Field of Science

Marmot hits the salad reset button

One of the great thing about having a spacious estate is that it is attractive to wild life, and this is also a problem, a two seasonal problem.  During the winter, rabbits rather indiscriminately prune any trees or shrubs to which they have access, and each year hundreds of feet of fencing are  deployed to establish no bark/twig-eating zones with varying degrees of success (this year - poor Kerria, but look, the flowering quince is recovering from last year).   Then comes spring, and rabbits get better fodder in other places.  Each year, actually several times each year, a woodchuck sets up residence either under the garden shed or the pavilion, and they are such nice animals, really, but their appetites are beyond the ability of small gardens to provide, especially early in the season.  Later in the season they may be content to simply strip all the tasty leaves off your okra (they really like okra) or squash vines, or eat all your parsley (they love parsley; leaves their breath so fresh), but early in the season, the plants are small with limited amounts of biomass.  So all of our just-getting-nicely-established broccoli and bib lettuce seedlings provided a rather small salad the other night.  Of course this is still earlier in the season than such seedlings are usually planted, but such gluttony always proves to be a tad annoying, especially since the seedling bed was protected by some garden fencing.  Maybe Mrs. Phactor will now allow me to revisit plans for a mine field.  

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