May 22, 2009

Daisy in the Garden


My community garden is pretty amazing. In addition to the fenced off area that has all the garden plots, there are a few other open areas where neighbors can hang out. One of the important rules of the garden however is that no dogs are allowed in the area with the plots. And it's a darn good rule in my opinion.

And yet, sometimes a dog is exactly what you need.

Several weeks ago I planted some lettuce seeds and they seemed to be coming up nicely until I noticed them disappearing... apparently chewed to the ground. I've seen rabbits in the garden so I assume it's them, though I suppose it could be something else.

Last year, I had tried putting some Irish Spring Soap (or drugstore knock-off) next to the lettuce after I noticed a lot of greenery disappearing. It seemed to work, but with the bright green color and the STRONG perfume smell I'm still not sure if this was a smart idea - especially in a garden designed to grow food. Once I saw the damage to the lettuce again this year though, I went out and bought some "Emerald Mist" and planned to set to work. It's actually supposed to be the Sodium Tallowate in the soap that scares off the bunnies due to it smelling like a dead animal and not all that perfume.






Luckily I was chatting with a co-worker who said that his mom always used dog hair in the garden to keep away rabbits. Eureka! It just so happens that I live with a dog. Her name is Daisy and she is very cute and VERY hairy (see pic above.)

That very night I did some strange stuff with twine and dog hair that looks like some sort of ancient sacred symbol or sacrifice. Maybe voo doo? It's basically puff-balls of dog hair tied to the end of the twine and hanging a few inches above the lettuce. Oh the lengths we'll go to for the garden! So far I haven't seen any new damage, so we'll see if this works. I sure hope so, since dog hair seems way better than stinky chemical-filled soap.



Meanwhile I am fairly confident that the cucumber seedlings on my porch are toast. They look awful. I had to cut off many leaves because they were dry and discolored and the ones that are still left don't look too terrific either. I'm not sure if I should even try planting them or just pick up some new ones. The tomatoes actually look ok. Not quite as good as they did when I picked them up, but not terrible either.

The big highlight is that the San Marzano seedlings look terrific!


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