Thursday, June 9, 2011

What You Doin' in my Backyard?

My winter veggies are going dreadfully.

I'm sure I planted a bezillion seeds. They certainly took all the upstairs window space and quite a bit of the floor space along the glass doors a few months ago. Monkey Man teaches up there and he commented that it was looking like a plant nursery. I think it was providing a welcome visual relief for those poor kids who must have been going cock-eyed looking at little notes as they blow and tongue their way through Saxophone Solos for Beginners. Anyway, I reckon a third of those seeds failed to germinate and then as soon as I popped the successful ones in the ground they were munched.  I still seem to have white cabbage moth caterpillars even though it's bloody cold and I haven't seen a moth for ages. They've certainly left a lot of babies about to pester me.
Not only are they being munched by caterpillars, but Puff or Fluff keeps escaping the flimsy wire barrier I've erected between chook and veggies. No-one to blame there but me. She has a lovely time stomping on my garlic and munching on the silverbeet seedlings. And provides me with thrice daily treks out to the cold to retrieve her and plonk her back where she belongs. Not that I'm complaining about the cold mind you! Oh no... remember I love winter. Despite losing my arm warmers on Friday night after one too many wines out with some girlfriends I just looove winter. Oh yeah, I'm happy as can be and savouring every one of the 83 days left in the season.

If those garden pests aren't enough to thwart my winter growing , the other day we came home to a goat in the yard! Now I know some of you country folk live with goats and that's all fine and dandy for you but I live in the city. Well not quite - 9km from the CBD. So it was a bit of a shock to find a goat checking out the chooks when we stepped in the back gate. I'm blaming him for eating the one kale plant that was doing well.
Our neighbour Mr. P keeps a couple of goats on the vacant lot between us and we discovered they had been industriously working during the day on their escape plan to our greener pastures and had knocked out a couple of the fence palings. 

The goat adventure did provide a fun distraction for the monkey boys though. They immediately donned weapons (cardboard roll and water sprayer) - and started a star wars goat battle, on lookout for the goat enemy through the gap in the fence. The pacifist in me has had absolutely no influence deterring the war games at my place.


  1. Ah, livestock antics are not just confined to the country! Sorry VG, I had to giggle. We have had three sheep wander in through our open front gate to have a good munch on our pasture. Cows being herded past and attempting to break INTO our property to take out our carob trees and lucerne trees, the next door neighbours kelpie treat our free range chickens as takeaway and someones escapee horses running up and down our laneway trying to find their way into our front yard and mix things up with my horses.

    One day it will be goats, or another neighbours alpacas or the pigs from across the road.

    Can I use your security guards to move livestock along the next time our perimeter is breached?

  2. i am having the same issue here also..they compleltey demolished all but 1 of the cauliflower and all the cabbages I had..and they where making quick work of the broccoli but i caught i have a whole lot more in the seedling nursrey..but it can really set ya back some in the waiting for new ones to come in

  3. I ventured out to my vege garden yesterday and gasped with horror at the damage to my broccoli! I picked of 26 green caterpillars!! I, like you couldn't believe that they are still around in this cold and wet weather and I cannot remember the last time I saw a white cabbage moth. Everything else in the vege garden is growing veeerrryy slowly!!

  4. My old enemy the fox (well, probably one of its children, because this is a young one) has taken to coming up close to the house and peering in through the glass doors. It seems to be saying "haven't you got anything else for me to eat than those veggies? I want some meat." At least I haven't had any goats visiting me.

  5. I noticed the counter in your sidebar. Good one VG!

  6. I can't believe you came home to goats! Honestly! I live around the same distance from the city as you (different city though)! And there are no goats around here... are you allowed to have them there?

  7. Ha! Goats will be goats it seems - and boys will be boys no matter if you're a pacifist! Gotta love their weapons of choice though.

  8. What next!! Goats?!
    Ha I have loads of horrible cabbagemoth caterpillars eating mine too actually I harvested broccollini tonight in the dark and found a caterpillar in my dinner. Hrmm. Took it out and kept eating LOL ewwwwwwww!

  9. Goats! Your boys seem to have sorted them out. Cabbage moths have been chomping away at my plants up here in Sydney too. V. annoying.

  10. Well thank goodness I don't live near you Daffodil! Seems like lots of you have caterpillars too. They are such a pain. Oh well thankfully I don't have foxes like Mark. Ali, I'm not sure about the rules on keeping goats. It's possibly you're not allowed by Mr P is not one to obey rules!
    Duchess declutter - yep their weapons could have been worse I'm sure.

  11. I understand you, now veggies grow so slowly that it is almost painful to watch, and snails are everywhere. I found that putting newspaper down as mulch has helped in keeping the soil warm and it is easier to see the snails!
    It also keeps the weeds down and shelter the worms, preparing the soil for spring. My veggie garden is not 'pretty' all cover with newspaper, but I don't mind.

    Ciao and Happy Weekend


  12. Baa! This is my favourite post of yours so far...I can really identify with it. LOL

  13. My veggies are doing well but still get a few holes in the leaves but couldn't find any caterpillars, then I was just about to wash some lettuce and found a little spider which must be the culprit. I hadn't thought of them eating veggies before but obviously do.
    Hope things pick up for you in the garden.


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