an update from Opportunity Gardener and AmeriCorps VISTA Erin King
“And from that day to this, no power on earth can keep a rabbit out of a vegetable garden…” – Richard Adams, Watership Down
Gardening comes with its share of pests. I often hear Trish recount having said to a fellow Opportunity Gardener, “You’ll have to fight the pests for your food.” But what happens when your pests aren’t at large when you see the damage? Such has been my case the past couple of weeks.
Insect damage really hasn’t been a large issue in my garden. Having witnessed and documented extensive flea beetle incidences at the Urban Farm, I’ll consider myself lucky. I did take Trish’s advice and purchased some cheap beer, er, slugicide once I planted my transplants. I even found one drowned slug a few days later to solidify my endorsement of this theory.
There have been multiple mornings where I’ve come out, and a pea or a radish or two appeared to have met a rabbit overnight, but with my army of peas and radishes, I’m not too concerned about their casualties. But this past Monday, I came out to water my bed and found a hole where a leaf lettuce plant should have been… A large, clearly dug out section on the corner of my garden.
My primary suspect was a rabbit that had taken up residence in my backyard. I really hadn’t had much trouble from it as long as the grass, weeds and clover were left unkempt. But, my landlord had recently attacked the grasses and weeds. In fact, it appeared that the driveway’s weeds had been sprayed with something because they were yellowing. The developing conspiracy theorist in me crafted a theory that actually the guilty party was my landlord; that he had accidentally gotten that singular leaf lettuce plant with the weed killer, and decided to uproot it as a cover up. I entertained this bizarre and unlikely theory for a few minutes – that is, until I saw a cat playing in my mulched bed awaiting summer things.
Regardless of what pests abound, odds are I’m not going to starve. In the meantime, I’ll take a lesson from my Growing Guide and seek more evidence, and concoct fewer conspiracy theories. I’m not closing the books on this one just yet.