17 August 2012

Tiger Patch

  Here at the newly rechristened Many Fingered-Pie (a title that is a bit garbled, admittedly, but it fits), I freely concede to the charges of being inconsistent - a glance at the archive dates alone will prove that - scatterbrained, and, included in the new subtitle, haphazard. 

  Who is my accuser?

  Myself.  And by extension you imaginaries reading this ill-advised article.  Hmm, "article."

  Also included in the new subtitle, I tend to really like things, and get excited about doing things, only to sally forth to do whatever latest shiny idea has caught my eye and discover - I like it much more on a theoretical level.  That usually doesn't keep me from trying to do, or, once the shine has temporarily worn off, from coming back and giving it another go once my head of enthusiastic steam has built itself up again.  It doesn't even keep me from gleaning a modest enjoyment and satisfaction from the practical side of the project at hand.  That just doesn't seem to be enough to keep me faithful and true for more than a few weeks, months at the most, at a time.

  I suppose the root of my problem could be considered a mixture of short attention span combined with a real struggle with the expectation of instant gratification. 

  Of course, my problem could also be that I'm a fickle, wishy-washy twit.

  Usually, my spurts and lapses of interest cause no more trouble than persuading me to spend way too much money on something I will not consistently use (and driving my family nuts), but with gardening, it's a somewhat different proposition.  There is a distinct need to be on top of the ball.  Hard work is needed, and often.  If it's time to plant, and I'm not in the mood, I need to either get the heck off my seat-warmer or miss an opportunity not easily regained.  That's what happened this spring with my garden.  I wasn't in the mood, and my seat remained warm.

  There are excuses, naturally, some of them even valid.

  For one, last spring, I planted a beautiful, luscious, lovely, spec-TAC-ular white zucchini - an Italian heirloom, no less.

  It was eaten alive by squash bugs.  Organic product controls listed in my bug reference book, Good Bug Bad Bug, were beyond my means at the time.  The only viable option under preventative action once I discovered the infestation was "hand pick."  I found myself not up to the task.  Yes, I know.  My failings are many.  Sigh.

  An interrelated reason for my lack of enthusiasm was that here in the central Piedmont of North Carolina, we had a winter that was so underwhelming it left us looking at each other and asking, "What happened to January?"  It must have seemed like the greatest thing since sliced bread to the local insect population.

  The best excuse for the tendency toward garden deterioration near the middle of summer, even when I do get out there in the spring is that overheating through exertion is a sure fire migraine trigger for me.

  So my poor little garden languished while my "People say I'm easily distra - SQUIRREL!" attitude found other momentary points of focus.

  Well, bugs and all, my focus has rolled around again.  In August.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm a closet masochist...

  Anyway, I'd like to get my garden in shape at least for a meager fall crop of greens, so I set out into the jungle.  I live at home, and while it is my garden, PapaBear has quite the veto power.  When we have different ideas about what should be done, it can get... a bit sticky.  (Another reason I lost interest, an attempt to avoid conflict - because I'm a coward - except, duh, letting the garden go feral caused even more conflict).  He wants to spray everything.  I don't.  So I've been looking for an eco-friendly, quick-result method to tame my tiger patch.  I settled on this kill mulch, no-dig technique from the Walden Effect homesteaders (whose delightful month-by-month ebooklet series you can find here).  My beds are, well, maybe just a wee bit worse off than hers, but I'm hoping it will still work.

  So, here are the ubiquitous before and after pictures:

Before.  *Hangs head in shame*

In between. A good two year's worth of figure drawing newsprint supplemented the cardboard I dug out of the garage.
Aaaaaand after!  *Pats self on back*
  I shall be keeping a weedy eye out, as I've already flagged some trouble spots.  Developments shall be logged as they occur.


  1. ooooh good job!!
    I invite you to follow my blog on http://laviecestchic.blogspot.com, I hope that you like it!
    You're always welcome into my blog!
    Love, Marika

  2. I love that your figure drawings are nurturing the earth. And don't be down on yourself for not keeping up with the weeds, it's impossible! Even where I live in the cool northwest, every year the garden gets completely out of control. And it's not ADHD, it's multi-talented!
    Thanks for visiting my blog, nice to meet you.