Garden Disaster

I suppose this isn’t a total garden disaster. It just feels like it.

There are several crops growing in my garden. The Jerusalem artichokes are presently a nuisance as the twelve foot plus stalks blew over even with a support around them.

The winter squash vines have run all over their allotted areas and invaded elsewhere. This year they are being stingy with the squash too.

The okra plants are now taller than I am and producing well. The long beans are the same. Even the peppers are big, bushy plants busy producing lots of peppers.

My fall crops are finally started. Rows of spinach, turnips, winter radishes, napa cabbage and bok choi look good.

Overshadowing all of this is the devastation of the tomatoes. This is a garden disaster.

garden disaster deer ate paste tomatoes
Every year I grow paste tomatoes and put whole tomatoes and sauce in the freezer to use over the winter. The deer evidently likes Speckled Roman paste tomatoes too as it ate the red ones, the pink ones and tried all the green ones. The vine tips were then nipped off.

More than any other crop, tomatoes are prized as a summer treat. I have rows of tomatoes, paste, eating, cherry. My kitchen has tomatoes piled on the counters. Frozen tomatoes will be winter eating. My chickens are eating those we can’t seem to get to fast enough.

Yet, the devastation of the tomato vines is a garden disaster.

Usually the day before killing frost I go through the tomato vines and collect all the tomatoes. This includes those getting ripe and those still green. They ripen in the pantry giving us garden tomatoes sometimes up until December.

Not this year. This year the tomatoes are lying on the ground with bite marks in them. The vines are eaten off in many places.

garden disaster deer found these tomatoes tempting too
I’ve been growing Abe Lincoln tomatoes for a couple of years. They are a nice medium size usually. Three are left on the vines only because the deer hasn’t found a way to reach them yet. The large pineapple tomatoes were hard to reach too, but it managed.

Big hoof prints revealed the culprit. A deer has been visiting. It ate the hollyhock leaves, the chicory leaves, the Jerusalem artichoke leaves.

The deer likes tomatoes, ripe tomatoes, but can’t seem to tell the difference between a green tomato and a ripe tomato without taking a bite. So it grabs any large tomato eating the ripe ones and dropping the green ones onto the ground.

The only comfort in this garden disaster is that the deer seems to ignore the cherry tomatoes for some reason. Perhaps we will have those to nibble on this fall. Or the deer may discover them.