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When it’s NOT the bunnies…

Hey there – if I told you next week would be the start of August, would you believe me? Hmm not sure I’d believe me! We’re hanging in there with the July humidity that makes me cringe. I put up with -10 degrees in January because I don’t like sweat trickling down my back during a short walk down the driveway to get the mail. Unfortunately WI is home to both freezing winters AND humid summers. At least we have brilliant spring/autumn weather. That’s something 🙂

We’ve been doing an OK job keeping up with rabbits this year so I was really upset when my lilies were beheaded just before blooming yet again.

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I almost thought it was a kid playing a trick because normally the rabbits chew down the sides of the plant first and then make their way up to the top flowers. This time it looked like everything was clear-cut right across the top and the sides were left unscathed.

I was puzzling this for several weeks until one morning when I went out to my garden…

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Immediately I noticed something seemed wrong but I couldn’t tell exactly what that was. Then I spotted the back fence looking a little beat up – like something pressed right up against it and stretched it out of place.

Upon closer inspection – something devoured the tops of my beans and pea plants! Oh no!

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All the tops were chewed right off. There can be only one culprit: deer. We’ve seen random deer wander through the front of our yard only in the dead of Winter so this is surprising. I’ve never had deer problems before. Honestly, if it isn’t rabbits, slugs, ants, black bugs, clear worms, or Japanese beetles… I *really* don’t want to have to layer pesticides over everything but I’m just not sure what to do next.

I picked at a few raspberries and found the tiny clear worms in several of them – which makes me leery about opening and inspecting every one before I eat it. Our strawberries were watery and super tiny. I’m thinking of hanging up my berry hat and sticking to the veggies, which I have better luck growing.

The peppers are plugging away nicely. I don’t think this will be a bumper crop like the last couple of years but I’m hoping for enough to make some diced up bags for freezing. (That’s so wonderful during the winter). Too early to tell if these will rebound but so far, they just look so tiny.

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Did I tell you about my squash faux-pas? I planted just two zucchini seeds in one section and two yellow squash seeds in another – and then forgot which was which. Normally that wouldn’t have been an issue except one bed had both seeds sprout and the other had zero! I couldn’t determine which was which so I planted two of each back in the first bed. Now I know, the zucchini didn’t take on the first try. The squash are already producing though, so maybe this will work out because I’ll have more staggered crops.

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You can see how much smaller the second attempt plants are in comparison:

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Oh! I’m growing a bumper crop of weeds this year too. The dirt we bought was just teaming with weeds and it’s been a painstaking job to rip them out and keep up with them. Not only are there TONS of pricker plants (my favorite 😦 ) but lots of these guys:

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One of my friends posted on Facebook that these are edible… Hmm, naw I think I’ll just yank and discard!

Because the deer ripped off the tops of my peas, they don’t have their little vines to wrap around the top of my trellis. The result is that we needed to tie them back up so they wouldn’t flop on down into the ground.

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The beans are coming back- but slowly. Since a ton of the flowers were eaten, I’m not sure what we’ll get for a crop. I’m wondering if it’s too late in the year to try another planting…

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One thing doing really well is my cantaloupe plant. It’s crazy! Now I’m just hoping I get lots of fruit off it.

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Looks like we might get a nice-sized storm today/tonight which will help the lawn and my garden. I’ve been toting buckets of water every day but with the high heat, I’m probably not giving them as much as I should be.

Ben’s off to an after-work event tonight for one of the vendors he works with so maybe I can putz around in the garden. If it’s raining, then just picture me in front of HGTV with iced tea and a partially-crocheted baby blanket in hand. I’m SO exciting. 😉

Have a great day!

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7 Responses

  1. I would 99% say it was squirrels nibbling the buds. They did that to my roses of all things! Not to mention the other plants they got to. It’s so irritating. I actually found that Repels-All garlic spray works pretty well, although I have to apply it regularly. Stuff really stinks! LOL

    • Squirrels? I hadn’t even considered that because of the way the fence looked all bent and mowed over! I haven’t really seen any in the area but I’m sure they are around.

      Garlic spray. Eh. I’ve tried garlic stakes for the rabbits before and have some left although I’m not sure if there’s much left worth spraying on.

  2. Partially-crocheted baby blanket?? Who is this for? Did I miss some news? Good luck with your unwanted garden guests.

    • I have FOUR friends having babies this year. One just had hers in late June, we have another due on my birthday, another on my brother Alex’s b-day (early Sept), and another in late Sept. I’m making everyone baby blankets. I have always done that for friends and co-workers when they have their first baby.

  3. My grandmother has a garden, and she often discovers snails eating her veggies. Maybe snails could be the culprit?

    • Hmm… I hadn’t thought of that either but I would think that’s a possibility. How can you tell? Do you just keep an eye out for snails on the plants or is there a trick to locating them (ie early in the morning, under moist areas, etc)

      • Usually, she’d find snails taking shelter under the leaves of her crops. I’m no garden pro, but I do remember finding dozens of them munching on her lettuce. I would always pick them off and set them free away from the garden, but they would always come back. I think you just need to check under the leaves.

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