Monday, June 1, 2009

Answers, Austrees & critters

I wandered out to the garden this morning to plant round 2 of the corn, a batch of yellow beans and some pole beans. I took a peek at the Rattlesnake beans and got a surprise. I'm quite sure there was a rabbit in the bed last night. The little bugger dug out a spot just behind the sticks in the picture from my last post, between the beans and one of the Roma tomatoes. I noticed one of the Romas wasn't looking good yesterday, now I think it's done for. I'll probably lose a few beans but I have more seed and it's early enough in the season to replant with no problem. I'm quite sure now that the previous mystery digging was a rabbit after all. It does still seem surprising that they didn't seem to eat anything. Today's digging looked like the digging in the mulch earlier this spring. I think I gave the bunny easy access to the bed by leaving a pile of straw flakes I had removed from one of the other beds when I planted it. I removed that pile today.

While repairing the bunny damage, I noticed more buds forming on the Austree trimmings. I figured since there was already disturbance in the area, I might as well check to make sure there weren't any roots forming on the sticks. I yanked one out and wouldn't you know, that sucker had roots on it!. Not what I wanted to see at all. I pulled out all of the sticks that showed any signs of green. I had roots starting on 3 or 4 of them, so now I need to come up with a new plan for them this week, before the beans & cuke get very big.

The critters were active the last couple days. In additions to the rabbit, I also found that the pocket gophers have been active on BOTH sides of the backyard. I'm used to finding evidence on the north side but today I had a busy digger on the south side as well. I found one Mountain Mahogany chewed off at the roots, and a second that may or may not have been a gopher casualty. It was headed for a third, nice, healthy little bush that's only about 6" tall. There was also a hole inside the fence. I hope it doesn't make it to the new fruit trees.

On the plus side, I did notice today that one of the two Saskatoons is actually blooming -which is surprising since they are really just sticks at this point. They're so small and hard to see, I actually have fencing around them so the dogs don't run over them. The second one is getting a few leaves now. I also am finally seeing signs of life from the Anne raspberries. I was starting to wonder if they'd ever grow. 8 of the 9 raspberry plants either have leaves or buds now. One Caroline isn't doing anything yet. I'm only seeing growth on one of the blackberries so far but I'm trying to be patient. The raspberries were all planted before the blackberries, so I'm going to wait & see.

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