Remember last Spring when I talked about our cracker jack plans for a garden? Well, we did end up with some fairly edible prizes to show for our labor. We ended up planting tomatoes (3 different kinds!), kakai pumpkin, black simpson lettuce, carrots, and approximates 42,000 strawberry plants. For a few months, everything was great--we harvested a bunch of lettuce, about 12 mamma mia tomatoes, a dozen or so strawberries, and had one heck of a pumpkin just sitting there, growing.
Then the squirrels caught on to or master plan. They found out that we intended to actually eat the foods that we grew, and they got together at their annual squirrel convention and came up with 14 different diabolical plans: each and every one culminated in them eating the veggies before we could enjoy them. For the last two weeks, as soon as a tomato turns even slightly orange, it's gone. The pumpkin was devoured, along with all of the lettuce and every single strawberry as soon as it showed any sign of turning red.
Or maybe it's the raccoons. Either way, I am pissed. And apparently, my cat is in on the deal. I mean, it's not like I ask much of him. Does a cat really need two eyes in order to spot, chase, and possibly eat a freaking squirrel?
At the very least, we have an herb garden on the back porch, growing in huge terra cotta pots: parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, thyme, oregano, thai basil, sage, cilantro, and chives. It would appear that our resident critters aren't fans of vibrantly flavored leaves and aromatic sprigs. There's no accounting for taste.
We had such grand plans for all of our lovely tomatoes. I'm glad we got to try a few of them, but it's very disheartening. This was our first attempt at gardening, and I hate to think that we've been had by some overgrown chipmunks. I just don't have the energy or desire to build fencing or anything other than watering and fertilizing the plants, and even that is starting to seem pointless. If they would just leave me one strawberry, maybe I'd feel more industrious. At least they haven't started digging the carrots out yet. We've been able to harvest about 7 or 8 tiny, yet delicious, little carrots. Sigh.
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My dad and stepmom live in the Belmont Hills near you and also have a garden...they're main problem is actually the deer! So they have a bunch of interesting solutions to the deer eating all their veggies. Let me know if you want to pay them a visit with me sometime to get some tips! :)
My mom's got squirrels in her veg garden, too. If you're not squeamish I'll share her solution.
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