Gardening Hack

The life of a gardener is not all pretty flowers and vegetable plants overflowing with produce.

There are the plants themselves, soil, bugs, critters, weather – you get the idea. There are challenges.

I mentioned previously that our MG group had planted a new ‘native’ plant butterfly garden, and we sent in for Monarch Waystation status.

Last week, I drove over to check the plants and noticed a couple had been snacked on. I came home, searched Pinterest, found some chicken wire in the barn and made some basic wire cloches to helpfully protect those plants. As I was loading the truck, I threw a couple of tomato cages and some green plastic fencing Β in as well.

When I got there instead of counting the plants that were eaten I counted the ones that hadn’t been and that number was six. I used all seven cloches, five tomato cages, and every piece of plastic fencing I had.

This garden is in a rural area, and there’s not much we can do except cover each plant or go to the expense and labor of installing a good sized fence. Since, the other ladies threw up their hands in the air with disgust, I’m the one doing it, so hence more cloches.

Back to Pinterest I went and saw a hack where they used wire baskets from the dollar store. I got lucky at my second dollar store and bought twelve for $1 each. Then I picked up more landscape pins, and when it opens tomorrow I’ll be back to see if I can salvage more plants.

Since we have no idea what type of critter we’re dealing with, I am chuckling to myself wondering if when I arrive there will be pieces of green fence, chicken wire, and landscape pins spread all over the place. To be continued. πŸ™‚ Happy Monday!

———-

P.S. Β If you see typos or grammatical errors in my posts or anyone else using WordPress on a laptop, please know WordPress, in their infinite ‘youthful’ wisdom, decided we didn’t need spell and grammar check anymore because most people (insert ‘young people’ here) are posting on their phones where there apparently is an app to check your writing. I love WordPress. I do not love all the changes made to meet just one group of users since I am still a ‘paying’ customer. Snarkiness intentional. πŸ™‚

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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49 Responses to Gardening Hack

  1. Murphy's Law says:

    After all that work, researching, planning and expense, this is just heartbreaking news. Glad you found some possible solutions to this dilemma,…let’s hope they work. Why is it that when plans don’t work out, some people, instead of digging in like you’re doing to find a solution, they “throw their hands up in the air” as though that would fix the problem!!

    So, are you telling us to blame all your typos, or just not knowing how to spell a word in the first place, on WordPress?!! Lol. Who knew that getting old would put us in a minority group all its own? Seems clear that WordPress caters to its younger, phone using, community….the ones who don’t know or care if a word is spelled right or is grammatically correct. Sigh…..
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    • It took six months of planning to find the right ‘native’ plants and to find a source. I think the other ladies just couldn’t take any other issues. πŸ™‚ But, I’m not letting those critters win without a fight. πŸ™‚ I’m pretty sure most social media sites including WordPress are totally focused on the under 49 crowd like the Nielsen ratings. But, then maybe they should let us old folks blog without ads for free. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Joyce says:

    Let me join the chorus of “UGH!” to techniques designed to keep the “young ‘uns” happy while freezing out those of us with less “skills,” – but LOTS more money! I’ll leave that right there!
    I was smiling away at your dilemma and the way you fixed it – NOT because I’m amused at the hungry critters you’re battling, but because my home is the “everything in stock to repair and solve every problem” CRAFT SUPPLY station for the fam! You went straight to your barn, I go straight to my basement shelves! ; tape, paper, cardboard, glue – all types! – ready to go! Go ahead, call me a “hoarder”, but I’m the one they call when it’s party time and some dingle-dangles won’t hold up, or they don’t know where to put the pinata!
    Do any of your MG colleagues have a wildlife trail camera? I suggest that to see who your hungry “guests” are! I’ve got some adorable captures of raccoons at the squirrel peanut bowls that I’m never going to delete! Instead of thwarting them, we leave dried corn snacks out for them now, too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s right – you ‘fix’ anything that has to do with creativity and I fix stuff when solutions come from a barn. You probably dress better while doing it than I do too. πŸ™‚ Great minds think alike because I thought of one of those trail cameras to at least find out what size critter this is. I had to laugh at the peanut bowls and the corn snacks. What a hoot. I hope any of your close neighbors aren’t veggie or expensive flower gardeners or they may not look fondly on your B & B. Way too funny, friend. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Joyce says:

        LOL – I have a Master Gardener on my right, and an award-winning hosta grower backing up to the left side of our woods. We watch deer gracefully scale his protective wire fences all winter long. I don’t want to be the “neighborhood nuisance” like your local deer feeding lady is, but a handful of breakfast peanuts and one ear of dried corn at bedtime can’t be doing THAT much damage, can it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my goodness thank you for the visual and the chuckle. Deer and hosta don’t exactly coexist well. I remember one year they came through here and ate every hosta down to the ground. I trimmed them off and they just sat there until the next season, and mine were definitely not award winning. I love that you have ‘breakfast peanuts’ and ‘bedtime corn.’ Too funny. And, I’m sure that MG would be expressing her gardening challenges to you if they were really bothering her. Now, if I could just get rid of the groundhog I’m dealing with at the Native Garden I’d send you some peanuts and dried corn kind of like buying carbon offsets. πŸ™‚

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  3. Great idea and economical as well. Win-win. I don’t like WP playing around with which generation of post form I can use. I tried the new one and couldn’t figure out how to do my “normal” things. Yesterday, WP decided to put me on the form two generations ago instead of the one I’ve been using. It’s really irritating. I may have to log out, then log back in to see if that will fix it.

    janet

    Like

  4. I love your dollar store basket solution! I hope all your hard work pays off and keeps the critters away. Thanks for the ps about no more spellcheck when using WordPress on a laptop. That’s good to know.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Laurie Graves’ husband, Clif, gave me some advice that was sincerely appreciated. I downloaded Grammarly and that seems to be providing some assistance. I’m not really proficient with it, but right now while I write this comment it’s working, and if I spell something incorrectly or use the wrong tense it underlines the word and gives me an option. Yeah, Clif!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Prior... says:

      First – thanks because I have had some silly typos and miss the spell checker – I also feel like the auto correct is worse than ever
      – best wishes with nurturing the remaining ones and be back later to find out how it goes

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the use of wire waste paper baskets! Brilliant. Let us know how they work!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Keep us posted about the critters and the wire cages. Bad news about WordPress and spell check. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Dan Antion says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this damage, Judy. I know from reading your posts, how hard you guys work on these gardens.

    As for WordPress and spell check, I don’t understand. I read their explanation, that apps and browsers offer spell check so they don’t have to, but Apple’s idea of spell check is comical at best and scary at worst.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Nancy says:

    I hear you about WordPress and their changes! I had a whole entire chat with them about another β€œyouthful” situation!

    Good Luck with you critter control! What a smart cloche hack! Bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Thanks for sharing the clever hacks, Judy. Let’s hope that does the trick. Ah, WP is all about ‘Ch-ch-changes!’

    Liked by 2 people

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Young People!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We have three blueberry bushes surrounded by one big cage. I think I’ve finally repaired every hole in it so birds can’t get inside (then, after eating their fill, can’t get out). I don’t mind sharing, but they don’t understand the concept.

    Boo to WordPress! I normally create my posts in Word (where I have Grammarly watching over me) and then cut and paste. I don’t understand why they would take the grammar/spell checks… what’s the point?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like your cage idea. I also have a gardening friend who years ago planted two rows of high bush blueberries in a one foot raised bed and had the foresight to install hoops over them, covered with netting, and installed doors. She has the best setup I’ve ever seen. I go out and put hoops and netting in every year, but I still have to fight them for every berry. πŸ™‚ I’ve done posts in Word but not on a regular basis. But, that is certainly a good option.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ll be interested to hear if you find out who the culprits are and if your deterrent methods are successful. I hope so, after all that hard work.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. The last time we had a problem we couldn’t figure out, it turned out to be hungry skunks. We never did figure out a way to protect them, but fortunately, the skunks left on their own. We have a lot of birds and they seem to take care of a lot of insect problems. There really IS a plus to having so many birds.

    When we got our original plants, we carefully picked ones that the deer don’t like. The bobcat ate all the rabbits and the chipmunks. The squirrels eat nothing but birdseed (but sometimes we have birds at our squirrel feeder) and now, they come in groups of four. Babies and adults. They aren’t interested in the garden. They have our buffet.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. germac4 says:

    Good for you spending some much time trying to protect the remaining plants. The wire waste paper basket is a great idea, it would work well for the possums in our neighbourhood, but I don’t think it would fool the Cockatoos!
    Re WordPress have you changed over to their Gutenberg system ? Maybe just called WordPress 5 now.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Oddment says:

    Thank you for the hack! I’ll be checking our dollar stores, believe me! It’s too bad you’re the only one left to fight for the plants, but I sure understand the discouragement. I hope you’ve won the critter battle because the monarchs will love the waystation. As to WordPress, every time I get used to it (more or less), it changes. Consarn these whippersnappers.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. KerryCan says:

    That’s a great hack, and attractive, too, or at least more so than the chicken wire. I rarely go to the dollar store but I need something to protect the basic catnip plant from voracious cats and that looks perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m getting back into gardening this year (after MANY years of not) and things were going well until we got a freak hail storm and it pounded my superbells into the ground. I’m hoping they pull through but we’ll see. D:

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Karen says:

    Gardening certainly isn’t easy but love your latest idea. My garden mimesis in my New Hampshire and Maine gardens were groundhogs…they loved tomatoes. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Rose says:

    That sounds like so much work…I hope there is enough plants left that you can save!

    Out at the strip pits where there was always lots of milkweeds, there were none last year, and none this year. I still seen a LOT of monarchs out there last year, but wonder if they were disappointed not to find them.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love your creative hack, I hope that it works πŸ™‚
    Speaking of hacks, I have installed this free extension on my Mac for grammar and spelling: https://www.grammarly.com/
    It works in my version of WordPress.
    Cheers, Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh, those trash cans are a brilliant solution! I do hope the damage has stopped.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I generally use chicken wire – the wire baskets are a great idea, wish I had thought of it. As for critters eating plants that are not meant for them, that’s just one of the burdens we gardeners must live with.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Prior... says:

    First – thanks because I have had some silly typos and miss the spell checker – I also feel like the auto correct is worse than ever
    – best wishes with nurturing the remaining ones and be back later to find out how it goes

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I love your blog. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. joey says:

    I already commented on the brilliance of said hack, I just really need to go to the dollar store and pick up new trashcans. Those are so cute. And a dollar. Seriously. Don’t you think I need those? I really think I do…
    Also, beautiful flowers.
    I haven’t noticed any changes on my WP, and I am a laptop user, and I am afraid these things haven’t happened to me YET. Are you in Chrome? Chrome has basic idiot spellcheck, but it won’t catch things I do, like ‘pins in needles’ etc πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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