April 23, 2006

Loss of a Garden Salsa Plant

I went out to check on the new chile plants that I have not planted in the raised bed, when I discovered that there had been an attack in the garden. Four of my chile plants have been chewed by an animal of some kind and one of the peppers was smashed as if something had landed on it and thus broken the stem. I decided to remove the broken garden salsa plant since it only had a single leaf left. Most of the plant lay like a dead soldier beside the stem. The break looked fresh, it couldn't have happened more than an hour or two ago. The others are damaged, but I hope that they will recover. Did a neighbor kid throw a ball over the fence into my garden? Did a cat land there and then claw at the plants around it? Is it a rabbit or mole? There are no tracks in the bed and no ball...this looks too big to be the work of cutworms. It is a mystery as to what caused this.

I don't have time today, but I will buy a replacement pepper for the space. I'll get a third pepperoncini since my husband likes them and I only planted two plants this year. I'm curious about the garden salsa chile, but one plant is enough to test it. I have plenty of fresnos and hungarian wax peppers to make salsa with after all.

I've also removed a few of the cutworm barriers from my chile plants. They are getting enough size so that they can stand up to a cutworm attack. The little cups just came up out of the ground and over the plant without a problem. I should be able to reuse the plastic cups for many years to come. That pleases me. They are not expensive devices, but I would like to keep the costs down as much as possible in my chile growing hobby.

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