Sunday, October 21, 2007

I promise to be kind to my berries

The strawberries were 2007's biggest gardening surprise. We planted both strawberries and raspberries in 2006, and honestly thought they'd been decimated by deer over the winter. Then suddenly one day, strawberries were everywhere!

The problem was, these plants had been sorely neglected. The raspberry plants were obscured by weeds, and not yielding much fruit. The strawberry plants were also in heavy competition with weeds. And yet, these hardy souls had sprouted runners that were threatening to take over the planet. Having decided that 2008 is our year to get serious about home-grown produce, I knew I had some work to do.

This weekend I set about preparing the berry patch for great things in 2008. I began by weeding with a vengeance, starting on Saturday morning with the waist-high weeds (no, I am not exaggerating). Sunday morning was spent clearing smaller weeds from the strawberries, and weeds of all sizes from the raspberries. The next step will be to turn a large patch of strawberry plants into neat rows. This will mean sacrificing some plants, but will result in a more manageable bed, fewer plants competing for nutrients and, I hope, a nice yield.

Now, I need to sit down and write 100 times:
  1. I will be kind to my berries
  2. I will be kind to my berries
  3. I will be kind to my berries ....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hello there ...

I'm not a big fan of spiders, but isn't this one pretty? This is a Black & Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia). She had spun a beautiful web on a bush in our front garden. A particularly thick strand of the web is quite visible in the photo, but if you look very closely you can see other wispy strands above and to the left. The background is the wall of our house, several feet behind her.