In my post yesterday, I wrote about how excited we were about starting on the road to raised garden bed gardening and the whole adventure of it. However, we did already have to deal with quite a few challenges. I do not have any pictures for this post, but let me just say there were times, when we were so upset about the gravity of the situation we wondered why we even started it all in the first place.
Challenge #1: The Woodchucks.
These were the worst (still are, actually). Even though we put up the fence around the garden right on the day when we planted everything, they would still get in multiple times a day. Stan then went around the garden and put a second (chicken wire) fence around it too. Then we bought overpriced repellent pellets at Home Depot that were supposed to keep woodchucks and the likes of them away from the tiny plants. Imagine our disappointment when we discovered that those mindless creatures actually liked the powder! We were appalled, but every day (and sometimes multiple times a day) we would look in the garden, and something new would be missing (as in entire plant would be eaten down practically to the ground). One day we got back and found every single one of our tomato plants missing a top and some of them missing a large chunk of a plant. That was literally the straw that broke the camels’ back, and Stan since then dealt with the creatures much more severely than just sprinkling repellent powder. We’ve had at least a dozen of them, and now we are down to just a few (maybe 4 or so), but even those don’t come out as often as before, as they’ve gotten to be more skittish. They have ruined almost all the plants we had, and some of those plants never recovered, although some are slowly coming back to life.
Challenge #2: Moles, chipmunks, rabbits, and other little critters.
Realistically, woodchucks should have just gone into this category as well, but since they’ve been the biggest pain, I had to single them out as the biggest challenge. :) Here again, we’ve sprinkled repellent powder that’s designed specifically against those species, but I’m not sure how much it helped. Just a few days ago, we saw a rabbit right inside the garden happily nibbling on baby cauliflower. I was so mad, I wanted to go back to Home Depot and return the rest of those repellent powders right then and tell them that those do absolutely no good, and how can they charge $20 a bottle for it… But alas, those bottles were more than half empty, and I’m sure Home Depot people would have looked at me funny trying to return something that has been opened and used :)
Challenge #3: Some kind of bugs.
Some kind of bugs are attacking out tomatoes, eggplants, and pepper plants, as well as some of the cantaloupe plants. I’m not sure what they are, but everyday I see new holes in the leaves of those poor plants and start wondering what we need to do to keep those alive. We didn’t want to spray those plants with any harsh chemicals, as we are trying to keep the food (if anything ever grows that is) as close to natural as possible, but we might need to look for some sort of solution to prevent those bugs from spreading.
There are lots of other challenges that I won’t cover in detail, but regardless I am still glad we put in the garden. The kids get so much enjoyment out of it, and it’s a joy for us as parents as well to show them where the real food comes from, and to watch them take care of those plants and help them grow.
Tomorrow I will share some pictures of the current state of our garden, that is still growing despite all the obstacles. If you want to see all the progress we’ve had so far, be sure to come back and check it out.