Wednesday, May 21, 2008

At play in the fields of the bored.

Spent most of the morning in the garden, weeding and making a disturbing discovery. You know those maple spinners or helicopters or whatever? How in Kali's name can trees be so fecund? Most of the things had already stuck taproots that looked creepily like part of an excited tomcat into the dirt and were sprouting for all they were worth.

With that fertility rate, why aren't we hacking our way to the garage in the morning with machetes and mowing the lawn with a chainsaw? Why isn't Indianapolis buried in a sea of maples? Do they just start growing and then say "Just kidding!" and die or something?

I also got out the shovel and started turning over a corner of the yard for a bitty corn patch, and planted some alyssum in the border along the sidewalk by the patio. Busybusybusy, that's me.

Oh, and the radishes have sprouted.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leave an empty field anywhere east of the Missippi and walk away for oh, 30 years, and you have a respectable patch of bush on the way to becoming forest.

Lawn mowers and tractors. ( and historically, herds of herbivores busily eating everything flat) e.g. There were Buffalo in the Shenandoah (sp?) valley before Europeans saw that as an utter waste of good cleared farmland - and lunch on the hoof.

American Indians busily set fires to forest all over the Northeast in attempts to beat back the forest long enough to grow stuff.

Vermont has gone from like 20%- forest cover to 80%+ (Numbers made up, but it's about that) in about 100 years as land use has ceased grazing sheep and cows- not bad from a standing start - and that's in a cold inhospitable climate compared to where you are.

So the answer is: The damn trees are just waiting to take over.

Gregg said...

Tam,
The lawnmower will take them out, assuming that you mow your lawn every couple of weeks. OTOH, if you wait until the grass is knee high or better you might have some problems.

Will said...

Tam,
you might want to do a bit of research on growing corn, before you decide on the size and shape of your corn patch. One problem with corn is the edges of corn fields don't grow very well. I don't know the details, but have been told this, and seen mention of it on veggie farming sites.

LabRat said...

I can top that. There's a damn tree coming up through the bricks IN OUR OFFICE as we speak.

E said...

I swear I said "I'm gonna farm this year" out loud on the porch and critters just started popping out of the ground. Last weekend my ambitious and perpetually hungry cat stalked a turkey hen - patrolled it out of the yard. And there are three bunnies. One's eatin' size, and other two are bitty things that I hope the cat doesn't catch before they grow up. Last year I couldn't spot a single one out hunting in the woods. (Just as well as I hadn't shot anything before!)

The damn weeds grow like weeds, and so does the grass. And the trees... I don't even know what kind it is, but there's this one damn species that attempts to spawn all over the yard every year. The maples and oaks aren't as much of a problem.
And I'm on half an acre!

We'll see what pops up... the marigolds, tomato transplants, and basil seeds went in this afternoon at lunchtime. Now to figure out how to till the front for the other veggies.

Figured the price of food was goin' up, so I'd grow some. Can I take a carbon credit to offset my Wrangler's horrible mileage?

Tam said...

Will,

The seed packet said something about a minimum of four rows for proper pollination...

E said...

Can you just shake 'em at each other? Throw some bees at the problem? (maybe it's not a problem)

og said...

Lots of animals eat maple leaves. They're mostly safe to eat, though you can't imagine what it's like eating that much insoluble fiber. Insects, chipmunks, rabbits, the young tender leaves are juicy and nutty and the competition is fierce. Corn? IN Broad ripple, you'll watch it grow, see it tassel out, watch the ears form, and on the day you think you'll harvest some and eat it, the raccoons will have stolen every ear.

22 CB caps are an excellent deterrent.

Not like I would do such a thing.

Tam said...

I have a Benjamin Sheridan in .22 with a whole tin of RWS pointed field pellets just waiting...

Gregg said...

Oddly enough the small critters around here(rabbits, squirrels)jump into my yard sniff a couple of times and then flee. Admittedly it might have something to do with the scent of mastiff excrement.

That being siad the only problem I have with gardening (in the winter, the summer is a tad bit too warm) is a dog who likes to pee on the plants.

E said...

d'oh!!

I was planning to seed a few 'nip bushes around the veggies so the cat would patrol the patch and keep the bunnies at bay.

Unfortunately the only safe direction for the air rifles on the property is towards the back. Deterring critters in the direction of the patch would put pellets thru my neighbor's house.

HOWEVER: a NYC friend of mine was recently beset by a squab growing on his A/C unit. No such options, so we started brainstorming: I decided a cup of taiwanese bubble tea (hate that term) tapioca's are about .45cal, and they are about the best non-lethal blowgun projectile I've ever discovered. Cooked and wet, of course. They form a great seal and have serious mass.

Rob K said...

You wanna' see tenacious trees? Check out Greensburg, IN's courthouse tower.

Rob K said...

Oh yeah, you'll want traps for those `coons. They don't come during day time. Then you can keep them in the freezer until trapping season opens and make a few extra bucks.

og said...

I have the sheridan in .20 caliber, I like it very much.

The CB caps from my rifle make dramatically less noise, remarkably enough.

Tam said...

Sadly, I am bereft of rimfire long guns at the moment.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

I looked over at The Bush That Would Not Die in the driveway this morning and to my shock and horror noticed for the first time that there's a 12' tall maple tree growing from the middle of it.

Er, that wasn't there a few months ago...

Anonymous said...

If you want to see fast growth, plant some bamboo.

doubletrouble said...

Will & others are correct about the corn thing. The stuff pollinates via the wind; no buzzing critters help this process out.
As goofy as this sounds (& probably looks), you can manually pollinate corn by “dusting” the plants w/a clean paintbrush. As you move from one to another, you cross-pollinate, effectively negating the need for a BIG field of the stuff.

R: “Where’ve you been Tam?”
T: “Out making my corn have sex.”
R: “Err, ohhhkaay…”

Nathan Brindle said...

We lost two large shade trees in the front yard about five years ago, and a couple of years ago three maples sprouted. I spared the sword (well, the lawnmower) and they're coming along very nicely.

Otherwise, they get mowed down and removed from the gutters on a regular basis.

LabRat said...

e- Grab a local plant guide and ID the grown trees in and around your yard. Some trees reproduce by suckering; think spider plant, except the tentacles are underground. Kill the adult, and your tree sprout problems will end. (I swear I'd love to have a high-impact discussion with the idiot that planted the aspen in the front yard before we moved in...)

I'm with Gregg... best way to deal with pesty garden raiders is to have large, predatory dogs. The Yard Wolves keep the raccoons and deers steering clear, and tend to kill any bunnies they can catch up to, so the longears generally don't have much time to wreak havoc. Have to keep them regularly dewormed, but that's cheaper than traps, poison, and lost investment...

Of course, canines themselves tend to be a rather expensive proposition, so.