Saturday, August 05, 2006

A losing battle

While still living in our apartment, I decided to plant seedlings. Recognizing that I was a bit ambitious to try to begin a garden in our first house when it needed so much work inside, I nevertheless embraced this opportunity to have my very own garden. I went into this endeavor with more enthusiasm than knowledge, and relied heavily on advice from parents to help.
Well, the seedlings started to grow, along with the dreams of harvesting my own veggies to bring to family and friends and, of course, use in my own cooking. Shortly after closing on our house, I planted the seedlings in our newly tilled garden. And this is when I met my first obstacle.
A woodchuck.
See him in that tree? Yeah, he looks cute and furry and friendly. But he's not. Minutes, that's right minutes after I had planted the seedlings in the ground, that cute furry woodchuck came and ATE them! My zucchini were reduced to bare stalks and my cucumbers....eaten down to nubs. Not to be beaten my furry foe, my husband and I went to Home Depot and got a fence. We quickly erected the fence and I breathed a sigh of relief as, day after day, my plants seemed safe.
I was convinced my cucumbers would not recover, and worried that the zucchini were also doomed, but after a few weeks things started to grow. Convinced that the new growth had something to do with my care and attention, I bragged when squash flowers showed up and practically cheered when the very first baby cucumber recently appeared.
Apparently, my joy was short lived...that's right, a new critter, a mysterious beast, has been chomping (that's right chomping) on my gloriously lush veggies. Again, the zucchini and the cucumbers seem to be the victims, with the tomatoes and lettuce untouched. The worst part is that I can't even figure out what is eating my plants. Curiously, the top leaves are eaten off, while the bottom ones are untouched. My husband is convinced we have deer, which is entirely possible I guess, but why now? And how are they getting past the fence that surrounds our property? I still refuse to admit defeat and am now continually peeking out the window to see if I can catch the culprit in the act. I'm also fervently hoping the two baby cucumbers survive. The zucchini....well, if those grow it really will be a miracle at this point.


Tina said...

I think Russ is right. Think of the fence that dad put up around his garden- and the deer got over that. It was just a matter of time...

Lisa said...

You should get a dog - that seems to keep the other animals out of our yard! I tried to tackle the yardwork too - my mom helped us plant flowers in the front yard. It's really challenging, especially since I do NOT have a green thumb. Good luck!!

Kelli said...

When we lived in NJ my Mom had an on-going battle with deer eating any and everything she planted. She ended up buying coyote urine (I know, gross) at the local garden shop & hanging it in the shrubbery. And it seemed to work -- it'll at least deter them for a little while. Maybe?? Hopefully?
Good luck!

Dianna said...

Hey Li!
Your poor garden!!! (and yes they are cute but nasty creatures!) We have deer that used to love eating things in our garden too until we built a relaly tall fence...I'm with Kellly from what I've heard urine is the best answer...send Russ out there! :) The other suggestions we were given... human hair (from your hair brush I know gross but supposedly it works) and I've heard planting irises and marigolds deters deer too!! Happy Gardening! :)