Spike Mats Solution To Plants Being Dug Up

The spike mats worked to keep the chipmunks away. The areas where I had put spike mats were not touched, so that was encouraging. I placed more spike mats and put wooden barbecue skewers with the pointy end up everywhere else. Now my garden looks like a porcupine.

Greetings fellow gardeners, 

Soon it will be summer, and I keep scrambling to keep up. Losing that tray of seedlings when the storm pushed the side of my little greenhouse has really set me back. The biggest setback, however, was the attack on my latest plantings by a roving gang of chipmunks. 

I spent three hours getting planters planted and getting the peas in and covering the potatoes. The next morning, I discovered that each pot and each space in the garden had been dug up. Big holes, plants on their sides and a general nasty mess everywhere. I was so discouraged. 

Spike Mats Protect Plants

The spike mats worked to keep the chipmunks away. The areas where I had put spike mats were not touched, so that was encouraging. I placed more spike mats and put wooden barbecue skewers with the pointy end up everywhere else. Now my garden looks like a porcupine. I am most worried about my Candyland tomato. It was the only seedling left, and I am hoping that it rallies. As you know, tomatoes are very picky and do not like being tossed about by chipmunks.

Black Krim tomato
  The Black Krim tomato is okay, but Candyland is unsure. Hopefully the sticks will help.

Orach and Potatoes Growing Together

As I try to stay positive when faced with such misery, I was very happy to see a strong red orach growing merrily near the potatoes. The orach had seeded from last year and adds such nice colour in the garden.  Orach, also known as mountain spinach, and it has a fair number of health benefits.  I use it as a nutritional boost to my salads, but it can be cooked like spinach. I always let some of it go to seed so that I can have more orach show up in my garden in the spring. 

Red Orach
Red Orach

End of Lilacs-Remove Old Flowers

Sadly, the lilac bushes are finishing up with their blooms. I enjoy the scent of the blooms along with the soft, sweet colours. I try to take off the spent blooms within the last two weeks of June, because removing the old flowers I find leads to better production the next year. My common lilac needs severe cutting back after that storm. Lilacs are best pruned after they bloom. 

The peonies are getting ready to bloom and that will be a couple of weeks of colour. While the blooms do not last for a long time, I use the foliage of the peonies as a background for colourful annuals. Peony flowers add to the resources needed by pollinators at this time of year. 

White peony emerging
  Here come the peonies

At present it is early in the morning. It is dark and raining and the birds are singing the dawn chorus. When I go out to do chores, I will need to cover up the potatoes again. They grow so fast! While I am highly annoyed at the chipmunks, I am determined to get past it and enjoy my garden. As I am a monarch watch garden, thus meaning I don’t use chemicals, I need to use my imagination to keep the pests and diseases at bay. I welcome the challenge!

Enjoy the rain and watch how your garden grows. Judith (Email:  sghorticultural@gmail.com)  Veggie Bites are available at https://sghorticultural.wixsite.com/website or https://gardeningcalendar.ca/articles/veggie-bites/

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