Monday, April 18, 2011

Tunneling rodents and taters in cages

Well I got something besides spinach (1 lb, 1 oz) this time – lettuce (8 oz).  I don’t even try to figure out what kind of lettuce I’m eating.  I just plant mixtures of looseleaf, romaine and butterhead lettuces and mix together whatever is available.

These baby bok choi will be ready soon.  They were the first set of brassicas to get set out in the greenhouse bed, now the greens bed.  A really nice looking plant.

After planting 6 rows of parsnip and putting a cage over the bed to keep out the squirrels, a mole made its pophole in the bed.  It amazes me that an animal that weighs a couple of ounces can bring up several pounds of dense clay from underground.   Since I had just mixed some clove/garlic/ pepper oil in a pump sprayer I sprayed a good amount down the mole hole then packed the clay into the hole.  Your move, mole. 

There was enough finished compost in the bin for three wheelbarrow loads.   Two of the loads went into the potato/summer squash bed and one load went into the onion/leek/celery/whatever bed.  The remaining contents in the bin were oak leaves that I shredded in March.  Not enough water was added when I put the leaves into the bin and they haven’t decomposed much.  I decided to restack the bin much as I did a few weeks ago.  That way I could aerate, mix, then water the leaves as they were shoveled over.  A little more blood meal was added to boost the nitrogen.  They’ll have to be ready for prime time in about 3 weeks.
I’m going to grow the potatoes in cages this year.  Every year it seems the potato stems get so spindly they fall over then disease sets in.  I figured if they were caged they’d get better aeration.  A Google search showed that it’s been tried (not surprising).  The cages are 4’x8’ remesh.  These were rusty so I applied rust inhibitor.  The remesh I bought three years ago has no rust – must have been galvanized.  I hung the cages on 5’ or 6’ fence posts.  The bottom of the cage is about 6 inches above the ground so I can plant the taters and add mulch later.  Since the cages don't take the width of the bed I think I'll plant some taters in front of the cages and tie them to the cages.       


Robin said...

Boy that baby bak choi is absolutely perfect! Sorry, but I had to laugh about the mole! If it's not one critter it's another! I had voles eat almost all of my potatoes last year. I grew them in bags because I ran out of space in the beds and they ate holes in the bags and got to the potatoes!

Lynda said...

Keep us updated on the potato cages...I'm very curious to see how this works out.

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

Very nice looking beds you've got. I've had a real problem with moles and voles here in our garden. I'm curious to hear how the mole responds to your mix!

Daphne Gould said...

Those bok choy look just wonderful. Picture perfect. I think this is the only time I'll get really beautiful bok choy. All the soil is newly brought in. The whole yard. But by autumn I'm sure the slugs will have moved in and discovered me.

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