Goodbye, Ratskeller!

It seems counter-intuitive to plant a tree this late in the year, but the experts insist you can.  Besides, if you find a tree you like, you can get them for a real bargain right now.  This is personally relevant because there’s a 30-foot long flower bed in our backyard where — to economize — we planted mainly sunflowers from seed this summer.  Here’s a picture of them at their peak.

Rat garden salad bar with sunflowers

Rat garden salad bar with sunflowers

And they looked great — for about a week!  After that, the sunflowers that didn’t droop and break were soon ravaged by the squirrels — sloppy eaters  who dropped large chunks which in turn were feasted on by rats.  They loved it.  A real mess.  It exacerbated a rat problem up and down our alley–one which has generated multiple visits this year by the nice folks from the city’s rat abatement swat team.

That did it.  I decided I would look for some end-of-the-season bargain trees to plant in the former rat garden.  And here was the deal–if I was willing to forego the guarantee and plant the trees myself, I could get a 35% discount at one of my favorite garden centers.  I happily purchased three, small serviceberry trees and put them in.  Here they are.

Former Rat Garden with Serviceberry Trees

Former Rat Garden with Serviceberry Trees

Anyway, I think I planted them correctly (with soil conditioner, water, mulch, not too deep), but planting a tree is an act of hope.  And my record for late-season tree planting is decidedly mixed. Let’s see if these make it through the winter.  But one thing I know for sure — no way am I planting another rat salad bar.

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  • Krys

    Here’s to your hope in a garden!

  • Matt

    Phil, where do you live that you have that many rats and your neighbors need that many bars on their windows??