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NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Pest Prevention and Plot Preparation: Mission Accomplished

It's a typical spring weekend. We slept in - me until 7, Husband a little later, Amigo up at 8 to listen to his favorite shows on Public Radio. I had the coffee on and newspaper in, but I was still in my pajamas when Husband came downstairs fully dressed and full of philosophy and energy. He focused that energy where it would do the most good, and moved the car to make way for the roto-tiller.
As he put it, he took the long way around the garage. Knowing we live on a small-to-medium city lot, the "long way" can't be that long, can it? Wrong: it can. He pulled out and kept going all the way to the Moto-Mart for a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.
I followed the special treat with my usual Saturday: sorted laundry, got dressed, got ready to start the first load (jeans and sweats, by my Green Routine). At that moment, Husband came inside. He'd rototilled the entire garden plot, turning the compost into the soil. Laundry could wait while he showered.
The danger of frost is very real in Wisconsin in May, so the best I can do right now is prepare the garden for the seeds. It was a perfect job for a cool and pleasant Saturday morning.
I re-used old fence boards and deck boards to create walkways and block a few square-foot style raised beds. These walkways keep me from over-compacting the soil, prevent weeds from growing in the unplanted areas, and allow me to harvest without changing into my dirt-friendly garden shoes. I "installed" the bean trellis and put up the old rose supports that will help brace the tomato plants this year. They're taller than the old wire cages, coated so they're less likely to damage stalks, and I can gently tie up the tomato plants with rags as they grow. I hope this will work well. It has to work better than the wire cages did last season!

Next, I took a few more deck boards, the 4X4 size, and braced them against the chicken wire that keeps the critters out. I love my bunnies, and I don't mind seeing the wild ones make my yard their habitat, but I don't want them eating my produce. I buried the big boards slightly and piled up enough dirt to bury the fencing a few inches underground. It's not perfect, but it'll keep most of the neighborhood fauna from finding their way into my lettuce and spinach and parsley.
At that point I took a break. Washed up, more laundry, sipped a Diet Coke to rehydrate a bit, and thought about lunch. Instead of making lunch, though, I went back outside to document my progress. Getting my hands (and shovel) back in the dirt feels so good, so productive.


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Khrys said...

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I dig the garden looks very nice! I like the idea of the planking, I may have to use it on my garden. A friend of mine uses patio stones as stepping stone, but I think the wood would be easier for me to come by:)

Daisy said...

I used a little extra wood to create a raised bed in the near-front spaces. Two have spinach & parsley seeds in as of tonight; the others will grow lettuce. I love spring!