Monday, October 04, 2010

Bakin' Tators and Moles

In between rain showers yesterday, I dug the major portion of my potato crop for the year.

And, it looks like we've got a few good bakers in the harvest.

Last year, most of my potatoes were mostly the size of marbles or maybe boulder (in marble games, that is).

The late summer freeze stopped their action, and that first week of December brutal freeze ruined what our pathetic potato harvest completely.

Then, this spring I had a heckuva time getting my potatoes started.

The plants kept freezing when it never warmed up at the usual time, but I just kept planting.

And, I'm quite pleased with the results.

So were the moles.

They enjoyed every last bite except the skins of several good-sized bakers beneath the ground.

I could feel adrenalin flowing yesterday and total giddiness while digging up some of lunkers in this box.

Later, I could feel the hair raising on the back of my neck and my jaw clenching as I'd dig and then pick up what looked like a big spud only to find it a cleaned-out shell----much like that cantaloupe from last year. It was a perfect shape, biggest one of the crop but light as a feather when I picked it from the vine.

The moles enjoyed every last drop of cantaloupe fruit from that particular melon, leaving just a tiny entry hole on the skin.

This year, with no cantaloupes even having a chance of blossoming, it seems that the spuds became their "fruit" of choice.

Hasn't anyone ever told moles that potato skins are just as good as the innards?

In spite of their underground decimation of my crop, the sheer size of this year's potatoes probably posed a problem for the little critters to clean off the entire crop before I came through with a shovel.

Bill and I were talking about their underground attacks, and it seems that the same area in the garden where potatoes fell victim to the moles is where they fed on the bottom halves of my carrots last year. I had dozens of huge half-carrots. Fortunately, the horses didn't care.

The moral of this story of moles invading the garden is to quit wasting my time bending over, planting stuff in the traditional ways.

I'm sure that all my carrots and potatoes in the new front-yard planters have escaped mole consumption.

So, there's a definite winter project to do. Get more and more planters and outwit those little thieves, at least until they figure out a way to sabotage the planter-box method of gardening.

Anyway, I'm quite happy with the taters I've dug up so far, and we'll take extra measures this winter to see that they don't freeze in the motorhome.

It also looks like all the green tomatoes will do their ripening inside, but if the speed of yesterday afternoon's reddening process in the garden window is any indication, we've got some good 'mater eating coming up and soon.

Bottom line: all is not lost with this year's erratic garden year, and if I can keep one step ahead of the moles, the harvest of some veggies may be fairly impressive.

As far as success with green beans-----------there's another story, and the moles haven't even taken on a major role in that department.

1 comment:

Mole Bait said...

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