Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Whose Garden Is This, Anyway?

The assault on my garden started in early summer.  Our weeping Santa Rosa plum tree had a good crop of plums, starting to turn from hard green spheres to color.  Standing at the kitchen sink one morning, I noticed that the tree was black -- full of crows; so many that you couldn't see the tree.  When they left, there were no more plums.
Currently, there are two pumpkins growing.  We'll see if they make it to October.

My tomatoes have all been taken by squirrels and racoons.  From four tomato plants, I have harvested fewer than ten tomatoes all season.

First the critters ate all the nectarines, and then they started on the peaches.

I was able to pick four peaches -- before they were fully ripe.  The rest disappeared.

I was told that gophers don't like peonies.  They lied.

We didn't get to enjoy any grapes this summer either.

We live in the mountains; we are surrounded by wildlife; I get that.  I don't mind sharing, really I don't.  But, I would like to get a little bit of the fruit and vegetables from the garden.  


  1. Wow. That does seem a little extreme. Is there some way to protect from the crows, like spreading a net over the trees?

  2. Next year invest in those cheap mesh hampers for clothes, like college kids use, to put over the tomatoes, use old thin panty hose cut into sections and rubber banded around the fruit to save them from critters. You could also tie metallic party strangers in your fruit trees right before they are ripe to help scare of the naughty birds... No idea how to save the grapes though!

  3. My FIL has issues as well. Though not on so grand a scale! Fortunately, "knock on wood" we haven't and are sharing with him.

  4. I don't suppose that an electric fence around the garden would help?

    I have seen people put nets over fruit trees to save the fruit.

  5. Man, we have this same problem. Between the squirrels, birds, deer, peach-eating Haflinger, raccoons, and possums, there's never much left for US to eat out of our garden. Our neighbors have built what we refer to as "Alcatraz" for their garden, and they actually get to eat about 90% of their crop (damn bugs). I'm pretty sure this is the direction we're going when we redo our outdoor space - even if it means putting up an 8' fence with bird netting overhead!

  6. We have deer fencing around the garden and orchard so we don't have an issue with deer. However, the fence is no barrier to all the other animals that get in by climbing over, through or burrowing under the fence. I like the idea of pantyhose sleeves on the fruit -- I might try that next year. I like the birds and butterflies in the garden -- I don't even mind sharing SOME of the fruit and veggies with animals -- I would like to have just a little left for us though.

  7. This year the deer left our country garden alone (this is NOT normal). However, the bugs certainly made up the difference! Mexican Bean beatles are a menace. The green beans/ butter beans have taken a beating. I ripped out the Greenbeans, sprayed them drove them 1/3 mile away (on our property) to dump them ... and sprayed them again.
    Then the squash bugs and aphids went to town! UGH! I did get the aphids under control (hand removal with soapy water) and the lady bugs finally showed up. The squash bugs were under control for June and part of July, but they finally layed so many eggs that we couldn't keep up.

    At the house, we have cat birds that attack the tomatoes. I didn't put up the bird netting this year because they weren't too bad. Only lost a few tomatoes. The bugs are not quite as aggressive in the suburbs.

    I don't know what I would do if we had gophers. So far we have been lucky that the ground hogs don't bother us. Possums haven't bothered us this year either.

    Ask around at you local wineries what type of prevention/discouragements they use. They might have some useful strategies for the home gardener.

    M in NC


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.