Our 2021 garden, interrupted

Today being Sunday, I normally avoid all unnecessary work. With the weather turning nice, it became a day to get back to hauling dirt, so we’ll have something to direct sow and transplant into, so that counts as necessary work! Tomorrow is supposed to get quite hot, so I wanted to get as much manual labour done today.

I had a couple of distractions.

One of them was the mock orange at the clothes line platform. I was starting to wonder if it had survived our deep freeze in February. We’ve been including it in the watering, and parts of it have started to leaf out, so I figured it would be a good time to prune it, now that I could actually see which parts were still alive.

I did accidentally snip one branch that had leaves, but otherwise, this is all of what got killed off this past winter.

A lot of little twigs and tips got snipped away, too. There’s not a lot left, but I know it will recover quite well. These are remarkably resilient plants!

It was also a nice enough day that the transplants could be set out to harden off again.

This is the first day of hardening off for all the Mongolian Giant sunflowers, and most of the Montana Morado corn. Some of the cups got left in the bin, as they either didn’t have anything sprouted in them, yet, or had only recent sprouts. I’ve been watering them in the bin from below, and I noticed many of the cups had roots coming through the drainage holes, so I put them in other cups to protect the roots while they were outside.

That done, it was time to start hauling soil.

I had company.

Nutmeg really wanted attention!

He and Ginger share many mannerisms. Ginger has a habit of hunching down and flopping a certain way that I just figured was because of the missing leg, but Nutmeg does it, too!

He’s such a cutie. πŸ™‚

This was the progress I made before I headed in. I couldn’t figure out why I was starting to feel kind of light headed, but then I realized I’d had only 4 pieces of toast for breakfast – and it was past 3pm!

You can see the corn block that had been done before the rains started, in the back. I’d finished a sunflower block, another corn block, and over half of a sunflower block, before heading in for some sustenance.

Not straight in, of course, because there’s always something to do first, right? πŸ˜€ The seedlings went back into the sun room, and various garden beds got checked. It’s so nice to see so many seedlings, even if they are still really tiny!

After a couple of hours, I headed back outside. On my way to where I’d left the wheelbarrow by the garden soil, I paused to check on my daughter’s tulips. They have not opened, yet, but we can now see the colours of petals beginning to show in most of them.

Something didn’t seem right, though. In fact, something seemed very wrong.

Were there fewer flower buds?

Yes, indeed! Among the tulips closest to the edge, the flower stalks were cleanly snipped, and the flower buds missing.

It seems the deer were enjoying some appetizers!

I am not impressed. I didn’t expect them to squeeze between the plum and apple trees to get at these.

I left them for the time being, and continued working on the corn and sunflower blocks.

One of the down sides of setting up these beds in the area we intend to plant food trees later on, is that they are very close to the road, and today was a high traffic day. Thankfully, with all the rain we’ve had, I didn’t have the clouds of dust blowing in that we usually do. At least that won’t be as much of a problem for long, as the lilac hedge is leafing out quite nicely. It does a great job of stopping the dust cloud. One of the ATVs that passed by turned out to be our vandal, studiously and resolutely pretending not to see me. πŸ˜‰ Which is fine. At least he’s stopped giving me the finger as he goes by.

During one of my trips back to the pile of soil, I saw him heading back, then could hear him slow down and finally stop on the road. I decided to see why, and found that he’d crossed paths with someone and they both stopped to talk on the road. So I continued with getting the load of soil, then heading back to the last of the corn blocks I was working on. I could hear the vehicles part ways, and our vandal’s ATV driving onto his property. As I was placing the soil, I could hear the ATV getting closer again, though clearly not on the road. Eventually, I heard it stop and the engine was shut off.

Then I started hearing gun shots.

By the 4th shot, I decided it was time to go inside. I have no idea what direction he was shooting in, but I wasn’t going to take chances with a stray bullet. It wasn’t a high powered rifle he was using; it was likely just a .22 I had only a row and a half left to do, but that can wait until tomorrow!

It was shortly after 8pm when I went inside, but I did head back out again about 10 minutes later. I dug out what was left of the yellow rope we found while cleaning up and tied it around some trees by the tulips.

It might be a bit too high, but I hope it will still discourage the deer from going under the bright yellow thing. We can hand dangly things off of it, to further discourage the deer.

As you can see by the spots of colour, there are still quite a few tulip buds. Thankfully, none of the Bull’s Eye tulips – the little ones in the foreground – were harmed. I counted the other ones, and all 54 bulbs have come up, but only half of the Bull’s Eye tulips (I found a fourth one had emerged, though it’s not visible in the above photo).

While I was doing this, I heard our vandal’s ATV start up again, so I headed over to where I might be able to see something. I did eventually see him off in the distance in his field. I can’t imagine what was out there that he would be shooting at. Normally, I would guess a skunk or some other potentially troublesome creature small enough that a .22 would be useful, but that would be an issue closer to his house or outbuildings, none of which we can see from our place. Out in the field like that, I might expect a bear, but if that were so, I would have expected to hear a higher caliber rifle!

Ah, well. Gun shots in the country are not all that unusual. The only reason it was a concern is because I had no way of knowing what direction he was firing, and I would not expect him to care where his bullets might end up, if he missed hit his target, whatever that may have been.

So that was it for my garden work today. Tomorrow, I’ll finish those last rows in the last corn block.

Oh, my goodness. I just checked the weather. The predicted high for tomorrow has been increased. We’re now expected to hit 27C/81F tomorrow afternoon! I’ll have to make sure I finish up much earlier in the day. The expected low tomorrow is 15C/59F. then temperatures are expected to drop right down again. We’ll have overnight lows just above, or at, freezing for three nights. After that, overnight lows are expected to range between 11C and 14C (52 – 57F) and stay in that range, well into June. Theoretically, that means we can start transplanting things outdoors by the 28th.

Which is what I did last year, when we got a frost on June 2. So while we will do the direct sowing we have left to do, the transplants will wait a bit longer!

Once I’m done with the corn and sunflower blocks, we will be done with all the areas that will be direct sown into. The next job is to work on the bed the winter squash, melons and gourds will go, since we will have to dig post holes for the squash tunnel we’ll be building to support them. Once that’s built, it’s back to hauling soil for the beds all the transplants will be going into.

I forgot to take a picture of the pile of soil. It is much depleted! I suspect we will be finishing it off and bringing soil in from the pile in the outer yard, by the time we’re doing the last of the beds.

I am so glad we were able to get two loads!!

The Re-Farmer

9 thoughts on “Our 2021 garden, interrupted

    • It’s the weekend. The police don’t answer the phones on the weekends out here. Plus, it’s a holiday weekend, so their offices are closed today, too.

      On Tuesday, I’ll call the non-emergency number and talk to someone about it. Our vandal is perfectly within his rights to be shooting on his own property, but given the circumstances, I do want there to at least be a record. The police may want to check it out, but I doubt it. There is no crime.

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      • You probably wouldn’t have to wait until the weekend. I could have called 911, but I don’t like to abuse the system, however even if I did have reason to call the police on 911, they’re typically at least 20 minutes away. Oh, wait. They’ve changed which area we’re covered by. Make that 30 minutes, minimum.

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