Sunday, August 13, 2006

What's Growin' On: 8/13/06

Sunday Morning Dog Damage

Realization Of The Day:
There's a reason bookies don't take bets on gardeners. I could probably get better odds at the blackjack tables in Vegas.

This is what I woke up to this morning after stumbling, bleary-eyed and half asleep, out the back door in search of the reason for the intermittent, high-pitched yapping of my beagle which clearly translates as, "We are definitely up to no good."

Behold one of the four beautiful beds I lovingly weeded and prepared and direct seeded last Tuesday (the right moonsign day!) in the hopes of having a tasty little fall harvest. Unfortunately what you are seeing now--instead of the zillions of happy sprouts that were there when I went to bed last night--is a giant dog-dug hole. Ignoring the fact that my footwear and attire were decidedly not garden-friendly, I couldn't help myself. I crouched down on the ground and stuck my arm in it. This hole is elbow deep. And all that nice, rich soil you see on the outside of the bed? You probably can't tell from the photo, but I'm not going to be able to just sweep it up and put it back.

This is not the way one wants to begin their Sunday morning (even if one's Sundays aren't any different from every other day of the week). Unable to take my eyes off the new crater in my garden, I just kept circling around it, my mouth hanging open in disbelief. Then I caught sight of the adjacent bed which had also been full of tiny sprouted seeds the night before and now was not. By the time I finally noticed the two wiggling, grinning dogs who had the audacity to hang around and act as if nothing whatsoever was wrong, I was wide awake.

Let's just say it's a good thing I don't live in a place that has one of those ridiculous No Yelling At The Top Of Your Lungs Before 9AM ordinances in effect.

Realization #2:
Funny how they never dig up the beds you've prepared but haven't planted yet.

I had planned to finally make note today of all the different seeds I started last Tuesday, but I don't think there's any big rush.

Check It Out!
New reader Anne at Backyard Treasures says, "You should consider joining us for a virtual Garden Party and Tour that Thicket Dweller is hosting over at her blog, Today's Lessons. Check it out." So I did, and now I'm spreading the word. Anyone with a blog is welcome to join the party. "Show me your summer garden--vegetable, herb, flower, container, or weed--and I'll show you mine," says Thicket Dweller. What a fun way to peek into other peoples' gardens and show off your own, while discovering new blogs at the same time. Not a blogger? Not to worry! You're invited to take the garden tour. Click here to check it out.

Thanks to all of you who jumped right in to help save my little unknown plant in the greenhouse. I haven't had a chance to check out the links and photos you left for me, but it looks like the majority of you are leaning toward ajuga (something I'd never heard of). Rest assured it is still alive and well, though I do plan to relocate it somewhere else--just as soon as I figure out what it is for sure. Oh, and assuming it is ajuga--any recommendations regarding where I should plant it? And any idea how big/wide it's going to get? Thanks.

And more thanks from me and my shepherdgirl pal Katherine at Apifera Farm for all of the pickle help. She was overwhelmed and thrilled that so many of you took the time to share your tips and recipes and has already put up her first batch of pickles. Here's a direct quote from her latest email to me: "Wow, that was really satisfying! Now I can't guarantee how they'll tase, but they sure look pretty. I sort of combined like 5 million recipes for everyone." And if anyone else has a pickle recipe they'd like to share, by all means do. Pickling season is far from over for many of us! Just click here and leave it in a comment. Thanks again.

I was sure I had something else to mention, but I have no idea what it is now. If I remember I'll add it in. Don't hold your breath, though. Ah! I just remembered!

Culinary Newsbites:
Last night I posted a recipe for Savory Tomato Pesto Pie over on Farmgirl Fare, my main food and farm blog. Click here if you're looking for a new way to serve up all the garden fresh tomatoes that are hopefully piled all over your kitchen.

Hmmm. I still feel like I'm forgetting something, though. Oh! She remembers again! I've been literally deluged over the past few days with requests for various articles and recipes, as well as questions about all kinds of things. I'll do my best to get to them as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience, and feel free to bug me again--I don't mind. I have a short attention span.


  1. P.S. to my bread and butter refrigerator pickle recipe.
    They taste especially wonderful with some slices of cheddar cheese. YUMMY! I debated recommenting and decided it was worth it.

  2. If it truely is ajuga, it looks like it is as big as it is going to get. The leaves may fill out a little more. As it "has babies" that grow on little runners, the new ones will be very close to the mama plant. There will be small purple flowers close to the leaves. It doesn't like the heat, loves the shade and thrives in winter. Christmas before last, we received over a foot of snow on Christmas Eve...near the Texas coast!...and the ajuga made it just fine. I would plant it in a flower bed where it will be in the shade. After it grows, you can decide where else it might go.

  3. Hi
    I'm a relatively new gardener and would love to know what seeds you're sowing at this time of year. I've been doing a little research myself to see if it's too late to plant for a fall harvest. I'm zone 6, so I realize this might not apply, but is there anything you'd recommend?

  4. So sorry to see the dog damage. I have dealt with that at different times as well. We now have a garden fence! I'll send a picture sometime. Hope you can still plant a few things for fall. I am going to put out some things tomorrow in my newly refreshed beds.

  5. Those dogs! I guess that's why I've never gotten a dog. I figured he/she would compete with me for digging space!

    Great blog as always, lots of interesting stuff.

  6. Ajuga is a wonderful groundcover. It will basically grow anywhere (at least in zone 5 NY). We have some in sunny areas, shady areas, anywhere you want to put it. It also spreads. I took a couple of the "babies" that shoot off it and put them around the base of a rhododendron and now 2 years later, it's completely filled in the area, so be careful where you plant it! I suggest putting it on a hill where not much else grows.

  7. Hi Beth,
    Around here, any and all comments and suggestions regarding food are more than welcome! Thanks for the recipe and the cheese recommendation. : )

    Hi MaryLou,
    Thanks for all the helpful info. Oh, I love the fact that ajuga thrives in winter--it'll be nice to have something happy and green out there.

    Hi Seedling,
    I just finished making a big list of what seeds I started last week (yes, including the ones the dogs destroyed, LOL), and I'm hoping to put it all up in today's post.

    It's definitely not too late for you to plant! Technically we are in Zone 6, but because we're down in this little valley, we usually get our first frost before the official Oct 15th date, and our first hard ("killing") frost also shows up before it does "up top." In the spring, we have late frosts, which is the reason it's near impossible to have fruit trees down here--much to my dismay. I would love to have an orchard. I planted two dozen fruit trees after first moving to Windridge Farm. Twelve years later, I bet the new owners are getting some fabulous harvests--at least I like to think so.

    And if nothing else, you can plant garlic in October for next year's crop!

    Hi Marysgold,
    Yeah, believe it or not, I have a garden fence, too. It was my birthday present last year--demanded after the dogs tore up newly planted beds for the umpteenth time. (What I want to know is what the heck they are digging for anyway? It would be one thing if they would produce a mole or woodchuck or armadillo or something in the garden, but so far I've seen nothing.)

    Anyway, the only problem is (besides the fact that I'll admit I sometimes forget to shut the gate) Lucky Buddy Bear has been taught that he literally must be able to get in and out of anywhere--it's part of his job as a stockdog. Unfortunately that means he can sail right over the garden fence! Then there's my beagle, Robin. She comes from a line of dogs that have zillion year old instincts telling them that there are ways through ANYTHING. That 25 pound dog can fit through a square of woven wire fence that is about 6 inches square. It's amazing. I wouldn't belive it if I hadn't seen her do it--twice. (She didn't know I was watching.) It was incredible.

    They've been pretty good about not tearing up the garden this year, so there must be a rabbit or something running through and catching their attention (Bear goes by visuals, Robin goes by scent. It's a combo built for destruction, LOL.)

    Most mornings they head way off somewhere at first light. Bear usually shows up to help me with sheep chores, but lately he's been late. The two of them show up panting, grinning from ear to ear, and practically about to burst they are so happy. I can only imagine what mischief they're up to. Yesterday Bear showed up literally covered with these awful little green burrs. I think I'm going to have to get out my scissors again! : )

    Hi Carol,
    Do you want mine? Only kidding. Mostly.

    Hi Kath,
    Thanks so much for the info. This is going to be great--I'm really excited about my new surprise plant. And I have plenty of places where not much else grows, LOL.

  8. ya know, if my dog did that, she'd be finding herself a new home. she's in the doghouse as it as for attempting to murder to of our chickens in the past week.

    you have more patience than i!

  9. My sympathies about the garden bed. I have the same problem with ferral cats in my 'hood. It has caused me to build chickenwire cages to protect my young plants. Now I have much better success. Also it seems that a good layer of straw mulch is a deterent to cats, though I don't know if the same can be said for dogs.


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your visits to my kitchen garden!