Monday, July 13, 2009

Keeper of the Garden

I'm happy to report that despite the invasion of worms we had last month, our vegetable garden was spared and is doing well. I think it will begin producing our green beans soon and we've already had a good harvest of spinach and lettuce.

There's just something about gardening that feels so rewarding. I think it helps that I grew up in a family that forever had a large garden. We had plenty of peas, green beans, carrots, beets and other veggies every year. We either canned or froze them for off-season enjoyment. As a child, I remember helping harvest in the garden as well as with the weeding. In my teen years I did a fair amount of the same and took on whatever responsibilities I could in gardening.

It's only fitting then that I was blessed to meet and marry Reed who enjoys gardening and the labor it entails. His dad even calls him 'Mr. Green Jeans' and quite often he is the expert who answers all of the family gardening/farming related questions! Over the years since we've been married, I've also become the go-to gal of horticulture questions and have finally earned the label 'Mrs. GreenJeans'.

Of course, you can be a Mr. or Mrs. Green Thumb and still be left without the perfect garden if you live 'in the country' like we do and have certain animals that keep you from attaining your glorious goals! Our biggest competition:DEER! Yes, those beautiful, graceful animals..that's what I used to think..until they decided to start messing with my vegetables and flowers!

Through trial and error, thankfully we've discovered what works for us in our yard here in central Minnesota:

#1) LOTS and LOTS of Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent! We've only used it on our shrubs and flowers, but it has been SO worth it.

#2) FENCE! In our first year or two here we witnessed our garden being almost completely mowed off in a night by deer and decided that we needed to do something. We had neighbors that witnessed to the effectiveness of plastic snow fence, but then it's all about how high up you put it. Unbelievably (to me any way), deer can jump really high. The snow fence had to be put a foot or two off the ground in order to reach the correct height and then it just made more room for rabbits to get in. We tried that and it was successful, until the middle of the fence would start to sag from length, weight and just being in the sun. So, a couple of years ago we spent the extra money and put up a more sturdy fencing around the entire garden, complete with latching gate. It's worked great for us and there have been no more deer mishaps for a few years.

And when there's a pest-free garden, there's a productive garden. And a productive garden is so fulfilling, not to mention enjoyable for the whole family as we feast on its bounty throughout the winter.


  1. What a great looking garden!! It is so rewarding to eat what you grow, it always tastes better and saves moolah!

  2. Your garden is beautiful!!! SO how high is that fence? It's hard to tell in the picture. I've heard it must be 8 ft in order to keep deer out. My cukes are not doing as good as usual, it's just not hot enough this year, we need those hot humid days for our gardens!!

    Thanks for sharing those pictures Mrs Green Jeans!

  3. Jamie,
    Our fence is about 6-6.5 ft. high. If the area fenced in is small, the deer aren't as likely to try and jump the shorter fence because they are afraid of the confined area. However, I think the fence has to be over 8 ft. if it's a huge area/garden/field you are trying to keep them out of. That's what I've heard any way.


You're so kind for dropping me a line!

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