Monday, July 26, 2010

Worst Attack Yet

Rabbit damage?
This morning when I went out to water, the mystery animal, who I assume is one or more rabbits, had struck again. My lemon cucumber in the middle of the new raised bed had been cut to the ground. The tomato plants on either side of it -- The Moskvich Red and the Yellow Pear -- had each had one branch sliced off at the ground.This is a close-up of the gnawed ends. Below are the overviews that give you an idea of how many potential tomatoes have been lost in one night.





On the side of the raised bed where the cucumbers and tomatoes are growing (what's left of them), I saw a mound of dirt produced by a gopher right under where this one tomato still dangling from a surviving stem hangs over the edge. It, too, shows damage. I'm wondering if the green parts of the tomatoes are as poisonous to animals as they are to people.








It's obvious that hope alone doesn't prevent this damage. I have half the long green cucumber plant left on the right end of the picture above. I decided it needs to be protected. I found a bit of hardware cloth I had planned to make a gopher cage with and put it around what remained of that cucumber. See the results to the right.










But that won't help the two remaining lemon cukes which are in containers. One has always had a cage around it and thus far hasn't been harmed. The cage was supposed to be for the cucumbers to climb on, but has also served to protect it from whatever has been eating the rest. But next door to it in another pot something has been starting to attack. I can see the gnawing. It's finally starting to get baby cukes and I wanted to protect it. I found another bit of hardware cloth that was just the right size to go all the way around the pot, and it's two feet high. I don't think any rabbit will be able to get through or over it. But if it's an animal that can climb, it won't help.

I also decided that since today was overcast in the morning and cool, I would transplant my Oxheart tomato, which has been in a raised bed and not grown more than six inches high since I planted it on May 10. It's obvious it will not grow where I have it. I'm going to give it one more chance in a pot of fresh, new potting soil. I had high hopes for it. This is its new home.
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