Thursday, June 14, 2012

Soap Opera, Figs, and Clicks

Kadota Figs

 Yesterday I was able to roll up the first section of  fencing from the old garden area.  That area has become very shaded and infested with roots from large trees and is no longer a great garden spot.  The new orchard (three plum trees and blackberries) needs deer protection.  In fact my three plum trees, that were leafing out beautifully, have been  defoliated twice during my absence.  So in keeping with my recycling, frugality efforts (and especially after determing that new fencing would cost about $250), I am digging it out.

The Husband, God bless him, buried the fence base with branches and all the limbs he picked up everytime he mowed.  Over time, the surface of the ground has a tendency to move upwards due to the action of earthworms and such.  As a result the bottom of the fence is now below ground about six inches or so.  I haven't actually gotten the fence poles out yet.  I will need a pick for that, but I have gotten the first segment of fence pulled up.  The only things left in the old garden are fig bushes, hazelnuts and lilies and maybe one blueberry and some garlic.

Eyed Click Beetle Alaus oculatus
For the first time I have ripe Kadota figs.  The bush is huge and should have lots of figs, but usually the fruit bearing wood is frozen back and the figs get a late start.  When this happens the figs don't ripen before winter.  This year there were early figs that managed to not get frozen and have now ripened.  The birds have gotten a few.  They are very nice and different from the Brown Turkey figs which are normally grown and sold around here.  Kadota figs are firmer with a goldish green outside and are larger with an excellent fruity, figgy taste.

As I was climbing out of my car one day this week, this beetle zoomed into the door frame.  I picked it up when I realized it wasn't a wasp and took a closer look.  I decided to take a photo and as I was moving it around it popped up several inches and I realized it must be a click beetle.  It looks like a toy, in fact it resembles one of those little metal toy clickers that some misguided soul gave me when I was a child.  Maybe it was someone who hated my parents.  I might give my grandkids drums, but I would not ever give them a metal clicker.

Anyway, when I read up on click beetles I found that they are the adults of wireworms.  I now realize that this group of bugs is probably responsible for the small round holes in a few of my potatoes.  The extension office bulletin said that if you turn up one wireworm per shovelful of dirt, you probably have 20,000 wireworms per acre.  It also said that they are worse where the ground has been newly turned from grass to garden.  I don't have enough damage to be concerned, but is good to know what to watch for.  A lot of gardening is figuring out what is important and what is not.  It is important to figure out how to protect my figs if I want lots of fruit.  It isn't important to figure out wireworms.  It is important to establish fruit protection from deer if I want plums (or any other fruit).  Like I said in the previous blog, a lot of daily country life is a battle of wits and will.  It is like a soap opera. I would title it-  The Tasty, The Beautiful and The Destructive!  What's your title for your daily life?


  1. the title for MY daily life(if you ask my offspring) would be Momzilla...if you asked me, the title would be Cakked ;)