The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – i’m sure that I’ve written that title before so we will say “PART II”
My day began with the daily checking of messages and what did I find but a wonderful message from Sharad wishing me a fantastic day. Well can life really get better than that? A friend, whom I’ve never met, from half way around the world, sending me good thoughts for the day and gardening season. That was the first item into my “GOOD” list.
Yesterday we had beautiful sunshine most of the day and and I spent part of it checking out the gardens, well as much as I could get through with knee-high snowbanks everywhere. I was reminded that I need to prune the grapes and so today I decided to tackle that job. First a little research to remind myself of how to prune the varieties of grapes that I have:
Concord: spur prune
Today I tackled the grape arbor (the other plants are inside the snow-bound tipi area and will have to wait.) The pruning went very well as I was quite confident with the pruning process. (Now I have to wait and see if I did it right. The proof will be in the produce.) This also gets added to the “GOOD” list.
While I was busy snipping away I heard a familiar sound—a bird’s song that I haven’t heard for many months. I smiled. In the cedar trees was a flock of redwing blackbirds (my favourite bird) and sitting on the very top of one tree was a RWB singing his little heart out. I’m sure they, too, were sending me well-wishes for the day and gardening season. With the sighting of my first spring bird, I am definitely having a good day! “GOOD” list for sure!!
With that job done I scanned the fruit trees and smiled … but then …. what did I see? The devastation from rabbits. What !!!! All the trees were wrapped with tree protectors but they had climbed above them, tugged them down, nibbled in-between the spirals and … well, it isn’t looking good. On the damage list: my two new (expensive) colonade apple trees; prairie cherry; saskatoon berry; 2 new apple trees by the tipi area; new peach tree. “BAD” list AND the “UGLY” list… not good.
Shoot the rabbits Rick says. Yes, we can do that but more rabbits will come. That doesn’t solve the problem. I am going to have to invest in the time/money to put a more secure protection around my trees and end the worry.
The new fruit trees (fortunately purchased last fall at a great discount price) were my “espalier” trees in the making. I “should” have planted them inside the fences. I “could” have .. but chose not to for one valid reason or another. This fall I will “do over” and plant accordingly.
But …. the grapes look good. They may not be perfect; they may not be “traditional” re: pruning but the gist of the strategy is there and hopefully, hopefully, we will see a bumper crop.
And now for the rest of my day … my daughter has invited us over for a meal and that is definitely on the “GOOD” list. It will be ending my day the same way it started—- awesome!
-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)