Thursday, June 26, 2014

Close Encounters and Miracle Mishaps

Sorry to keep everyone in suspense over the last few days! I have been down in the dumps with an upper respiratory infection and have certainly not been out enjoying my garden. In my sickly stupor however, I made a quick jaunt down in order to put out some miracle grow as my cantaloupe plants are looking pretty sad. There I go with a full watering can of miracle grow; stumbling around downed trees and through knee-high grass to get to the garden and wouldn't you know it. SLAM! To the ground I fall, miracle grow across my face, in my hair, and sticking to the side of my leg. Needless to say I was curled up in the grass hating my cold and myself for several minutes! 
When I finally got out to my garden the snails were back three-fold! Silly me not too follow the directions and spray the plants again every 5-7 days! So at this point I am unsure how they are going to turn out =( If anybody has some suggestions please let me know! I will be updating y'all as soon as I am feeling a little better!!!!

P.S. On Saturday there was a deer about 100 yards from the house that our dogs were watching very quietly. I skirted the driveway and hid below the field line and army-crawled to the edge of the field. I got about 5 feet into the field and popped my head up to get my bearings. As soon as I did the deer caught sight of me and simply stared for what felt like hours! It probably only lasted a minute before the dog's growl sent her bounding away but it was pretty amazing!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Attack of the Slugs

BREAKING NEWS! The Slugs have taken over my garden!!! These mollusks are insatiable and are slowly crunching their way through the leaves on all of my seedlings. The mucus they secrete allows them to slide up and over every plant in the garden as well as to defend themselves from predators. Now I have heard a lot of different rumors about what kills these beasts ranging from soapy water to a beer trap. No I am not joking! Apparently the yeast in beer is a major turn-on for slugs and an open container will have everything within a few feet trucking along in order to blindly throw themselves over the rim. Another long term option for removal would be to put in a small water area near your garden in order to invite natural predators into the area. These include ducks, snakes, salamanders, and turtles. Because I was not in the mood to get drunk in the garden last night or dig a pond this morning, I dug through my stockpile of gardening odds and ends and came across a natural soap spray that kills bugs on contact. This is an organic spray that you can purchase pre-diluted material but I recommend the concentrated soap in order to mix up however you see fit. I mixed up my batch and soaked those plants down on both the upper and underside of the leaves until it was dripping off! Let's see those slugs take chunks out of the leaves again!

~I added a link for the concentrated organic soap product as well~

Monday, June 16, 2014

~My Garden Attempts~
So I have previously attempted several vegetable gardens ranging from mild to disastrous results. My most recent attempt brought me to a small clearing near my home that had been "touched" with a rototiller. (I say touched because the rototiller managed to clear chunks of grass and roots, yet left them in tangled rock-root filled piles throughout my garden bed). As my skin turned into a lovely shade of dirty-sweaty swipe marks I pulled each root bundle out of the garden and shook the dirt free from it's safe haven, slowly creating a soft bed for my soon to be green children. Now I have heard garden tips from everyone and their brother so I decided to throw together a combination garden this year in order to try my hand at multiple styles. So first off I started off making rows upon rows of mounded up dirt. (Trust me, seeds will grow if the row is straight or not!) In my mounded rows I planted an array of green beans, broccoli, radishes, and cucumbers. The next section of my garden I incorporated a raised bed and scattered carrot seeds throughout. Although I do not eat carrots(or really all that many raw vegetables) my little bunny rabbit Charlie certainly does! Last year I also found that Charlie LOVES sweet corn so I also threw in 5-6 straight rows of that. In the lower part of the garden I found that I was having a lot of trouble with excess water so I decided to use tires to plant in. So far this has been my favorite method because it reduces my back ache ten-fold. I chose to only do one tire high(filling them with dirt is way more work than I thought!), but I have heard of many people going three or four high! In my tire garden I have planted green peppers and cantaloupe so far but I have been thinking of throwing in some pumpkins & onions. The last thing I did before throwing in the towel was to write the names of each veggie on a stick and mark the beginnings/ends of the rows. A few years ago I forgot to mark plants and I spent 4 months weeding and nourishing a lovely picker bush! I certainly had to spread this laborious activity out over a few days but I felt quite a feeling of accomplishment getting everything in the ground! My hands are now stained with dirt and my finger nails look as if I gnawed them to the tip but my sticks lined up through the garden are worth the price.
~Until Next Time

Friday, June 13, 2014


Hello All and Welcome to Garden Shades~
This will be my first attempt at a blog so please bear with me as I attempt to manage this steep learning curve! My name is Megan Quesnel and I am originally from a small dairy farm in Whiting, Vermont. Over the years I have moved around the Northeast and even settled in New York for a short time. However, after each of these moves I realized that being away from the farm left something missing inside me. As I strive to fill this hole, I find myself reaching out into the world around me and getting more in touch with nature. If anyone has ever sat peacefully on the forest floor and simply listened to the world around us than you know exactly what I am speaking of. Through this blog I have decided to document my love of nature as I strive to remove myself from a stuffy office building and become a free spirit once again.