Photo Friday: The Dark Side

Every once in a while it’s fun to show things that aren’t exactly going well in the garden. I’ll start with the hosta in the Shade Garden. Around here we call it ‘deer lettuce’, since the local deer seem to think our plantings resemble an all-you-can-eat salad bar. Back in June I shared a photo of the Big Daddy hosta we planted near the base of our mulberry tree. There are a couple of other hostas in front of it.

Big Daddy hosta in June

Big Daddy hosta in June

It looks a bit different today, as you can see in the below photo. The two smaller plants are pretty well eaten down, as well as the one to the left of the tree.

hostas in August

hostas in August

There’s a Big Bare Spot in the Big Daddy plant. I spray Liquid Fence deer repellent regularly, but the rain washes it off and the deer can mow things down overnight. I’m thinking they spared the rest of the Big Daddy because they were getting full!

deer damage on hosta

deer damage on hosta

In the greenhouse, the cucumber plants have been taken over by spider mites. This is an annual event, and sometimes the whiteflies join in the party, though it seems to be only the mites this year.

spider mite damage on cucumber

spider mite damage on cucumber

It’s been a good year for the cucumbers, but it’s time to move on. I need to rip out the vines, remove the support cages and prep the beds for fall and winter veggies like spinach and lettuce.

spider mite damage on cucumber leaf

spider mite damage on cucumber leaf

Outside the greenhouse, some of the cold frames are starting to deteriorate. I believe I built the first ones back in 2009, so I have gotten seven growing seasons out of them. The one in the below photo has some definite rot issues going on with the side wall. I hope to be able to replace it this fall, but my to-do list is already getting crowded!

cold frame needs repair

cold frame needs repair

My #1 project this fall is to build a new composter. Back in 2010 I called it my Brown Gold Yugo, but today it is falling down and an eyesore! The old one is built out of pallets, but the new one I am planning will be made from rot resistant red cedar. It will give me a chance to sharpen up my carpentry skills, which have gotten a bit rusty of late. The new one will be a bit closer to the house, and built on a concrete pad where a previous owner had a dog pen.

pallet composter needs to be replaced

pallet composter needs to be replaced

Another project will be to remove the willow tree that is hanging down over the garden fence. We had the area at the back of the property selectively cleared a few years ago, leaving some trees to grow larger. Unfortunately this one wanted to go sideways instead of upwards, and is now shading the garden. It’s hard to tell in the below photo, but it is actually touching the fence in one spot. I think a single pruning cut is in order, applied near ground level with my trusty chain saw!

willow tree hanging over garden

willow tree hanging over garden

I’ll close with something from the bright side. The Thai Rai Kaw Tok squash has vined all over the garden fencing but has yet to set any fruit. Yesterday I found the first female blossom coming on, which is certainly a good sign.

female blossom on Rai Kaw Tok squash

female blossom on Rai Kaw Tok squash

I hope you have enjoyed the photo tour of Happy Acres, warts and all!

 

This entry was posted in Photo Friday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Photo Friday: The Dark Side

  1. Sorry about the deer eating your Hostas, but I love “wart” posts. Makes me feel better about my own pathetic efforts.
    Lou Murray’s Green World recently posted…Progress in the garden despite an extreme drought, August 10, 2015My Profile

  2. Daphne says:

    What were your cold frames built out of? I keep thinking of making something prettier for the compost area. My falling apart pallets do the job of containment quite well, but they aren’t pretty.
    Daphne recently posted…Kale, Turnips, and CilantroMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      The cold frames are made of untreated dimensional lumber. The sides are 2×8’s. It is amazing they lasted 7 years considering they are in constant contact with the soil and elements. If I could make them out of cedar they would last a lot longer.

      I have seen photos of your compost area and yours is prettier than mine!

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Yes, it is good to see all sides. And I support your pruning technique–willows have very little use as far as I can see.

  4. Dave's SFG says:

    Thanks for the tour. I particularly enjoyed seeing the weeds around the compost bin. Made me feel just like home.
    Dave’s SFG recently posted…Harvest Monday 10 August 2015My Profile

    • Dave says:

      Happy to oblige. Now I feel slightly better about the weed situation. And the compost does indeed make the weeds grow lush!

  5. Michelle says:

    Some of those sights are all too familiar! I want to know where the spider mites hang out when they aren’t sucking the life out of my veggies. They show up every summer, seemingly from out of nowhere. I know just where the deer like to lounge though, the oak trees around the garden provide some nice shade and it’s a good place to hang out for easy access if the gate gets left open…
    Michelle recently posted…Eggplant WoesMy Profile

  6. Margaret says:

    Great post – I looked at your old post and it was a terrific idea to use the chickenwire in the compost bins. I’m using that same pallet idea but haven’t lined them with chickenwire…which I will now do. Right now, I’m *obviously* concentrating more on the functional aspects of the garden rather than the esthetics 😉

    There must be something about willows and leaning over – we have a small willow in the front yard which, I really feel badly saying as I love trees in general, is quite the eyesore. It is completely out of place in the middle the front yard and leaning over so that all of the foliage is basically coming down on one side – and I often curse when it smacks me in the head every time I’m mowing in that area. It also has a date with a chainsaw at some point in the near future.
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – August 10, 2015My Profile

  7. Marcia says:

    So far I’ve kept the deer out of the backyard where all the hosta grow by making a fishing line fence deterrent. I had two forays in earlier in the summer and since found where they breached but it was an error on my part. Now even while we were gone on vacation they didn’t come in. Lots of deer here with woods all around us so this is a wonder. Ground hogs are another story! arg!
    Marcia recently posted…August Vacation Trip (3 of 4)My Profile

  8. Susie says:

    I just googled spider mites … didn’t really think about them much, but I’m pretty sure I have them around here. Ugh.

    I don’t recall ever seeing a willow grow sideways, so I’d be chopping it down too if it were over my garden space. My problem is neighboring poplars – the roots grow all over the place!!
    Susie recently posted…Kale and Walnut PestoMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge