We are under attack! The broccoli has been decimated, the carrot tops reduced to less than a third of their former glory, some of the kale taken down a peg and the new back row veggies and cosmos nibbled to the nubs.
We had blamed it on slugs, squirrels, bunnies, deer…and I am sure they all earned their share of the blame (the deer did get in one night when I forgot to plug in the electric fence for only 2 hours and I did see a squirrel scurry across the yard with a strawberry…) However, I have met my nemesis. Stared him down, face to face. Face to snout? Face to sniffer? Face to…nibbler. Yes, nibbler…
There were no tell tale tunnels or trotter prints, no scat to identify. Imagine my surprise on Friday afternoon when I was picking some peas and salad fixings for a weekend road trip when I looked at the wood line and saw a big old, roly poly GROUND HOG staring right at me. He looked irritated that I would be in HIS garden. His little nibbler was wiggling away as though he was taunting me! I think he knew we were leaving for the weekend and was challenging me. “I dare you to walk away, you know I am going to stroll right in there and eat my fat little belly full!!! Buahahahahahahaha!!” At least I am pretty sure that was what the maniacal little bugger was thinking.
Sure enough, I arrived home this afternoon and went out to pick some cilantro for my dinner’s rice and witnessed the carnage. There was only 1 head of broccoli left in the patches of about 20 plants. He appeared to have trampled and sampled the peas, dined on some carrot tops, followed up with a treat of Romaine lettuce and finally, kale for dessert. Only one kale plant was touched – he must have felt that it was a fairly vile weed, as do my kids. Apparently I need to up my defences.
Being a Sunday, I did not have many options – even if I did shop on Sundays, nothing was open. I don’t want to actually hurt him (although a punch in his saucy little nibbler would be quite satisfying, I imagine…). I had a 50 foot roll of chicken wire that we had purchased last year in a well meaning moment to construct a rabbit fence but never got around to it. I also had some bamboo and plastic stakes and a few tent pegs. Inadequate, at best, but better than nothing!
I managed to get the stakes in and the chicken wire rigged up along the back of the garden where the worst of the damage was done, though I will definitely have to do a better job and find some more fencing for the sides of the garden. It is really tough to maneuver chicken wire and stakes in the rain by yourself. I threw some extra netting over the last of the broccoli and cauliflower with a little prayer. Hopefully it will deter Mr Nibbler for a few days until I find a chance to do a better job. I wonder if I can electrify it with the electric fence charger?! Sigh…..
Thankfully, I have Strawberry shortcake to make it all better, at least for tonight!
“You’ve only got 3 choices, give up, give in or give it all you got!” ~ Mumsjugglingact,com