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    Dang wabbits!

    Remember the awesome garden we planted last year? It did work out. We grew some veg. And we “shared” it with our local wild-life. As a matter of fact, they ate so well, that I harvested absolutely 0 zucchini last year, only about a dozen strawberries (out of 6 plants) and a handful of tomatoes (although the tomato crop was really more my fault for not having pruned properly).
    This didn’t bother me much to be honest: I am happy to co-exist with my local rabbit and squirrel neighbors, but this year someone (thing?) crossed the line.
    You see, I planted 3 awesome tomato plants. They grew a bit, until one morning I woke up to find one of my tomato plant stems pretty much down to a nubbin. I mourned it’s loss and thought “Damn winds! Broke off my plant. I should start to tie them when they’re this young” Shortly after, the other 2 plants met the same fate.
    So I went back out to the store. I got new tomato plants. I staked them early. I even put a cardboard wind-barrier around them (not great for sun, but gave them a chance against the wind). Within days, same thing: seared off an inch above the dirt. And that’s when I realized the wind wasn’t the culprit: some little critter was.

    I bought a third set of plants. Planted, and covered my existing fence, with an even finer mesh. All but about a 2’x4’ space had ¼” whole netting, while the rest had about 1.5” wholes. My whole garden area looked scary from all the netting over it. 2 days. That’s how long my plants survived.

    And I was mad! I really wanted to grow some Black tomato varieties this year. Home depot occasionally has them, but really, not common. The war was on. Especially since in my 3rd planting, my mom had sent me some tomato plants she grew from seedlings my grandmother had sent her. Seedlings all the way from the other side of the world, from my grandma’s famous tomatoes (I almost broke a leg one year trying to get a ‘mater off a vine – these things are good stuff). When I saw the remnants of my grandma’s plant, my heart sank. It’s over now!

    The worst part was not being able to identify what was getting to my veg: if it was a rabbit, I can do a finer mesh all around and not have to worry about access from the top. Since my garden backs up to the neighbor’s house, and their roof-line is only 3’ above our side-walk, it’s not difficult for a squirrel, or rat, to shuffle across the drain pipe, stock up on dinner and be on their merry way. But also if it’s not a squirrel now, it likely will be come fall.

    So S and I spent a week designing an enclosure. And then another week (just about) building it. But it looks awesome! Sides and top. I love building things w/ S. He has the experience, know-how and ideas, and I bring some awesome 3-dimensional thinking, problem solving and reality checks to the table. We make a good team.

    We made THIS. Ta da!

    At this point, if an animal can get through this, they deserve the veg, and I will cave.

    Another side effect to all this garden re-shuffling is that I’m making more of an effort to learn about gardening. Last year my approach was, plant, put drip system in place, tie up plants as they grow, and leave them alone. This was just an experiment for the kids: if it worked, great. If not, oh well: grocery store is just down the hill. Clearly the result of my poor “harvest”. Now with all this turmoil, I’m actually reading up more on gardening (and also copying a lot of my gardener friends). I’m excited to see what will happen by the end of the summer. In our yard we have: tomatoes, strawberries, spinach, lettuce, and basil. Let’s see what we’ll be eating in a few months.

    One response to “Dang wabbits!”

    1. Becky (stinkylemsky) says:

      That is seriously impressive!

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