Garden Pests

If you've been following my gardening adventures, you may have noticed that I've been using the word was (as in past tense) in describing how things were going with it.  There's a really good reason for this.  You see, as I was experiencing the excitement that I was growing all kinds of yummy stuff, unbeknown to me, critters were plotting the demise of my garden.

I definitely anticipated that the garden would be visited by some sort of worm or other leaf eating insect.  I was mentally prepared for that.  What I was not prepared for was this.

Carmen next to the RE-planted garden.

Yup, that is what a dog (Carmen) looks like after she's spent the afternoon destroying three months of my hard work and anticipation.  She's lucky I love her so much or she may have been homeless after this.  I came home one afternoon and happened to glance over at the garden.  I noticed that one of the tomato plants seemed to be dangling horizontally, and the tall basil plants were no where to be seen.  I stepped closer and peered over the little fence and almost fainted!  The garden was about 85% d-e-s-t-r-o-y-e-d.  My first thought was raccoons or squirrels, of which there are plenty.  But when I noticed the ripped out fencing in the corner of the garden and paw prints all over the place, and it quickly became very clear what happened.  Damn dogs!!

I stomped over to the patio, glaring at them and pointing at the garden demanding, "WHO did this?  Huh? Who did this?"  They laid there lazily pretending they had nooooo idea who this crazy lady losing her mind was.  Well, all of them except Ms. Carmen who happened to have an awful lot of dried dirt all over her front paws and nose.  And she wouldn't even turn her head in my direction.  She stared far into the distance in the opposite direction blinking 100 times a minute (dog body language for "I know I'm in big trouble").  "The very least you could have done was clean off your paws and try to look innocent!" I scolded.  All Carmen could respond was "blink-blink-blink-blink-blink-blink."

So frustrating considering we have this ginormous yard for them to dig and do what they want with, but NO, they had to take my one little corner of the yard and obliterate it!  My theory is that nearly every morning I spend at least half an hour in the garden.  I'm always really happy and peaceful there (as my friend Miranda says "Gardening is the best therapy") and so I think they can sense that and they wanted to be in the peaceful place too.  Ok, maybe a lame theory but it at least helps me make some sense of things :)

I replanted what I could but I lost quite a bit and my tomato plants were pretty traumatized.  I put another layer of chicken wire around the entire garden , but needless to say, over the next 3 weeks, not only her, but the rest of the pack starting infiltrating the garden while we were gone.  I repaired, replanted and tried to patch up the fence but they just kept finding new ways to bust through 2 layers of chicken wire.  I even put barb wire around and when that didn't keep them out (these Costa Rican dogs are tough!!), I really started to lose hope that I could have dogs AND a garden.  Then the hubby came to save the day!!!  He purchased and wrapped the entire garden with this strong, thick metal trellis type stuff.  It's been a month and they have been unable to get back in so I feel confident that I can go ahead and try again.  

I'm kind of right back at the beginning as far as the garden bed goes.  I still have some jicama in the back and 5 very tall cherry tomato plants, but everything else that was planted in the bed is gone.

I still had seeds left for more basil, cilantro, broccoli, snap peas and 3 types of yellow tomatoes (hello salsa!!) so I started over from the seed trays. 


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