Saturday, July 9, 2011

Please Send Help

I'm a total garden lover.

The way they get the kids involved and excited about playing in dirt; the way they fill the yard with a stretch of actual, purposeful use; the way they require patience before yielding their stores; the way they make us stick by their sides, even under the hottest summer sun.

I have a vision of my grandma in her plastic garden sandals and straw sunhat, poking around in her well-groomed rows, beaming at the poles of green beans and rubbing her hands gleefully over heavily drooping tomato plants.  There is mud under her fingernails, and she stops to admire the orange and yellow marigolds lining the perimeter of her haven.  On her kitchen counter, there are stacks of produce: beans, squash, melons, zucchini, tomatoes, cabbage...it's gorgeous.

Maybe this is the truth of why I love gardens.  Because I remember how awesome they can make you feel after a spring and summer of hard work. 

Nevertheless, I must have missed the bus on gardening, because for the past two years, it hasn't been working out so well.  I should have stuck to my original plan to have only a flower-garden this year.

My tomato plants are dead, my strawberries are ravaged, and my watermelon never sprouted.

Well actually, the tomato plants aren't dead so much as now abandoned.  After weeks of watching dozens of roma and grape tomatoes bloom and ripen, they were all eaten one night by a greedy forest creature.  This creature (I won't point fingers, but I think her name starts with D and ends with eer.) happened to miss the bottom row of one of the grape tomato plants, and I've been carefully watering that plant so we could harvest a measly 8 tiny 'maters. 

Yesterday, they were a golden-yellowish orange.

Today, they are gone.

I lamented the woeful state of our veggies to a friend, and told her that I thought next year, I'd just plant a few tomatoes in pots on the front porch.  Surely those would be safe.

But today, upon checking the strawberries on our porch, I found them to be munched down to their stems.  No place, apparently, is safe from the quiet march of hungry animals when you live on the edge of the forest. 

I SHAKE MY FIST AT YOU, ANIMALS.

How do you sneak into my fenced yard?  How do you see in between all the weeds of my raised bed to find the single, luscious patch of juicy goodness?  Why do you take what isn't yours?  And, perhaps most important of all, WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE YOU STOP?!

I'm very disgruntled, if you can't tell. 

I wanted a juicy, warm tomato, and I wanted it now.

7 comments:

  1. We use deer spray on our flowers and it works wonders. But, I've never tried it on our vegetables. I'm not really sure if it should go on stuff that humans will consume. Maybe something to look into?

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  2. Oh Sarah, I'm sorry, but I'm chucking at the vision of you shaking your fist at the edge of the forest. (Take warning, woodland creatures! Get your own garden!) But seriously, I'm jealous of your almost-harvest. We have some tomato plants, but so far they've done nothing. They haven't even given any signs of budding. It's disappointing!

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  3. I fight the critters as well. I walk my morning constitution checking all the plants. Watering, repositioning hanging growth and enjoying the solitude of my yard and garden so early in the morning! We do not have the D eer.. Thank goodness for as I read tips for the garden there is a constant battle with those in D country. Mine are burden occasional raccoon, rats and my little dig Marley! she can be worse than any deer. She will wait until the fruit is at it's peek open her mouth, pick and run away to enjoy her feast. Really? My dog? What do you do?

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  4. We, too, have this problem in our garden - beans, peas, cucumbers, squash - all doing so well - thought we fenced it all off (after the lettuce WAS eaten), then....all dead, nibbled at, etc. The tomatoes and peppers are on our deck, and they are fine. Good luck. Rabbits are rough on veggies too.

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  5. Those mean old woodland creatures! Don't they know they're supposed to be HELPING you with your chores, not making you angry??

    Sorry about your garden dearie!

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  6. Don't give up! The experience you are giving your children-deer and all- will bear MUCH fruit!

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  7. I feel your pain...we have bunnies nibbling away at our produce...I don't know how something so cute can be so ornery...oh wait. Yes I do. I have children :)

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?