My garden was looking so good. Then the annual invasions began.
One is mostly welcome. Gray tree frogs call from the rain barrels every warm evening.
Most sit hidden above the barrels. A few brave ones sit on the edges of the barrels. Now and then one is brave enough to continue calling when I come near enough to see its throat turned into a grape sized balloon.
In the morning great masses of eggs float in the rain barrels. In a day or two the masses sink until the eggs hatch. Then tadpoles line the barrels.
I value the tree frogs. They catch lots of flying insects, especially mosquitoes zeroing in on the rain barrels. Even during dry spells one barrel is not used to water the garden so some tadpoles can grow up.
Another of the annual invasions is never ending. Weeds love wet weather. They can grow with abandon and the gardener can do little but wait for dryer times to tackle them.
This year I do have help of sorts. One cochin hen managed to hatch a single chick.
Since the chick is too small to run loose with the chickens, the pair have occupied the garden during the day. I set up a temporary chicken wire fence, add food and water and hen with chick. She is rototilling the garden section by section.
At least I can try to control where the hen and chick are. They stay safely away from where I’ve planted. My third of the annual invasions, a most unwelcome one, is the raccoons.
These creatures climb over the fence and dig up the garden looking for worms and grubs. Any plant in the way is tossed aside. A third of my tomato plants are destroyed. Three raccoons are history. Electric fence is the next project.
The fence will hopefully prevent another of the annual invasions: woodchucks. These vegetarians can eat a garden to the ground in a single morning. They have been seen next to the garden.
And the garden wars continue. The snow peas, Chinese cabbage, spinach and other greens are worth the fight.
Read more about raising baby chicks here.