Gopher Trapping and Garden Updates

Agridude - Gopher DamageHere is a photo of my garden 2 weeks after my last post.  You can see that the swiss chard has been demolished by gophers, as well as the carrots and beets.  This is when I started to research gopher trapping.  I had to go out and buy to Macabee gopher traps.  I asked my Grandpa if he ever had any trouble with gophers and he told me that his mom was quite the avid gopher trapper.  He explained to me how to set the traps.  It’s pretty simple to do.  You have to find a fresh gopher mound, and then use a stake, rod, etc and poke in the ground to find which directions the tunnels run.  Once you do that, you dig a whole and set a trap in each direction.  Make sure you tie your traps together and then stake them down once they are set.  This is to prevent the gopher from running off with your trap if it doesn’t kill it.  You should cover the whole with a brick or paver once the traps are set.  Then all you have to do is wait…  Here is a link that might explain this better, it also has pictures.

Agridude - Gopher in TunnelAgridude - Gopher TrappedHere is one of the gophers that I caught.  After they finished off the chard, carrots and beets, they moved to the other side of the garden and started working on our romaine.  This first picture is of the gopher in the tunnel where I caught him.  You can see that I have twine tied to the trap and that is connected to the other trap that was facing the other direction.

I didn’t realize how small gophers were.  I went to the University of Minnesota and am a proud alumni of the Golden Gophers.  I no longer feel bad for killing them because they are eating my vegetables.  I was somewhat scared to take it off, but with my gloves on, it wasn’t that hard.  I through him over the fence for some critter around here to eat.

Agridude - New Swiss ChardSince I lost quite a few chard plants, I went out and got a few more.  The picture on the right shows the new plants.  It is rainbow chard and although I’m not the biggest fan of it, I do like the bright colors in the garden.  There are white, yellow and pink stalks that look awesome with all the other leafy green plants growing.

Agridude - New Cauliflower Brussel Sprout and Kale

Where the carrots and beets were, I decided to plant a few more cauliflower and romanesco broccoli plants.  These are growing slowly, but it’ll be nice to have a harvest in early spring (I actually looked in one of the romanesco plants and saw what it looks like, definitely click the link to the wikipedia page).  I also planted some more kale here because I don’t mind it in my salads.  We also have been running some through my juicer and mixing it with apple or orange juice.  It tastes good and is very healthy for you.

Agridude - New StrawberriesI also planted a few additional strawberries in the corner of the garden.  I really like the fresh strawberries from the old garden so I wanted to get more in at my new plot.  These are an ever bearing variety and I have been pulling flowers in hopes of having these plants develop a strong root system and produce bountiful harvests.

Agridude - Herb Corner with Dill and Oregano

I purchased a dill plant and another oregano plant.  I added these to the herb corner.  I am hoping to use the dill when I make pickles with cucumbers from the garden.  Last year I wanted to make pickles and didn’t get around to it…hoping we do this time since I have a monster bottle of vinegar sitting in the cupboard.

 

Agridude - Left HalfThis picture is of the ‘left half’ of my garden.  There is the broccoli in the lower left and the artichoke on the right, with peas along the fence.  There are two new plants, a brussel sprout and another broccoli in the bottom center of the photo.  Most of these new plants were leftovers from when I helped a friend plant a garden in plastic storage tubs.  I took pics and will post them up here soon.

Agridude - Broccoli CornerHere is the broccoli corner, and one brussel sprout plant on the left.  In the broccoli closest to us, you can barely see the broccoli head.  Once the head is ready, you cut it and then side shoots will form and you can harvest broccoli for at least two months (and who knows how much longer…first time growing but just ate two nice side shoots tonight for dinner)

Agridude - Broccoli Head Close UpHere is the close up shot.  It’s blurry…I’ll work on that in future pics.

Agridude - ArtichokeMy has the artichoke grown.  First time growing one of these and have no clue how big it’ll end up

Agridude - PeasAnd lastly, some of the peas are ready for harvest.  I use them on salads, pods and all

Introduction to my new plot at the Ocean Beach Community Garden

Agridude - Ocean Beach Community Garden SignAbout a year ago, I moved one block from the Ocean Beach Community Garden.  I called to see if there were any open plots but there were none.  I was put on the waiting list and finally received a plot in late September.

Agridude - Ocean Beach Community Garden EntranceThis is the entrance to the garden.  It has a nice archway to go through before getting to the locked gate.  There are 51 plots in the garden, but 2 are used for chickens and ducks.  I have received plenty of chicken eggs and 2 duck eggs from the garden.  The eggs are tastier than store bought eggs.  I used the duck eggs to make some Christmas cookies and they were uber tasty.  To get to my garden plot, you go through the gate and make your first left and walk past two gardens and it’ll be on the right.  Most of the plots are 10 feet by 20 feet depending on where the plot is located.

Agridude - Our new plotThe picture to the right is the plot that I have.  This picture was taken a few days after I started to weed out the plot.  The plot was completely covered with weeds, along with those flowers, some carrots and beets, and an artichoke plant.  My plot receives full sun and I can’t wait to grow summer crops!  The garden has a bunch of garbage cans for green waste.  I think I loaded three of them after all the weeding.

Agridude - Digging for weedsSpeaking of weeding, here’s a picture of me digging into the ground to loosen them up before pulling them out.  It’s been a while since my last post, but you can tell I haven’t upgraded my wardrode…still rocking the sleeveless Corona shirt.  We had some really nice weather out here in San Diego last fall which really made it easy to get out there and churn through the plot.

Agridude - Peas along fenceSo after weeding was completed, it was time to plant.  There is a fence that wraps around one end of my garden.  I decided to plant peas along the fence so that they can climb up it.  The plant on the far right is an artichoke.  The previous owner had dug out the artichoke and left it in a garbage can.  I pulled it out and replanted it since I had never grown one before.

Agridude - Peas and broccoli

This is across from the other peas.  You can see the rest of the fence and more peas next to it.  I decided to plant broccoli in this corner and a brussel sprout plant is on the far left.  It’s fun seeing these pictures now because these plants are monsters now.  I have been eating broccoli pretty much every day for the past two weeks.

 

Agridude - Cauliflower and Kale

I planted 2 purple and 2 yellow cauliflowers, some romaine, and a dinosaur kale plant.  I didn’t know there were different colors of cauliflower until I found these at the nursery.  Kale was an experiment and it turns out that it is super healthy for you and doesn’t taste bad like I imagined.  You should check out this recipe if you like kale.

Agridude - Carrots, beets and chard

Here’s a picture of some of the beets and carrots that were in the plot when I took it over.  My dad hates beets so I’ve never eaten one.  As you’ll learn, we ended up having gopher problems and were unable to eat any of the beets.  We got a couple carrots, but the gophers got the rest… There is also some swiss chard growing here too.  The gophers will eventually eat 5 of the 6 plants…

Agridude - StrawberriesIn this corner of the garden, I planted a bunch of ever bearing strawberries.  They taste great straight from the garden.  Eventually I ripped up the flowers when they were dieing and planted 6 more strawberry plants.  I have been pulling the flowers since I have planted them in order for them to grow a nice root system to supply me with bigger/more berries this summer.

Agridude - Sage, Lavender and FlowersIn the corner opposite of the strawberries, I planted some herbs.  I planted sage and lavender next to each other.  We used some of the sage this past thanksgiving.  I was told that sage and oregano are good things to plant to bring in the beneficial organisms.  The lavender flowers are now blooming and I need to learn how to use it.  I have seen a lot of drinks that had lavender in it so I’m interested in harvesting it.  After ripping out the flowers, I additionally planted oregano and some dill in this herb corner.  I would like to use the dill this summer when we are making pickles.

Agridude - Plot Profile

So that was all of the planting I did after weeding.  The picture on the right is the garden after planting.  I must have been shaking when I took the pic because it’s pretty blurry.  Ill post a few more pictures below for you guys to check out.  One is of the chickens and the one turkey, another of me bending over and weeding, and lastly a close up of the artichoke.  I can’t wait to post the most recent pictures of it…it’s taking over the plot!

Agridude - Chicken CoopAgridude - Weeding the new plotAgridude - Artichoke