Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm a Negative Nellie

I am seriously trying not to be a negative Nellie, so I have literally sat down four times to write this post and have ditched every version so far.  But, I decided I just have to vent.  The garden pests are driving me to my limits, and the chickens aren't helping.  Not only have I been dealing with flea beetles and aphids and vine borers, but I've added grasshoppers to the list.

Something has been wreaking havoc on my pepper plants in the backyard.  I've come out in the mornings and found pepper plants lying on the ground, the stalk chewed through at the base.  And the ones that aren't chewed through have had the growing tips, leaves and developing peppers eaten.  Whatever it is has been eating my eggplant leaves as well.  Like I don't have enough trouble with flea beetles.  I suspected grasshoppers but haven't seen any.  I have been spraying them with neem oil, but that hasn't helped.  I have some pepper plants up front, which aren't getting the same damage, but they aren't the bells that I depend on daily for cooking.  All of those are in the backyard.  At the rate I was going in the backyard, I wasn't getting any bells anyway, so I decided to take my chances and  move the backyard peppers to the front yard in 100 degree heat.  They have been suffering some serious transplant shock the past several days, and I wouldn't be surprised to see every blossom fall off, which sets me back even more.  So far, so good though.  They haven't died, and I've been watering them like a maniac. 

So, I was hanging laundry this morning and looked down at one of my daylillies and found about 40 baby grasshoppers on one of the flower stalks.  Further investigation led me to my eggplants, where I found more.  I killed what I could but most of them hopped away.  Now I get to patrol the garden for grasshoppers.  Yipee!  I'm so excited!

Did I say something about the chickens?  Yes, I did.  Today, they went through the backyard and managed to destroy every green tomato they could reach, including breaking a good sized branch off one plant that had several tomatoes on it.  I swear I could have strangled each and every chicken, but I didn't.  Deep down, I know they are just being chickens, and I can't fault them for that.  Plus, it's my fault for letting them have free reign of the yard unsupervised.  I did lock them back in the run though. 

If you've read this far and haven't moved on to another blog, thanks for reading my vent.  I promise a more postive post next time.  I feel slightly better now. 



  1. Oh Candace, I shouldn't say this, but I did get a chuckle out of your description of your feeling about those chickens! They can be so maddening! And no matter how many times they're fussed at, they never "get it." They're just chickens.

    Actually, these are the kinds of things we should blog about from time to time, because this is real world homesteading. It's good to want to present it all in a positive light, but there are hard things to deal with as well. I think about that in my own blogging. Hopefully, you're summer will get better soon!

  2. it really is hard sometimes isn't it? the mosquitoes are really bad this year, driving my goats and sheep crazy. it keeps freezing overnight (JUNE! it's JUNE! no more frost!) so i keep having to drape old bedsheets over everything and cross my fingers. i would have been SO mad about those chickens. :)

  3. I had this too. I think it's a plump groundhog but I have recently seen birds in the garden and it could be them too.

  4. Stephanie Ann: Our friends in PA had troubles with a groundhog in their garden. We don't have them down here, but I also considered an opossum was walking through the garden and breaking the plants, because only the plant on the perimeter were being broken.