Going To New Heights

If you have followed along with our garden adventures, you know that last year was the year for critter & deer attacks in our garden. And, since we learn from our experiences, this year we are taking action on keeping the deer out of our garden.

Last year, our garden fence was six feet high, and the deer just jumped right up and over the fence to our amazement. We never knew that a deer could just stand there and jump up that high, well we know now. So this year, I am adding more height to our garden fence with the hopes that this will keep out the deer.

ADDING HEIGHT TO GARDEN FENCE 6-3-14

As you can see from our photographs, the garden fence frame starts with those nice 5′ high metal stakes which we pound into the ground. Then we unrolled the thick black plastic fencing which is 3′ in height and attached that to the garden stakes with tie wraps. We then added the second layer on top of that to make the fence 6′ in height and tie wrapped those two layers into place.

This is where the dilemma begins. Since I am at the top of those metal stakes now, I need more height & stability to add another layer of garden fencing. Now what? I sat there for awhile and wondered how to get this accomplished and then had a fantastic idea. I grabbed some small PVC pipes I had (and borrowed a few from our wonderful neighbor) and slipped the PVC pipes into the back of those green metal stakes and they fit perfectly! Now, I have heightened the frame perfectly, but there is still a problem. I need to secure the PVC pipes to the green stakes and tie wraps were not strong enough.

FENCE POLES 6-3-14

A light bulb went off in my head and I ran for my power tools, which is always the answer! I drilled a small hole near the bottom of the PVC pipes, then slipped the PVC pipe into the back of the green metal stake and added a screw and a nut to tighten it. Problem solved. Now I can add the third layer of fencing to the PVC pipes and secure it with tie wraps!

GARDEN VIEW 6-3-14

Since I was up on the ladder, I had to take this photograph of our garden. I love how our garden area is coming along and it makes me smile everytime I head into this gorgeous area. Our garden fence is now almost nine feet in height, and we can now relax at night and not worry about a deer jumping into the garden. Well, we hope they don’t at least. It’s not the prettiest of fences, but we use what we have to work with.

CLOUDS 6-3-14

With that out of the way, I still have a few more plants to get into the garden, believe it or not. We still had our Connecticut Field Pumpkins downstairs under the grow lights and it was time to get them out in the garden. We are planting them in our back garden bed with high hopes that we will have pumpkins to carve for Halloween.

BELLA 6-5-14

Bella loves heading into the garden area with me, as I think she thinks it another room. She can’t wait for me to open the garden door and she walks around smelling the plants. She watched me planting the pumpkins and sniffed all the pots that I threw on the grass. I added a small trellis for the pumpkins to crawl up too.

ROOT BOUND PUMPKINS 6-5-14

Definitely, these pumpkins are ready to be planted!

PLANTING PUMPKINS 6-5-14

The pumpkins new home & trellis.

BELLA FOUND A SKULL IN THE GARDEN

Bella found a new friend in the garden and had to check it out.

LEAF LETTUCE 6-3-14

Our leaf lettuce is coming up nicely!

ROMAINE LETTUCE 6-3-14

We started eight Romaine Lettuce plants under the grow lights and this is how big they are already. We also planted a few more seeds too in the section right next to this area for a few more plants, just in case. I love the taste of Romaine Lettuce a lot more than leaf lettuce, and can’t wait to make some delicious chicken caesar salads.

Gardening is always an adventure as you just never know what is going to happen from year to year, but the experiences are always interesting. We love sharing our gardening adventures with you and we hope that we inspire you along the way.

 

Oh Deer! They Returned

4-22-14 DEER BW

It did not surprise me when I saw the baby deer again the following day, and she brought more friends with her. I walked around the corner of the house again in the morning and there they were, hanging out in my neighbors yard. I think they hang out over there quite a bit because the woods are right next to their house and that is where they seem to appear from.

FOUR DEER

The little baby deer got super close to me again and I got a little nervous on how close it actually got. I just kept snapping away taking photographs of her, but then I realized when I looked up on how close she was. I took a few steps back, just in case, but I think I have perked her curiosity and that is why she keeps walking closer to me. It kinda would be cool to say that I got to actually touch her one day, but I am not sure that would ever happen.

DEER CAPTIONS

If only the deer could talk, I am sure they would be having some interesting conversations.

4-22-14 DEER IN WOODS

This is my little buddy.

BLUE EYED DEER

Look at that adorable face!

BABY DEER IN WOODS

I am enjoying watching the deer, just as long as they stay out of our garden.

 

Oh Deer!

No matter what time it is that I head outside, they are always lurking somewhere near. I came around the corner of the house yesterday and what did I run into? Yep, you guessed it – DEER!

I ran right into a Mommy and her not so small baby standing there looking at me right in our neighbors backyard.  I turned around immediately, and ran into the house to grab my camera.  I helped our neighbor a few weeks ago clean out their flower beds from the winter, and she had asked “I wonder how all of my solar lights got broke?” Well, dear Julie, I got living proof for you by this photograph!

DEER SNIFFING SOLAR LIGHT

The deer in our area are so used to seeing humans, that they don’t get scared off when they see you. This little baby deer just stood there minding its own business and was checking out what Julie had in her flower bed.

DEER IN FLOWER BED

In this photograph, the deer looked at me with a ‘what’s up?” look and even as I walked closer to her, she never ran.

DEER CLOSEUP

I got so close to her that I felt like I could have reached out and touched her. I did have to remember though, to look over my shoulder to see where her Mommy went, just in case she did not charge at me!

DEER

All I can say, is that I hope we can hold the deer off from getting into our garden. That would make us very happy campers gardeners!

Garden Update 7-15-13 & It’s Good News!

Approximately two weeks ago a deer jumped our garden fence and had dinner on us. Now, two weeks later, our garden is showing great progress on re-birth and rehabilitation!  Phew!

DEER SERIOUSLY IT WASNT ME

DEER EATING FLOWERS 7-15-13

We could not be happier on this news as we have been doing all we can to promote growth in our garden after the shock & damage it took from the deer munchies.  We have been using Epsom Salt and coffee grounds in the garden which help promote growth, greenery, and provide the proper magnesium the veggies need.  Tomatoes will split when growing if they do not have the right amount of magnesium, so by using the Epsom Salt around the base of the plants, this helps provide what the plants need.

OUR GARDEN 7-15-13

We did have to replant six more pepper plants, but the ones that were severely pruned by the deer are coming back nicely and some have signs of small peppers forming.  We have been enjoying our Leaf Lettuce too, and have shared bags of it with Grandma & Auntie, and as you can see from the photo above, we have replanted another row.

ROMAINE LETTUCE 7-15-13

Our Romaine that was pruned all the way down to a short stub, is now regrowing which makes us happy to see.  We would have already picked some Romaine if the deer would not have decided to have a salad that night in our garden.

JULIET TOMATOES 7-15-13

BIG BOY TOMATOES 7-15-13

Juliet Tomatoes and the Big Boys are coming along fantastic and new blooms are popping every day.  Our one Juliet Tomato plant is now 6′ 5″ in height!  This was actually the last tomato plant that I took out to the garden to plant, and even when it was in the basement under the grow light, it grew so well that it was reaching for the ceiling.  Yeah, I know, I was shocked at how tall this baby got!  The deer did a little pruning on this plant too, but it is now doing so well and coming back strongly with lots of Juliet tomatoes on it.

CUCUMBERS 7-15-13

The cucumbers are finally starting to grow again after being pruned badly by the deer. After two weeks of rehab, they are now starting to climb up the trellis, bloom, and hopefully we will soon see little baby cucs starting to grow.

CABBAGE HEAD 7-15-13

Our cabbage plants are already forming heads and are getting bigger by the day. Just trying to keep the white moths off of them is another adventure.  We have heard that you can also sprinkle flour over the cabbage plants to keep the moths away, and that will be next on our list of things to do.

ZUCCHINI 7-15-13

Did you know that you can pollinate your plants yourself?  Yep, it’s true!  Just take a Q-Tip and carefully swipe it on a male flower, then brush a female flower.  Instant pollination!  (we heard that you can do this with pumpkins too and I might have to do this if we don’t see any little pumpkins soon)

OUR GARDEN SIDE VIEW 7-15-13

All in all, we are pleased with our garden rehab and we look forward to seeing some tomatoes turning red soon.  We are finally out of our rainy block of weather and now immersed in some extremely hot and humid temps which is supposed to last about a week.  How come our weather can’t ever hit a happy medium?  But it’s funny though as last week we were crabbing about all the rain, and now we’re complaining about the heat.  Rain is coming on Saturday and we will definitely need it as our rain barrel will need refilling.

Important Date Coming Up This Week:  Nikita will be turning 3 years old on Thursday, July 18th, so make sure you stop by to send her Birthday Woofs!  🙂   Also, Mommy’s birthday is on Monday, July 22nd!  Lots to celebrate around here!

Survival or Revenge?

GARDEN UPDATE BUTTONLast Tuesday, you all know what happened.  A deer came into our garden and demolished about half of our garden.  Hoof prints were all over our raised garden bed, cabbage plants were trampled on, cucumbers chewed that were about to bloom, pepper plants were chewed down to nothing, romaine lettuce nibbled to nubs, strawberry plants pruned, and tomato branches bit and tomatoes eaten like an appetizer.

Then, a few days later on Friday, we noticed that the deer were back and tried to get back into the garden.  Yet this time they did not jump the fence, rather tried to break through it.  The good news is, that they did not make it into the garden.  Phew!  Later that day, we went back to Pettiti’s Garden Center in the hopes to find more pepper plants to replace the ones that the deer demolished and to purchase a highly recommended deer spray called Plantskydd.  (as you can see from the label, it also deters Elk, and so far, we have not had any elk sightings here….yet)  This spray also does not need to be re-applied when it rains, and it is thick like blood.  Ew, I know.

PLANTSKYDD

Our wonderful neighbor let us borrow his spray after our first deer attack and we sprayed it all around the garden fence.  Holy cow, this spray stunk up the whole neighborhood and I actually had to vacate our backyard for the evening.  Thank God everyone had their AC on at the time, or there would have been a lot of windows slamming shut from the stench.

STARTING OVER

We planted all of our pepper plants, planted more romaine lettuce and leaf lettuce, and as of today, I noticed that the romaine lettuce is trying to re-grow from the nub left in the ground.  It somewhat looks promising that we might be able to recover our garden, but time will tell.

OUR GARDEN 7-8-13

I hadn’t been in the garden for a few days because I was so sickened last week of what happened, and I finally went out over the long weekend to take a look around.  It finally hit me that I cannot just sit back and watch our garden get demolished by these animals, and that I had to do something.  So, I opened up our recycling bin and pulled out about 10 empty dog food cans and drilled holes in them, then strung them up in a line in front of our garden fence in the hopes to deter the deer.  I am hoping that these work to run them off and hopes that it will scare them when they bump into them.  We’ll see.

TIN CANS

To date, we have dealt with chipmunks, deer, and now today….you are not going to believe this one – – a porcupine!  Yes, I said porcupine!  Nikita was looking out the front window this morning and seemed amused watching something.  I went to investigate, and found a porcupine under our front window.  Holy crap is what I said to myself.  Of course, I ran and grabbed my camera to get a photo of this guy we named “Porky” because I figured no one would believe me that I just saw a porcupine.  Now, I need to do some research on “what” does Porky eat.  Hope it is not veggies!  Also, check out the long claws on him – yikes!  If you don’t think this is a porcupine, let me know, but that is what I really think it is.

PORCUPINE 7-8-13

We also had yet another loss this weekend too, as all of our grown from seed under the nice warmth of a grow light Burpee Sunflowers are now all gone.  The deer ate every single one of them.  And we were looking forward to actually watching these grow as we have never grown them before.  Well, I guess we won’t find out what they will look like this year at least.

EAT ME

SUNFLOWERS

Trying to grow a garden this year has been quite an adventure and we are up to an adventure, but not of this kind.   Geez!

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Update & It’s Not Good News

We are still trying to recover from what happened this week.  It is not good.  We feel that all of our hard work has been for nothing.  I usually post our garden updates on Tuesday and I am glad that I got distracted because if I would have posted my normal Tuesday post, I would have had to retract it on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday morning I woke up to take Bella out for her morning duties and as I stood there in the backyard, still half asleep, I took a glance over at the garden.  Then I looked again.  And again.  I could not believe what I was looking at.  What caught my eye was a clump of lettuce just laying on the grass.  Hmmm, that is not where it is supposed to be.  Then I glanced at the long row of red peppers next to the lettuce where there once were nicely formed peppers on each plant.  Gone.  All gone!  I think I screamed out loud, or it was the voice inside my head that was screaming in terror.  I went into shock Wednesday morning, and I have not recovered yet.

After some investigation, we originally thought it was a raccoon that climbed over our garden fence and wrecked holy terror on every plant in the garden, but we now know that it was a deer that jumped our 6′ high fence and made it into our garden for their evening smorgasbord.  Every plant in our garden was munched on, stepped on, ripped up, and damaged.  Our only hopes is that they can recover and new growth will emerge.  Our Romaine Lettuce that was over 6″ in height, is now only a stub.  Each and every Juliet Tomato and Big Boy Tomato that was nicely formed and ripening on the vines, are now all…gone.  Our baby broccoli that was coming up, was trampled on and the hopes of it coming back is not good.  Did I mention that I am in shock?

I did, however, go out on Monday and take my usual weekly garden photographs for my Tuesday post, and those will be the last nice pictures we will cherish of our garden.  We will just have to wait to see what happens.  Then, on Wednesday, I went to check my mail on Yahoo and saw that someone posted a video of a herd of deer in a field jumping over a fence.  How perfect I thought, and had to share that video with you.  Ah, nature putting our fences to shame.

http://screen.yahoo.com/massive-deer-herd-jump-over-102226379.html

Disclaimer: The photographs listed below are graphic in nature, so be warned before you scroll down to view them.  Gardeners, you might want to turn away, parental guidance is recommended.


Monday, July 1, 2013 & Wednesday, July 3, 2013

OUR GARDEN 7-1-13

As you can see from the above photograph, we have already picked & enjoyed our first few batches of fresh picked lettuce.

ROMAINE LETTUCE 7-1-13

ROMAINE STUB 7-3-13

Here are the photographs of our Romaine Lettuce on Monday, and on Wednesday.  From a beautiful bouquet of fresh greens taken down to a nub.  How sad is this!

RED PEPPER 7-1-13

EVERY PEPPER PLANT LOOKS LIKE THIS NOW

Each and every one of our more than 25+ red and green peppers plants went from bountiful veggies, to sticks.  Still in shock over this.

JULIETS RIPENING NICELY 7-1-13

THIS IS WHERE THE RIPENING JULIET TOMATOES WERE

MORE TOMATO NUBS

I don’t even want to talk about the tomatoes, as it will make me cry.  These little guys were gingerly handled from a seed, pampered into sprouts, and transplanted with love into our garden – only to be taken down by a deer in one night.  These should be ok though, since they still have blooms on them, but nonetheless, we are devastated by the attack.

CUCUMBERS 7-1-13

LEAVES ALL NIBBLED OFF CUCS

I have more photographs, but I cannot continue to post them as I am getting sick to my stomach again over all of this.  We are just sickened that in one night our entire garden has been damaged.  Nature must have been hungry that night.

 

No Dumping Allowed

For about two months now, I have been waking up anywhere between 2-3am due to allergies and that nasty post-nasal drip.  Sleep for me has been lacking, but it just occurred to me, that I know exactly when the birds start to chirp each and every morning, and it is like clockwork, as if they are telling us “it’s time to get up”.  I would rather be sleeping and catching a well needed rest, but allergies always get the best of me and I find myself up with the birds, and in this case today, the deer.

The deer in our neighborhood are always up and about really early in the morning, and we have been seeing a lot of little babies with those adorable white spots all over them running around.  Yesterday morning, I walked to the front window just to peek out of the mini blinds and saw a Mommy deer standing right on our sidewalk by the front porch, and I whispered to her through the open window “What are YOU doing?” as she looked at me, and up popped a head of her little one, standing right next to her.  They were having their morning breakfast on our bushes.

This morning was no different when I peeked out the front windows, but I saw them across the street all roaming around the little field behind our KMart.  Two little babies were running and jumping and playing with each other while their Mommies kept a close eye on them.  I caught the perfect photograph of one of the deer…

NO DUMPING ALLOWED

I guess it does not matter what the sign says, as when you gotta go, you gotta go!

The Weather Outside Might Be Frightful

Woke up this morning only to find the ground covered with my favorite white stuff.  Yep, it’s true!  This is our second snowfall of the year and I can’t wait to play in it.  Mommy dressed me up in a new sweater to keep me warm, not to mention quite stylish, and I love it!  (thanks Mommy!)  I have been slowly adding my winter fur as I am becoming a fluff ball again.  (does this fur make me look fat?) 

When I think about it, I am one Pampered Pooch.  I get my paws wiped off when I come inside to keep the wood floors clean, I get brushed everyday, I have tons of toys to play with, I get to wear cool clothes, I get all the treats when I look adorable (this works every time) and when I think about it, not all doggies are this lucky.  Some doggies are probably outside right now, cold and shivering, but I am inside in a nice warm house napping with all my toys surrounding me.  Lucky is what I am!  I have a great Daddy who gives me treats every night after dinner and then he plays ball with me. 

I also wanted to share with you the photo we got of that 12-point Buck that is running around our neighborhood, but we added a few little embellishments to his photo.  LOL   I wonder who was the brave soul that got those ornaments on his rack?  Ya know, it’s hunting season now!

Can’t wait to head back outside to romp around in the snow!  Is it snowing where you are?

The Hungry Deer

There is definitely an over-population of deer in our community, as we can tell by the herds of them who graze all over the neighborhood in the dark of night.  Last night was no different, while we were all enjoying a good butt-kickin game of Wii Life, I jumped up from my nice dog nap as I sensed something was wrong outside.  I ran to the window and went absolutely nutso!  Deer were in the front yard walking towards the front porch where we have our pumpkins, and over the weekend they started to eat the front of Daddy’s homegrown pumpkin.  My barking and growling detered them last night to save Mommy’s pumpkin, but I am sure they will be back.  We just can’t believe that once the deer started munching on Daddy’s pumpkin over the weekend, that by the time Monday morning arrived, his whole pumpkin was GONE!  Nothing was left….they ate the whole entire 20.4 pound pumpkin!  WOW!  Once I saw the deer out in the yard last night, I did not take any more naps, because I knew they were lurking in the shadows of the night, so I waited and waited for their return.  And return they did!  When Mommy and I looked out the kitchen window we could not believe that a deer was standing right there in front of the window now eating the red berries off the bushes!   Darn deer!  What amazes me is that the deer almost ruined the growth of Daddy’s pumpkin in the first place, and now, they finished it off…literally!   I hope the pumpkin gave them a tummy ache!

Shock & Awe

Never in a million years would I think that I would wake up today and have my day start off this way.  I walked outside this morning with Mommy for my morning pee break only to find that last night, the deer munched away 1/3 of Daddy’s pumpkin vines.  The funny thing is, is that I was going to do a post today about how well Daddy’s pumpkin was doing and some nice progression photo’s, but today’s post turned into sadness as what we found was disturbing.

We are in shock.  We have been babying this pumpkin from the start, and were so glad that it took off so well, as it has grown to 19′ in length and the leaves reached 17″ in width.  The deer have left this alone, until last night.

Now, we are wondering if what the deer munched on will effect the pumpkin vine and stunt its growth?  At first, Mommy thought that the deer ate the big pumpkin, but was glad to see that they did not. (phew!)   That stinky deer spray will definitely be sprayed all over the vines today and we hope that will deter them from feeding again on Daddy’s pumpkin. 

Mommy took a quick video of the damage to the vines this morning, so check it out!  Keep your fingers crossed that Daddy’s pumpkin will continue to grow and this munching attack has not damaged the growth of his pumpkin.  We’ll keep you informed…

Why did the Deer cross the road?

Spending time with Daddy

It’s Sunday morning and I’m spending some quality time with Daddy while Mommy is still sleeping and I was whispering to Daddy what I wanted for Christmas, and then all of a sudden… this big huge “dog” came out of nowhere, no wait… that’s not a dog, it’s something called a “Buck”!  WOW, Daddy said that he has not seen one of these in a long time around the house.  Boy oh boy was he ever big, don’t want to mess with this guy!  Even though I growled at it from the safety of my own home (through the front window with my squeaky toy in my mouth), I still don’t want to run into this big guy when I am outside.  I already had a run in with a Mommy deer one night, and she was stomping her feet into the ground at me & snorting, and Mommy told me that she was doing that because she had her babies with her.  Who cares about that, that Mommy deer interrupted my #2 bathroom break, now I can’t go!    Until later, Nikita

Why did the deer cross the road?