As he entered the kitchen, disappointment on my husband’s face was very apparent. “What’s wrong? ” I asked. “They are all gone,” he replied, “there’s not a one left, none, not even on the ground.”
We had been watching a group of green tomatoes, clustered on our one-and-only tomato plant and had hoped to see them ripen in the remaining, warm October days. Burl had just checked the vine and found not a trace of a tomato left, not even any partly eaten. What ever took them did a clean job of harvesting them. Each tomato snapped off, clear of the vine, with the plant looking untouched.
Something ate our green tomatoes right off the vine. It wasn’t just a nibble here and there. It was a clean sweep. What would do that? I decided to research the question and turned to the internet to find out what it is that relishes green tomatoes. I learned that squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs were all suspect. Besides them we have rabbits, a skunk, raccoons and a possum living in our yard. But the animal we believe is the guilty one, is a deer. I must confess, they are the beautiful creatures we enjoy during early fall, until hunting season lessens the number seen here. Could it have really been one of them?
During my research I learned that, yes, deer will eat green tomatoes. They make a feast of many things like daffodils, rhubarb leaves, sweet potato vines and even pansies. Someone said they eat everything you want to keep and nothing you want to get rid of.
So what’s the solution? We could move to the city and that’s not an option for us who have lived here all our lives. Anyway, if we were depending on our garden to keep us alive, we’d starve. It was fun having one tomato plant with a bountiful yield of ripe tomatoes and a quash vine that produced an overabundance of zuchini …. guess it doesn’t hurt us to share what’s left with the wildlife. w However, we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We are watching one gourd that has reached maturity, the kind used for bird houses. We’ve been told not to harvest it until after the first frost. Until then, we’re hoping it will be safe from all those creatures lurching in our yard.
So what’s wrong? This is the question I asked as I opened this writing. If you have a garden you’re going to have this and I have a feeling there’s not a gardener out there that can’t top this story of woe.