July 1, 2016

Garden Grief - part 2

Things went along well after that. The wee tomatoes grew, and started changing color. I picked a few, and enjoyed that delightful homegrown tomato deliciousness. But they could've used just a bit more time on the vine. I vowed to curb my tomato munching urges until these delightful red orbs of sweet juiciness were fully ripe.
 One morning, I walked out to the garden knowing that this would be the day I'd pick this one tomato that I had my eye on, right after the dog walk. Such anticipation! When I returned to harvest my prize, I met a gruesome sight. Something had eaten away half my tomato! The bestest, ripest of the bunch!
 Determined to protect my produce, I made a stockade, thinking some furry wild creature was to blame. Yet as soon as my attention was elsewhere, more tomatoes suffered attacks. Any fruit showing red was mutilated, viciously stabbed.

Hey, wait a minute. Stabbed? Furry creatures don't stab tomatoes. But birds do. I set Evan out to watch, and he discover the culprit. No furry creature was to blame, it was a feathered one. A mockingbird had developed a taste for my pretty red ripe tomatoes. No wonder my barricade didn't work, that bird could fly right in. I had no idea that mockingbirds were a garden pest. Now bird netting protects the tomatoes, and the fruit that was green during the mockingbird munch is ripening, and outstandingly delicious.

While all that was happening, the seeds I'd sown were turning into plants. Especially the corn, and the tomatoes. Almost everything was sprouting away, with a few exceptions. The cilantro, onions and watermelon didn't even show up, not a one. I replanted, taking care with the seed depth in case that was the cause. Two out of three successes, now I have cilantro and watermelon, but no onions. Not that green onions are hard to find in the market, but I love salsa, so thought it would be fun to have a salsa garden. I planted more onion seeds today, maybe third time's a charm. There are still plenty of seeds for another try.

As the little seedlings emerged, another pest problem appeared. The little leaves of my little eggplants and peppers were shot through with little holes. I found this teeny tiny shiny bugs on the leaves, and after checking a garden pest guide I determined my plants had fleas! Well, not fleas, but flea beetles. And those little buggers can eat. Barely bigger than their namesake, they actually jump like a flea to escape danger. Supposedly, they have long back legs for jumping. Making it difficult for me to remove them by hand. The garden pest guide suggested yellow sticky traps, so yesterday I put some of those up, and caught a beetle straight away. By this afternoon, it looked liked the traps were making a difference. The little eggplants were hard hit, I don't know if they'll make it. But if they don't, I still have seeds. And a long growing season. I'm looking forward to increasing my garden space.


  1. No photos loaded, but I did enjoy your garden saga!

  2. Yay!! Pictures!! Boo!! Mockingbirds!!

    Picked the first 'Stupice' today. Dale gobbled it down on his burger. I did get the stem end, however. Nothing finer than homegrown tomaters, at least ones not murdered by birds.

    the garden looks fab, BTW. I envision mornings sitting in it, cuppa in hand, just enjoying the serenity and beauty. And laughing evilly at the birds, frustrated by the netting, trying for a tomato.