Monday, October 8, 2007

Garlic, woodchucks, and fall flowers

I planted garlic yesterday in the satellite garden. I'm quite confident our trap-lining woodchuck (I think that s/he roams around the neighborhood looking for tasty tidbits) isn't interested in onions or garlic, at least the Welsh onions haven't been bothered. I can't say the same for newly planted collards, chard, or red cabbage, clearly favorites. Amazingly, s/he/they nibbled the perennial Italian dandelion in the main garden down to nubbins (actually a chicory) recently. Those leaves are so bitter that they require par-boiling prior to cooking to be edible. Worrisome, however, that s/he is now becoming brave enough to visit the main vegetable garden next to the house. I put Mocha out today on 'woodchuck' patrol. He'd much rather lounge around inside where it's cool, but I told him "Woodchucks, No." Ha! He slept on the shaded side porch all morning, so hardly was any deterrent.

Fall flowers are lovely -- the swamp sunflower is in its full glory in one of the perennial beds, and I've enjoyed this volunteer Blue Ageratum (Eupatorium coelestinum, now Conoclinum coelestinum) near the old metal wheelbarrow.

I also sowed more flats of fall and winter lettuce and some extremely hardy lettuce varieties called 'North Pole' and 'Arctic King' that have sailed through our last winters here without damage. Check out the Cook's Garden catalog for seed!

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