Deer sampling the garden

Well, my suspicions were confirmed Sunday evening.

There’s a doe that has been checking out our garden. In the above photo, you can see her right behind the fence. My garden is completely fenced, so she’s hopped the fence and feasted on some garden beds. The ones that had my beautiful collards and cabbage. She ate all of them! Since I know they don’t particularly care for the scent of humans, I have attached some of my loose hair to the garden beds, and I also got an ultrasound device that emits a high-pitched sound. Hopefully, that will be enough to keep her away.

Yoki, our working line German shepherd, heard her outside, was not thrilled at all, and started barking, aka fussing. Ms. Doe did not stay around too long; however, the camera did show her return this morning a little after 3:00 am. This fall, I will install a deer fence. It’s 8′ tall, so that I won’t have this issue next year. We have deer since we live in the woods; this is the first year they have been a nuisance for me.

Yesterday afternoon, I returned to the garden pick up more of the produce. There s still a lot more to get. I’ll hopefully finish that tomorrow. What’s in the five-gallon bucket? Cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and many peaches! I will make a peach cobbler or peach pie using some of the peaches I picked.

Transplanting Elderberry and Goldenrod

Yesterday, my daughter and I went to Laura’s Gardening Service, and I purchased two elderberry bushes and seven goldenrod plants, and while we have both on our property, they are back in the woods. I wanted more varieties, and also I wanted them planted closer to the house.

Elderberry Bushes

Because of the rain, I decided to hold off planting them yesterday; however, I did place all the plants in the general area where they would be planted, and today, I transplanted all of them. It took about two hours to get the area prepped and all the plants in the ground. I added pine bark mulch to the site and stopped because I ran out. I ordered more from my local Home Depot and was able to complete this task early this evening.

From my research, elderberry bushes are self-fruitful; however, you will have a larger crop if you have another elderberry species. While we do have elderberry on the property since they are in the woods, I decided it might be wise to purchase other elderberry bushes to ensure that pollination is occurring between the different elderberry species. I ordered three other bushes and will plant them in the same area once they arrive.

Goldenrod and elderberry are lovely choices for pollinators, and they both are native to my state. In addition, they are both edible. I look forward to watching the plants grow and eventually doing some responsible harvesting to make tinctures, teas, jellies, etc.; I’ll be freeze-drying the herbs with my Harvest Right-Medium Freeze dryer.

My lovely daughter took a short video of the mulching.

 

Gardening Adventures: Adding more tomato clips

My tomatoes are coming along quite nicely. Since Thursday, we’ve received a lot of rain. It’s much needed since we have not received adequate rainfall in about a month. I use stakes and clips to support my tomato plants.

A few reasons I use stakes in my garden

  1. Easier to access and harvest the tomatoes
  2. Adds strength and support
  3. Reduces the chances of the produce rotting since it’s not sitting in the soil

Almost finished: Raised garden beds

I’ve been busily converting our garden into mainly raised garden beds for several weeks. I’ve been in the garden daily for several hours. Time flies by when I’m out there. I enjoy it immensely.

 

Earlier this week, I ordered more enriched topsoil, seven yards,  delivered to our home. One yard weighs about 2200 pounds. I moved five tons (one ton is 2,000 pounds) of topsoil in a few hours and another ton the next day.

What’s left of the seven yards of enriched topsoil

I’ve used most of the topsoil; I might have about 1.5 yards left. I’ll spread that out in the area since my daughter wants a swingset under the trees.

Pine Bark Mulch

 

I’ve added pine bark mulch to all the raised garden beds, and now I’m adding it to my tomato plants.

Blueberry bushes, covered with netting and raised garden beds.

It’s been a lot of work, and there’s still so much to do; however, I must say that I’m thrilled with how it’s starting to look.

The blueberry bushes are bearing fruit, and we’ve been staying on top of picking the fruit.

Blueberries picked from our blueberry bushes

I was able to pick a small bowl full of blueberries yesterday evening.

 

One of our small flower and herb gardens

Now, all we need is rain. We haven’t had adequate rain in almost a month. My daughter and I have been trying to stay on top by watering different parts of our garden daily. However, nothing beats good rain, and I’ll be happy when we finally receive it. Looking at the forecast, it’s a possibility of rain from Wednesday until Sunday.

Planting flowers, herbs, and spices

About a month ago, this bed only had flowers, and now it’s home to flowers, herbs, and spices.

Yesterday I added basil and oregano to this flower bed.

The day before, I added four more eucalyptus to this spot. I’d added cayenne peppers the week early, and a few weeks back, I’d added cilantro and eucalyptus.

I have several flower beds throughout our property, and I’m slowly adding herbs, vegetables, or both to my flower beds. This garden bed is right beside our front porch; that’s the same porch with the two types of mint-grown-in pots.

Yesterday, I added cabbage to the flower bed facing our small, quiet community road. I believe it’ll be an excellent addition once they are fully grown.

Vego Raised Garden Beds

My vego-raised garden beds are slowly starting to fill with vegetables and herbs.

Vego Raised Garden Bed: Red Beauty Bell Pepper

In the raised garden bed above, I have Red Beauty bell peppers.

Vego Raised Garden Bed: Cabbage and Collards

And this bed is a mix of cabbage and collard plants.

 

2023 marks the first year I’ve used raised garden beds and the first time I’ve used Vego raised garden beds. The brand was recommended to me by a friend. My daughter set up the beds without any issues. The metal is sturdy, and I haven’t had any problems filling them.

I’ve been filling my garden beds with shredded cardboard and soil. The shredded cardboard comes from the boxes I receive from various orders, mainly from Amazon. I have a heavy duty shredder that blasts through any cardboard I shove down its throat. I’ve been bagging and setting aside my shredded cardboard in the shed, waiting until I could use them in gardening.

Native plants; Lavender and Mint

It’s been hectic, and since the weather is now warm, I’m enjoying spending time when I’m able outdoors. Over the past several weeks, I have completed a lot of work outside, and there’s still much more to finish.

The plants on our property are native to our location, and I want to keep it that way. I’ve relocated a few plants to different places.

 

One of the plants I relocated is some of our mint. It has been doing its own for about twenty years. I moved some of the mint growing on our property to a different location. The above mint was growing in a shady part of our garden. I transplanted some of it in the above planter pot and placed it on our front doorstep; the remaining was placed on the side of our house that does not have any plants. It’s the only side that does not have plants as a border.

 

Both of the new locations receive full sun. As active as the mint was in the shade, I know it’ll do even better with that much sunlight.

Besides the mint, I’ve also purchased additional native plants to welcome to our property.

Yesterday, I picked up six lavender plants from Lauren’s Garden Service. Initially, I’d purchased four lavender plants, two more blueberry bushes, and two foxglove beardtongue. However, after placing the bought plants in my vehicle, I went back and purchased two more lavender plants.

As you can see, they’re in full bloom! Lauren’s Garden Service is an eco-friendly landscaping and plant nursery. They’re located about an hour (one way) from where we live; however, it’s worth the trip. They’ll be a welcome addition to our property. My daughter and I were commenting on lavender plants in bloom last week, so it’s nice to see that I could snatch up six large plants for our home.

I’m looking forward to transplanting these beauties and watching the pollinators flock to them.