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

Our 2021 garden: new finds!

Today is supposed to exceed 30C/86F, so I wanted to make sure the garden got an deep watering this morning. When I had removed the shade cloth from the three beds with fall harvest crops planted, the seedlings seemed to be doing pretty good.

When I returned to cover them this morning, I saw this on one of the beds.

There was no evidence of a critter getting under the chicken wire cover. That suggested whatever ate these leaves was either a really small, light critter, like a mouse (very unlikely, given how many hungry mouths our mama cats have to feed), or it was insects.

My money is on the grasshoppers. 😦

This was, however, the only damage found this morning. The rest was all fun stuff. I was absolutely thrilled to see this.

Our very first Tennessee Dancing Gourd!!!

Somehow, in seeing all the flowers in the plants next to the luffa, my brain just stuck them in the “melons” category. On looking more closely, I found lots of these.

It looks like we are going to have plenty of little spinner gourds growing! They only get a few inches long and, according to one of the reviews I read when I bought the seeds, they are very prolific. The writer claimed their one plant ended up with at least 250 gourds. This was someone with a much longer growing season than ours, so I don’t expect that sort of success, but we should definitely have quite a few from our several plants.

Meanwhile, the flower bud on the nearby luffa plant I saw yesterday, looking like it was starting to open, absolutely exploded into flower this morning! So awesome!

What is also awesome is being able to walk past the squash tunnel and, from any angle, be able to see melons, and knowing that there are more little ones, still hidden under the leaves.

I finally remembered to uncover and read the labels by the winter squash. The ones that are so enthusiastically climbing the wire are the Little Gem variety, with several small squash already forming.

This morning, I finally saw some fruit forming on the Teddy variety of winter squash.

Both of these varieties as supposed to produce small fruit, with a short growing season, so when I hadn’t seen any of the Teddy squash developing, I was beginning to wonder. I am really excited to see the fruit developing now. 🙂

The Re-Farmer