The Modern Victory Garden

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Four Legged Pests

Posted on May 18, 2011 at 11:52 PM

My new strawberry patch (planted earlier this spring) was growing well – that is until just recently.   The past several days I have been noticing that the new leaf growth was being eaten and the plants were not making any real progress growing as a result.   I did a close inspection and the leaves were neatly chewed off and there were no signs of bugs or slugs to be found.   This morning, my suspicions were confirmed when I startled a large rabbit from the bed.   The cheeky little thing was reluctant to leave, even after I arrived on the scene.   I had to give it a bit of a chase (with some yelling involved) in order to get him to leave the garden area.   Visiting rabbits are not new to my garden, but this was a bit of a puzzler as this bunny was obviously skipping right past a nice stand of pac choi, a large bed of celery, and a bed of newly emerged baby carrots – and focusing in on the strawberry plant vegetation exclusively!   The more traditional “rabbit food” crops remained untouched even though they were immediately adjacent to the bed area the strawberries are in.   If I allowed this to continue those strawberries would eventually fail, so I needed to do something about it.   I really did not have time this evening to set up hoops with netting, so instead I just threw some clear plastic over the bed to temporarily protect it from the nighttime marauder.   I will take the covering off in the morning and then try to get the hoops and netting cover up tomorrow after work, as a more permanent solution.       

Rabbits are not my only four-legged pests in the garden at the moment. My cat Sidney has taken to digging in my bush bean patch lately.   The bean plants are just emerging so each time he does it - he unearths a few new plant shoots.   I may end up having to cover this bed too - to protect it from him.   Once the plants are well established and have a good canopy of leaves, then the cover can come off.   Darn cat!                 

    

Last weekend we set some new records for the amount of rainfall we got.   Everything was thoroughly soaked.   Luckily this was followed by a significant improvement in the weather and today was downright beautiful.   Tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer so I am planning to uncover the tomatoes for the day and let them enjoy some unfiltered sunshine while I am away at work.  

    

Yesterday morning I took a picture of one of the beds of kale which had a bunch of rain drops hanging on them.             

         

      

 

This evening, I did a hard harvest of those same plants and got over three quarters of a pound of kale, which was used to make a side dish to accompany our baked salmon filets for dinner - sautéed kale and onions with cranberry raisins.   Once the onions and kale are initially cooked down and are tender, I add the craisins along with some vegetable stock and then continue to cook it on fairly high heat until the stock is largely evaporated away and the craisins are “plumped”.   Season with salt to taste and enjoy!             

     

Wish I was able to join my tomato plants in enjoying the sunshine tomorrow, but hopefully the sun will stay with us long enough that I can enjoy it myself this coming weekend.                     

                     

Laura

kitsapfreedomgardener

Categories: Pests, Recipes / Cooking