Sunday, June 6, 2010

Garden wars!

This year, my time is fully occupied with gardening. For the first time, ever, I have a real garden plot in the community garden. I've always wanted a flower garden and this year, I'm working on making that happen.

It's been a good learning experience. Watching what my fellow gardeners are doing, I see some things that I could have done better; things that I can plan for next year.

On the plus side, so far, everything I've planted is thriving. We've been very lucky in that we've had rain once or twice a week, so I haven't had to worry about watering yet.

On the other, other hand, I've had to declare war on a stalwart opponent. Ants. Millions.Of.Ants. They seemed to have swarmed into my garden plot after I had cleared the area. Before I started planting, I tried to dig up the area in the vague hope that they would get mad and move away. No such chance. They've dug in and now swarm all over my garden plot. And, since I come home from the garden with a new set of insect bites, I'm convinced that they're the culprits. Each time I scratch yet another large lump on my arm, my anger rises just a bit more.

And so, I've declared war. I don't really care if the ants aren't causing harm to my plants. I just want them to stop making me scratch! Besides, it's not like I moved into their territory. There was NO evidence of life in my little plot of dirt when I did all the work of clearing it. Nope, the insect horde took advantage of an opportunity, without any invitation. And, if they hadn't started with the biting, I might have let them be. But no more.

My first attempt to rid myself of the six-legged intruders was a mixture of vinegar and water. Research indicates that they don't like vinegar and it screws up their scent trails. But, of course, with all the rain we've had, I'm sure that it's all washed away. I'll try again.

I've planted tansy -- a plant that ants supposedly don't like. When I get back to the garden, I'll check to see if that area is now ant free. If so, I might get more and plant it around the border of my garden plot. And I'll be searching for more lethal approaches. After noticing yet one more insect bite, I have no sympathy for the mobile marauders. None at all. There's plenty of land for both of us ...they have to move or suffer the consequences!

Despite this unpleasant challenge, I did manage to get a nice, little bouquet for the house (after picking off the ants, of course).

No comments: