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Adventures in Gardening: Attack of the Fire Ants and Crazy Birds

04/07/2011

It is officially planting season in Georgia!! I’ve got my garden plot all laid out and now am just looking to procure a tiller for a day so I can get my plants in the ground. (The harrow that goes on the back of the tractor that was being used for tilling up the garden broke.)

The Seedlings

I set my quite a few of my seedlings outside on my front porch to harden off and a couple of deranged birds decided that they wanted to make their nest in the middle of my seedlings. They just snipped off one of my heirloom Homestead tomatoes right at the base of the plant and threw it aside! The nerve! I was not pleased, to say the least. I scared them away and moved my plants to the back porch. I haven’t seem the birds since then, which is good since the week before they killed my plant, they were trying to make a nest in our stroller. That was funny and cute. The tomato killing thing is not. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of the birds because I was too busy being outraged. :)

Thankfully, my pastor and my gardening expert friend Becky had already passed along some tomato plants to me before this even happened, so I should still have lots of tomatoes this summer.

Seedlings on the front porch for the morning sun.

The Ants

I was out in the garden trying to plan out my space on Monday. My kiddos were also out there with their buckets and shovels digging around and playing, when I heard my son start screaming. He had gotten into a bed of fire ants and has dozens of bites on his little foot. His foot swelled up and he broke out in a rash all over his body. Thankfully, his breathing wasn’t affected, but that was a systemic reaction, so it was a bit disconcerting. Thus, I have started putting ant killer on the ant hills in my garden. Yep–crazy chemicals. I’m not putting it on the whole garden, just the ant hills. Those ants are evil and they aren’t native to this area (they are an introduced pest) so I’m going to kill them if they show up in my garden. I think you’ll agree when you see my son’s foot. Poor boy.

Three days after the bites occured and looking much better. (Aren't his little feet cute?)

Bamboo!!

I’ve been mulling over what I could use for poles to stake up my plants without spending any money. My dad made the suggestion to use bamboo. Let me back up here in this story. There is an abandoned house down the road that has tons of bamboo growing around it. Somebody must’ve planted some at one time and then it has just gone crazy.  At one point last summer some was cut down and has been sitting out there in a pile ever since. When we were on a walk while they were visiting, my dad saw it and suggested that I use that for the poles in my garden. Brilliant!

The story gets even better, though, because when I drove by the house on Monday morning, there was a work crew out there cutting down even more bamboo. I stopped and asked if I could come back that evening and get some of it for my garden. Of course they told me to take all I wanted. So I did! I roped my husband into helping me and we’ve gotten over 30 poles now, plus the other stuff I’d roped Becky into helping me get earlier in the week. I’ve now have enough now to outline all of my rows and to stake up my tomatoes and green beans. All for free! Yay!

My husband hacking away at a bamboo pole with a machete.

I have such a good husband!

Waiting to be put to use....

Ready

I’m ready to get these plants in the ground! Honestly, I’m a little tired of fussing with the seedlings (keeping them watered, having them take up a lot of counter space) and I’m ready to put them in the ground and fuss with them out there. Hopefully this weekend I can get them planted.

Since spring has now sprung all over America now, anyone else doing gardening preparations? Starting any seedlings?

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4 Comments
  1. 04/07/2011 10:46 am

    Poor Callum!!!!!

    I do like the bamboo idea! Brilliant, father of Kate!

  2. 04/07/2011 12:30 pm

    It’s planting season here too! (I’m even further south.) We have to worry about chiggers, mosquitoes.. and fire ants too. Happy growing.

  3. Nana Phylllis permalink
    04/07/2011 6:40 pm

    Those fire ants are really nasty! You go after them!! Poor Callum. Good for you getting free poles! Can’t wait to see this garden take shape and grow.

  4. Nancy Schneider permalink
    04/15/2011 8:22 pm

    Unfortunately, Spring hasn’t sprung ‘all over America’, at least not here in Michigan yet!

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