Monday, December 29, 2014

Plans for the New Year

Hiya!  Did you miss me?

Sorry for the radio silence...there really hasn't been much going on around here that felt particularly shareable.  Oh, I suppose I could have moaned on about the whole insurance-adjuster-post-fire-insanity, but really, even I find that tiresome.  (Finally we seem to be nearing the end of that particular debacle, with the cutting of checks and hiring of contractor people  on the near horizon...huzzah!)

So, here we are in the post holiday coma of too much booze and sugar...isn't it nice?  I have a whole second week off from work, so I'm puttering about and making plans for various projects to take place before the winter snows vanish.  Thus far, that means I've done a lot of laundry, some sorting of old magazines and catalogs, and watching of YouTube garden programs.

It's been heavenly.

One of my better ideas has been to draw out plans to build what I hope will be Cabbage White Moth-proof cages for my brassicas.  Last year, those pesky critters nibbled away at my cabbages, Tronchuda kale, and even made in-roads on some of my lettuce.  Irritating beasties...anyway, I vowed that this summer, things would be different.  I had some lovely low tunnel row covers that helped the young plants get a head start, but once they grew more than 12 inches high, it was far too small and then my crops were left unprotected and at the mercy of the night-flying moths.  I think they enjoyed the Tronchuda kale even more than I did, as they ate it down to ribbons.

One of my winter projects is to build some four foot by four foot cage panels, with a two by four foot two-piece hinged lid.  I think the plants will have plenty of room to grow, while the screening I attach should keep the flying beasties out (and allow the rain to fall in).  Because they'll be in panels rather than a solid cage, I think it will also work to allow me to do serious weeding if any is needed, by simply pulling a panel out temporarily and clearing out any weeds that pop up and really take hold.  Of course, I'm either planting in my second-year new beds in back, or planting in the soon-to-be renovated front garden beds (they are due for a rebuild and complete overhaul this year)

Anyway, after developing my plan and pricing out materials, I think I should be able to build two cages for about $20 each.  If they provide me with even half-way decent protection from the dang cabbage loopers, I'll be very happy.  Plus, it's a winter time garden project and I really look forward to those!

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