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This is my gardening nightmare...

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This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  middlemamma on 8/4/2010, 12:54 am

As most of you know I am new to gardening of any kind. SFG'ing is my only attempt at it and I am addicted.

I am a born and raised city girl. Never grew up eating home grown produce or anything like that. Never picked wild berries, or visited a pumpkin patch in the fall, nothing like that.

I mean in all seriousness if I had more self confidence I would let DH video tape me each night for a week as I go to my garden after work. I get out of the car, leaving purse etc in the car, I say hi to him and kids, and walk straight back to my garden to check it out. If you were to witness this spectacle, you would see this 33 year old woman jumping up and down and doing what would appear to be a re-enactment of a 3 year old pee-pee dance each time I see progress out in the garden. My first sunflower opened up totally today and you would have thought I won the lottery. I realized that my bean plants are ACTUALLY FREAKING GROWING A BEAN...A REAL BEAN!!!! and you would think I struck gold right there in my 4X4. Seriously I have issues. LOL

So here I am this city girl, with 4 4X4 boxes growing things, learning how NOT to do it with others, thinking about getting a couple of rabbits for manure, thinking of where I am going to put my wiggler hilton here shortly, and people who know me are like wondering when DH is going to check me into the mental ward.

I have OCD really badly. Clean/neat freak. So friends and family are like...you are what??? Ummm, Jennie did you know that plants grow in ...DIRT?? Sweetie..I can't even picture you in a garden..OUTSIDE. Rabbits? WORMS!?!?!? Maybe you should see a Dr. So I tell a few people I put a worm tube in my garden and I am starting a compost pile and they are seriously concerned now.
I don't know why the garden is immune to my usual illness...but for some reason watching things GROW outweighs the OCD in me temporarily.

I tried to explain it to my sister the other day, who laughs too hard when I talk about my garden that we can barely carry on the conversation, (she thinks I am dilusional and making it up that I have one...I had to send her photos, and I'm still not sure she is convinced) that it is like I have a farm girl trapped somewhere inside of me and she is dying to get out. Picture a little overall wearing, pigtail sporting, little skinny whippet of a thing handcuffed and tied up inside a closet, begging to get out and play in the dirt and there is this beastly woman keeping her locked up in that closet and WILL NOT let her out because its dirty! Smile LOL Yes it's very similar to that!

So why did I start this thread, do I have a point. Here it goes. As I am fighting my nature and tendencies to not be outside playing in the dirt to have my garden. And while I am enjoying it immensely I have this constant fear that is ALWAYS in the back of my mind.

As a city reared child I have a horrendous memory of playing in the dirt. Maybe it was the last time I ever did until recently.

My younger brother and I dug up a potato bug. See here if you don't know what this is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_cricket

This was one of the most frightening and disturbing memories I have as a child playing outside. This thing HISSED at me. My mother FREAKED, and put it in a jar because the thought of "squishing" anything that big repulsed her....The jar had NO air holes....NO FOOD...NO WATER. She set the jar outside near our concrete stoop, hoping it would just die. Why she didn’t throw the jar away I have no clue now looking back. But that thing LIVED in that jar for 8 months...no food, no water, no air...it creeped me out to a degree I cannot even describe. My brother and I would pick up the jar and tap on it and it would rear up and look RIGHT AT US and hiss and make little screaming noises.

So every once in a while I will be out in my garden digging in a square and I just get the heebie jeebies that I'm going to find one of them again. AND I am PETRIFIED to upturn my potato's to harvest them...I have this image of the soil just crawling with these things.

So I hope you have had a good laugh at my expense...I was hoping to provide y'all brave country folk with the likes of my wimpy city girl self posing as a real gardener!

I love this forum, all that I am learning and the people I have met here...

Just wanted to share with you my crazy gardening recurring nightmare and give y'all a giggle.

Jennie-Middlemamma


Last edited by middlemamma on 3/23/2011, 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Chopper on 8/4/2010, 2:52 am

Wow! If a garden bug hissed at me I might never go out again. I am reading this right before going to bed and am now concerned about nightmares myself. It would definitely have been better if you didn't know the thing lived so long after being incarcerated. Bluck. I didn't even know they existed.

That said, in a bizarre way this is a very heartwarming story and one I completely understand. My garden brings me joy that is healing, life sustaining and rescuing all at the same time. I would certainly be poorer without it. I think I have earned my investment back already in food, though. There is a reason that people wax poetic about gardens. I have been away from mine for a week and the only thing that is keeping me from really having withdrawal is being able to 'work' in my son's SFG. He only has 2 beds! What's that about! LOL.

I know what you mean about coming home from work. I go out there first thing in the morning - often in PJs and then right before it gets dark. Only 'need' to do it once, but can't help it.

Wonderful (and icky) story.

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Retired Member 1 on 8/4/2010, 1:53 pm

Oh my! I've been gardening for over 50 years, and have never run into one of these critters. Had I done so, my measured, sensible, grown-up response would have been to run screaming in the other direction and call the first man I could think of to come take care of it. (I'm only sexist when it comes to big scary bugs.)

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  middlemamma on 8/4/2010, 2:37 pm

LOL Belfry.

I'm sexist all the time.. ROFL

When I hear a noise at night that is scary, when I see a bug, when I need boxes built for my garden, when the oil in my car needs to be changed...the list goes on and on. Smile But it works out..my hubby has never cleaned a toilet in our 8 years of wedded bliss...so...shrug...it's fair in the end.

A side note: I believe at one time a man had to clean an oven..and then low and behold self cleaning ovens were invented!! I think if a few more men cleaned a few toilets...we would have self cleaning toilets! LOL... wouldn't that be AMAZING?? He he he he.

My hubby and I were just talking last night about how I read on the forum about wives saying their husband might not want their gardening "junk" laying around etc. I took 7 two-liter bottles out to the garage last night and lined them up on his work bench. I took one and explained what I need him to do to them so I can use them for my starts this winter. And he is immediately all into it. Ok how long do you want the slits? And how tall do you want the pot to be? Etc etc...it's funny how excited he is to help me enjoy my garden.

I think he has seen the depression my garden has basically saved me from and he is just so happy to have his wife back that he doesn't want anything to stand in between me and my "therapy".

He built my boxes, and we cleared the area for them together side by side. That was no small feat considering our area for them was an old ROW garden that had been neglected for 6 years. It was 5 years of growth and weeds we had to weed eat down, till up and clear.

He and I are working on plans to build a station inside our bonus room for me to grow starts this winter. I am thankful he is supportive of my gardening. I wouldn't have carried on without his prodding. When we started I wanted to do it but the depression just had such a grip on me I wouldnt have plugged on through the barriers we came up against without him holding my hand.

Middlemamma-Jennie

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Chopper on 8/4/2010, 4:06 pm

I am sorry to say that I completely understand about the depression. But what a great way to break the cycle and what a great guy you have.

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  jenjehle on 8/4/2010, 5:49 pm

Jennie,


I just finished reading this thread. And I have to say, you are a very articulate writer. I hope you blog or journal, and put some of your thought out there to share with others, if you're comfortable with that. You have something so REAL about you, so genuine.

There probably are many of us here that can relate to the depression issue. If not clinical depression, at least occasional. There are many people who struggle with ups and downs. But occasional bout of feeling down cannot compare with the ongoing darkness that can linger with depression.

Gardening just does something to you on the inside. Gives you a "new" place to go, mentally and physically, where things can be accomplished and completed. Whereas the laundry will NEVER be done. But the joy of that juicey, sweet tomato between 2 slices of bread (with Miracle Whip, I might add) is the result of something you've done successfully. Yeah, there's bumps along the way and things to overcome (like ants on your sunflowers) but all in all, biting into something you grew, in your little piece of the earth, with your hands, is a wonderful feeling.

Here's one for you... I like hanging my laundry out on my clothesline b/c it gives me a reason to be outside in the sun. Instead of in the house, constantly trying to acheive something that I can't acheive-a neat, perfect, always clean and spotless home. I've tried, believe me. But with 5 kids, 12 and under, running around, making messes quicker than I can follow them and tell them to clean up, it's an impossible goal to have.

Gardening is also an excuse to escape helping the 'after dinner clean-up' Smile "Oh, I have to get outside to do (insert gardening task here) before it gets dark. Can you guys handle clearing the table and putting things away so I can get out there and get 'working'????"

Thanks, Jennie, for sharing your thoughts and story with us. I enjoyed it very much!

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  sceleste54 on 8/4/2010, 9:42 pm

You all say it so well !! I think being outside digging in the dirt provides for me what some people best get by going to church. Its where I feel the most wonder. It just speaks to my soul..

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  kiwirose on 8/5/2010, 8:17 am

So I read your post yesterday, I laughed yesterday, and I looked at your creepy bug yesterday, and I also looked into Wiggler Hiltons yesterday. I had the worlds worst sleep last night because the whole night I could feel the baby worms in my bed tickling my legs. I kept moving around in my bed so I wouldn't squash my worms!!! I knew I was dreaming but often when I am super tired I can't pull myself out of my dreams enough to go peacefully back to sleep - mmmm - oh well. Funny thing is, worms don't bother me at all... cockroaches is another story but I don't have them in my garden (that I have seen)

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the responses that have come in last night - I need to run to a meeting - grrr

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  middlemamma on 8/5/2010, 6:38 pm

Kiwi- LOL...Dang! My goal was to cause laughs only...not nightmares! And as far as cockroaches go...I am with you. As a matter of fact I just think they are aliens from another planet. How else do you explain that they always know what you are thinking and which way you are going to hit them from BEFORE you even head that way?

Thank you for the compliments Jenjehle. I don't blog or anything like that. As a child I always wanted to write and won several writing contests. And going into college journalism was my major. I have lost much of my ability in the sense that if you don't use it you lose it. I have not yet been able to ascertain how to make a living (a decent one) writing and would just prefer not to live like a pauper in order to do so. Actually being published or discovered is very hard. Blogging is very tempting, but I have yet to find that one topic that I could go on and on about without ever stopping. We'll see..it isnt over yet. Smile

I'm glad you enjoy reading my posts. Good idea about escaping the kitchen clean up! Definetly going to have to try that one out. Wink And yes, there just is that "something" about a garden that does something so amazing for your soul. Agree, agree.

Ok with five kids and a husband...you hang your laundry out???? I am standing and applauding for you...STANDING OVATION!!! (Boffer? Why don't we have an applauding smiley? Or did I miss it?) You need to stand up and take a bow. That is A LOT of laundry to hang on a clothesline! .... I am IMPRESSED.

My husband is wonderful chopper I am very blessed.

sceleste- I agree totally...I feel the same way.

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  boffer on 8/5/2010, 6:46 pm

way to go



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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  middlemamma on 8/5/2010, 7:04 pm

DOH!!! I missed it ! Smile Shudda known better.

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Chopper on 8/5/2010, 9:46 pm

Btw, I read that the potato bug makes the hissing sound by rubbing its legs on its stomach. This may or may not take the creepiness out of the experience.

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  elliephant on 8/5/2010, 9:58 pm

@Chopper wrote:Btw, I read that the potato bug makes the hissing sound by rubbing its legs on its stomach. This may or may not take the creepiness out of the experience.

Uh, I vote for "may not" What a Face

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  jenjehle on 8/5/2010, 11:27 pm

@middlemamma wrote:
Ok with five kids and a husband...you hang your laundry out???? I am standing and applauding for you...STANDING OVATION!!! (Boffer? Why don't we have an applauding smiley? Or did I miss it?) You need to stand up and take a bow. That is A LOT of laundry to hang on a clothesline! .... I am IMPRESSED.

I love how I can dry 3 loads all at the same time and NOT overheat my house in the summer with the heat my dryer gives off! But unfortunately, I can't stand the "stiffness" of the laundry so before it goes to the closets, I do a 10 min fluff in the dryer w/a dryer sheet (I like them to smell good )

Also, I think I save a lot on electricity by putting them out on my closeline. Only problem is I can only get 3 loads on my clothesline and I'd like to put more out! You can't imagine how much laundry my FOUR boys dirty in just one week!!! My little girl (the youngest) doesn't dirty much at all compared to my dirt digging, sweaty skateboarding, stinky bikeriding, tree climbing, boys... they certainly know how to keep me busy! But they're worth it.

Take care & keep writing!
Jenny

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Megan on 8/5/2010, 11:37 pm

@jenjehle wrote:I love how I can dry 3 loads all at the same time and NOT overheat my house in the summer with the heat my dryer gives off!

I am SO jealous. I had a clothesline when I lived in California and I loved the way it all looked and smelled when freshly dry! I got used to the stiffness. It's much too rainy/humid around here, even if I did have space for a line.

@ Jennie / Middlemamma: I think your writing is inspired; don't change a thing. New stuff = so much fun! Very Happy (Okay, except for the nasty bugs!)

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/23/2011, 2:22 pm

Middlemamma, I know you suggested someone else come read this, but it was either sit a few more minutes and read or clean the bathroom, duh-huh.

I like the comment on being sexist when it comes to bugs, I like Susan Sugarbaker's (Designing Women) philosphy on this one, "God created men to take out the trash and kill bugs", I'm parphrasing of course, but she's one of my heros, love that character.

I enjoy hanging out laundry too, unless it's the weekend, we live nearby a hyway and you can hear the motorcycles roaring down it for weekend drives, oh how I want to wonder down there and stick out my thumb-be my luck it's Hell's Angel's going by that time. I fluff after bringing in too, but most of the time just an air cycle, we all have allergies so it removes any pollen or dust, and I'm going to be making my own dryer sheets, as soon as I can get to my sewing stuff, to go with my home made softener. Down here jeans are dry in 20 minutes from late May till September, that's faster than the dryer.

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/23/2011, 3:17 pm

Oh my, your post cracked me up! I just cut up some seed potatoes about an hour ago. I read about looking for potato bugs and plucking them off and tossing thenm in soapy water and i wasn't too concerned, but then, I've never seen one before! Now I'm going to be listening for hissing sounds when I check the plants!

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This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Goosegirl on 3/23/2011, 3:37 pm

@Glendale-gardener wrote:Oh my, your post cracked me up! I just cut up some seed potatoes about an hour ago. I read about looking for potato bugs and plucking them off and tossing thenm in soapy water and i wasn't too concerned, but then, I've never seen one before! Now I'm going to be listening for hissing sounds when I check the plants!

GG - If you are talking about the little beetle or shield bug type of potato bug you will not get a hissing sound. The one pictured below however......these things are about 3+ inches and you don't want to see your baby niece with one in her hand on the way to her mouth! affraid


See image below at: www.pbase.com/
rgrinnell/image/
66329738


Last edited by Goosegirl on 3/23/2011, 3:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : resizing pic to be close to actual size)

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/23/2011, 3:42 pm

omg! what the frick is that!?

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  dizzygardener on 3/23/2011, 3:48 pm

@Glendale-gardener wrote:omg! what the frick is that!?

+1

affraid pale

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  middlemamma on 3/23/2011, 3:51 pm

@Glendale-gardener wrote:omg! what the frick is that!?




THAT is a potato bug...otherwise known as "My Gardening Nightmare"

AKA -Jeruselem Cricket
AKA-Baby Face bug
AKA -Jennie run's for the hills bug
AKA- Jennie thinks they are from outer space

The little bettle ones that you need to watch for are smaller and don't shout at you, also called potato bugs by anyone who has never seen one of these up close.

Ugh....hebbie jeebies.


Last edited by middlemamma on 3/23/2011, 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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RE: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Goosegirl on 3/23/2011, 3:52 pm

@Glendale-gardener wrote:omg! what the frick is that!?

THAT is a potato bug. They don't actually infest potatoes, so I don't know why they have that name. Maybe because they are as big as a potato? lol! This is the hisser. Imagine one of THOSE screeching at you!

TC

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  middlemamma on 3/23/2011, 3:53 pm

When I wrote this thread long ago that link linked to a correct picture!! Now it links to the wrong bug!!! I bet the site changed their info and now calls what I was referring to baby face bug or something. I will have to fix the link.

Jen
Edit: Done...now the link in the OP shows the correct bug I am writing about.


Last edited by middlemamma on 3/23/2011, 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  Blackrose on 3/23/2011, 3:55 pm

Now I'm going to have nightmares! Shocked pale affraid

Please tell me those don't live as far north as I do. :canada:

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

Post  middlemamma on 3/23/2011, 3:58 pm

I have never seen one Blackrose since I left California....I lived 13 years in Arizona and never saw one though I heard people say they lived there. I now live in Idaho and I have asked...TRUST ME...and no one knows what I am talking about...So I pray I have escaped them here in the great snowy north. Thank goodness!

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Re: This is my gardening nightmare...

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