Our 2021 Garden: more damage control

Awww. Aren’t they sweet?

So adorable! So sweet.

So destructive.

Well. Maybe Big Rig, in this case. I am sure David and Keith are not responsible for the latest damage.

I had issues with the small tank being used as a greenhouse for the bunching onions. With cats trying to get at the seed trays through the back, we’ve been diligent about catching them coming even close to that tank and chasing them off.

Unfortunately, with this tank having its hard lid with just a couple of openings I’ve had to block off, it’s been too moist in there. Yesterday, I spotted mold starting to grow on the egg carton trays and onto the peat; one patch on each tray, closest to the front, where there is the least air circulation.

So I took the mini fan out of the big tank and set it over the opening in the back of the small tank. The seedlings are getting big enough to need a fan on them, anyhow.

Several hours later, I came back to find the fan on the floor, the lid askew, and one of the trays half on top of the other.

*sigh*

This is what I’ve done.

I took out the box that raised the trays closer to the light. They’re now just a few inches from the bottom, on top of 18 count egg cartons. That puts them lower from the light than I would want them to be, but they are now also out of reach. I also turned the trays, so the areas with the mold were to the back instead of the front.

I had already replanted some of the plugs with more bunching onions, from the last time a cat messed them up. I still have some seeds left, so I could replant more, but some of the cells in the trays are so badly damaged, they’ll no longer hold the peat. I’ll see how it looks over the next few days, then decide if it’s worth replanting more. These poor seedlings have taken quite a beating!

Apparently, we only managed to train the cats to stay off the tank while we are not around to see them. :-/ I’m pretty sure it’s just one cat. I’m just not sure which one!

After doing as much damage control as I could, I was happy to find everything still intact by morning. One of my daughters accompanied me to the city to do the second half of our monthly shopping (though we only went to one place, so I’ll still need to get more cat litter and kibble, but I will go to the smaller city for that). When we got back, everything was still intact. Also, putting the fan on seems to be solving the mold problem. It’s barely visible now.

Oh, you might notice a single tall blade of green growing out of one of the trays. We have one growing in one of the trays in the big tank, too. They are oats! The peat bale was stored near the deer feed in the sun room, so a few seeds managed to fill into the packaging. When I used the peat, I did take out the ones I could find, but clearly missed a couple!

As an aside, the van’s check engine light is still on, but it’s behaving beautifully. While I thought the mileage was getting worse, based on watching the fuel gauge wile I was driving. Yesterday, it seemed to be dropping way faster, but during today’s drive, we burned about as much gas as I would have expected. When I checked the onboard computer, the average mileage has actually improved since before the EGR valve was replaced. Which I would expect, but it was still a bit of a surprise. If the valve were stuck, fuel efficiency would be expected to drop. So far, so good. I’ll have to talk to the garage about giving it a quick check, and manually resetting the codes.

But that will wait. We got back from the city early enough that I’ll have time to hit the post office while picking up more deer feed and bird seed.

Oh, that reminds me. Potato Beetle came over while I was doing the cat stuff this morning. When I first saw him, I was rather alarmed by how dirty the wound area was; just plastered with plant matter and …

… then I realized it wasn’t the wound area. Just near it. Potato got himself into a patch of burrs! He wouldn’t let me pull them out, but I did get to check the wound, which is looking noticeably better. And so is he!

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Our 2021 Garden: more damage control

  1. If you have more of the screening….how about……make the wood frame so it’s big enough to fit on the outside of the aquarium and let the screen support the frame on the aquarium top.

    All the frame then does is not keep the screen from being pushed off (unless it’s lifted up first) and also supports the screen so it doesn’t bend at the edges.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have more of the screen, but I don’t have anything suitable to make the frame. I don’t have the space to have a frame on the outside. The cats getting behind it was okay when it had the weight of water, but as it is now, if there is any space between the tank and the wall, they’ll knock the whole thing right over.

      I can make a frame that sits on the “ledge” that holds the lid, just like with the big tank, but all the materials I have on hand are way too big for such a small tank. :-/

      Like

      • Same thing I suggested last time you posted about this. You said you had 2 x 4s. I’m not seeing how those would be too big. I’d turn them so that the wide 4″ side was vertical, make a frame that goes around the outside sort of snugly, then staple glue or nail wire mesh or screen to the top of the frame and let it hold the weight of the wood frame suspended around the outside perimeter.

        The only other option is move the tank to a no kitties allowed area like the basement.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol! The basement IS the kitty area. Lol. At least the new basement is. The old basement is blocked off and not really used. The stairs are a problem for mobility issues, even more so than the new basement stairs.

        Even turned sideways, the shelf the tank is on is just wide enough for the tank. We used to have it on a salvaged table, but that is being used for something else now. If the tank is away from the wall, it’s going to overhang the shelf it’s on. If it’s to the front, the cats will knock it off. If I pull the shelf away from the wall, they’ll knock the shelf over. These shelves were in the house when we moved here and we use a couple of others for plants, and have lost a couple of them already, after being knocked to the ground multiple times. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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