Throughout the month of June, we had our deck replaced, as well as some other work done on the rear wall of our house. Because the contractors were out there every day, I didn’t tend my garden quite as attentively as I should have! As they finished the work, I decided that the jungle-that-was-my-garden needed to be tamed. I put the kids in the inflatable pool right next to my garden patch, pulled on my long sleeves and pants, and got to (the HOT) work!
I was pretty proud of how everything looked–weeded, tidily pruned and tied up. I was also excited to see how many of my plants were on the cusp of producing yumminess!!
On Sunday 7/17, I made my first harvest from the garden! –a small handful of grape tomatoes, three cucumbers, and some cherry tomatoes from my kids’ plant! I was so excited for the harvests to come!
However, the bounty hasn’t materialized for us — at least not yet.
We had a dry spell (and I am notoriously lazy about watering, even though we have a lovely rain barrel to provide us with “free” water), and even though I was collecting large numbers of cucumbers (as many as 7 every few days), they were so bitter as to be inedible (even when peeled). Since we’ve had some rain, the cucumbers have improved, though!! So thankful.
Even more disappointing– not one large tomato, and only about 5 grape tomatoes since that first harvest! The tomatoes are literally disappearing– both green and also when they are just about ripe. We have a strong suspicion that a deer is coming and making a smorgasbord of our plants. Even though we’ve never had a problem with deer in the past, it’s the only explanation we can think of for why ALL of the tomatoes– even the ones in the back of the garden– are disappearing. Husband thinks that they are stepping right over the fence to reach the ones not along the edge. The deer in our area are quite bold– we actually saw one come up to our garden in the middle of an afternoon! I had to go out onto the porch to shoo it away (knocking on the window wasn’t enough), and even then it stopped at the edge of our yard and stared back at me as if it was sizing me up (I’m having flashbacks to my rodent wars days!).
EDIT: My neighbor told me that it’s actually squirrels! They are carrying off the produce one piece at a time!
Sadly, since it seems as though deer (and the squirrels!!) are eating every single tomato that approaches ripeness, I haven’t had the motivation to take very good care of the garden. The deer (and the squirrels) don’t seem to mind, and I’m not going to trim up the garden just for it! It’s a bummer that we aren’t getting any tomatoes for ourselves; however I am glad that the cucumbers are improving. I guess next year, we’re going to have to put up a deer-proof fence! (and do something about those pesky squirrels)