Off to a New Battle

You know? We could make her really angry! Shall we try? Alice, from Alice’s Wonderful Adventures in Wonderland.

I had planned to write a post today describing my memories of how Memorial Day was celebrated when I was a child growing up in a small New England town. There was  a parade with school bands playing patriotic songs, Gold Star Mothers being driven by in open convertibles, veterans of foreign wars poured into uniforms pulled from steamer trunks in the attic, sentimental speeches, and the haunting echo of taps. I worked on it in my head all the way home from Maine where we spent the holiday weekend.

As we pulled into our driveway, my husband said, “Look! There he goes. He’s a big one.”

“There who goes?” I asked seeing no one.

“The woodchuck. He just took off across the backyard.”

“Oh.” I really didn’t care about this woodchuck having only barely recovered from the Battle of the Bat who had turned up in our upstairs hallway last week.

In New England, the old rule is no planting before Memorial Day. I had cheated a little by putting my lettuce (three kinds) in about ten days ago. Trust me when I tell you it was flourishing. I finished up planting my other vegetables late on Friday. This year, I went to the Farmer’s Exchange and bought a bale of straw so I could mulch my plantings. I have to say that I was pretty impressed with myself. I was embarking on a season of serious gardening.

“Unh, Kathleen, look at the garden.”

So I did. Horror and devastation followed. The woodchuck had been very busy. Eating. Everything.

When I left on Friday, my lettuce looked like this.


My beautiful lettuce on Friday



Today it looks like this.


The same lettuce today!


Also eaten were the feathery tops of my fennel, one pepper plant, and some of the cucumber plants.

As the nation around me remembered those lost in old battles, I went to war with this sneaky little thief.

I hopped onto Goggle to see what I could see. Here are the suggestions:

  • Fake Snakes (I have already started looking for one.)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Kitty Litter (Used. They don’t care for it.)

Please let me know if you have any better ideas.  Comrade Woodchuck may have won this battle but he is not winning the war.












2 thoughts on “Off to a New Battle

  1. Oh the woodchuck, if they would only chuck wood and leave the garden alone! Save some plastic containers, fill them with moth balls, and poke some holes in the tops and distribute them among your plants. Woodchuck and other garden pests will NOT like the aroma. Be sure that they don’t tip over if wet, you don’t want the chemical to get into the soil. Hope it works.

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