new beginnings, challenges...
Driving around our rural neighbourhoods and communities I love seeing garden patches and raised planter boxes everywhere. And with the price of food getting ridiculously expensive, I wasn’t at all surprised to see very little inventory for veggie seedlings at our local nursery this week.
Fortunately, I learned a few years ago it made economical sense to grow from seed, considering how much we actually grow, so all our seedlings are home grown using saved, local organic and heirloom seeds.
This long weekend is the unofficial start to summer and I certainly remember the days when we’d be swimming in the lake in mid May. I can’t even imagine, despite last week’s tease with summer-like temps. I had a toque on this morning for crying out loud!
Which is why I am in no hurry to get warm-loving plants into the ground just yet. Not when I'm seeing single-digit night temps forecast for next week. Although, my Pepper plants are thriving in the new
greenhouse-tent right now. The growing setup in the solar powered she-shed was extremely successful this year producing pepper plants a lot sooner than expected. They are loving their new home...
Our new plot is giving us an extra 400 sq ft of growing space this year…
A couple of years ago I thought I eradicated this invasive noxious perennial from our main garden plot. Well, it’s back and it’s huge. This weekend we will to have to move 5 massive stones in order for Me! to dig it all out - since it seems to have little to no effect on me. I wondered why; there is way too much poison ivy on this property for me to have been able to avoid it all these years. I had an incident back in my late 20’s - rollerblading down by the beach on my lunchbreak and I don’t know what happened but wiped out and landed off trail on what must have been poison ivy or something. Back at the office, I broke out into a nasty rash all over before starting to hyperventilate. I knew I had to practice breathing exercises to calm down or it was going to be a hospital visit for me. I survived and who knows, perhaps that event made me immune to these toxic plants...?
Interestingly, and I wish I knew this back then - wherever there is poison ivy, there is also jewelweed growing close by. The hollow stems of the jewelweed plant contain a sticky sap that when rubbed on your poison ivy rash will quickly reduce the itch and provide almost immediate relief. Knowing where jewelweed grows is essential since this perennial plant isn’t so obvious until it’s full grown...
I read a post on Facebook from a local community about 15 minutes south of here that made me cringe: “THE GYPSY MOTHS ARE BACK!!!” I was immediately covered in goosebumps and went into a silent prayer. I haven’t seen them – yet - and I’m hoping it stays that way. We endured extremely cold temperatures for consecutive days this past winter, and apparently, I read somewhere this would kill off the larvae sacks. I'm also counting on the fact only a tiny fraction of the pupa survived its cycle last year; the moths were nothing compared to when they first showed up in 2020... We should know soon. Sadly, a bunch of spruce trees and it looks like some of the black walnut trees :( did not survive last years’ invasion.
By the way, they are no longer called gypsy moths; too derogatory, so they’ve been renamed and are now known as the Spongy Moth.
(It was fascinating tracking these moths that did survive last summer. Using hockey sticks, we scraped off all the larvae sacks we could find on our main trees...)