Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Maple Hill Hop 123



Maple Hill Hop


Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
OUTSIDE
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*





My time at Farm School continues and the growing never stops,
in more ways than one.
For the past few weekends,
we've been focused on transplanting hundreds of lettuce starts.



Faye & Lynn have been dealing with a critter problem. 
Something has been eating their broccoli, kale and lettuce crops.
As they grow everything pesticide-free, spraying is not an option.
More drastic measures had to be taken.



Here's what Lynn decided to do to protect his kale crop.
The entire crop was covered with shade cloth.
Each pot has stakes inserted to hold up the cloth.
He found that this didn't completely do the trick,
as the critters were getting in under the cloth,
so he added heavy metal poles to the sides to weigh down the cloth.
Victory!



Here is some of the lettuce that has been affected.
The critters pick and choose, going from pot to pot,
and dining on a variety of 7 luscious lettuce samples.
We still haven't figured out if it's squirrels, possums, rats or what.
Whatever it is has no trouble climbing up a two-foot pot.



The lettuce will now be given  the same treatment with the shade cloth.
Lynn buys it in long rolls and cuts it as needed.
The future plans are to obtain Thrips-Free netting,
which is the perfect solution for dealing with bugs and critters
in an organic way.



We laid out the cloth and



used these old surveyor's sticks to mark our cutting line.
These poles were found here on the property 
and come in mighty handy from time to time.




Lynn uses a torch to cut the cloth,
as it prevents fraying.
This is also the tool he uses when making his pot covers.
(Each pot in this 7,000 square-foot garden has a plastic cover 
that prevents weeds and keeps plants cleaner.)



The cloth should do the trick on the sea of gorgeous lettuce.



Take that, you nasty varmints!

What's going on where you are?
HOP on!