root offshoots going well under our stairs. Worse still, under the tree was infested with ants that took none too kindly to my efforts. I don’t think I destroyed a nest because none of the other signs were there, but I might have disturbed a source of food they were going for. It may have also been where they were going for water. Then there were the giant stalks of grass I had to cut with a knife to get through. Breaking it or pullng it up wasn’t an option. I had to chop it back, then work at the roots once I could see them. Scott, our house guest, gave me some help by doing the second half for me. I still ended up having to expand it more, and I’m not even done. I wouldn’t want the kids messing with that kind if situation.
However, this and the rain we’ve had have made some interesting creepy crawlers appear. Yesterday we saw a caterpillar. Some day it will likely become a painted lady butterfly. They’re very common around here. We found wasps nesting on our porch. Scott wants to smoke them out and relocate them. I sure won’t be near when he does. The rain always brings geckos and the frogs will soon be out. Today we saw fire ants in swarms, beetles, a couple of skinny earth worms, three different wolf spiders, and whole messes of pill bugs. Sander sat on the stairs to watch the bugs. He thought they were attacking at first. Then he decided they were just making friends. He was all upset because one balled up and he thought I killed it. When I explained it was just scared and defending itself he had to watch it for a while until it unballed and went back about it’s business. There were hundreds of them, more than I’d ever seen. It was quite a day.
I’ve also decided to relocate some stinging nettle when I get some good gloves. It grows wild all over the park. Apparently it has a ton of uses, so we may as well make use of the natural resource, right?
Today was an eventful day. Hopefully the plants will take and I’ll be seeing some pretty new growth soon.
We’re planning to transplant Beekee’s plants soon too. Sadly, between wind, bugs, and the local cats, his plants aren’t doing so well. We repotted the ones we think will make it. Those will go in the ground as soon as the next section is ready.
For now I’m pretty beat. I think it’s time for bed.