Jun
20
2010

  Moonlight Gardening

I got some Roma tomato plants at the farmer's market on Saturday, but I didn't feel like planting them last night. I usually go to the 9am Mass now on Sundays, which requires me to leave the house with the baby by around 8:20am, so I didn't have time to work in the garden this morning, either. It was too hot today when I got home from church, and it was still too hot after dinner.

But by twilight, after the sun had set, it was cool enough to go out there and dig. Not that it was cool, mind you. I went out in little more than flip-flops and it was still warm and humid, but at least it was no longer oppressive.

I figured out where to the put the first plant almost immediately (next to the back of the daisies), but had to think about the other three. I wound up putting the second plant between the parsley and the rose bush (well, more like the third point of a triangle with the parsley and roses). I measured where the path should go outlining the back of the wider (5') arc bed and determined that I had room for a plant between the carrots and the 3-Sisters square, so the third plant went there.

I was really at a loss about where I could put the final tomato plant without doing too much bed preparation, but I realized I had a little room left over between the Brandywine tomatoes and the butterfly bush. By this time, twilight was over and I was working by moonlight. But I could see just enough to put down the shovel a few times in the general location and loosen the soil. I was able to clear the crab-grass weeds and roots from the soil by touch, and got my last little seedling in the ground.

I think some animal got into my garden last night, but they didn't do much damage. It totally tore up the cat food container we had on the front porch (there wasn't much food left in it, so no loss). It also got into the compost barrel in my garden. The barrel has a door to keep animals out, but it was open, and an avocado pit was on the ground. That was all. And there was a hole dug nearby under one of my Sophie's Choice tomatoes. My guess is that some burrowing animal paid a visit and the cats chased it off before it got too far. It was probably something small, maybe a vole. I don't think a rabbit would open the compost door (then again, it also seems an unlikely skill for a vole). Maybe the hole and the compost door were two separate events-- a racoon could have gone for the cat food and compost, but the vole dug the hole.

Whatever it was also ate the top off an onion I planted. That doesn't bother me much, I only planted it since it had sprouted in the pantry and I thought the flower would be ornamental. The bulb is still undisturbed in the ground, maybe it will come back.