Friday, July 2, 2010

Veggies gone wild, summer break.

I was standing at my kitchen counter yesterday morning, making a pot of coffee, and that's when I saw him. 

A squirrel. My furry little enemy was walking across the fence above our garden, only this time he was carrying a big, juicy tomato. It doesn't take a forensics team to figure out where he got it. A quick glance at the emptied vine I'd been waiting to pick confirmed the culprit. A wave of heat ran through my body, and I wasn't sure whether to scream or burst into tears. The nervy little F-er even sat himself down on the fence for a full on tomato salad feast. The rain the past few days had clearly wiped out my cayenne job, and I wasnt quick enough on the re-apply to avoid these eager critters from descending on my bounty.

Since it was too late to do anything about it, I ran to grab my camera, quietly went out into the back (not unnoticed by the little guy) and took a few pics of him - caught red handed (literally).

He's looking right at me.

Then I went out and got myself a five pound box of the fierce cayenne recommended by Erica at Les Douceurs de Marche. This is a full on war of the fruits, and I'm going to win it. I came home and created my very own artillery: a super sized "Cayenne Shaker". I took a large mason jar, poked holes in the top, and 65 sneezes later, my shaker was loaded and ready to go, and a fresh and heavy cayenne crop dusting was carried out immediately.

I am noticing however, that the cayenne may not really be the answer to my problems.  Unless I have endless amounts of time to re-apply (and shower every leaf of every plant with the stuff), these fluffy SOB's find a way around the hot spots. Upon closer inspection, I also found that the squirrels had taken the entire branch of 10 or so large tomatoes that were growing. How was one little squirrel was able to get away with that many tomatoes at once!?!? Do thy work as a team? It's not as though the branch was broken and some were left in the earth- they are all G-O-N-E. Even as I write this and peer out the window I see the bogies multiplying... three in the fruit section, two on the fence... I can't handle this.
The tomatoes that no longer exist

A friend has offered her scarecrow. I'm going to get it tomorrow and we'll see how that works out. I also had a friend wih her dog here yesterday afternoon...  the dog spent much of the day actually lying in the earth protecting my garden. If a squirrel even came near my yard - the dog went completely bananas, barking until it left. I may need to rent her out for the summer (anyone have a schnauzer that needs a place to laze around?). 

In other (better) news, things are cropping up like crazy back here. Cherry tomato trees have just about exploded, tons of tomatoes are hiding all over the place, and the height of the trees has tripled in size. The Roma tomato plants (not even sure I realized I planted Romas) are sprouting beautiful, bean-like tomatoes, that I cannot wait to harvest in a couple of weeks- the thought of them being robbed just hurts. The larger plants are looking a little bare, should be just a few days until some new big guys start to sprout up again.

The surprise Romas

Look how big those plants are getting! They were 1/4 that height!

In the veg section, things are getting so wild and crazy I can barely believe my eyes. I had to trim back some of the zucchini plant leaves, because they were shading the neighbouring purple onion, arugula & eggplants. Micro basil looks like a little fro of perfection, and every time I clip some, it seems to replenish overnight. The thyme seems to be growing a little slower... taking its sweet ass thyme (had to insert that cheesy joke). Everything else in the veggie section is doing really awesome, the arugula, spinach & herbs are growing faster than I can consume if you can believe it. Steady watering, good water flow (since the garden is on a slant) and great sunshine- Thank you (so far) mother nature! Let's see what happens when the actual vegetables start to come in (if they every do). The only problem so far with all the extreme growth, is that it comes with an onslaught of weeds. Not sure my legs could handle the man-hours of all the weeding in squat position that needs to take place. Thinking Ric & I need to blast some tunes and hit the weed for a few hours one of these days. Ya mon.

Week 1

same shot, week 5

My friend, the micro basil

Oregano ground cover action

Eastward in the fruit patch, ground cherries are growing steadily (and being eaten by the animals at about the same rate as they come in), & raspberry season is about to be in full swing. July is Raspberry season, and I'd better get on track with the rodent control, or I won't see a single red-berry in my hands. There are only a few berries coming from the plants this year, and I plan to harvest and enjoy each one.

Click here to read week 1 of my garden adventures!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this interesting post. No one believed me when I told them that squirrels are evil!

    I came home with a friend of mine 10 years ago and upon opening my blinds, saw a squirrel sitting there, on the ledge, my garbage bag torn open. That is not the bad part. The little M-F- was holding a drum stick in his little paws eerily human-like, his little rodent jaws working on that meat. My friend's mouth hung open in shock.

    Pissed, I slapped the glass door hoping to scare his little, petulent a** away. In response, he hit the glass with the drumstick and kept on munching. My friend hit the floor laughing. Soooo not funny. I hate squirrels now.

    May the force be with you. They do not play.