I’ve been raided. Already. Vegetable garden took a pretty serious hit the other night. Ugh.
I knew pests were going to be my number one issue with container vegetable gardening out on my deck, but I didn’t think they would hit so soon. The other morning, I woke up to find my best tomato plant dug up out of the soil, all my potato containers rooted around in and seed potatoes dug out and tossed around (but none missing), and a bunch of other general garden vandalism.
I suspect it was raccoon, for several reasons. First of all, it didn’t actually eat anything. There were no greens missing, no potatoes stolen, nothing. Just a bunch of stuff messed with. The paw marks in the dirt, where it had dug things up, were far too large for any squirrel – that would have been my second guess. And, whatever animal did this, there was no urinary evidence left of any sort – which pretty much rules out Stomper. He was my first suspect, but surprisingly, so far he seems to have very little interest in my plants and my containers at all. And I know that if it had been him digging in there, he would have surely left a little gift for me as well.
I’ve seen a raccoon up on my deck before, once. So I know they can get up there. And it did really look like the damage had been done by a fairly large creature. I didn’t have the heart to take too many pictures at the time, but you can see here what’s left of what was once my most developed tomato plant.
I’m going to be surprised if he pulls through. I’ve got a couple other tomato plants I started that are okay, but they are all pretty small. I wanted to start them from seed, but I may replace this one with a market bought heirloom or something. We’ll see how he does.
To make matters worse, we were pounded repeatedly with some serious storms last week. For some of my plants this was a boon, but for others not so much. Have a look at this example…
I’ve had five soybean plants growing in this container. Two have drowned, one is questionable, and two others are loving it. The container should be fine in terms of drainage, got lots of rocks and shards in the bottom and I even drilled extra holes, but the soil has been so moist for so long now that the two dead soybean plants have visible stem rot at the bottom of them. But you see the one plant to the far left (with the blue tie) – that one has done great. Not sure what accounts for the discrepancy here – the one which was once the healthiest plant (with the yellow tie) was the first of them to die.
On the other hand, the lettuce and radicchio is growing like crazy.
I think I’m going to harvest for a salad or two this week. The radicchio should be red, but everything came up green.
And, against all odds, the potato plants are coming up nicely despite the fact that they were all completely removed from the dirt just a few days ago. I re-planted them and put them up on higher ground on some chairs, so we’ll see how it goes with that.
I’ll probably plant a few new soybean seeds, but all in all the garden seems to have taken the hits pretty well. I’ll have to see if the animal returns to decide whether I need any sort of more significant protection from it, but for now things seem to be pretty quiet. I like to hope that whatever it was didn’t find what it was looking for and won’t return any time soon anyway. I guess I can be a bit naïve like that.
It’s going to be a long Summer.