Our 2021 garden; NOOooo!!! *sob*

Today is supposed to be hot again, so I wanted to make sure to get the garden watered early in the day, while it was still cool. I started with the soaker hose at the squash tunnel, then went around checking the melons, squash and gourds.

I was extremely disappointed to find this.

Our one and only Teddy winter squash was gone.




The two Teddy plants are blooming, and there is even a female flower developing, but that one baby squash had grown so much after the rain, I was really looking forward to watching it develop.

This is one of the nearby Little Gem winter squash. There were no developing squash down here to be eaten; those are much higher on the trellis. Still, it means energy will be going to recover from the damage, instead of into developing squash.

Thankfully, that was the only damage here. The melons and gourds had no critter damage. I did find one of the nearby Dorinny corn had been gotten into, the remains of a cob on the ground. The corn may have been a deer, but I figured the squash was a groundhog. The deer don’t go along that side of the garden beds, preferring to walk through the open areas in the middle.

I was wrong.

When I checked the garden cam, I almost missed the shadow moving in the darkness. It was a huge raccoon! So big that, if it hadn’t turned at the end of the bean bed and I could make out its tail, I would have thought it was a bear cub.

I continued checking the beds, and was so disappointed to find this.

A deer got into the Montana Morado corn. In the above photo, several stalks in the outermost row are gone.

I found corn cobs scattered on the ground, each looking like they had only a single bite taken out of them.

Hoof prints left no doubt as to what was responsible for this damage.

The deer had traipsed right through the middle of the corn block, leaving damaged plants and nipped corn cobs in its wake.

These are all the cobs I picked up off the ground.

I think it would bother me less if the deer actually ate the corn, rather than taking a bite here and a bite there. and leaving a trail of damage.

On checking the cobs, you can see that a couple of them were almost completely ripe, if poorly pollinated. When ripe, the kernels should be an even darker purple.

One cob is looking like it was going blue, instead of purple!

Several of the cobs had been beautifully pollinated, full of developing kernels.

I am so incredibly unhappy. Clearly, the flashy spinny things around the corn block are no deterrent.

Not even our purple beans escaped damage. The purple beans are lusher and bushier than the green and yellow beans – except for at this end of the row, where the leaves have been thinned out by nibbling.

And here is the beast that did the damage – nibbling on a sunflower!!!

I. Am. Not. Impressed.

I even added bells to the lines around the corn and sunflower beds, but the deer came from the other side!!

Venison is sounding very good right now.

What a disappointing way to start the day.

Other things went well, though, and I will save those for other posts!

The Re-Farmer

9 thoughts on “Our 2021 garden; NOOooo!!! *sob*

    • From what I’m hearing from others, we are certainly not alone in having a really bad year for it. Likely due to the drought conditions.

      I just got off the phone with my mother, and she’s all “you need a dog”. According to her, we don’t even need to train a dog. They just naturally will keep the critters out. We had dogs when I was a kid, and I remember helping to train them, but when I mentioned that, she was adamant that they were never trained. They just herded our cows for us on their own. LOL

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      • its called selective memory, kin to selective hearing. My mother does the same and well, I may have once or twice. I think though, that the right dog can actually pick up what we want them to do quickly and there are breeds that instinctively herd animals. She may also have a point, Many animals are simply instinctively afraid of dogs and will avoid the area where one resides. There are deer in the woods here, but I rarely see one around my house. I did not actively train my dogs, but I do talk with them just as I would another human. Bella has gotten really good at anticipating what I want from her, especially when we go on hikes.

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      • Yup.

        I do want a dog, but she doesn’t understand that rushing out to get one, and expecting all our problems to go away, is not realistic. When I was a kid, we acquired dogs. We didn’t go out to get them. They were usually given to us by city friends whose kids didn’t want them anymore. 😦

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      • That’s true. Bella is almost 8 or 9 I have to look it up, but even though she is a really intelligent dog, some actions took repeated instructions. Molly, well Molly is our not right bright lovable one. Slower, but she isn’t impossible to train.

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  1. Three or four Tibetan Mastiff dogs would probably convince the critters to move along. If they are raised around cats, they are friendly with them, but the cats would likely not know that. 🙂

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  2. First, I know it’s no consolation, but deer eat like that to preserve the overall plant for future food and camouflage. It’s instinctive.

    A dog is likely to be your best answer at this point. A few things to consider though: First is the cost of the vet bills, food, etc… for the dog or dogs. Second and closely related; you’re likely going to want at least a medium sized dog or bigger. Those woodchucks are at least trying to breed now, which means they’re going to be more inclined to aggressively defend their lairs. Raccoons can get quite aggressive with anything close to their size also. Then there’s also the questions of how will they get along with the cats, and are you going to keep the poor dog outside (they’re pack animals unlike cats. They need their people more) so that they can actually chase critters off in the middle of the night?

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