A Lesson in Groundhogs

Groundhogs, what can be said about them that hasn’t already been written, televised or illustrated in a Children’s book? Cute little furry guys running around the neighborhood, predicting weather at will, they have become celebrities! Well, I have something to add to the list and that is destroyer of gardens. If these little buggers find a way into your garden, they will return with reckless abandon until all of your crops are decimated. The only crop safe at the moment is the peppers, they don’t seem to like them one bit. Everything else in the garden looks like it has been through a heroic battle but continues to lose.

In years past we have handled this groundhog issue with a small voltage electric wire surrounding the perimeter of our garden, it’s called Mr. McGregor’s Fence. It has worked for us for years, not a hitch. The fence is solar powered and low to the ground, ensuring to zap any little critter approaching the fence. This Spring, however, there was an incident with our lawn people. They managed to take out the wire with a weed wacker, a terrible blow to our garden security. We moved forward with planting however, assuring ourselves we would mend the fence, it’s on our list of things to do.

Well, mending the fence is still on our list of things to do. Summer got away from us, busy with other projects and the kids are home. I was standing at the window the other morning, sipping my coffee, when I noticed the kale. The lush row of greens looked suddenly, scant. I put my coffee down, threw on my birks and walked out to the garden. There lay the remains of our kale, maybe a leaf or three left on each stalk. My head bowed to the ground, I knew what had happened, those groundhogs had gotten into my garden. I really had no one to blame but myself. We really should have mended that fence.

Lesson learned, when you notice something, do something. I knew we should have secured the crops, I had lost an entire garden to groundhogs back in college. Yet, I hesitated, couldn’t quite get myself to move on the large task. Now my crops are in danger, some have been lost to the groundhog entirely. I will replant the kale in my sunny kitchen window. Hopefully it will come in before the first snow.  I can squeeze in a couple Fall crops, but I will be fixing that fence before next growing season.

Keep growing everyone!