Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Sherri, Sherri, Quite Contrary: A Garden Update
Sherri, Sherri, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
The stems are slow, the food too early
Then animals chomp it all.
I know, I know. It didn't rhyme. But this year's garden is disappointing.
The herbs are doing really well. The strawberries were great. Then the birds got the blueberries and cherries. The vegetables were suspiciously flat. The sunflowers were pruned by some sort of creature when their stems reached knee height. The bell peppers were eaten. The serranos were not. (Apparently the wildlife shares my love of fresh foods, but not of hot peppers.)
The peaches were flourishing. Small, but many. We probably had a hundred peaches on the tree nearing ripeness, then the next day there were two. As in one... two. Two peaches. Most of the branches were broken and a bunch of pits were on the ground. I thought maybe deer had gotten to them.
The number of plums also seemed to be shrinking and a couple of that tree's branches were broken, too.
We just planted those trees last year and this was the first time the fruit was edible, so we were really excited. Until the fruit started disappearing and the branches turned up broken. Now we're hoping we can keep the trees alive and get them protected better before next year's harvest.
Well, we've spotted the culprit. And it wasn't deer.
This first photo is a little blurry because I took it through a closed window and screen. So, let me explain what you're seeing. A woodchuck under the tree with a plum. And... oh, wait... what's that? Another woodchuck in the tree.
When I opened the door, they each grabbed one more plum and ran off.
I didn't see that coming. Later yesterday, I caught one eating the squash flowers. Guess I won't be getting squash either.
So, yeah. The garden in the back of the yard hasn't been much of a success. Next year we need a fence and maybe some other creature deterrents.
The plants we have in retaining walls closer to the house of done better (except where the birds swooped in). One of those plants is watermelon. I had a watermelon plant on the retaining wall last year and apparently a seed was left behind and grew into a brand new plant this year.
Yesterday, I saw a few teeny tiny watermelons starting, like this one:
I've never spotted watermelon at such an early stage. The flower is still there, though it has closed up, and the melon has fuzz on it, yet you can still see the tell-tale green stripes. This one is about the size of my thumbnail.
You go, little watermelon. Beware of woodchucks.