Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Harvest

When I lived in a place without deer I had a wonderful vegetable garden; my green beans and tomatoes especially gave me great joy. Here my initial effort at bean growing only drew a horde of hoofed invaders -- legumes are deer's favorite food -- so I quickly gave up on that. I also planted blackberry and raspberry bushes, but the deer pulled them out of the ground and ate them -- the bushes, that is and I mean entirely ate them, leaving just a few shreds of dirty root. So I built a berry bush cage and the plants subsisted for a while under it, but they never amounted to much and I finally gave that up. For a while I grew tomatoes and peppers in pots on the back porch. The deer did not venture onto the porch, but something else did (raccoons? squirrels?) and I got tired of tending my tomato plants all summer only to end up with half eaten fruit. So this year all that is left of my farming ambitions is a single potted jalapeno plant. So far, nothing has molested the peppers, and here is he first one.


pootrsox said...

How I feel your pain!

Success in maintaining plantings?

Hydrangea? nope.
Hybiscus? nope. (Hate hostas, so dodged that bullet.)
Azaleas? Don't make me laugh!
Gardenias? Nope.
Dogwood? No berries so no blossoms.

But the one that really burned my nether extremities was the dozen-plus almost ripe tomatoes that vanished entirely overnight. (They'd already eaten the two dozen or so cherry tomatoes.) Worse, they've also eaten all the tomato blossoms.

And meanwhile the neighbor up the block *feeds* the damn things so they keep coming around, dropping ticks (meaning allergic reactions to bites on my part) and eating everything except the weeds.

John said...

May mountain lions return to the East Coast soon!

G. Verloren said...

Mountain lions, huh? Wishful thinking, even putting aside the general panic it would instill in suburban America.

Mountain lions / cougars / pumas need a lot of territory to range in, and that territory no longer exists. Humanity has done a real bang up job of balkanizing woodlands all over the east coast, making them entirely unsuitable for large, territorial predators.

Wolves would be better suited, seeing as they maintain higher population densities, but again, there's just not enough land available to make a substantial dent in deer populations.

Of course, it's all likely a moot point, given climate trends. A lot of those forested areas are going to suffer from drier, hotter conditions in the coming decades, and the ecology is going to shift dramatically.

The kudzu and the brazilian pepper trees and various other invasive species will probably thrive more than ever in the new conditions, though. Guess we'd better learn to like 'em.