New Toys


Indiana is experiencing wonderful, beautiful, warm (mid 60’s-70 degrees F!), sunny days as March begins.  That’s unusual, because it’s peak-season basketball tourney time for the Hoosier state, and normally we’re hit with cold, snowy weather.  With days this perfect, I decided to gamble and gathered together tools and seeds and headed to the potager.  The first crocuses (Cream Beauty above) and the


“Gordon” irises were just beginning to bloom.  Usually that doesn’t happen here until the end of March (2014’s and 2015’s first crocus bloomed 3/25!)  But, whenever it does, I’m ready to plant peas, onion sets, and other cold-tolerant crops.  It all put a big smile on my face.  Plus, I was ready to play with a new toy.


This is my new minimum/maximum, indoor/outdoor thermometer for my greenhouse.  It will tell me the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, so I will know how much heat this little 10′ x 12′ house holds.  I’m accustomed to 22′ x 100′ greenhouses, so this baby is a new experience.  Yesterday, at 71 degrees outside, it reached 101 inside.  The automated vent will help control too much heat, so I adjusted it.  You can see in the photo, the lovely spreadsheet my husband made for me to record the temperatures.  He loves spreadsheets, but that’s as far as his interest in gardening reaches.  Once I had the thermometer set in the shade, and the little outdoor sensor wire hung outside, I was ready to begin planting.  I gathered my tool basket, seeds, and 3 lbs. of onion sets (red, yellow, and white) and headed to the first bed, with a big smile on my face.


Unfortunately, the smile didn’t last long.  Do you see what I see?  Raccoon tracks throughout the interior of the potager!  Oh no!  I can already visualize half-eaten melons, disappearing strawberries, and turned-over pots.  This poor strawberry plant was dug out.  I assume a raccoon was the culprit, but maybe not.  How to know?


So, after replanting the strawberry plant, I put my tool basket in the Lady Cottage, and hurried back to the house to get another new toy.


This is a critter camera, my requested Christmas gift from David.  It is battery-operated and motion-sensitive, weather-proof and just fun.  It can be set to take a photo every 20 minutes plus whenever it detects movement.  Inside is a memory card, just like other cameras use, which I can remove and then view on my computer.  Currently, I have installed it on a bench leg, pointed toward the northwest gate, because there were tracks outside and inside that area, and it is closest to the woods.  I’m wondering if he/she/they? crawled under or climbed over.  Hopefully the camera will give me the answers, and then I can address the problem.  It will be interesting to see just how many visitors I capture on “film.”


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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