Friday 13 November 2009

Oh deer

Back for a brief visit to check the place over. It seems that the deer took no time at all to notice our absence and have a party in the vegetable patch. Those were my Brussels sprouts, a row of carrots and the Forono beetroots which I hoped would overwinter in the ground.

There's a lot of turf dug up too, the rut was just beginning when we left in October and it seems our empty fields and lawn were ideal places for for the sex enraged males to face up to each other. It would have been quite something to see.

I've spent a couple of days rescuing the Babington leeks and Welsh onions and moving them to a place of safety under chicken wire. The leeks, the ones we did cover before we left, have survived well so I've harvested a few and rather hopefully, transplanted (replanted) some tiddlers that were in a separate bed and grubbed up by the wretched four footed vermin into the gaps.

I've also had to dig up the Hopniss and Tuberous rooted peas, both of which I had hoped to overwinter in situ. They were protected by the left over bean teepees but the deer seemed to find those particularly offensive and did their best to knock them over.

Still all is not lost. Many of the root crops survived - at least it wasn't wild pigs doing the rooting - and I've brought them into store.

There's also been time to check on the Oca and Ulluco. The oca is forming tubers rapidly now, I've taken a few as insurance for next year's seed but I'm hoping if the mild weather continues I'll be able to harvest a bumper crop in December. The ulluco are not so far advanced but are showing signs of beginning to form their tubers.

These crops are a yearly worry, I think if I had the right sort of organic mulch handy I would cover them deeply now, but I don't and in any case, I suspect that would provide just the right conditions for rodent attack... I very much like the idea of growing these exotica but do wonder if the effort is worth it in the long run.


Madeline McKeever said...

I've had pheasant and badger issues in my garden, so you have my sympathy.

fuzzlewoof said...

Sorry to hear of the deer problem, makes me happy to be gardening on an allotment in a city now, only loss might be to the odd pigeon.

Catofstripes said...

Thanks to both for the sympathy. Badgers might be fun for the first five minutes at any rate :)

@fuzzlewoof Pigeons can be a nightmare, we used to suffer terribly on the allotments but in France the hunters seem to keep them under control, or maybe there is just more for them to eat.

elderly rock chick said...

poor you- it looks really wrecked. my tubers grew and grew above ground but there was nothing below - i may have dug them up too soon by the sound of it but i had it in my head that they were ready in november...