Dog Damage

Lately I've been noticing more digging in the vegetable beds, and I've been trying so hard not to blame our dog Joe. I kept saying, maybe it's squirrels! because as you know squirrels are primo garden diggers. But today, my daughter caught Joe in the act. 

She came home on foot, from the bus - I was shortly behind her in the car, having taken my son to the orthodontist. Since the dog didn't hear the car, he didn't stop his digging until Kate walked through the gate and surprised him. At that very moment, I pulled in to the driveway and Kate stood frozen, pointing at the raised beds containing the beets. "It was Joe!" she said. And so, our perfect dog has slipped a notch in our eyes, now gaining the title 'Destroyer.'

 One example, in the potato bed. This is the second time it's been dug up.

One example, in the potato bed. This is the second time it's been dug up.

In Joe's defense, I think he's a little bored. First he was suffering from a compressed disc, and we weren't allowed to walk him anywhere but our street. Then, even as he got better, I got busier, which meant that I was taking him on quick walks around the block, rather than out in the open spaces where he can run and chase sticks and smell all kinds of creatures. So no wonder he's digging. 

I don't want to leave him inside the house while I'm at work, though - it's nice for him to be outside in the fresh air - but I might have to change my mind on that. Meanwhile, I did some research on ways to deter dogs from the beds. The one I'm going to try first is spices, loads of ground chili powder and cayenne, sprinkled over the loose dirt. We'll see if this works. It's not the cheapest solution.

 This is the beet bed, sprinkled with chili powder.

This is the beet bed, sprinkled with chili powder.

So the first thing I did when I saw Kate's frozen finger, despite my fatigue from the day and the dishes that need doing and the groceries that need putting away and the numerous other chores that need accomplishing, was load the dog in the car and head up to our closest open space, which is called Sugarloaf. (The most common name for any minor mountain around, right?) 

And it was glorious. I gripe and moan about the fact we aren't getting rain, but this warm weather is awfully nice, and the rain we have had has turned the hills the most amazing shade of chartreuse.

 The Destroyer, eating his greens

The Destroyer, eating his greens

Wildflowers are coming up everywhere, in a few weeks things are going to be so colorful with blooms.

 Blue-eyed grass

Blue-eyed grass

 Wild mustard

Wild mustard

 Hairy vetch

Hairy vetch

This all made me remember how much I like walking in the hills and I vow to do more of it, no matter how busy I am or how many chores need doing. 

In other news, I'm opening the last jar of summer garden salsa tonight to have with dinner. This is very sad. However I still have one jar of roasted sweet peppers left, and a little bit of garlic. Summer 2016 harvests really can't come soon enough.

Speaking of which, the tomato seeds have all sprouted. !!! The first one to come up was "Cherokee Purple" and it came up after only three days germination. Now the peppers are starting to come up as well. I've taken the heating pad out from underneath, but nothing else will change until they get their first sets of true leaves, at which time I'll thin them, transplant them into larger pots, and give them some liquid fish. Heavens, I'm going to have tomatoes ready to go in to the ground way too early. Well, live and learn. Maybe these will be container tomatoes. 

Looking forward to the weekend, how 'bout you?