Challenges, gardening challenges!
Last fall we thought we had Wilbur living under the garage for the winter, and that was kinda cute and all, and one groundhog doesn’t eat that much. So Wilbur could stay, ok. He even wrote a blog last fall. https://sarasinart.net/2016/11/26/wilbur-wrote-a-blog/
Well spring came and Wilbur wasn’t so cute any more, when my neighbor across the alley asked me one day if I knew I had baby groundhogs under the garage, coming out the front end to look around. Groundhogs, 4 babies and Wilbur, who turned out to be Wilburina. Oh my. Somewhere up in the field or woods up above my property lives a male groundhog, who met Wilburina very early in the spring……..
For a while we fed them tomatoes and carrots, cos they were hungry babies. And we’re all soft hearted here. Mama keeps babies in the den till they’re 4 weeks old, then starts taking them out a little, and soon they go out on their own. Foraging. For everything they like. Like parsley, green bean plants, kidney bean plants, and short tomato plants.
So this little family had its home here, and it wouldn’t have been ok to move anybody while they were still nursing and not able to live on their own. But, everybody needs to GO! So when they were old enough, I had a guy come with traps. By then I hadn’t seen Wilburina or 2 of the babies for a couple days. 2 other babies were here all the time, out looking for garden stuff to eat. So 2 got trapped and taken up in the mountains near here, to find new groundhog homes.
Now Wilburina and the 2 other babies must have gone up to the woods to spend the summer. I’m sure she’ll be back around the 1st of September to check out her old apartment and see if it’s still available. Well, Wiburina, it is NOT available. I can’t go thru all that again next year with a bunch of pups, cos they really messed my garden up. So, I’m arranging to have barriers put at the bottom of the garage, at the places they can go under there. Wilburina will have to go live in the woods like the other groundhogs do.
Then there is bamboo. And there were birds. Wrote blogs about that earlier. https://sarasinart.net/2017/05/03/bamboo-er-bird-issues/
When I had half of it cut down, what I didn’t know was that the other parts would consider the whole system as having been injured/amputated and it needed to start sending out root shoots everywhere, all thru my yard and even across the alley, digging up the macadam.
So, after 15 years, and having had people tell me that at some point, I would be sorry I ever planted it, I was soooo sorry I ever planted it. I can’t have it digging up the alley, and I don’t want it literally everywhere, all thru my yard. So I had the rest cut down. It looks pretty apocalyptic, or at least real bare out there. Now I have to have some big machinery come and take the roots out, to keep it from continuing to grow. Then plant grass to make a nice space out of what was the bamboo grove. I miss it, but it had to go.
But summer goes on and gardening goes on. Lots of tomatoes are doing great and some just starting to ripen. Not so great about the beans, thanks to our little invasive family we had here, but some limas are still ok. Lots of peppers, both hot and sweet. Lots of squash, and groundhogs don’t like squash plants, thankfully. But I’m fighting squash bugs. I’m looking for and destroying their eggs every day to prevent an onslaught, cos a lot of them can kill a squash plant in a few days. So I will win this war, and none will get the opportunity to hatch.
My favorite squash is delicata, and I have one plant doing really well with 8 squash growing on it and lots more flowers.
Also have some summer squash: little pattipans and gagats, which we’ve been eating for several weeks.
So, summer goes along and with it came some unique challenges this year. Some will go away, like groundhogs and bamboo issues. But squash bugs, no, they’ll be back next year.