There is too much talk of war in the world, but it brings to mind that we gardeners have our own battles to fight. Most gardeners fear the impact of six-legged pests such as potato beetles or Japanese Beetles, yet I have been at war with the 4-legged garden- eaters.
The Thirteen-Lined ground squirrels, commonly known as “Stripped Gophers” in these parts, seem to lead the charge in my garden. The little pests are quite fond of many vegetables and particularly like to eat the young melons from the vines. Tight-meshed fencing seems to help and in our rural area some of the little rascals have been known to catch fatal bouts of ‘lead poisoning.’
Deer are also constant visitors to our garden and necessitate electric fencing around the perimeter. Yesterday, I experienced the ultimate 4-legged predator, when my dog decided that a nearly-ripe melon was ripe enough for him to pick and chew. After defending that melon from premature picking by gophers and deer, I could almost taste the goodness of the fruit. The ‘quadruped wars’ are hard to win.