Sunday, September 6, 2015

More Summer Gardening

Oh, my, I have been very remiss at keeping up with blogging over the summer.  There's been plenty of activity to write about but good intentions just don't get it done, does it.  Having Bradley, my grandson, living in my household has definitely reshaped my time schedule.  Now that school has started, it leaves a little more time for gardening but then other responsibilities have crept in to take the place of daily grandson responsibilities.  My mother in law will be 89 in October.  She is still pretty independent but needs help with grocery shopping each week.  Since she gave up driving a couple years ago, every week she makes out a list of groceries for me to buy for her.  Doctor's visits and getting medicine for her requires some time as well.  

My neighbors down the street are in their 80s and have health issues.  The wife had a stroke some years ago and doesn't really have the reaction time to drive safely any more.  The husband had eye surgery last December and hasn't really recovered well enough to drive either.  I agreed to drive them around last December with the notion that it would only be for a couple months while Dee, the husband, recovered from eye surgery.  That has turned into an open ended long term responsibility.  Now Dee has decided to have a knee replacement.  I really do enjoy their company and am doing exactly what I am gifted to do.  All that combine has put me at the limit for adding any thing else to the schedule for a time.  I haven't been in that position since retirement before.  It's a new experience but one that I am comfortable with.   Some people would wonder how I cope with it but I truly enjoy being able to help others through the tough times in their lives.  One thing that I've learned about life is that it's fluid.  It never stays forever with one schedule.  Kids grow up, health changes, life is in a constant state of change.  So I look at it as an ever changing adventure.  I never know what that next phone call will bring into my life.  Life can be very negative if I let it be but I choose to enjoy life and dwell on the positive things and deal with the bad things.  It's been a good philosophy so far.  

Well enough about that, let's see what's been happening in the garden.  I have written about the deer being prolific this year and eating all the strawberries.  I let the strawberry bed go to weeds in thinking that the plants that survived wouldn't be found by the deer again and so far it has worked.  It worked so well that I have trouble finding the surviving plants as well.  The rain here has been way above normal.  In August alone, the rainfall is five inches above the average of 3.5 inches.  Temperatures have fluctuated from average to 15 degrees below normal.  
Bind weed has taken over certain parts of the garden.  This happened in just four weeds of lack of attention. Bind weed is the most obnoxious weed ever.  Some would say the bind weed is the cousin of Kudzu.  I would agree that Kudzu is indeed much worse than bind weed and in my area bind weed freezes and dies until the next spring.  The thing about bind weed is that it can take over an entire area with just a few roots.  In the picture above there is carpet under this weed.  The roots are just a handful along the fence.  All this foliage over the carpet and up the fence was from less than 10 roots.  

A little sweat makes a big difference.  Bind weed on carpet is an easy clean up.  Just pull out the roots and roll the entire wad of foliage up into a big bundle and through it away.  It will quickly compost down into a small amount of compost.  Not so with some of the weeds not shown in this picture.

Tw0 years ago I started building the fence around the 60x60 foot garden area.  I found a free source of fence panels that I hauled to the garden.  I had enough to completely surround the garden but alas a van came down the road and smashed into the fence.  It completely destroyed three panels.  I replaced the panels and continued to build the fence.  Now this year I am down to the last three panels to completely enclose the garden area but the free source of fence panels has dried up.  I'm left with building the last three panels from scratch.  It doesn't look quite as pretty as the normal fence panels but is still just as functional.  It will keep the deer from getting into the garden.  The deer could easily jump the six foot fence but I've been told that if a deer can't see what's on the other side of the fence, they won't jump it.  Makes sense to me that a deer would want to know what they are jumping into.  Hopefully before the snow flies, I'll have these panels complete.  

However, this week my cousin starts a new job with training in a near by city.  My task which I have chosen will be to walk Bailey girl, a long haired chihuahua with a peanut bladder.  So this week twice a day old Nebraska Dave will be walking the three pound socialite of the neighborhood Bailey girl.  She's very brave barking at the big dogs while standing between my legs. 😖
I hope everyone is having a great end of summer. 
Just remember, "Gardening requires a lot of water.  Most of it in the form of perspiration." - Lou Erickson


  1. Ha--you made me laugh. Those little dogs always put on such a brave front, don't they?

    I'm dealing with some bindweed problems up here as well. Being gone all June wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. Those weeds had free run of the garden. Eeesh-what a mess. But watch tossing that in the compost as those take root easily. I know from tossing mine over the garden fence---it roots right away into the lawn. Always something.
    Good to see a post again out of you--been wondering what you've been up to. Glad to see it's good, versus no-good. Ha!
    Take care and enjoy the final moments of summer!

  2. Dave, you're not alone. My blog posts have been minimal as well and for some of the same reasons - senior citizens. Like you, I am helping with my mother and mother in law. I too enjoy being able to help. Isn't that what we're all supposed to do? Help each other. Unlike you, I am not retired. So, throw work into the mix and blogging slides waaaay down on the priority list.

    My mother had both knees replaced last year and is glad she did. Wishes she hadn't waited so long to take the plunge. Hope your neighbor enjoys relief from pain with his procedure.

    1. PS I have an English Mastiff. Those little dogs that think they're Napoleon always try to take us on during our daily walks.

  3. I love that quote Dave. So true!
    Sounds like you're doing good work, inside and outside the garden.

  4. Glad your grandson is back with you. Is he going to stay through the winter as well? I am very lucky I get to see mine every week. My wife baby sits on her days off, so my daughter can work at least some. I did not plant any thing this year --- yet. I may get in a few collard plants in this week for a fall garden. I hope so. It is good that you stay busy. My problem is that I do too little. At least I still work every day. I don't I will stop as long as I can preform. If I was at hone I am afraid I would do nothing until I was un able to do anything. Better I work. You will be rewarded for what you do. Stay well my friend.

  5. Dave, I love your perspective. I admire all you are doing for your neighbors, who surely must count you as a special blessing in their lives. I've felt that the state of my garden right now -- pathetic -- is a reflection of my life and my inability to have it all together. Ha! You've reminded me today that I should never begrudge time spent helping someone else. Thank you. I'm also very fascinated about your projects of turning abandoned areas into gardens. Would you consider doing an email interview with me for a Backyard Farming post?

  6. Oh, I got a kick out of your deer/strawberry strategies!

  7. That's a cute image of you with Bailey girl. :-)
    So great that your mother-in-law is doing so well at her age. Bless you for being available to drive for those who need it. Best to have a plan of transitioning those activities than have something happen forcing a big change.
    That fence will get done yet. I too have bind weed to contend with. We moved into our home in Dec/Jan and I wondered what that dried stem was twisted around the lilacs. Grrr. Anyway, with no help from the neighbors, I have to monitor the corners.
    Good to see your update. Been a spell since I was on the garden sites. Be well!

  8. Hi Dave, when I came over to return your visit, I saw the date of your last post, and assumed I had already left a comment. I'm glad I did get the post read. I was pleased to see your grandson is back with you. Yes, when we help others out, it does keep us on our toes. I have been providing childcare for our granddaughter since she was tiny. She is now 17 months old, and can be a handful, but she sure is a sweetie! We do not get paid, because she does not handle money well.

    I hope you got your fence finished. It looks like winter is here now!

  9. It's wonderful your infos. Thank you very much