While it’s too cold in most of the US, to think about the opening of the coming gardening season, this is the time of the year when I plow through seed and nursery catalogues and dream of stout stems, leafy vines, and flowering plants.
my 2014 garden was a catastrophe of biblical portions.
grasshoppers stormed through in early spring, devouring most of the tops of my 24 heirloom tomatoes.
I learned my firmly held belief that zuchinni could be grown anywhere was incorrect. I failed to get one zucchini into my kitchen but learned squirrels love tasty squashes.
Potato blight struck once again and may have spread to my other nightshade family member, hybrid tomatoes I planted after the first cluster of plants were demolished by the damn locusts.
But even those plagues can’t keep my inner Farmer Forbes down for very long and I ended up planting black diamond watermelons and a couple of russian tomato vines( which produce unbelievably fast.
I did manage to produce about 20 red and sweet onions, unfortunately, as I pulled them out of the ground,I saw that subsurface critters had gnawed on four of the biggest onions in my patch.
To add insult to injury I was out watering my melons, when I nopticed one moving around. I knew one of my most hated garden enemies was having inside the plant and went Gallagher with a rubber mallet on his furry mouse head.
But wait, there’s more. I was so pissed off at garden invaders in 2014, I called the County Ag Commission. Someone came out and told me I was smack in the middle of “gopher vole central”. Well D’oh Homer.I could have told him that.
So, in 2015, I've vowed to finally take control of my garden. I’ve built one 8 by four foot,, 20 inch, deep raised bed, and I’m assembling two more in my garage. All of the raised beds in my garden will have two layers of gopher mesh on their bottoms and known distance range markers on their ends. If I see one furry little vole head anywhere near my garden boxes, I intend on engaging in a little thing we call “pink misting” here in rural San Diego, and I’ve got the hollow points ready.
How serious is the rodent problem here in the avocado kingdom? I’m glad you asked, in 2014 squirrels and gophers destroyed four producing avocado trees and one 20-foot tall navel orange tree. And that’s on top of the plants in my garden.
But I will not let the rodents here drink deeply from the keg of victory. AndI don’t care if I have to use six gift cards to buy lumber, gopher wire and two more boxes of ammo at the local hardware store to tame my inner Farmer Forbes demons. I will not be defeated by critters and insects.I garden, therfore I am.--Jim Forbes, 01/03/2015.