Sunday, August 26, 2018

Successes and failure...

I have no photos of my success, because it is kind of gross.  It all started last year when a friend told me her mother would always bury a fish under her fruit trees for fertilizer.  As always, I mulled this information over for awhile then tried it.  It was unsuccessful, because a fox or something came and dug the fish up.  I continued to think about it and read several articles on the internet.  This weekend I successfully made fish fertilizer.  After my fishing trip with the nieces a month ago, I cleaned the fish put them in a five gallon bucket and threw in a carp for good measure.  Most of the articles I read advised to pour some molasses in the bucket and let things stew for awhile.  I also added two gallons of water.  I put a lid on it and stored the stinky mess in a corner of the orchard.  Four weeks later I steeled myself and prepared for a smelly mess.  I was surprised it was actually a nice liquid fertilizer.  It turned out much better than I anticipated.   I was able to fertilize 10 trees, of course I will never be able to use the bucket for anything but fish fertilizer.  

 My other success is the butterfly and bee garden.  I have several grasses and added a bee and butterfly flower mix.  It isn't a lush garden, but it is a very good start.  The bees and butterflies are using it. The concrete rhubarb leaf is filled with sand and makes a wonderful lounge area for the butterflies.  

 My sweetcorn is rocking.  It has never been this tall.  Hopefully it will be ready in a few weeks.  My bees are doing great.  They should produce a lot of honey this year.  

 This is the only planter that has survived.  The deer have munched everything.  Usually the smelly spray works, but this year it rained so much that I couldn't keep up spraying it.  This planter is on the deck.  It was the one place they couldn't reach.  I love the red geraniums and the bright yellow sunflower.  Below is my soon to be giant pumpkin.  It is growing pretty fast.  

My poor peaches and cream hollyhock.  If you look closely you can see the deer stripped every leaf and only left the one blossom  It is doing it's best.  Not only have I had a problem with deer, but the chipmunk population went from 4 to too many to count.  They are everywhere.  So far, they haven't done any damage.  I have noticed the hawk and the neighbor's cat have taken a sudden interest in my yard.   I don't think they have been successful, because I am not seeing a dent in chipmunk numbers.  

 I call the little guy above Rip, because his ear is a bit tattered.
 Perhaps you are wondering about my failure.  Well, here it is.  I spent half an hour trying to get a photo of this zippy little bird.  Finally, I got a photo, but now I cannot identify him.  Any ideas?  I have ruined my bird book pouring through it trying to identify the little bugger.  If you have any ideas could you please let me know.  It is driving me nuts. (Addendum: I believe Charade is correct.  After further research it my be a female redstart.  Now if I could just see a male redstart.)
 That is it successful fish fertilizer and a beautiful bee and butterfly garden, happy bees, a beautiful crop of sweetcorn and a big pumpkin.  To finish it off an unsuccessful attempt at bird identification.  I hope your weekend was also full of successes that outnumbered failures.


  1. Hi! That is kind of comical how the fish were eaten....I wonder how the native Americans did it way back as we were always taught in grade school that is how they fertilized. We have problems with deer also. I spray Liquid Fence (and you mentioned you spray) but like you said, if it rains you have to constantly spray. I notice our deer seem especially hungry this year; I hope it doesn't mean we will have a bad winter! Could the bird be a western Kingbird? (or is it too small for that?) Beautiful gardening! Andrea

  2. Could the bird be a female Amerian Redstart? It's found mostly in the Eastern US, but it does migrate there from Canada, so maybe yours wandered a little more westerly. Let us know if you figure it out.

  3. You're much braver than I to try fish fertilizer...or at least your nose is braver than mine! :) That was a nice surprise to have it not be as stinky and yucky as you had anticipated! Hopefully it does the trick! That little bird is so cute! I was going to say pretty, but it's such a little thing, hiding among the leaves that I think cute fits it much better. I hope someone can identify it for you!

  4. Don't have field guide close. will look back to see. I thought Junco, sometimes birds leave their areas though. want to scratch a design on that pumpkin, didn't put any in this year. Thanks for such nice comments, makes my head swell.LOL

  5. Hi Bonnie, I've never heard of burying a fish under a tree, but it would make sense. Look at your sweet corn (behind that awesome wheel fence!) Look like you'll have a great harvest. Do the raccoons leave it alone? I think we've had just about every varmint in the yard this year, and raccoons especially are numerous. I don't know what the bird is, so I'm no help, but what a beauty!

  6. I am so glad that you didn’t photographs the fish fertiliser we’ll stick to dried fish, blood and bone fertiliser. The chipmunks are so cute but then again they are not eating my plants,

  7. I truly enjoyed the tour of your garden. Everything looks so lovely and it looks like such a wonderful space to walk around or to relax in. I have purchased fish fertilizer before and totally gagged when opening the jug. it can smell unbelievably horrid. I do not know this little bird, but he sure is a cutie pie.
    Have a lovely week.
    Connie :)
    P.S. I love your wheel fence in front of your corn patch, that is so creatively farmhouse and full of charm.

  8. I couldn't find an email on your profile, so here is a link to a blog post I did a couple of years ago that uncludes my banana pickle recipe!

  9. You got that bird ID on the nose. I rarelt see them , more to the north. They never want to pose for very long either

  10. Pretty blooms and gardens. It looks like you are right about the female Redstart. Do you ever use this website to help with bird ID? I love it.


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