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Monday, April 16, 2012

In the Garden // Plotting


 I've mentioned before that this year I am determined to be far more organized about the vegetable garden. I've made a group of spreadsheets to help me stay on top of planting times, what I'm growing, and adding notes where I'll be able to find them next year. I've mapped out my plot in order to plants the beds in a way that makes the most sense in terms of early, mid, and late season vegetables. It was a bit of a challenge and already I'm questioning some of the plans, thinking maybe the lettuce won't be ready to harvest by the time the tomatoes need use of the bed.

 { Tomatoes looking longingly out the window at their future home }

The tomatoes are definitely my pride and joy, they are the heart of the garden for me, if I could grow just one thing it would be tomatoes. I carefully selected a handful of varieties from the West Coast Seeds catalog based on their performance records within my climate, I'm hoping this makes all the difference over last year. I also collected seeds from a few of last years favorites and I am happy to say that they were viable.
 

   Our house looks like an Italian Villa. It has this decorative wall out front, arbors everywhere, and this centerpiece in the middle of the driveway shaped like the Star of David complete with bird bath and fountain. The property is certainly unique. The Star of David looks pretty ugly in the winter but as soon as Spring arrives it jumps to life with the most colourful display of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and more. Because we're renting and haven't been here that long, I didn't plant any of these things, everything is a surprise when it surfaces. And what's even more special, is that someone was thoughtful enough to plant things that have different bloom times so there are about 3 or 4 different displays throughout the growing season, there is never a dull moment. 



{ One of my personal favorites, Sweet Woodruff }

:: I am sad to report that despite turning the soil over the entire plot and lacing all of the rows of seeds with coffee grounds, those pesky slugs mowed down every single spinach sprout! Yesterday I crushed up some egg shells I found in the compost and scattered them among the seedlings, we'll see to what effect. 

23 comments:

  1. I take great pleasure in going out at night with my headlamp on and smushing all those naughty slugs. I know, not very zen of me and my karma will probably come back to haunt me but its torture to see your baby plants mowed down in one night.

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    1. Last year I did the same thing, my traps weren't catching anything so I would walk around in the dark pulling slugs off my plants and plunging them into the beer traps. It just seemed like no matter how many I removed, there were always enough to devastate my lettuce and basil by morning :(

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  2. Find their eggs! We are up the island from you. I had a few potted plants around the garden and they had laid eggs right underneath. Easy to remove and made a huge difference! just google 'slug eggs' and then look for those little piles in dark places.

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    1. Thank you Katie! I will totally try this!!! Most of the slugs that I found last year were babies so I think this might do the trick.

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  3. I am not a gardener by any means, but I just read that you can keep slugs out of raised beds by wrapping copper tape around the edge. I guess they won't cross over the copper? Maybe you could make a small copper pipe edging to keep them out?

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    1. Yes, I've heard this too. Unfortunately copper is expensive and the way my plot is layed out I would need a ton of the stuff.

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  4. Thanks for the tips! I'm gardening in Langford and have slugs and deer galore. The deer have even eaten my daffodils - what deer eats daffodils?! My hedges are also trimmed into a very 'decorative' shape thanks to the deer. Good grief.

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    1. Oh the deer are the worst. They were such a problem when we lived up Island, they even "tasted" my pot of succulents! No deer like succulents, but even just a mouthful for a deer can wipe out half a planter!

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  5. i bet your place looks ah-mazing! i believe owen and i need to get our gardening gloves on and hike out to see you... you look like you're being so organized! well done! what a harvest you will have!

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    1. Yes you do! Elsie is really getting into it this year, digging up worms and using the "tools"... soon Becca, you two need to come soon!

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  6. It's always something! I'm battling a slew of invasive species in my garden/yard! Ivy, holly, morning glory, and now this year violets! As a person who doesn't use herbicide it's driving me crazy!!

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    1. Oh no, invasive species are just the worst! I hope they don't "swallow" any plants in the garden that are precious to you! Best of luck :)

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  7. We've had success with putting a saucer full of beer in the garden near the most heavily slug-afflicted area. It doesn't stop every slug, but it is pretty effective!

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    1. I haven't had any luck with my slug traps, I'm beginning to think I'm doing something wrong or that they just don't like my beer ;)

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  8. As a last resort for getting rid of fruit flies in my compost, I've used these products by Safer...All of their products are natural and organic, and I've had some good luck with them. http://www.saferbrand.com/search?page=1&search=slugs

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  9. I was listening to the Knitcents podcast this morning on my way to work and she mentioned her neighbor has dug a mote around her garden and filled it with sand to keep the slugs out. Something about they don't like crawling over the sand....anyway, I thought of you and thought I would pass along the info.

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    1. Thanks for thinking of me Retha! I've tried this with coffee grounds and crumbled egg shells with absolutely no luck... the slugs are coming up from below so it seems like anything topical is ineffective, bah!

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  10. Your blog, your patterns, and your photos are all absolutely compelling. I found you via your wonderful Gemini pullover on Knitty, and couldn't pull myself away. Some days my work as a yarn shop owner requires me to browse knitting on the internet, and now I have discovered you. Am delighted.

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    1. Thank you Meta! I'm so glad you found me :)

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  11. I love your thought process on the garden. I like that kind of planning! :D
    But sorry to hear about the slugs. Boooooo to them. Hope the egg shells worked.
    I envy the garden. We have a small patio but I have this plan (via Pinterest) to hang a cloth shoe organizer and use the pockets for small amounts of plants!

    I also wanted to mention although you don't need props from 'lil ole me... I paid forward a nomination to you... http://morelikejune.blogspot.ca/2012/04/kreativ-blogger-oh-my.html
    :)

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    1. I've seen those shoe organizer wall gardens and I think they are so awesome! I think you should totally do it!!!

      And thank you SO much for the nomination!!!

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  12. I had a terrible time with slugs and snails at my old house. I tried the beer traps to no avail, and while I heard about the copper, like you, didn't want to pay for it. I finally found a product called Sluggo, and I swear by it. It's safe and incredibly effective. I hope you can find it near you! Otherwise, there's always salt, so long as you don't get it on your plants!

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    1. Thanks for the tip Donika, I'll have to see if I can get some of this!

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