Garden Disasters

December 4, 2012

I uploaded a bunch of pictures but never really got around to posting about the garden disaster we had this summer. Better late than never, right?

Our yard and all of our plants were doing really great and we were getting a lot of veggies and herbs out of our garden, but then one day I wet outside to water and noticed that a lot of our plants were turning brown. At first I thought it was mold or something was wrong with some kind of care we were giving to them, but it quickly became clear what the problem was.

The neighboring condo was having some work done, with a chemical sealant being applied to the outside of their building. Not a big deal, except for the fact that the product that they were using sprayed ALL OVER our house and yard, too. It not only turned our yard and plants brown, but nearly killed the neighbor’s.

We weren’t quite sure what to do at first because we didn’t know how bad the damage was but after a few days it became clear that some plants weren’t going to survive and that the big tree in our backyard had been seriously damaged. We contacted our neighbors and the company that had done the work. It turns out that they hadn’t quite adhered to the manufacturer’s specs, which suggest that ALL plants be covered when using it. They also managed to screw up the windows on the neighbor’s condo. They were willing to make things right, paying for everything they messed up, but it was a major headache and not exactly a good start to city living. I was none to happy about it at the time, but in the end we only ended up having to replace a few plants and the rest pulled through.

It’s hard to see here, but all the grass on one side of the lawn turned brown.

Our tomato plants all looked like this.

So did our cucumber (the cucumbers got much worse later).

The tree in our backyard lost most of the leaves on one side. It would get much, much worse. We thought it might die, but it hung in there.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only garden disaster we had this summer. The high temps took a toll on some of our plants, too. Our weigela and our Japanese maple were especially hard hit, both getting really sun scorched.

And then there were the rats. I had tried to put up a bird feeder in our backyard so the cats could watch it. Originally, I put out an assortment of seeds but that brought out our little friend here. Sadly, even a switch to thistle brought the rats and  there were soon 5-6 rats in our backyard every night (I wanted to barf). We  tried humanely trapping them but eventually just took down the feeder and they disappeared.

Here is one of the larger of the rats. I named him Fiddlesticks.

Overall, I think we did a good job with the yard this year, but it wasn’t without its challenges. Curious as to what next year will hold!

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  • Reply Mary December 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Way are there so many rats this year. I had bird feeders out and had to take them down.The rats keep going from one house to the other.The neighbor had exterminators out,then all the rats came to my house,after the feeders came down they went to my other neighbor’s house.
    Now I keep moth balls around the yard and that keeps them away.Also in the garage.

    • Reply Christina Sabo December 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      Ooh, I might have to try that. I really want to have the feeder up because the cats absolutely love it. I kinda like watching them too. I don’t think it helps that our neighbors have somewhere between 18-20 feeders out at all times (not joking, that’s just a rough estimate). They came to exterminate here, but I’ve seen rats since. Kinda gross.

  • Reply Patrick Cosmos (@veryimportant) December 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    We had tons of rats too. The dogs were murdering them for a while, which was gruesome. Squints looked really pleased with himself though.

    • Reply Christina Sabo December 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Yeah, I remember Andrea saying something about that. Just really gross all around. I never really noticed that many rats around in previous years, but they are really out of hand right now. It’s been a hot topic on EveryBlock, too.

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