Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labored Day

Paul had off work yesterday and Grandma took Rhiannon for several hours so Paul & I did some hiking around the property.

Marked some of the trees that I didn't want bulldozed, identified two new wildflowers (Lobelia and Blazing Star) and did some weeding / watering / gardening.

It wasn't nearly as hot outside as it had been earlier in the week so I was hoping to get more stuff done outside, but on our second break, I pulled off my boots to find my right foot covered in seed ticks.

Then after cooling off and de-ticking myself, I went back outside to weed the strawberry bed and was relentlessly attacked by a horsefly the size of a silver dollar (not exaggerating) and bit by seven thousand mosquitoes (only slightly exaggerating).

So I didn't weed the entire strawberry bed as planned.  But I did pull a bunch of travelling berry plants that I put into a bucket of water until I decide what to do with them.  I really need to thin the strawberry bed, but I'm not quite sure where I'm going to put them.  This year's harvest was great and I'd like to increase our harvest, but then a new bed is going to have to be built and "soil" found to fill said future bed.

I then moved on to the new garden.  The half-dead and not-producing zucchini plants were ripped out of their mounds and replaced with new seeds and my never-even-sprouted-rotted-in-the-ground row of beans were also replaced with new bean seeds.  All while swatting mosquitoes.

I'm probably pushing the envelope on getting a full harvest from the zukes & beans before the cold weather hits, but what the heck.  At least the cold will kill off some of these darned bugs.  If we're lucky.


  1. It might be close on the beans and squash, I have been planting fall greens which seem to like the cooler weather and rain. My winter squash are ready already.

  2. A horse fly bit me on the back, while packing up for our camping trip. They have been nasty this year.

  3. Do you have mosquito fish, that might help reduce the populaiton a bit. I keep a big tank just for mosquito fish, I don't keep them in all the water tubs because I dump those out several times a week. Wonder if you could make your own mosquito repellent with lemon juice. I made tick repellent with vinegar, water, and vegetable oil, seemed to help.

  4. Ya I bet you marked those trees :)

    More than likely trying to teach Herman by example.

    We now have three strawberry beds and I have noticed that after about the third year they just seem to get tired and begin going down hill. I have mixed in new runners to try and keep em going with mixed results but I think now once I see a bed declining I am just going to completely replant it the next year that way I should always have two beds going good.

    Hope Herman learned some new moves :)

  5. Carolyn,

    It sounds like you and Paul were extremely busy on your property. The mosquito's have been a real pain in the butt this year, along with the flies, fleas and ticks. My husband had to spread pellets to get rid of damn fleas and ticks.

  6. Oh, I hear you on the insect invasion! No matter how much of me I try to protect (and it is SO much fun wearing all that clothing in 99% humidity...) the little buggers still find a way to eat me alive. When is Fall? Why is it not here? And, btw, where the heck do you find those amazing graphics? That horsefly one is a hoot!

  7. Well, I'm counting my lucky stars! We have had a GOOD biting bug year . . . meaning we haven't had many of them. Mosquitoes have been especially absent. (Don't hate me!) We never used to even have ticks up here, but since our winters have been getting warmer they are now able to survive. Do not like ticks!

    I know I handle my strawberry bed a little differently, but this works for me. I always cut off all runners that come out from the mother plants. I believe the runners weaken the main plant and the little plants started from the runners are never as vigorous or bear as well as the mother plant. Doing this I'm able to keep the bed going strong (with just the original, mother plant) for 5-7 years without having to put in new plants. Don't know if the same method would work in your climate or not.

  8. Me hates biting bugs, especially mosquitos! When they are out around here (now) I refuse to go outside at dawn or dusk because they eat me alive! I hope you can finally get some beans to grow.

  9. We have some big, bad horse flies this year! They are even hanging around the front porch to bite us, normally they hang out at the top of the driveway and slam into the car all the way down the drive.

  10. Mosquitoes haven't been that bad here either and I have seen one horsefly this year.

    Mama Pea your comment about strawberry culture was an eye opener for me. Bonnie Plants agrees with your method up to a point.....they say let the mother plant set only 3 or so runners! I am going to try to get into my new bed and thin it heavily.