Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mice Update

Well, I am happy to say we don't have any nesting mice in the compost box! Robert emptied it all out and went through it. (I was too scared to do it on my own in case we found a nest of babies because at that point their fate would have been horribly sealed).

There wasn't any evidence of any nest or tunneling, and in fact most of the box was pretty damp and well composted down. I have now moved the box further away from the house and put all the compost back. I will be sure to bury any veggies I am composting from now on and not just leave them in the top as I have been doing, this may be a deterrent.

This whole incident also finally forced us to clean out the garage too which was long overdue. All the clutter is now gone and we have lots of bags for Goodwill so all in all it was a good day.

Did I mention what wonderful weather we are having? I am always struck by how amazingly happy something simple like opening the windows in the house can make me feel. Priceless!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Butterflies, Pumpkins and Mice

I took Emily out of preschool yesterday to go to the pumpkin festival at the Desert Botanical Garden. We have been going every year since both girls were babies and it is a nice fall desert tradition for us. It will be the last chance we get to go mid week because Emily will be in kindergarten next year, and I wont take her out of school for it. We also stopped by the monarch butterfly exhibition. All in all it was a lovely morning with perfect fall weather!

This morning I was watering the compost in one of my boxes and was surprised when a mouse stuck it's head out, took one look at me and ducked back inside. To my knowledge I have not had any rodents in my compost before so I was rather surprised. I am not sure if I should be too concerned or not? I mean obviously I don't want any coming into the house, but they are already living outside, and I am quite happy to coexist with them. If they weren't in the compost presumably they would be elsewhere.

I have done quite a lot of research about rodents in compost today and as usual there is loads of conflicting information out there. I imagine if I keep the compost damper than usual for a while it will deter them from nesting, although it may be too late for that. I couldn't bear the thought of harming them although one of my resident king snakes that I know for sure roam around the veggie garden may not be quite as tolerant!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Kendra!

I can hardly believe you are seven my sweet little girl. I hope you have a wonderful pony filled day! I love you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gardening is a Funny Old Business!

I seem to have totally lost my green thumb! Nothing is growing as planned this Fall and the amount of actual veggies I have managed to grow this year, (with the exception of the constantly reliable swiss chard), is truly pathetic!

I finally pulled all the cucumbers. They were totally taken over by aphids despite my valiant attempts at saving them so I admitted defeat. I didn't get one cucumber either! Could it have been because I planted them so close to the sage I wonder?

The zucchinis aren't doing great either. I mean the plants and flowers are, but I've only had a handful of actual squash. Time to hand pollinate I think. So strange because there doesn't seem to be a shortage of bees buzzing around the flowers.

On the other hand things that I didn't even plant continue to do well. I have two more melons from the self seeded melon plant which brings the total to six these past few months. A very welcome and unexpected bonus in an otherwise dismal vegetable growing year.

My pepper plants that I seeded very early in the year and were pathetic all summer to the point that I gave up on them are finally flourishing and have tons of peppers on them. Very nice!

The Fall crops that I re- seeded seem to be mixed yet again. The beets are doing well and the carrots have sprouted, but no leeks yet. Seriously? I am wondering whether my little patch just needs a complete rest for a while. Over farming may be a problem I fear.

The weather has been GLORIOUS! Perfect in the early mornings and dare I say it even a little chilly? I finally feel energized and enthusiastic about everything again. It has been a long time coming but I really think triple digits are done, for this year at least.

Sunday, October 3, 2010