Friday, March 19, 2010

A High Tech Gopher Cage


This satellite dish was not functional and a big eyesore on our property so we are putting it to a new use.  It measures 10 feet across and is made of a fine metal mesh so we dug a big hole, boy was that a job, sunk it in the ground and are still working on filling it up with dirt.  We have left about 4 inches sticking up so the little varmints can’t just tunnel over it.  It will be an herb garden in the very near future and all of our other garden beds will surround it.  We are not going with the straight rows of beds, but sort of a kitchen knot garden.  It looks great on paper, but there is a lot of work still to do and we have to go shopping for some good compost to add to this well drained soil.  Our soil is not really sandy, but it does drain well.  We live in an area near Mt. Lassen and the volcano effected the soil here a lot.  Luckily we don’t have the tons of rock that some have around here.  People actually farm the rock on their property and sell to rockeries, they also build long rock fences on their properties, it really looks great.IMG_1919

We have been building raised garden beds with gopher wire tacked on the bottom and up the sides.  Yesterday we made one, dug it in, filled it up and planted strawberries in it.  This is the second bed we built only 7 more to go, but we are on a roll as long as the weather holds up.  The hardest part is to dig the 8 inches down to put the bed in then fill it up with the dirt from the next bed.  We just might put the tractor to work on the next one, though this soil is really easy to dig in, guess that is what the gophers think too.

IMG_1926 In the greenhouse things are growing fast.  We planted 31 varieties of tomatoes and everyone of them came up so we better get building more beds, eight might not be enough.  We also planted peppers, sunflowers, hollyhocks, cosmos, marigolds and lots of basil.  We still have lots more veggies to plant like beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, squash etc…if all goes well we will be better fed than the deer and gophers. 

Gardening does grow one thing well and that is faith, oh, and hope!  That IMG_1928reminds me, I dug up a little plant that I found growing under a table at the nursery I was working at.  I had a pot with a beautiful variegated porcelain berry vine in it and it dropped some seed under the table that sprouted.  I put it in a little pot and brought it to my new home.  It goes completely dormant so I wasn’t even sure it survived, but I didn’t give up hope and it has sprouted and is climbing quickly out of it’s little pot so soon I will move it to a new and better home and see if will be happy here and maybe I can even get some off spring of this…just my luck it will be an invasive plant, I do seem to attract them.  One year it was Monarda, thought I would never get that all out just like the Moroccan Mint, it was very tasty though.

IMG_1922 Another garden surprise was when I put an old Mason Bee house that I had thought was just decoration in my green house and we started noticing bees going in to it.  I am not positive they are mason bees, but they do look similar and it is time for the mason bees to be out.  We purchased some tubes of them and built a really nice mason bee home for them so we were surprised when they were coming into the green house and moving into this little abode.  I hadn’t cleaned it out so I am hoping there are no mites harboring in those little holes, I’d like to keep my bees healthy.

With Spring officially starting Sunday…

gardeners keep the faith!



GardenJoy4Me said...

fern where do I start to comment on ! you are working so hard and have such great plans .. I love the kitchen knot garden .. I pretend I have potager harden because I grow herbs along with the flowering perennials, roses and shrubs plus vines .. I also have the porcelain berry vine too !
Those BLUE berries are amazing aren't they ?
You have so much on the go it is amazing ! I will have to come back and check on everything : )
That satellite garden is going to be a hoot !!

Pookie said...

What a great idea for re-using the old dish! I can't wait to see a picture of the finished garden bed lay-out. Also, I'm so jealous of your bees; we got a mason bee house but then never did anything with it. I'm sure our apple trees would appreciate if we actually put it out for bees to enjoy.

Arlette said...

A very clever way to recycle that satellite dish. One would never know the hidden secret unless you revealed it to them. How creative you are!