The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tending the seedling beds

Mulched baby squash plants

Planting always seems like the most pressing part of starting the summer vegetable garden, but equally important is following up a week or two later to make sure the crops Parsley seedlingsare off to a good start.  This week, I'm taking a close look at each of our seedling beds and:

  • Taking off the cat-repellant covers.
  • Thinning if necessary, then weeding and mulching around each seedling.
  • Replanting individual plants (like beans) in gaps, or replanting whole beds that didn't come up due to cold soil or that got eaten by hungry early-spring critters.

Some no-till gardeners start everything in pots and transplant to avoid this dance (and the bare soil that goes along with it).  But I prefer the cat-weed-mulch-replant waltz to the potted-plant polka.

Our chicken waterer tempts pastured poultry to the other end of the pasture so they don't all hang out around the coop door.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I would laugh about cat repellant,but in my experience over the last couple months I've needed it, too. In my urban rental situation, I am growing things in a window box (which I've kept inside up until just recently). Twice the cat ate my squash plants, which HAD been growing quite nicely for being indoors. I ended up caging the plants to keep the cat out. Finally it got warm enough to put them outside, and after all the babying, the boxes got dug up by squirrels! I ended up buying some cat grass, which el gato gladly ate immediately.
Comment by Stephen Tue May 21 11:20:39 2013

We have the cat issue also, and the use of the plastic netting is a super way to discourage them. So far, the cats do t eat anything though.
We do have slightly larger critters to worry about, being close to national forest like we are. And I'm not refering to deer. My first year here, my small little garden was completely destroyed, twice, by COWS. new Mexico has free range cattle, and is also a "fence out" state, meaning the land owner is responsible to fence out the cattle if he doesnt want them on his land, as opposed to Texas, which is a"fence in" state. The rancher is responsible to keep his cattle contained. I cant tell you the consternation one feels to go out one morning to find absolutely everything eaten, and cow pies on your patio!
It is too costly to fence our entire lot, and we would have to include an electronic gate across the drive, but we are in process of fencing in a goodly portion of it, including at least part of the garden.

And be glad you have a female dog, Anna, as I do have to watch that our Gibbs, with his policy of " pee on everything" , doesnt get near the lettuce patch!

Comment by Deb Wed May 22 08:09:56 2013

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