returned and wrecked havoc in her plot. It chomped on some tomatoes, dug up some peanuts and ate much of her sweet potato vines. Until this year, we had a gardener who owned a trap and could check it daily until we apprehended the four-legged thief, but we no longer have that luxury. So, I conducted some internet research for possible solutions (because I had loaned all of my books on the subject to my brother-in-law, who has yet to return them). When I arrived on Saturday, I discovered that it had also ate most of the leaves on the food pantry sweet potatoes and the leaves on my edamame. Grrrr. I brought some ammonia-soaked rags to strategically place around the Garden (with the thought that it might smell like predator urine) and sprinkled some Epsom salt (with the thought that it would taste bad). We shall see.
Speaking of beans, I am having the absolutely worse bean crop of my life. I didn’t think it was possible. But all of my plants are stunted and have produced virtually no beans. I can’t blame it all on the grasshoppers either. The only exception has been my peas and edamame. I harvested three pounds of edamame on Saturday and froze two pounds of them to eat later. I may try some bloom buster this week to spur some flowering in my bean crop. My asparagus beans have been stunted and many of them have been blanched (i.e., white instead of green). It’s been sooooo weird.
Finally, my body odor seems to attract preying mantises. Last night, while I was chatting with a neighbor in the alley, something kept scratching the bottom of my right leg. I kept scratching it with my other foot. Finally, I bent over to swat it and found a large, bright green preying mantis trying to get my attention. I happened to have a coffee cup in my hand (don't ask) and so I swooped it in and dropped it off on my pole bean teepee to fend off my surplus Japanese beetle population. I hope that I didn't hurt it too much when I was kicking at it. What a sturdy insect.