Sunday, May 27, 2012

How to destroy a garden in 30 minutes or less

After toiling for hours, days, and weeks, your garden can be destroyed in so many ways.  Let me list a few:
Drought.  Without rainfall you have to water your garden.  This isn't a problem as long as you have a spout near your garden or hoses that will reach.  If you have more time than anything else you can carry buckets of water from your water source to your plants.  This all works as long as your water source doesn't dry up - whether it be your spring, pond, or well.  Even your city water can burst a pipe and be shut down for several days.  That would be all it takes to destroy your garden if it is the middle of summer and the heat is turned up.  This is usually what kills my garden.  We don't get summer rain so that's not what I depend on to water the garden.  It's turning on the hoses and soaking the garden.  It's not hard to do.  My problem is I usually get called away to work during the summer often for a week or two at a time.  I have a neighbor that will come over to make sure the animals all have water but it's too much to ask for them to water everything.  So at some point each summer the garden dies a quick, hot death.
Hail.  Opposite of drought is the rain coming down in hard little frozen pieces.  Around here we had hail in April.  It destroyed my cherry crop.  In total we got three cups of cherries off of four trees!  If you have wheat or corn drying in your field and you get hail the moisture will ruin the entire crop, and the hail can knock it flat!  Fortuantely this isn't a big threat in our area. 
Insects.  Whether locusts, grasshoppers, moths, or tomato worms, bugs will eat your crop in front of your eyes.  There's been grasshopper swarms that have landed on crops in a big whirlwind and in a few minutes eat everything in site and swarm off to the next crop. 
Rabbits and squirrels.  These two critters will slyly get into your garden and eat your plants and your fruit.  I've walked out into the garden to pick a peach off the tree and come face to face with squirrels in the tree eating them.  I've gone back into the house to get the rifle and come back out to the tree to shoot them.  They are so bold they don't run off when you stand right next to them. Some ways to get rid of them other than shooting them are poisoning, trapping or to repelling them with mothballs. 
Deer.  We don't have deer around here.  They love gardens and people I know who have deer and gardens keep the garden fenced with 8 foot fencing.  Planting a border of chives, onions, garlic and mint are a good deterrent.  Deer don't like those smells and will tend to stay away, especially if there's something else to eat that isn't surrounded by the bad scent.  They love ripe fruit so keep up with your trees.  If the fruit is ripe, pick it!
Ants.  OK they take more than 30 minutes but if the fruit ripens on the trees the ants will get to them before we do!  The ants that we have in the garden are the biting "evil" ants.  They make it difficult to garden because they will swarm on you and bite you.  Putting cornmeal out for them to eat is an easy way to kill them.  So is pouring boiling water on their hills. 
Children.  Children running in your garden with no regards to your rows of plants is another garden killer.  Fortunately for me I don't have grandchildren who do that!  My sister has nieces and nephews who run through her garden knocking over plants.  It gets her so mad because their parents don't seem to care.
The sheep.  Today a big part of my garden was eaten by my sheep.  With all the fencing I've been doing around here, how would they get into my garden and eat all the okra, peanuts, tomatoes, and plum and apple trees? Read the item listed above - children.  Children playing in the barn and leaving gates open.  The sheep just walked out and started enjoying the garden.  I'm not a happy grandparent this afternoon.  Tomorrow morning Girl and Boy will be replanting.  I'd have them do it this evening but I'm too angry.  They get to spend the rest of their day in their rooms instead.  It's a good thing TS hasn't HTF where we must have this crop to survive. 


  1. So sorry to hear about your garden! I remember a similar incident when I was a child and the geese destroying my mother's garden while she was away. She was furious with the older kids.

  2. Boy, do I feel your loss too. I had to take-off for a few days to help the in-laws and told hubby not to let Big dog in the garden. Opps! Big Dog LOVES peas and loved them to death. No more peas for Me and no more for big dog. Guess I should be happy that was all she destroyed. Not very happy with hubby at all!

    PS It was wise to cool off before addressing the kids.