Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gardening tips and a book review

I know it's been a while since my last real post. I've been weaning and therefore spending way less time nursing a sleeping child with nothing else to do.
That and Dan Brown novels have consumed my life!

I just read Digital Fortress for the first time. It took 3 days. Intense! I don't know why i waited so long to pick this one up! So I thought I'd try Lost Symbol, he's newest Langdon book. Meh. It was enjoyable but i thought it fit the Langdon-mold and so was predictable. But I do love the art history/religious scandal mixup, so I'll probably keep reading them, assuming he's gonna keep popping them out. How many more Freemason secrets is he allowed to give out??

Anyways- free book review over- gardening! Finally got all 3 beds in, seedlings purchased and planted, seeds are sprouting! Doing research on canning, pickling, companion planting, pest control, herbs and small coop designs. The ladies are quickly outgrowing their Giant Litter Box bed. Also, I want to plant herbs that I'll use, not just in homemade tomato sauce and to refill my tiny glass jars, but that balance out a yard. I recently read a few interesting facts

•ants keep the fleas under control. (I knew about the honeydew-aphid farms)
•spraying citronella oil (a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle) around the compost heap will keep the ants from mounding near it and reduce chances of swarming on you
•artemisia keeps the mice away, and dried can be used as a candle wick
•bee balm attracts butterflies (our main pollinator down here)
•snakes tuck their heads under their bodies and squeeze tightly when being attacked by chickens, makes it difficult to be picked up
•Crickets eat pill bugs (so do frogs!)
•pill bugs: while good for aiding in decomposing, an over population will feed on young shoots. (Did you hear about my infestation? I moved 100s from under the container plants to the yard debris pile. There were too many for the one cricket I saw and my chickens can't keep up! Plus the ladies prefer the crickets when they're allowed to choose.)
• and leaving the sprinkler on overnight renders this hard, cracked, clay-ridden soil incredibly squishy. the plants LOVE it (but only once a week).

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