We usually have helpful friends come lend a hand in the garden, but we’ve had too many unwelcome “visitors” this year. Here’s a few on our most wanted list:

Gopher: at first we thought it was a giant snake hole. A snake would have actually been helpful. Grrrrr. He defies my anger with his cuteness. Here he is on his front porch: my radish patch.

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Deer: they have to walk through an entire field of alfalfa to get to our garden, yet they decide to postpone their munchies and wait to eat the lettuce, corn and peppers – especially the peppers.

(I hope a picture isn’t necessary here)

Cucumber beetles: these are big problems. We will probably not have any melons this year because of these pests. They eat the leaves AND the roots!!!!! This is when I really wish I could just douse the garden with pesticides.

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Monster caterpillars: these are more amazing than problematic, but they could easily become a big problem. They are eating machines, and so far I have only seen them eat a certain weed. That’s a really good thing, but I’m just not sure they would stop at weeds. I’m pretty sure they will eat everything they can get to. And the site I read (Bug Eric has great info!) said that the momma moth can lay 500 eggs at a time, which would mean A LOT of “very hungry caterpillars”. It’s hard to get a sense of the size of these caterpillars from the pictures here. This one was about 5 inches long and as fat as my thumb, which isn’t visible to you, but is, I think, a normal “fatness”. Here’s a photo of his whole body and another one a little closer so you can see him using his baby t-rex arms to eat — awwww!

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