June 11, 2016
By the grace of the animals
The garden is doing well, June not withstanding. It is the month I, and the plants, dislike the most in this generally lovely climate. It is hot (90's to 105's Fahrenheit) and it is dry, and we all sort of shut down in anticipation of moderating temperatures in July and August, helped along with more moisture: our "monsoon".
The animals are having a rough time too. We did not have a lot of rain in the Spring so there are few tender grassy bits. The garden is under siege as it is the only place with tender vegetation. We do our best to protect the plants but rodentia and the birds are highly motivated and they have some time on their hands.
In spite of fortifications in my broccoli raab bed, I still have mice living there that insist on eating the growing tips out of the plants, so I am giving up on them. Too late in the year to be fussing over them anyway and so far the lettuce also growing there is unmolested.
I have had to remove the fortifications from the melon beds as the plants were outgrowing them, but now the quail are eating the new blossoms. I just call it "pruning" and hope that the plants hang in there long enough for the rain to entice them to set new flowers. At least there is some fruit that made it past the initial nibbles.
Tomatoes are doing well, so far. I was able to rescue one plant that was having its main stem eaten by a ground squirrel who dug his way from outside the garden to come up right under the plant. A piece of hardware cloth fixed that one, at least for now.
One thing does boggle the mind however. One of the pepper plants collapsed overnight, looking much like the tomato problem above and I was about to pull the plant up the next day to have it totally disappear from the garden. Please note the spot where it used to grow and the fortifications with the chickenwire. Where did the plant go? No nibbled pieces or other evidence. One of the June garden mysteries.
I am hoping for rain soon, and for new vegetation in the desert, so the garden will be for just humans, please.