Thursday, September 6, 2007
Feeding on My Garden
The butterfly that was feeding methodically on my sunflowers yesterday was back today, or at least one that looked just like it. It is working its way down the row. I discovered that is a Red Admiral, common enough at this time of the year in San Francisco, but in winter they travel down to South Texas. Bees are also feeding on the sunflowers. The sunflowers and coreopsis I planted from seed back in May are at the peak of their bloom now, just before fall.
It's a good thing I don't have to feed off my garden. My carrot patch was not a success. My husband's diagnosis: I watered the surface too much, without letting the water soak deep enough to entice the roots downward. So my carrots made a tubby little ball and stayed there at the surface. My sons cackled wickedly when they saw this carrot and declined to eat it. Huh. I'd like to say it tasted good but it was a little woody.
Resolved: to built a proper raised bed for next spring and install a drip irrigation system. Today I spent two hours in Home Depot PRO (!) buying the materials for the "ultimate raised bed" a la Sunset Magazine. I felt self-conscious stepping in there among all the contractors with measuring tape hanging from their belts. "I'm just building a raised bed in my garden," I squeaked to the guy picking out 2x6s ahead of me. "Well, ya don't want ones with holes in them!" he growled, casting aside most of the planks and selecting the ones with the fewest knots, the cleanest edges. I followed his example and selected my redwood planks carefully, even if it was only for a raised bed. And who helped me select the most solid-looking 4x4 post? A young woman, very business-like, who also cut my lumber to order for me on the massive table saw. After that I felt like, yeah, I can be a PRO, too. My print-out from Sunset Magazine also called for PVC pipe (to support netting over the top) and hardware cloth (to keep out the gophers). We have never seen a gopher in our garden (only a raccoon, once, and lots of darn cats) but I got some anyway. Wouldn't you know, when we build the ultimate raised bed, the only gopher for miles around will come running. This is a joint husband and wife construction project. Should be interesting.