The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

What’s Growing: Seeds and Weeds

6 Comments

I hope to be busy in the Potager these next few days. After what I believe was a very successful and enjoyable Artists’ Studio (and garden) Tour over this past weekend, I feel even further behind in my garden chores!

The Potager May 28 2013

The weeds are well, growing like weeds! I did a lot of primping and prepping in the garden in anticipation of the tour but it seems as though with every step I take, another weed grows. And the Silver Maple next door is raining seeds on my Potager – they are everywhere. Here, covering the cold frame where I am currently holding my transplants among the over wintering lettuces and kales – away from the mouths of hungry, curious rabbits.

Seedlings in the Cold Frame

I have big, fat rabbit trouble this year but I don’t want to put up a fence that will make it difficult to tend to the garden. I’m on the short side and two feet of fence just may keep me out. Of the six brussel sprout starts I grew from seed only one survived. I didn’t think brussel sprouts would be appetizing to a rabbit, but appetizers they were. This means war, you know! My sole survivor is now under wraps courtesy of my father who fashioned this rabbit plant guard – I must make more of these for next year.

Brussels Under Wrap

Rabbit Guard

I am going to try a few other “fenceless” tactics, too: dried blood, lime peels, cayenne pepper, Marigolds, Catnip and noise. Mojo, my large, bustling dog doesn’t seem to scare any of the rabbits – all three sizes of them. Apparently I am not threatening either even when I yell HOSSENFEFFER!

The Catnip will probably attract my second bit of trouble – cats. Roaming nighttime cats are attracted to any bare earth in my garden. This year, though, I am using my plant trays upside down to guard my seedlings until they grow large enough to be off the cats’ area attractions.

Lettuces and Kale Under Guard

Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Chard and Radish Seeds Undercover

Herbs, Borage and Calendula are not on the rabbit menu. Amaranth seems to be a delicacy.

Herbs in the Potager

Herbs in the Potager

Lovage Tarragon and Horseradish

Lovage, Tarragon and Horseradish

The potatoes are safe in their hoop. The garlic apparently works on rabbits as well as vampires. The peas somehow grew up unscathed.

Potato Hoop

Potato Hoop

Garlic

Garlic

Peas

Peas

Newly planted this year, Asparagus! Thankfully, not appetizing to the rabbit masses, but I did pick off three Spotted Asparagus Beetles this morning. It seems to be doing well. These were planted from root crowns.

New Asparagus Shoots

New Asparagus Shoots

The next scuttle? The Berry Battle! Who will find and pick the ripest strawberries and blackberries first? Me? The munks? The skunks? The birds? The ravaging rabbits?

Strawberries and Rhubarb

Strawberries and Rhubarb

Blackberries

Wild Blackberries Tamed

If only rabbits loved to eat maple seeds and bindweeds.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

6 thoughts on “What’s Growing: Seeds and Weeds

  1. Everything is looking good. I have my garden netted or the deer and rabbits will take it…I am wondering if the tomatoes on the patio in cages are safe…the peppers usually are so I hope they will continue to be…and the new hanging tomatoes in buckets…will they be safe…well I hope so…it is a battle with the critters and weeds.

    • Ok Donna, I just bought some netting and hope to install it this afternoon. I would hate to plant all my tomato seedlings and see them nipped off. I like your idea of the netting. A little more flexible and I remember you said you netted your young trees over the winter, too – which I will need to do. I hope your plants are safe – even on the patio!

  2. Kathy, I’m always struggling between protecting the plants from garden pests and still having a garden that I can enjoy. The biggest problem for me is the woodchuck that lives below the deck and feasts in the garden every night. This year’s woodchuck is a phlox-lover, and all my garden phlox has been eaten almost to the ground over and over again. I thought about trying to put some deterrent (cayenne pepper?) on the phlox plants to discourage the woodchuck, but my fear is that the woodchuck will then turn its attention to other plants which are currently unmolested. In the end, I’ve decided to sacrifice the phlox for this year. Next year, I may try covering the main entrance to the woodchuck den in early spring and see if that encourages the animals to move elsewhere. At least I don’t have rabbits to contend with.

    • And here I thought to myself Jean, before hearing from you, that at least I don’t have a woodchuck! My bunny farm inhabitants seem to favor phlox also but only in the back stretch. It is a goner for this year, too. Gardens and gardeners will prevail?

  3. Things look to be growing good in spite of the bunnies and I chuckled when I saw the ‘hossenfeffer’ tag on this post! Hang in there, rabbits usually come and go and not every year is an invasion…. usually….

    • Thank you for that encouraging news! As I gaze out my “summer office” window (the porch) at two, no sorry, three rabbits (of varying sizes) nibbling in the lawn … hey, they are eating the lawn (or most likely clover – my best defense)!

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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