while watering the backyard garden, i came across the body of a headless sparrow on the lawn near the peonies. what animal would do this? there can only be one candidate, a super predator that kills without eating its prey: the common house cat. i dug a hole underneath the maple tree and buried the sparrow. later i found a part of the beak and flicked it to the side of the yard.
i fertilized the back lawn with the organic fertilizer i bought back in april. i should've done it earlier, but just never got around to it. it'd been sitting outside all this time, and some critter even managed to bit a hole on the bottom of the bag before realizing it wasn't food. when i opened up the package, i noticed there were some maggots feeding on the fertilizer through the small opening, must've been drawn to the smell. it didn't faze me, since everything was going into the spreader anyway. i managed to use up about half the bag for the entire backyard. the rain predicted for tomorrow will allow the fertilizer to soak into the soil. later when i told my father about the maggots, he was impressed because it meant it was really organic if bugs can eat it.
my mother pushed us to pay a visit to our rock meadow community garden plot. in season's past i'd visit occasionally to water, but this year only my father's been taking care of the plot, and he admitted he hasn't been by for 2 weeks now. my mother's primary reason for visiting was so she could get a chance to do some birdwatching, while my father and i tended to the garden. it's amazing to see how much could happen in 2 weeks time, with a good mix of rain and sunshine and no supervision. the garden was pretty much swallowed up by weeds, from the beds to the paths. the one thing that we did in years past that gave us tremendous success was to put down black landscaping fabric over the beds. this had all sorts of benefits, from drastically reducing the weed population, retaining moisture, warming the soil, and keeping a neat appearance overall. however, we didn't do that this year - whether we forgot or just simply lazy - and now we're paying for it.
we began pulling them out, but it seemed futile, easier just to till everything over. the worst part was the gardener behind us was there working on his plot, which was 2-3x as large as ours and 100x better maintained. among the weeds, there were still a few things we planted: zucchinis, tomatoes, cucumbers, hyacinth beans. most of them seemed stunted, their valuable nutrients stripped by the surrounding weeds. the cucumber plants were tiny, not even climbing yet (although they may be bush variety). without pruning, the tomato plants didn't have any shape. the only plants that seemed to be doing well were the hyacinth plants on the southern end of the plot.