(Or so you hope…)
The start of tomato season wasn’t pretty. A juvenile groundhog skinny enough to squeeze through a standard chain link fence 6’ tall ravished my early plants. He (and it’s a he because I saw his balls dangling as he scurried through my fence!) ate the parsley, cucumber and zinnia plants down to the ground and “pruned” my tomato plants.
I was hysterical. I’ve spent a lot of time protecting a very few garden plants and critters keep thwarting me.
I added chicken wire around the bottom of the plants and all seemed well. I hoped the groundhog grew too big to shimmy through the fence.
I planted two patio pots to see if I could forego all that “in-ground” work. That made the groundhogs and chipmunks happy. They didn’t have to worry about a fence at all. Easy pickings.
Not doing that again although I did find a very sturdy cherry tomato plant that needs minimal staking and does not grow like Jack and the Beanstalk.
My tomatoes were late. That’s party my fault but mostly the groundhogs. I put them in late but the pruning didn’t help.
Finally at the very end of July I started to harvest tomatoes. Very slow at first. The slicing tomatoes seemed to be late despite being called “Early Girl.”
I’m a patient person (well, no I’m not but the for sake of this post let’s say I am). I was living the good life. Tomato acid was oozing out of my skin from my super high consumption. Bags of cherry tomatoes were forced on friends.
Enough was picked every other day to support the Sixth Fleet.
Then today happened. Not only had Mr. Groundhog scaled my 6’ fence again but I found a caterpillar on my tomatoes. Mr. Caterpillar was moved to a more remote location. (No I didn’t squash him.)
My cucumber plant is naked. There are no tasty leaves left, only 3 cucumbers which are now residing in my refrigerator.
Parsley – gone!
They didn’t touch the zinnias but they only like them when they are young and sweet.
Sadly he ate all the lower slicing tomatoes. Red, green, didn’t matter. I hear he washed it down with a nice Merlot. Just sayin….
He didn’t touch my cherry tomatoes, most of the fruit are higher than 3’ and he can’t scale the plants. I’ll make due.
Next year is another year to see who can outsmart who. Don’t bet on me winning.