Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Garden pests

A lovely rainy day yesterday, the rain gauge indicates we had about 1 3/4 inches of badly needed rain. Our local fire chief told Dan that the weekend before last, there were several grass fires in town. We are lucky that our volunteer fire department could get them under control, it has been very, very dry.

The seeds I planted are now having a nice soaking, the temps are in the mid-40s, but at the time of planting the soil temperature was up to 56 degrees, and these are cool-weather crops so we should have good germination. On Sunday the peas (Lincoln), planted 4/18, were just sprouting. I need to build a temporary fence soon to keep the dog out. We made the painful discovery a few years ago, that no, it was not the groundhog, nor the slugs, that were decimating the early peas. It was THE DOG. Yes, THE DOG, whose only task in our household is to scare off the groundhogs, was instead competing with the groundhogs for fresh greens.

It took a while before we figured this out -- after all, what self-respecting Golden Retriever would eat pea sprouts, chard, spinach? And we have a bumper crop of slugs in our yard, in addition to the groundhog village living next door, so naturally we assumed it was a 'hog or slug problem when we saw the ravaged little plants. But something was eating the ornamental kale, too, planted in pots on the deck. And come to think of it, the damage didn't look like slug damage.

Then one day, when he didn't realize we were looking, Fisher ambled over to the kale and took a bite -- just a little nibble, really. And then another, and another, and then he moved on to the next pot while we watched, dumbfounded --then sprang into action, yelling and waving our arms, while Fishy looked on as though we were possessed (which we probably are, but that's another story).

Thus, Fishy now lolls about the yard, looking unconcernedly through the fence as the groundhogs gambol about the garden, dining on organic beet greens and tender young grean beans. If anything, he's jealous of them.

1 comment:

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