Nature Eats Nuture

It has recently occurred to me that my nightmares of impending and horrific doom occur daily in the garden. Albeit, on a smaller scale, but terrifying and destructive for the players involved.

It’s a warzone out there.

Over the course of a week, three different neighbours told me they’d found the remains of a dead chick in their garden. It was a bad week. The Plymouth Rock, the Easter Egger and the Ameracuna all bit the bullet.

We weren’t completely sure who was eating our chicks until Belle rescued a screaming Hawk-Eye from the jaws of the neighbourhood wild dog, called Trouble. Hawk-Eye is okay, but whether she’ll ever lay an egg is in some doubt.

We have now adopted the dog (another story – a love story) and are teaching her not to eat chickens. So far so good, but she still licks her lips when she gets close to them.

But the chickens are no better.

Damn, right! say the Worms.

At least the worms eat what they’re meant too, but the chickens will eat anything. They recently dug up my potato bed – mulched with straw – feet like dinosaurs! They love beans. They love radish. They don’t like sage, but it took them a good few mouthfuls to realise it.

You touch my corn, I said. And there’ll be Trouble.

Then there’s all the animals I don’t own.

Garden Predators - Little Root-eating Bug

I don’t even know what this is, but wherever he turns up, my seedlings die. And this is a baby – they get big. So far I’ve reached two scientific conclusions:

1) they don’t like the sunlight (observation: severe squirming followed by death)

2) they don’t like the chickens (observation: death)

Slugs!

Garden Predators - Slugs Eat Lettuce
Garden Predators - Slugs Eat Lettuce

These guys are annoying. Whole seedlings become stumps overnight. The first handful shows my ameuter hunting effort, before I got my eye in. On the second sweep I experienced the marvelled pop-out effect of the focused hunter and gathered the second handful. They were everywhere.

I fed them all to the frogs, hoping to develop an army of slug hunters, but I think I just got fat frogs.

Flea Beetles!

I don’t have any pictures of these pests, but my arugula looks like its been hit by a cannon full of shrapnel. They’re tiny and they jump and they eat holes in everything (they’re not so keen on lettuce, but arugula and kale and egg plant and radish seem to be favourites). I’m not sure what eats these guys, but apparently they’ll die off naturally soon enough. Hopefully my radish can survive that long.

Rabbits, Groundhogs, Something, Everything!

I don’t know who or what, but there are some suspiciously large chunks missing from my squash plants.

Also,  pretty white cabbage butterflies have started to come out and we all know they are harbingers of death – god help my brassicas.

Then there’s the weeds; that’s a full time battle in itself.

If I can survive my garden then I’m pretty sure I can survive the post-Apocalypse.

 

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