Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bountiful Harvest!

With a late start, well into June, 
after rebuilding all the frames and fence, we still managed to have 
a successful season and a bountiful harvest. 
(See July 1 blog entry for the back story)

The tomatoes were amazingly delicious, especially the cherry tomatoes, which were like eating candy. It was our first year for butternut squash, which grew well and we still have one more on the way.

The 4 eggplant matured late and are still producing, despite the beetles, with at least 8 more
to grow larger.

The 3 green pepper plants did well and produced 5 fruits each, even though they were in
the shadows of the basil plants.

The only issue we have is that the deer are somehow managing to jump or climb into the garden the last couple of weeks, eating the last few tomatoes and plants. Luckily, everything else is still intact. I added more fencing, more wire, but sadly still found hoof prints this morning.

As I was shooting these photos, the suspects were watching me from behind the pines and also eyeing my neighbors garden. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Positive Monarch Fall Migration Update!

I have been keeping a close eye out for monarchs all summer. There has definitely been an uptick of adult monarchs passing through in the past 2 weeks here in Doylestown and also down at 
Cape May, NJ with fall migration having officially started. 
I never spotted any eggs or larvae on our milkweed.


I was curious what others were seeing. I visited Journey North's migration maps and found this:

According to Journey North, as of September 4th, over 13 roosts, with one having as many as 500 individual butterflies, have been observed. There had been only 2 reported at this time last year. There are many more adults being seen on the move and Dr. Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch predicts the population to be twice as large as last year.

Join the party 
and report your sightings 
by logging in here: 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More on Deer-Resistant Plants

We have tremendous deer pressure here and our plants are constantly under fire. Although, forsythia and peony are considered "deer resistant", this summer, the deer have eaten both to the point of killing the plants.

In Ruth Rogers Clausen's excellent book, "50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants",  a helpful rating scale is provided for each plant. The scale is just 7-10 with plants under 7 not even included in the book, as those plants are regularly browsed by deer.  So, 7 is described as "deer sometimes nip off flowers but leave foliage alone", 8 is "deer occasionally nip off one or two flowers but mostly ignore plant", 9 - just browse new spring foliage and 10 - rarely browse and usually avoid plant altogether. Bloom times, and growing and design tips are also included.

So, I was curious if my 2 plants were listed in the book.  Forsythia is not even included in the book! The Peony is included in the list of 50 but with a rating of 7-10.


For the most part, I find most of her choices and rating scales spot on, for example the Lenten Rose and Fringed Bleeding Heart have a rating of 9-10, which I completely agree with.

Some plants I didn't realize were deer resistant and I look forward to planting outside the fence include, Blue False Indigo, Yarrow, Castor Oil Plant and Hybrid Sage.