This is my 3rd summer in the land of big skies, and while the gardening is getting easier each season, there are still some lessons that Mother Nature is still teaching me.
Over and over.
I must remember that I need to plant 3 times more seed then the plants I expect to get.
You know that old gardener’s adage?
“One for the mouse, One for the crow, One to rot, One to grow.”
One for the Quail
Up here it’s two, or three for the quail, some for the hail, and few leftovers for me and the garden.
I’ve been planting package after package of seeds in the garden, and assumed that my germination rate was just really bad.
Of the numerous seeds that I kept planting over the last couple of months, only a few would sprout, and those might not be in the location that I had originally planted them in.
When the precious few sprouted they would be scattered all over.
There’s something seedy’s going on here
It was perplexing, and confusing, why on earth…or actually where on earth were my seeds going? What was happening?
One day after I had replanted seeds for the third time in my veggie garden bed, I happened to look out window to see a cloud of dust being kicked up. It was the female quail having a dust bath in the middle of my raised bed, while it’s mate sat on the fence and cheered it on. Another few were pecking away at the seeds I had just planted in neat and tidy rows.
A feathered spa-cation
As much as I love the little bobble headed creatures, I would rather they choose somewhere else to take their spa-cations then my veggie, and flower beds. Once they choose a spot nothing short of a big rock will stop them from returning. No matter that the dust hole is in your line of sight, and desperately needs a plant to beautify the location, it’s their spot and they are not going to budge.
Apparently they have been peering out of the bushes at me, watching where I have been planting seeds, because they manage to eat them as fast as I can plant them.
But I thought this was my garden?
My gardener’s vision of tidy rows with colourful splotches of zinnias, and cosmos nodding in between the feathery carrots, and lime green lettuce leaves was being turned upside down, and scattered to all ends of the garden.
They have only chosen three dust spots, but the locations are prime spots for a bit of needed color. The poor dogwood bush is surviving despite the dust bath that’s exposing it’s roots every time they visit. I keep piling the soil back, and they keep kicking it away.
And this is how it works for us
We have come to a uneasy truce the quail and I, beloved little dumbbells that they are, I water the veggie beds right before dinner, [considered to be the best time for a spa-cation by them] and they choose to dust bath in the flower garden because it’s drier there.
Now if only they could take a parenting class, and learn that Bootsie our cat, is dangerous, and to warn the chicks that he is outside instead of clucking at him from 5 feet away….