hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mixed Bag

At last, we got an introduction to spring of two days in which, if it was not terribly sunny, at least the wind wasn't blowing and one could get down on one's hands and knees in the dirt and not get either drenched or succumb quickly to bitterly cold fingers.  And thus does the gardening season begin.

With the long cold wet awful spring, everyone is way behind on their gardening chores, and even more so if you are one of those people (as I am) who got a little behind on the fall gardening chores.  So here I sit/stand/kneel with lots of leaves yet to rake, although I did manage to get the fall pruning done.

First of all, I took my 6 kale seedlings out to my tiny vegetable garden and planted them in their raised bed.  To protect them from slugs, I encased their stalks in cardboard tubes (from paper towel rolls); then I encased their cardboard tubes with continuous copper mesh, since slugs and copper are said to generate some kind of electric charge unpleasant to the slugs.  AND THEN, I sprinkled some goat hair here and there as my goat owner friend thought the slugs might be deterred by the goat guard hairs (which are prickly).  AND, after dinner, I went out to see how things were and found a couple of slugs on the old kale plants which I hadn't yet pulled up because they were yet producing quite nice kale leaves.  But, no slugs on the baby kales (which were about 6 inches high).

In the morning, about half the leaves on the old kale were slug-eaten, and 4 of my six kale seedlings were without any leaves at all.  So much for the beginning part of gardening.

On the second day, when I might well have chosen to rest (no, that's the seventh day, I believe), I planted new kale plants.  Safely, indoors, in a window sill, where I can protect them for awhile longer.  But I hear from others that, despite the cold winter, the slugs have flourished in the long wet spring, and this could well be 'the year of the slug.'  Which might make it 'the year of no kale.'

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