Yesterday I went out to the veggie garden to see how things are sprouting. And I met with tragedy in the beet bed.
A few days before, there were lots of little teeny beet plants proudly sticking their heads up about an inch from the soil. This year, I did a reprise of Chioggia Beets – those gorgeous Italian beets that have both white and red rings when you cut them open.
Here’s a picture I got from Google Images so you can see what they look like:
Well, my little baby beets were no more. Chip and Dale and their chipmunk cousins had done them in. The soil was all dug up and there were my pitiful little beets scattered about. The chipmunks had very precisely bitten off every little set of leaves on their tops and uprooted them.
Here is the scene of the crime. If you look REALLY closely, you may be able to see the dead bodies.
A wider view shows the many holes Chip and his brother have dug in their new resort. The beets are in the center and we planted carrots on wither side of those two sticks. I am afraid the carrots will be next to go.
We are going to try to re-plant and perhaps put some rat wire on the ground to see if that might help. I have had chipmunks for years and usually they do their thing without too terribly much damage. We do have to be sure to lift the potatoes at just the right moment, however.
I never had seen a real chipmunk in my life until I came here. I don’t know why there aren’t any where I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
But I adore them despite the problems they cause – like chewing through the wires on my big circular fountain. Several times. Who could hate such an absolutely cute, charming, and hilarious creature? I wish they were my pets!
On the bright side, the radicchio, kale, broccoli, and baby mesclun are looking pretty good so far. It was such a cold and wet spring that we planted almost a month later than usual. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the growing season goes.