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August 25, 2011 / 74

Forget the Spinach

Did some internet surfing last night and  today. Turns out that unless you want to use poisons, or other things that might not be real healthy for the birds and other things, etc, to get rid of the grasshoppers you have to start – LAST spring. 😦

So this morning’s count was down to 9 turnips, and about 19 beets of a possible 75 turnips and a possible 300 beets. The heat has been the ‘hopper’s friend.

So I’m not going to plant spinach and waste the time and the seed.

Oh… did I mention that I saw a pea come up a couple of days ago? Yeah… it’s gone too.

BUT – I have not given up. Nope. There are the potatoes to dig, I picked a half of a large basket of green beans from the main garden with a LOT of small beans on the plants, we’re getting fresh tomatoes, even if we aren’t getting enough to can like we hoped, and as soon as I’m done with this and my pizza, I’m going out to see if thee are any sweet potato plants in the “weed garden” and how they are doing.

As to the grasshoppers – if we lived in the city there wouldn’t be a problem because we could just toss a bug net over the garden and forget about them. The guineas were supposed to be the answer to the bugs – but it didn’t work out. Between the poor stock we got from the breeder, the stupidity of the guineas and the nasty dog, we went from 31 birds to 7. But the 7 seem to be having a good time eating weeds and bugs around the chicken barn – and they remind me of teenagers at the mall. They travel in a clump and talk to each other all the time, and stop from time to time to eat something. And maybe they’ll lay eggs and we will get more guineas, and we can build a guinea house out by the garden and the new guineas will content themselves to eat allll the bugs in my fantasy garden next year instead of flying over the fence and eating allll the bugs that are NOT in the garden… it’s a teenager thing. ;-D

So my daughter Em came up with a BETTER idea… and I’m looking into it. Quail. Now it seems that quail like to eat all the seeds of all the weeds that we don’t like. And they like to eat all the bugs that like to eat all the veggies in our garden. So we have a two-prong plan. 1. Get some “pen raised” quail to put in the garden – which is penned in. 2. Work with the people at MU and UTK and see about getting a wild population started. We seem to have all the proper wild habitat they need, and a LOT of the wild plants and food that they like… so that’s a possible. And in the future, they will dutifully eat the ticks, and the grasshoppers, and the stick-tights (nasty little seeds that stick to your clothes) and a host of other irritating things, and they won’t fly over the fence and go away. It’s a better long term solution than what I’m doing now – which is to hope that the Army Corps of “engineers” doesn’t flood the valley again, driving all the pests up here, and we don’t have a summer like the one we just had next year.

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