This year has been rather warm with summerlike temperatures and very little rainfall. It is also the year that some little critter has found my raised beds which is why I am still planting green beans on a 90 degree day in mid June!
With everything starting out early in the garden and a 10 day weather forecast favorable, I took the chance to plant some green beans about 2 weeks before the official last frost date. I was lucky as far as the weather went, but a groundhog, or maybe a something else, took that week to investigate what was going on in those nice garden areas filled with easy to move soil. Very few green beans were left to germinate after that onslaught! Alas I was out of town for a few weeks and it has taken until now to see the full effect of the little night wanderer.
Fast forward to this past weekend and either the same fella or another one returned with a vengeance and not only dug a major hole, but uprooted small tomato plants and buried some late maturing lettuce – this was war!
Rodent damage in the vegetable garden.
Defend strategy round one was to spread some organic predator deterrent which I had in the garage. I did that yesterday and there are still some foot prints although the damage is less. The repellant would be more successful if I could find some nice clean tracks to identify the rodent and target that rather using a generic one. Round two will be to use chicken wire or some other material to cover the new green bean seeds until they can hold their own. The advantage of smaller beds is that this is not too difficult, but I have to wonder if I had gone through with tilling up some garden space for the peas and beans, if more would have survived.
The good news is that the main bed still had peas intact even thought there were no beans and after removing the peas this past week, that bed is now empty and ready for planting. Two smaller beds had scarlet runner beans and they escaped any damage.
So this morning I have a variety of beans soaking in manure tea and this evening, after the sun goes down, I will plant them and hopefully in 65 days or so, I will be picking green beans.
Beans soaking in manure tea before planting.
Usually I do succession planting of green beans anyway, and will do a final one around July 4th so I have only lost the early bush beans. Several of the beans are for dried use in chilli and other winter meals but they should still have time to mature before the first frosts hits in October. The scarlet runner beans, which I find do better in cooler weather, grew well in the early part of June when the temperatures moderated. They are putting out flowers and should mature on schedule.