No sign of the woodchuck the whole last month. Was it the repellent spray? The tunnel flood? The vinegar? Maybe all of them? There’s no more havoc in the garden, and damage outside it is clearly the work of deer, who leave a ragged edge on anything they chomp. Woodchuck and rabbit teeth cut cleanly.
The harvest, unmolested, continues to roll in, but there’s at least one change I’m making for next year. The garlic chives have been pretty effective at keeping deer from eating the phlox, but have spread so much they seem to have choked out the shastas. And they are currently going to seed. I need to pull some of those. Soon.
The mini pumpkins and gourds are fun, because after their slow start they leap out of the raised beds and travel in a most amusing fashion. The blueberries are all gone by the time random gourds barricade the nets, so no conflict there.
One of the things I loved about marigolds as a child was harvesting their seeds. This is a task especially suited to small children’s hands.
Once the flower has dried on the stem, the whole seedhead breaks off cleanly with a satisfying snap.
Pull off the bits of dried orangey brown petals, and the fluff that comes with them leaves a nice clump of feathered seeds. I used to just put them in a paper envelope, but now I use an empty spice jar, since I usually have some around. But the envelope worked fine.
Gardeners in Ann Arbor used to bring their tender plants indoors over the Labor Day weekend and some still do out of habit, but average first frost here is now October 15, with a spread from 10% on September 30 to 10% on October 30. My poinsettia plants, moribund indoors by last May, have flourished once again on my deck this summer; the geraniums and jasmine, too. All of them need to come in before a frost, which means I need to clear out a lot of floorspace indoors, in front of windows for them. I’m working on it.