We have been watching about a dozen tomatoes getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I couldn’t wait to pick them and have our first home-grown tomatoes of the season, but they were still very green so hadn’t yet picked any.
Now I wish I would have picked them to ripen indoors, because when I checked them again after the rain, they were gone. Every one of them! No evidence of the thief. No juicy tomato trail leading away from bent-over vines. No bear scat lying about. No mole or ground hog holes. No turtles sequestered under the vines, waiting for the cover of darkness to come out and get on with their life of tomato-eating crime.
I was left to believe it was the big green caterpillars I keep seeing on the vines. You know, those tomato-hornworm things that get covered with white parasitic wasp pupae, rendering them living zombies with not enough strength to eat their way out of a tomatoe blossom?
Never saw one eat an entire tomato before. They usually just take bites here and there and spoil the whole crop. Not even the biggest of them are capable of walking out of the garden carrying an 8oz tomato on their backs.
So it remained a mystery until CG came home later than normal a few nights ago and discovered a full-grown deer standing under the peach tree, calmly eating her fill of un-ripe peaches.
The peach tree is only a few feet from the garden.
So we’re pretty sure we’ve finally been able to figure out the mystery of the disappearing tomatoes….only thing is, other than building a 10 foot tall deer fence around the garden, there isn’t much we can do about it.
I’m not about to sit outside all night on an overturned bucket, cap-gun in hand, waiting to scare that deer away next time she comes round. I guess I really don’t want a home-grown tomato as bad as I thougt I did.