There Was Dirt Scattered Across the Shavings

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Bob Bauer
November 30, 2017 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 2 minutes
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November 30, 2017

There was dirt scattered across the shavings in the greenhouse aisle yesterday. The birds had been scratching in the Perpetual Spinach bed. At first I was annoyed but quickly realized that they were eating the leaf miner larvae that were overwintering in the soil. This might be a good time to discourage the cats from hanging out in the garden. Let the birds winterize the ground and get all the weed seeds as well. The birds tend to like my messy places, I guess because they are not as vulnerable to the leap of a hunting cat.

The weedy messy places are supposed to help the beneficial insects overwinter, but they are also refuge to the pest insects. Two divergent points of view by gardening experts everywhere, that are diametrically opposed, are whether to let the garden be messy over the winter months or to tidy it up. I do a little of both. Some of my areas are neat as a pin and others are overgrown with weeds. Best of both worlds.

December 01, 2017

As it turns out using shredded asparagus ferns for mulch was not a good idea. They allowed filtered light to reach the ground so all the seeds germinated and thrived. It was like putting a quarter inch of straw on the grass seeds for a new lawn. I now have a strip of green down the fence line. I forgot that not seeing the ground is not the same as having light not on the ground.

Luckily the leaves are still plentiful because they've been trickling down instead of falling all at once. They are so thin in the orchard though that I should just leave them and go down the hill to the oak trees by the creek. The orchard trees need their nutrients more so than the oaks because we keep stealing their leaves and fruit.

December 04, 2017

One year for Christmas I got a stepping stone mold and proceeded to make a ton of pavers. Found out that if they aren't over 10" they will tend to wobble. I didn't enjoy walking on a cobble stone pathway so they are now a retaining wall for an artichoke mound. This time of year the artichokes are a stand out in the garden. They are big and bushy and look healthy and prosperous.

They tend to go unnoticed in the summer because so many things compete for their attention, but now they are the highlight. I would plant them outside the garden in the flower beds if I didn't have plenty of room. They look good to me all year long, even when they get to that gawky pterodactyl stage, but soon they get cut back down and start growing up brand new ferny leaves.

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