Slowly but surely progress is being made cleaning up and prepping the planting beds. Even though daytime temperatures exceed 80ºF (26C) some days I have only planted a few cold hardy plants because spring is a few weeks away and night time temperatures can still dip down to freezing. Most gardeners in these parts won’t plant anything before Easter, which isn’t until mid April this year.
Today I intended to dig up another in-ground circular bed (where the bale of straw is) to match the other side but the soil was too wet after last night’s rain. The round beds were, at one time, bordered with garlic chives which are now out of control and have taken over. I hope to eradicate them this year.
For some reason whenever I prepare the soil and attempt to grow things every critter in the countryside wants to get involved. The feral cats consider every garden bed another litter box to dig in.
I like to maintain a friendly relationship with the squirrels but they have no sense of ownership, property rights or morality. They are, in fact, moral reprobates. They have no compunctions whatsoever about digging in my planters and flower pots, destroying my young plants. Okay. So I did take some of their wild hickory nuts last fall. But just the ones they dropped. I didn’t climb up in their trees and steal them.
There are some critters which actually are welcome to get involved in my gardening efforts. I am always happy to see Green Anole lizards amongst my plants. (Sorry the video is so badly out of focus. I tried to get him to repeat the behavior).
Unfortunately one of the feral cats has discovered the anoles favorite hangouts. Good thing the lizards are quick. (Another out of focus video. It was a “live” iPhone photo, and the only way to post it was to shoot a video of my computer screen):
I’m not sure if some of the critters I run across are friends or foes. The centipedes in the soil probably feast on earthworms but I’m sure they also dine on grubs and the early stages of other undesirable insects. They aren’t warm and cuddly enough to be called friends. Not close friends, anyway. I once witnessed a mud dauber wasp attacking cabbage worms (caterpillars), but I wasn’t about to hug the wasp even if it was doing me a favor.
I am anticipating all out war when slugs, grasshoppers and the multitude of other insect pests begin their annual invasion.