My gardening adventures have helped me develop new relationships.
After exhaustive amounts of research, I have decided to work with nature, not fight it. I’ve incorporated virtually every technique I can find, proven or wives’ tales, into my little plot. Pots of marigolds surround the garden, rumored to ward off rodents and opossums. I was told squirrels eat tomatoes because they are thirsty; I keep a bucket of water near tomato plants so they can have a drink instead. Birds eat bugs, so a bird is feeder and bird bath are near by. I’ve dug up worms and relocated them to the garden, planted flowers to attract the good bugs and keep a Daisy Red Ryder on hand, just in case.
The birds in my backyard fly my way when I fill the bird feeder. A couple of dove will walk right up to my feet as they peck seeds under the feeder, flying away only if my little Westie gets jealous and chases them off. Little green lizards, like the one in the Geico commercials (without accents), climb plants to greet me when I water. I’m not sure if they like me or the moisture, but they always come. There are all kinds of bugs hanging out.
Yet, with all my new friends, things are not harmonious. Something is eating the crops! I’ve experienced huge losses on tomatoes; lost some eggplant and have newly discovered chews on cantaloupe. I’ve been setting rat traps; no luck. I’ve watched for birds and squirrels on the plants and have no evidence of them visiting. But something is doing some damage.
Before going out of town a week or so back, I plucked all the tomatoes (nearly 50 fruits between the 2 vines) to avoid further loses. When I returned, dime sized tomatoes covered both bushes; these have been stripped. Something big enough to break off a large limb from my Celebrity vine was here last night. I’m thinking opossum or raccoon. Time to set out the box trap.
Then I have these little pests, who like playing in the garden more than life itself. Currently they want to pick every marigold for their mother; they are extremely attracted to peppers as they ripen. One made the mistake of taking a bite out of a yellow Cheyenne recently. I heard him howl from upstairs. Racing down, thinking a dog must have bit him, I find his mother trying to give him milk. His lips stayed red and swollen for hours. That was the spiciest meal he’s had since my mother thought blazing hot wings chicken nuggets.