After Dinner

comments: 66




We're having an early summer, I think. Today it's raining, but the weekend was busy with outside things. The garden is almost entirely planted. My back yard container plants seem happier than ever. It's been neither too hot nor too cold; it's been just right. Friends visiting, late nights, food carts, pinball, bike ride, tomato planting, piano recital, fabric shopping, neighborhood potluck, eclispse watching. And something ate all of leaves off of about a third of my beet plants. It doesn't look like insect or slug; it looks like . . . something with teeth or beak? They went from one plant to the next plant, to the next plant in the row. Cafeteria style. Losers!

Today I'm trying to get organized. I've cut everything for the new quilt but the house is kind of trashed so I think I have some chores to do first. Getting kind of a slow start today. But it will be good to spend some time inside, I think. I've got some projects to show you.


Cats love to eat the new leaves off plants, and that's probably what got your beets. I got some light netting to put over my sprouts until they are big enough not to appeal to kitties. When it stops raining, cayenne pepper sprinkled around the beds will keep them out. Or hazelnut hulls, I hear.


The summer is here in Sweden too and I hope it stays - it´s so wonderful! :-)

Rebecca Clark says: May 21, 2012 at 09:18 AM

Projects :), Plant eating monster :(

Sounds like you had a lovely summery weekend! We did as well here in Eastern MI. I'm facing our home's insistence that I organize and clean, myself, today. Here's to the lovely weekends and the creativity that make for messy homes...and the good feeling that comes when there kind of sort of tidy again! Can't wait to see your new projects!

love these pictures.
it all sounds so lovely and relaxing.
What fun it must be to live where you are.

If the withered chopped-off beet tops are still laying around on the soil, it's cut worms. They slice plants off at ground level, and they go right down the row of plants...

Otherwise, rabbits, groundhogs, crows, maybe squirrels. Netting or caging (willow hoops covered in cheesecloth?) will deter the pest.

Netting is great - just make sure the holes are small enough to keep out whatever's giving you problems, and make sure it's weighted/attached all around

I had a baby bunny problem two years ago, since it could squeeze through the holes in a chain link fence. It was not a very big problem, though, since it was alone, and it was a very polite bunny and only ate *one* carrot top, all the way down, each visit, and it was awfully, awfully cute whenever I did see it. It eventually grew to be too large to get through the chain link fence and my few remaining carrots remained unmolested.

But I think I enjoyed the ones the baby bunny ate more than the ones I ate that year.

The Groundhog Wars were more unfortunate; I'd visit the garden and discover that all 12 tomato seedlings had been eaten in one night, or that half the carrot tops have been bitten off but not entirely eaten (what a waste!). Very aggravating.

They sell bird netting in big rolls if you want to just cover the whole beds to keep things out until they're not quite as tender; you could probably thumbtack or staple it to the raised bed frames if you wanted to, or just weight it down.

Oh my - is this what I can expect with my itty bitty beet tops which are just coming up?

Melissa L. says: May 21, 2012 at 09:30 AM

Here is a link to some garden pests that target beet greens:

Sounds like slugs to me, they like to take dainty little bites of things and they are very methodical. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a good, safe method of repelling them (and it's a good soil amendment too).

Just as I was thinking we needed to check the tomato plants to see if they needed to be watered we started to get rain showers yesterday(: I am still working on knitting a hat...slowly, and my quilt squares are still not cut for my patchwork quilt. I am 61 and still afraid to cut material. Were you ever afraid to cut material, and if you were, how did you overcome your fear, Alicia?

Alicia, that is such a darling kitters photo!

Cayenne pepper works wonders if the invader is warm blooded...I buy it 5lbs at a time at the bulk food store. Might we hope for another samplerpleeeeeezzzzz??? Cant wait!!


Beautiful nights!!

You know, rodents and especially rabbits bring me to tears with all they eat. I have had to resort to fox scent because nothing else worked and the damage was grave over the years. Now it is worlds better. The rabbits here even eat tree bark.

Although, we also have a gopher epidemic, and they suck things down underneath - so another cry fest ensues ;)

But, I have learned lots of tricks. And to be blunt, I was taught by a blog friend to put dog poo poo in my plant holes, and I have to say, it keep gophers away for sure.

Also - my bean and pea plants were very light green and sickly looking at first as they grew from seed, and as they got bigger they have gotten the "right" green. Healthy and lovely looking.

Just a few thoughts sharing ;)

I had a lovely weekend as well ~ my son graduated from PNCA!
I think I'm going to need to take a photography class ~ I love your photos and makes me want to improve my photo taking!

Linda in Waterloo says: May 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Oh my gosh! The illuminated cat face is just too much!

hmmm...sounds "bunny-ish" to me. But what sweet pictures!

Beautiful photos! We had the same thing happen to us last year when we planted our seedlings, and we thought it was squirrels. This year we have an elaborate netting system installed over the raised bed, and so far, so good! Happy harvesting!

Oh my gosh! The pic of the kitty.....adorable! LOVE the expression!

Your pictures are so evocative, an absolute treat. Warms the cockles of my heart.

I also am particularly in love with the cat photo...very magical...cayenne pepper and garlic powder sprinkled about have helped keep deer and rabbits away from my tulips and such...must reapply after a rain...a great love of garlic is a requirement because you do smell it for a time...
Looking forward to your project photoes.

Michelle says: May 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

It's probably sheep. My pesky sheep have been sneaking into my vegetable garden to eat my peas, and sneaking into the front yard to eat my irises off at the ground. I bet they decided to visit the city this weekend when I wasn't looking and took a tour of all the pretty yards in Portland, sampling as they went. They probably wore disguises so no one would suspect anything.

Ugly stupid gross earwigs, I betcha...

Hmmmm....I'm suspecting DEER! You live in Portland if I remember correctly. I'm in Corvallis and they are eating the leaves off of everything around here right now. And I join the others in my love of the kitty photo. It's pure magic. :)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at