Our 2021 garden: NOOOOoooo!!!!!

I am so very, very unhappy right now.

I went out to do the evening watering, and also add some shredded Irish Spring soap to the decimated beet bed, in hopes the deer will leave it alone and it can recover.

While weeding in the carrot bed in the main garden area, I noticed some greens had been nibbled on. It was only at one corner, so I figured it might have been a deer, though I didn’t think deer liked carrot greens. With discovering the groundhog had made a den in the nearby pruned branch pile, I looked it up, and it turns out they will eat carrot greens. So I figured I would add some of the soap shavings to the carrot bed, too.

I was too late.

The entire bed was decimated this afternoon!

All of it.

The bed was split between two types of carrots. They were pelleted seeds, so we were able to space them as we planted them, and they were doing really well. No thinning needed. Now, they’re all gone.

I am pretty sure that, if we can deep the deer away, the beets will be able to at least somewhat recover, but will carrots? I have no idea. We do have left over seed for both types, and I considered using one of the empty spinach beds to plant more, but we’re at the end of June. We don’t have enough of a growing season left to start over.

We do have two other types of carrots in the old kitchen garden, but these were specialty carrots, and had a lot less seed in the packets. They were also planted later, so they were not as far along as these ones.

I added the soap shavings to the bed anyhow, and the girls have covered it with one of the covers we used on the spinach beds. Not that these can stop a ground hog, but still.

Meanwhile, we’ve been trying to encourage the groundhog to move on. We don’t have a live trap, and even if we did, where would we release it? We are surrounded by farms. I don’t want to pass the problem on to someone else!


One of my daughters came out while I was watering and went to the branch pile to see the den, only to see the groundhog looking back at her! She started to tear apart the pile, and then I passed the hose to her so she could start spraying water into the den. The groundhog came out and hid the branches. They never saw it go away, though.

While they were doing that, I continued watering from the water barrel by the peas and corn. I was afraid of what I would find when I got there, but these far flung beds were unharmed.

Moving that branch pile is going to be a priority, and we’ll continue to convince the groundhog to move on, on its own. Depending on how things go, and if we can figure out where we can release it, I might be able to borrow a live trap from my brother. When I told him about the groundhogs I saw in the outer yard, he told me about catching and releasing one from their own property, so I know he’s gone one large enough. The groundhog in the garden is bigger than the two in the outer yard.


I am not a happy camper right now!

The Re-Farmer

16 thoughts on “Our 2021 garden: NOOOOoooo!!!!!

  1. I’d say more chicken wire, but the ground hog might just tunnel under that. I wouldn’t write the carrots off just yet. They’re amazingly stubborn veggies. Ever see them sprouting roots after you leave them in the fridge too long despite the fact they have no soil or water?

    As for that groundhog, you may have to put some poison out for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ug, sorry to hear it! We had an awful problem with gophers this year. I was wondering what you do to keep the deer away—our garden is fenced, otherwise we’d lose it all. Don’t the soap shavings attract mice?? Do your cats help with any of the rodent issues? Have you thought about getting a dog to keep the deer and/or others pests away?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have enough yard cats that mice are not an issue, thankfully. I’d never heard of the soap attracting mice before!!

      I have definitely been thinking of getting a dog. Until we adopt out more cats, though, we can’t afford to feed a dog as well right now!

      Liked by 1 person

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