March 10, 2010

Gardening Casualties

I love our home, it's big, old, and very quiet. We have the illusion of being rural but very close to town. There is a tiny piece of the forest in the back. My sister calls it a cabin in town.

There are many beautiful trees and lots of critters: raccoons, possum, squirrels, and sometimes a doe will raise a couple of babies back there for awhile. However, all this beauty prevents me from growing a successful garden. The trees don't allow the sun to get through most of the day and the animals enjoy the buffet I plant. That is a big benefit of the community garden, it's in town and in a spot where there is lots of sunshine and where all the critters haven't found yet. The biggest pest there is human.

Who would have thought starting the garden inside the house would invite something. I kind of thought the peppers were being eaten and not just dying. They would get to the second set of leaves and then in the morning, the leaves were gone and a stem was left. It looked just like after the slugs have had their way with the new starts outside. Saturday it appeared an onion had been dug up, but I wasn't sure if I had knocked it over the night before or not. Then yesterday I had my proof, this little planter was full of little pea starts before I went to bed, now there are only two in the whole tray. Looks like something had peas, onions, and fennel for dinner last night.

My friend, who has a little more experience with gardening, suggested I put peppermint oil around the edges of my planters to deter the little critter. I followed her suggestion and it seem to work last night. Whomever has been visiting was there, but it looks like only the peas that had already fallen over from the damage were taken. I guess I will be purchasing some mouse traps on the way home from work today. I wish it would just go away, but I don't think that will happen. Luckily it hasn't found the other table with the happy artichokes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and many herbs.

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