Tall grass expanses, gentle rains, thunder and lightning iconic for summer, triumphant bursts of sunshine with all creatures joyous again in a warm world. This is a busy planning time for gardeners scraping mud from boots...Questions or comments are always welcome. We'll try to get right back to you right away.
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Killing voles in the garden. What made me think that multiple containers of vole-killing compound would rid us of voles? Despite my praying for the help of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, it is our petulant cat, Hitam (hee-tom) that has saved the family gardens. Each morning, golden eyes glinting, she eases her sleek body through the pasture to the barn or sits stonily on the rock walls waiting…to kill voles. And for weeks she has brought us two to five garden-eating voles daily. more
Great Gardening Truths.Let’s face it: we like our gardens to be pretty, and speaking for myself and probably others, I’m not thrilled to see a carefully grown ‘pretty’ hanging from the mouth of a deer, or gnawed to shreds by grasshoppers or twisted out of shape by aphids or thrips. I take that personally.
Then, rethinking my behavior and restored by a cup of tea, I review what I know to be Great Gardening Truths.
Archeologists and soils. Archeologists have found garden records and structural remnants dating back to the time of the pharaohs. Cultures knew that soil had to be fed and they, almost literally, threw everything but the kitchen sink into the gardens. Excavations have revealed potshards, bones, shells and human and animal manures. There is a record of a lease of land in ancient Greece that required the lessee to buy 150 baskets of manure (presumably from the owner) each year for the orchards. moreSoil and Civilization. Something old is a careful reread of Soil and Civilization a comprehensive history of the treatment of soil by numerous civilizations published in 1952 by British author Edward Hyams.
New to me is Hyams’ categorizing man as a parasite on the soil – striking an iffy balance between the health of the soil and the crops produced; categorizing man as a disease organism of the soil – vigorous and now regarded as stupid misuse and destruction of the Oklahoma soils leading to the Dust Bowl; and, happily, man as a soil maker – cultures that understood the need for manuring the soil, rotating crops and allowing some fields to fallow. more
July gardening tip. See July gardening tips on green tab above. One is to "Keep a close eye on the quality of your spring crops. Hot weather causes lettuce to bolt and become bitter. Plant a warm season crop as soon as the spring vegetables are harvested." more