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Asian beetles, weeds and deer...oh my

April 1, 2013
By Autumn Mentink (letters@graffitiwv.com) , Graffiti

I'm a gardener. Sort of. What I mean is, when I want an exercise in frustration, I go out and look at my garden, trying to form some kind of battle plan.

Yes-battle plan. This is war. The gardener vs. the weeds, the bugs, and, of course, the deer.

I hate deer.

My entire vegetable garden got eaten last year. All of it. They left me nothing.

Fortunately, I have some weapons at my disposal. At the top of the list is my super-top-secret weapon: Daffodils.

The deer and bugs won't eat them, frost doesn't kill them, and they grow anywhere. I've planted daffodils in soil that won't grow dandelions and they've thrived.

The terrible thing here is that I don't even particularly like daffodils. I just can't get them to stop growing. Even buried in a box in the garage without water or sunlight they'll still sprout. They're weeds. I'm positive now. They can't be anything less. We just call them flowers because we don't want weeds in the garden.

And speaking of weeds-I don't know what it is, but there is this weed in my flowerbed that grows through its root system, so it's just one, big plant. It's like the ultimate infiltration network-I can't get rid of it, because I can't dig out all the little runners. The only thing worse is the crabgrass, which I've just learned to pull really early.

As for the bugs, I'm not a fan of insecticides-it's not like I'm farming for mass production here. The only things I use are slug killer and those Japanese beetle traps-occasionally soapy water for aphids or spray paint for tent caterpillars. But the latter has gotten wise to me and built their nests out of my reach and I haven't had aphids since those Asian Ladybeetles turned up. Those do bite, by the way. Just so you know.

But the deer have me stumped. I've tried all the tactics I can think of, but every year they eat the vegetables, the herbs, and the tulips. God forbid they eat the weeds. Noooo ... they'd rather eat my tomatoes. I know dandelions are edible, but they eat the parsley instead. They leap fences, they ignore the methods older and wiser gardeners have suggested to me. I think they might have even recruited the local groundhog into helping them, because somehow they got through the netting I put up last year, too.

I'm seriously considering just getting a rifle - then I could have meat and vegetables.

 
 

 

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