The deer did it!

meldy_nva(z6b VA)July 23, 2012

Another thread mentions green beans blooming but not making. I sympathize. Since early spring I've seen blooms, but few pods. Most years, late July finds me giving neighbors buckets of beans because I've eaten, frozen, pickled and canned so many that I don't even want to look another bean. For the record, I grow Fortex, a tall non-hybrid vine that enthusiastically produces near-stringless long green beans with great flavor.

This year, I've picked 8 beans ~ not 8 buckets or even 8 meals: eight pods. I've blamed the heat, the lack of bees, the city water due to drought, the seed-producer because I bought a new pack of seed instead of saving last year's, but mostly it's just been a puzzle.

DH discovered what was happening: midday on Friday, 2 deer jumped the fence, went past the beds of fresh tender lettuce, ignored the tomatoes (they ate one plant this spring but the metal mesh seems to have deterred further nibbling), and carefully tippytoed their way up and down the bean rows, nipping all tender stems including those with blossoms. One even inspected each plant from the bottom up, lifting the leaves to look beneath, to be sure she wasn't missing anything.

The heat is tolerable, the city water is wet, tiny silver bees are doing the honeybee's work, and the seed-producer can't be blamed for the deer's appetite. The puzzle has been solved; I guess I'll be buying beans at the farmer's market.

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Glad you found your culprit. I have not found mine yet. However, another mystery has been solved in a grave yard.See video.

Here is a link that might be useful: The groundhogs did it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 7:18PM
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I only can blame the weather. Read on another forum yesterday that about 50 miles east of us it has been rainig some every day for a week. Hate it when some areas close by hog all the water, LOL.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:23AM
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No deer here but plenty of opposum, racoon and squirrels. Not in good enough shape to do veggies this year but as soon as they finish the overhaul. Thinking of doing it in a green house.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:56AM
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We are fortunate to have plenty of browse for them, they are not tempted to scale the 7ft. garden fence. Surprised they tried the tomatoes, though, because tomato, a night-shade, is toxic to ruminants and they avoid eating it. Maybe they tried to destroy it because it is toxic?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:57AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

A 7-ft fence ~maybe topped with electric wire~ sounds like a great idea. :)

No question about the tomato plant; we had checked them the prior evening because they were newly transplanted, it rained overnight, deer hoofprints in the mud went right up to the plant which was literally the middle one in a row of seven. The only proof of the plant's existence was a bit of disturbed earth; no stem or leaves in the vicinity, so I assumed it was eaten. Why that particular plant is another mystery which will never be solved. I too, thought the tomato plant was toxic.

I checked the beans this morning. More freshly nipped stems ~ yesterday there were bud clusters on those. I still don't understand why they aren't nibbling on the lettuce!

They haven't touched the chili-pepper plant and it has a nice crop growing. The deer also have not jumped the other fence to get to the main garden. Pumpkins, cantelopes, assorted greens, and limas are thriving. The squirrels figured out how to tunnel under the mesh for DH's tomatoes ~ so far he's gotten about a dozen fruit from 23 plants. Not a great return on that many plants, lol.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:44PM
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