Last summer we shared a large garden with my husband’s parents over at their place about 2 miles away. They live next door to a farm and the farmer has generously given them a large area for their garden. We grew just about everything you can think of and the spinach, chard, broccoli and beans that we froze lasted until this spring. But with four young children it was difficult for me to get over there as often as I wanted to help with the tending and weeding. This year we decided to have a smaller garden at our house. We have a lovely and shady backyard so we put our garden in the front-side yard. We dug out all the vinca ground cover, rototilled, added compost and built a 7 foot mesh fence to keep out the deer.
We planted lettuce, spinach, chard, broccoli, peas, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. We weeded and watched and things started to grow! The spinach failed but everything else was doing well. We were eating fresh lettuce everyday and were waiting for the peas to get just a little bigger before picking them. The fence was doing a good job of keeping out the deer -not the rabbits! I went out one morning to check the garden and all of the peas were gone. peas, plants, all. We secured the fence and hoped for the best. Two days later, all the lettuce was gone. We put wooden boards all around the garden and secured the fence. We went camping for the weekend and when we came back the rabbits had feasted on the broccoli. They had chewed a hole through the fence. On top of it the tomatoes have blight and are rotting as they ripen. I am pretty heartbroken about the garden failure, but my Andy keeps reminding me that we still have chard and we’ve learned a lot for next year. We still do have zucchini, butternut squash and potatoes in another part of the yard and an herb garden that is surviving – I am still hopeful for those. And my in-laws still have their beautiful pest free garden so we still get garden fresh produce, but if anyone has a good rabbit repellent idea let me know!