Pumpkin Cages

I was becoming frustrated because some “critter” was getting into the raised bed garden at night and eating the pumpkins. I hadn’t seen any tracks, so didn’t know what was having dinner. It was time to do some preventive measures, so after considering several options, including putting boxes, pots, Agribon, or mesh over the pumpkins, I constructed some protective cages from chicken wire in hopes that they would be a durable and effective deterrent.

Here’s how:

supplies for pumpkin cages

Cut about a 3 foot length of chicken wire off the roll. Weave the ends together to form a cylinder. Fold and bend one of the ends together to close this end. Tie with wire to keep this end closed.

forming a cage

Very carefully lift a pumpkin off the ground and ease it into the open end of the wire cylinder. After the pumpkin is safely ensconced, bend the open end wire together around the stem of the pumpkin being careful not to damage the pumpkin nor the stem. Voila! The pumpkin is ostensibly safe.

caged pumpkins - Aug 14 caged - Aug 14 caged pumpkins - Aug 14

So far, no more damage has occurred.

I have also installed a wildlife camera to see who our night-time visitors are.

Summer in Clarkdale

The month of June is almost over, and I’ve been hard at work in the greenhouse!

June 7 – Today I transplanted the cucumber and cantaloupe seedlings, putting all of the cucumbers in the outdoor garden and as well as two of the cantaloupe seedlings.  One of the cantaloupe seedlings went in the main bed in the greenhouse.  The outdoor garden and greenhouse plants are growing nicely.  The orchard is also looking healthy at this point.  In fact, we started picking apricots today—both Sweetheart and Blenheim Royal.  Very delicious!!

June 14 – Picked lots of beets and some carrots in the greenhouse.  The beets had gotten pretty big.  The carrots were medium size.

June 15 – Today was harvest day for the nectarines from the tree behind the greenhouse.  I picked 3 plastic grocery bags full as well as a bag of Sweetheart apricots from the orchard.

June 18 – Today I picked the first eggplant from the greenhouse – “Hansel” variety.

June 22 – I harvested the first zucchini and yellow summer squash from the outside garden as well as the Santa Rosa plums from the tree behind the greenhouse.

June 24 – First harvest of green beans from the outside garden and first “Stupice” tomato from the greenhouse.

The Greenhouse


Today was the first planting in the greenhouse at our new home in Clarkdale, AZ.  The greenhouse has a large raised bed growing area in it that contains fairly decent soil.  I hoed and raked the soil to prepare for planting.  I removed most of a large stand of existing parsley to free up some more planting space leaving 4 existing plants.  I planted onion plants given to us the day before by neighbor Ida and planted the following seeds in the bed:  “Black-Seeded Simpson” lettuce, “Gourmet Blend” lettuce mix, “French Breakfast” radishes, “Bloomsdale Long-Standing” spinach, “Chatenay” carrots, “Super-snappy” peas, “Detroit Dark Red” beets.

Getting ready to plant - Feb 21, 2015I also planted the following seeds in a Speedling seed-starting flat for later transplant:  “California Wonder” peppers, “Carnival Blend” pepper  mix, “Red Brandywine” tomatoes, “Roma” tomatoes, “Super Sweet 100” tomatoes, and “Super Beef” tomatoes.  I also planted the following tomato plants that I purchased at Home Depot in self-watering containers:  “Better Bush,” “Heat Wave,” “Cherokee Purple,” “San Marzano,” “Better Boy,” and “Celebrity.”  I also planted 5 “Celebrity” tomato plants in the bed. I watered everything thoroughly and doused everything with “Great Big Plants” liquid compost.  Lastly I added the first level of cages to the self-watering containers.