Yesterday, I was standing in my kitchen making a 'Cooking With Food Storage' post (I will post that next week), and I suddenly noticed that I can't see the peas in the garden. I thought that was odd, so I go outside to see what is wrong. Well, all I can say is they are gone! Almost everything in the garden is gone! The only things still living in the garden are the baby onions and the garlic.
Something ate the pea plants, broccoli, and the tiny shoots of carrots and spinach. It happened Wednesday night. I know this because I went out to look at the garden Wednesday morning. We had some cold temperatures Tuesday night and I wanted to be sure the blueberry buds were OK. I looked at everything, and all was well.
Here is a before picture of the peas. I took this picture (but didn't use it) at the last Garden Update on March 21st.
Here is a picture as of yesterday.
You can see, I have one pea plant left. (It is in the lower right corner of the picture.) The creature must have stuffed himself on all the rest! I put a few more peas in the ground to replace the ones that are gone, but I believe it is a lost cause. I do not have enough cool days left to harvest any peas or carrots I plant going forward. The only plant I can expect to get something from now is spinach. Spinach can be ready to harvest in about 50 days. I am going to put more in today.
You may also notice blotches of dark red stuff in the 'after' picture. I sprinkled the one pea plant and the 6 broccoli plants I have left with chili pepper powder to keep the 'thing' away from the garden. I also sprinkled in the areas where I replanted the peas.
I find this completely frustrating because I don't have any peas or carrots left in the house. This means I must go to the store to purchase them for the rest of the year! Even if I get a good fall crop, it will be late November or December before I harvest. I don't think many people understand how much I loathe the thought of going to the store to purchase something I should be able to provide for myself! On the other hand, I am thankful that I can go to the store. My great, great grandparents would have been forced to do without.
I am sure you are wondering what the 'thing' is that ate my garden. I don't know what is it. I have had bunnies eat some things in my garden before, but never the pea plants themselves. They always passed the peas in favor of the carrots. So, I am not sure it is a rabbit or rabbits.
What I do know is that I have a new hole under my fence that is big enough for a rabbit (or two!) to get into my back yard. That will be fixed next week when I go to plant the asparagus. (My goal was to plant the asparagus this week but the cold weather made me change my mind!)
I will definitely string some chicken wire around that raised bed. I am going to plant it with green beans come summer and I can't afford for anything else to eat them!