Of the two rows of peas I planted this spring, both have come up nicely — only to be all but obliterated by an unknown foe. Currently, there are roughly a half dozen plants that are still healthy. But, alas, something has chewed, chomped, and discarded most of the others.
What we know:
– The victims are largely, as in ninety-five percent, pea plants. Not much of the other plants have been affected, though there is wavering evidence that something has been similarly interested in both the nearby beans, lettuce, and radishes.
– Some of the peas have had their leaves lightly chomped, some have been sliced off at the base, some are gone completely leaving a little green stub sticking out of the soil and not much else.
– There is a history of mice in the yard. I have seen birds in the garden. There are lots of young rabbits in the neighborhood who might be able to squeeze through the fence. And, I have found a variety of grubs and cutworms in the soil when I was weeding (and also investigating.)
What we don’t know:
– If the replanting I’ve already begun will be successful, or if those plants will be pillaged similarly.
– Where the missing plants are going. The toppled shoots are clearly the work of worms, but where are those that were cut and hauled away?
– If the (pet safe) powder I applied to some of the victims (and potential victims) will make much of a difference.
However the battle turns out, it seems as if it might be a slim year for fresh garden peas. I’m a few frustrations short of buying a net to drape over the whole garden, but even that I’m not convinced would be of much help.