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Ever have one of those days? I had one of those days, this past Sunday.
It started out just great, with perfect weather for all my outdoor chores.
I started at 7 a.m. and got all kinds of things done, projects completed and everything looked good. I even got to run a few errands off the farm and scored a great new indoor mini greenhouse, to boot.
By 7 p.m. I was back out on the farm checking off the to-do list. That done, I decided to just check out the rest of the farm. I had basically finished my planting last week, so the gardens were the last place I went to visit.
Last week a turtle got about 60 tomato plants, but I had already replanted. I raise all my own plants and only had about 170 more tomato plants left to put in the ground, but they were small. I had already put in a total of about 220.
So the dogs and I roll up to the garden back behind the creek. Here, I have four large raised beds inside an enclosed fence of chicken wire.
I open the gate and we walk back to the beds and what do we see? Nothing but stakes and straw. I had three tomato plants left. This time it was rabbits.
One loud animalistic growl later, we head to the other garden where I only have rows of pole beans and 20 jelly bean tomato plants. I had just planted them all last Sunday. I have two tomato plants left there. Cue another very loud growl.
Later that same day, I decide to pour out my tale to family and friends on the phone. I gave up long distance on my home phone last year. I can use my cell phone for that, if I stand on the front porch.
Living in the country does have some technological challenges.
And, as they say on TV, “But wait. There’s more.”
I call my “other” mother in Indiana to pour out my tale. I’m just into the growling part and notice I’m getting no replies. Lo and behold my air time has run out on the phone.
Thankfully, she called back on the house phone, so I got to finish and ended up laughing.
It’s not the end of the world. Fortunately, Mt. Eden Greenhouse raised a lot of heirloom tomatoes this year. I already have had some set aside for me for next Sunday. In the mean time, I’m picking up more chicken wire to put directly around the raised beds. I don’t give up.
Now, I received a few calls and comments in the last week from folks having trouble with their pear trees. The leaves are turning black and it’s not left over from the frost.
I told them all to contact the Extension agent to have them checked.
We’ve had perfect conditions for an outbreak of fire blight on fruit trees. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do now but cut off the affected branches, cutting 6-8 inches below any dead tissue. Copper sprays used in early spring can help prevent an outbreak, but we’re past that point.
We gardeners are a determined lot and no matter what trials and tribulations come our way, we usually learn from every lesson and go after it even harder.
Remember, no matter what life throws at us, we end up being wiser for it. It also helps to have a furry friend by your side.
Now, get out there and see what challenges Mother Nature has provided for you this week.
Whatever the challenge, good or bad, the silver lining is that you’ll end up smarter. Happy growing.
Cheryl Steenerson is a gardening columnist for The Anderson News.