Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Mystery of the Wilting Tomato Plants

I just had a couple of tomato plants planted directly into the soil, mixed in with an assortment of wildflowers and others. I am very eclectic inside and outside.
One tomato plant was on one side of the patch and another on the far side.
About a month ago, not long after I had planted them, I noticed one of my tomato plants wilting.  I watered it, thinking that maybe it was just too small to be directly in the sun, but upon bending down to touch the leaves....it fell over.
I picked up the plant and saw it was chopped off from down under.

Of course...the gopher.

I had forgotten that there had been a gopher hole a year or so ago just to the left of where I had planted the tomato.  Fitz use to wait by it, sniffing every so often, patiently waiting for the gopher to make an appearance.  Never did.  Then again, the hill right outside my fence was riddled with gopher holes.  Many entrances and exits.

I thought, oh, well, good thing I planted most of my vegetables in containers.  The other tomato plant was healthy and thriving on the other side of the patch.  It was probably far enough from the hole that it would not be bothered.

Went out today and saw the other tomato plant had "wilted".  Sure enough, it tipped over as I looked at it.

Gophers are a part of the landscape.  So far the flowers are fine, and undisturbed, so for now the gopher can just be.  In the past, Fitz had been a big gopher hunter and had definitely put a dent in the gopher hillside population. He had brought in mice and lizards to show his mom his prowless, and a few times...pocket gophers.  Talk about creepy. I am one to usually find something about an animal to like. Not gophers.  They definitely can just stay underground. No more vegetables mixed in my flower patch from now on.

                                   
photo from Wikipedia....pocket gophers.