Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Back Garden Update

With all of the hot weather we've been experiencing, the plants in the back garden have really taken off. It's getting harder and harder to move in between the rows. I must admit, I didn't realize how much space zucchini plants required. I have to wear pants just to avoid their abrasive leaves! Also, they seem to be shading everything around them. Hopefully they won't get too much bigger or they'll have to go. I'll take peppers over zucchini any day.

In other news, something has devoured all of my soy beans . Today, I noticed a half eaten baby Charantais melon and numerous stripped leaves. I thought it might have been a chipmunk but then found a small gap under my fence. Those dastardly rabbits found a way in! Needless to say, I tried my best to block the gap. Also, think I'll try my hand at trapping them. In the past 2 and a half weeks, my Havahart trap has caught 8 chipmunks 3 squirrels, all of which were relocated to a nearby park. I haven't spotted a chipmunk in my garden since. Can anyone suggest a good way to trap rabbits?

Here's a view of the back-half of the garden. The melon vines are out of control. I'm gonna have to install some kind of trellis for them to climb onto soon or I won't be able to access the tomatoes.

Here's a closer looks at the melon vines. They are flowering abundantly now.

The tassels are also beginning to form on my corn plants. Anyone know of a good way to hand-pollinate corn?


  1. Your garden looks so amazing! Everything is growing so nicely. Yes, we noticed our zucchini plants are getting enormous too! They have taken over the beet row!

    We use a have a heart cages to catch furry animals. The cages are easy to set up and you can easily release them to another location.

  2. If we ever have an apocalypse, I'm coming to your house.

    As far as the rabbits, the only luck we've had is the chicken wire around every nook and cranny. I'm guessing you want to trap them alive, so I don't really have anything for that. The .22 works well if you're not particular.

    Honestly, I'm planning on making the vegetable garden as close to Fort Knox as I can. Chicken wire on the ground (we have gopher's too), around the fence and anywhere else I think it's needed. Then, I'll just keep my fingers crossed.

  3. Your garden looks nice and lush, sorry about the furry critter problem, can't help you there. I let our kitties out in the evening and they patrol the garden, I've seen bunnies running around in our neighborhood, but they don't come to our yard (yet).

  4. Very Beautiful. A walk around your garden could get you into a very nice frame of mind!

  5. Wow, you have some serious critter issues Thomas. I never had any of the mentioned beasts eat my melons, but they were trellised, not on the ground. I REALLY hope this is the worst of it for you!!!

    No suggestions for catching rabbits, except maybe a nice hunk of melon?

  6. Your melon patch had filled in beautifully! This warm weather is just perfect for melons. I think we are going to have a great melon harvest this year.

    Zucchini does spread out and take up a lot of room. I grew mine in pots this year because I didn't have any garden space left for it. However, they do not seem to be doing very well.

    I am sorry for your critter problems. That must be so frustrating. We have the neighbor's cats and our dog that seem to keep most of the critters in check. I don't mind sharing a little, but I would be upset if I found all of something eaten. I hope you receive some good suggestions on how to deal with them.

  7. I wish I knew the secret to rabbit control but I don't. They do seem to love soy beans, they ate all of my plants last year and I won't bother trying to grow them again. In the end it was my cat, Zeke the Rodenator, who got the rabbits under control. The garden looks great in spite of the critters.

  8. I have also been looking for methods to hand-pollinate corn, I hope you share whatever method you choose to try!

    We always had rabbits around when I was a kid but we also had dogs so never had much of a problem with them in the garden. Getting a dog isn't really and ideal solution though is it? Beside you don't want the dog getting some disease from wild rabbits...

  9. My brother has rabbit problems, too. He's found it easiest to set the traps in the morning for rabbits, otherwise he gets raccoons. I'm pretty sure he uses something like have-a-heart too, because he relocates all the rabbits he traps.

    Good luck!

  10. It ate a melon? I am enraged.

  11. Unless your rabbit likes spicy foods, you can try the garlic/pepper spray repellents. With the amount of rodents around here, I don't even try that type of garden, but the repellents were useful for the baby deer that adopted me this spring. They homemade ones need to be sprayed after each rain, but the organic commercial ones last for months. And there is always the coyote urine around the fence line.

  12. I think I would just hold stalks together and shake for the corn! You certainly have critter issues! I haven't found any insects that bother the soybeans, only actual animals, birds at the sprout stage for sure. I think a BB gun is in order if it's legal in your county! I would get all camo'd up and spend the night in the garden, but I'm crazy like that LOL! I think your best bet might be to plant a rabbit garden! Maybe if they had basil, chard, greens etc in a little plot they won't bother trying to get into your fence. Wierd, I only have a 3 ft tall split rail fence around my garden with chicken wire and dozens of bunnies that come out every night (they live under my wooden sheds) but I never see any rabbit damage in my garden. They all seem to head to the front yard every evening where they eat whatever clover etc is in my lawn. I'm thinking because they never know when the dogs will be let out the back door? Don't know how you & Marc feel about a dog, but they certainly are critter deterrents, some breeds more than others. I never even have squirrels bother my stuff, if the dogs are inside and they see a squirrel on the fence, one starts crying to be let out and she chases it away. Marley's life mission is to herd squirrels LOL!

  13. p.s. congrats on those melons, I hope you have a long summer up there, because it looks like you have LOTS of blooms in there!

  14. I knew that your garden would be going crazy! This is an excellent year for gardening in our area.... even if we are wilting... ;)
    I don't have any answers for you, but I always love to read your blog.

  15. I tapped the stalks with a broomstick to make the pollen fall onto the tassels, seemed to work pretty good last year.

  16. Thanks for the advice everyone. The rabbits are having babies again...uggh!

    I hope my neighbors don't think I'm crazy when I start to tap my corn stalks with a broom!

  17. Note about the rabbit and chipmunk problem: it's actually illegal in MA to transport the little buggers off your property. (My husband's an animal control officer and is always coming up against that law when helping people deal with pesty wildlife.) So if you're going to do it, do it in the dead of night and don't blog about it! :-)

    If you or a friend has a sheddy dog or cat, spread the fur around the garden. I've been doing that and even here in Chipmunk and Rabbit Central, it controls the damage a lot. I only wish I'd thought of it before they ate most of my lettuce and Asian greens.

    (Everything else looks great. Watch out that those squash don't devour the kid while he's playing outside.)

  18. Your garden is *really* looking good! Many of our squash and melon plants are looking cucumber beetle/stink bug/squash bug stressed - yours look like nothing is bothering them at all. The melon patch is just wonderful.

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