Right around this time last year I showed you the pallet walled garden we had built to wall in our vegetable garden and to keep the deer and groundhogs out.
We planted the garden in mid-July, not the best time of year to plant a garden, but we still had high hopes of having some sort of vegetables by the time of the first frost.
The tomatoes we planted went into shock being transplanted in July. But after getting over their initial surprise they did manage to grow and they did give us a few tomatoes by October.
As soon as the beans came up, we immediately started noticing holes in their leaves. The immediate suspect was slugs and sure enough we did find some of those slimy creatures on the undersides of the leaves. A few snail and slug pellets solved that little problem.
The beans were growing well, the birds were singing and life was good and then they started to disappear. The entire plant was eaten down to the dirt.
This time the likely culprit was bunnies since the tomato plants were still intact. Back to the hardware store to buy a roll of mesh netting. The 2 foot wire netting completely encircled the garden going down to the dirt.
I used to feel sorry for Peter Rabbit when Mr McGregor chased him out of his veggie patch, but no more, this means war!
A couple of weeks later the beans were making a comeback and looking good. Just a few minor setbacks and we have managed to outsmart the animals.
That was last summer, and thinking we have finally figured out a way to keep the animals out of the garden we even made an addition. What was a 2×3 pallet garden is now a 3×3 garden. The new addition holds squash and zucchini.
By the end of June, the tomato plants were big and bushy and we were getting quite the supply of green tomatoes. I noticed at least a dozen tomatoes, probably more by the time we went on vacation.
Ahhhh, the expectations of a sun ripened tomato. A few slices of a home grown tomato with just a little bit of mayonnaise on white bread, the perfect summer sandwich.
When we returned from vacation there were no red ripe tomatoes, there were a few green ones, but I could have sworn that when we left there had been more.
Was it the birds? The plants were still intact. Back to the shed, this time to bring out a bit of netting to throw over the plants. If it’s the birds or maybe even another animal the netting should keep them out.
You know where this is going don’t you?
The remaining green tomatoes kept disappearing. I have a few suspects on my short list. Was it the Raccoon in the tomato plant with a machete, or Mr. Squirrel on the Squash with a shovel or could it possibly be Miss Groundhog in the beans with big teeth.
The netting was coming back out. This time, not just covering a few tomato plants but the entire garden.
I had one more (yes, just one) big fat green tomato and it’s mine!!
You are an animal, I am smarter than you. (OK, I’m really not, I just tell myself that).
A few days go by, I’m prematurely celebrating my victory.
Yes, my victory was very premature, as you can see by the above photo, my beautiful green tomato half eaten on the ground.
It wasn’t even ripe, couldn’t you wait until it was red and we’d have a race to see who would pick it first?
There is only one other way into the garden, (unless of course they are coming in the front door) and that is through the slats in the upper part of the pallets.
We’re bringing back out the 2 foot wire mesh. Again, completely encircling the garden, it was stapled into place.
It’s actually getting kind of hard for me to get into the garden.
Do I think I’ve won? Probably not.
What I have figured out is (1) that I am not smarter than the animals, heck, I can’t even figure out what animal I’m up against and (2)if I had to grow my own food I would have starved years ago. And (3) go to a farmer’s market and whatever price they are charging for a tomato, know that it is well worth it, I’m sure they have many battle stories to tell.
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