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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Learning by Experience

So, how is Erika’s garden? It was doing great until the deer decided to launch an attack. They managed to push their way through the netting and help themselves to a fruit and vegetable buffet. Upon first inspection, after the rampage, we discovered that the destruction was extensive…almost horrifying. All that was left were leafless stalks. Ahh, but nature has a way of healing itself. A month later, everything has made a comeback, except for the cucumbers. Those were brutally torn out and eaten by the roots. To our amazement, the cherry, plums, and apples have started to sprout new leaves. The strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries have fruit. The juneberries are sprouting new leaves all over the place. I guess that’s natural since juneberries are grown in the wild and are used to this sort of thing. Nothing impressive about these pictures except for the fact that these plants were stubs a month ago.


Thornless Blackberries

Recovering apple


Recovering Fuji Apple (bark will need to be painted with latex)

Recovering cherry (the damage encouraged growth below the graft)

Erika is still experimenting with what will grow in Tsukahara. She is trying melon and various tomatoes in addition to the assortment of berries and stone fruits. Next year, we’ll try corn, eggplant, and cucumbers. To make all of this possible requires a bunch of bamboo poles and netting. In Hasama, where it’s much warmer, we would like to grow Meyer’s lemon in a container. If we can find a drawf variety, we’ll give it a go.
Bamboo w/ netting fence
What are you going to do to prevent another attack? Preventing an attack in the middle of Grand Central Station for the neighborhood deer population would be impossible. Instead, we'll fortify the fence by installing bamboo poles on the bottom and top of the netting. This works for the farmers in the neighborhood. We'll tighten the netting so that they can't push their way in. Any gaps in the netting will be lashed together. The deer will visit our property and graze on the grass. That's fine with us. As a matter of fact, we encourage it. Why? The dogs need entertainment, too.  George


  1. I was searching for non-toxic pest preventatives the other day (I can't seem to keep Kuri out of my little garden, and I have a serious beetle infestation) and I read that human hair (ie the sweepings from a hair salon) scattered around the fence keeps deer and rabbits away because of the smell. No idea if it would work, just passing on the tale!

    1. Thanks for the tip. I have a feeling that these deer have seen it all. The only thing that seems to work around here are electrical fences and I'm not interested in installing one of those things. Time to get a haircut.