In the battle against pests eating your plants, you really can’t let your guard down, not even for one night.
In this case, the lapse in security was an open gate for a single night. Surely, nothing would bother with the garden the first night the gate had been left open in over a year and a half. Well, guess again. I left the gate open for one night, ONE NIGHT and a pesky deer (or more I suppose) decided to belly-up to the buffet and sample the various delectables at the salad bar.
It wasn’t obvious at first, there is so much plant matter crammed into the space that it is a bit of a jungle at times. But I started noticing a couple oddities. A few green bean leaves were laying on the ground looking liked they were torn from the plant as opposed to falling off from normal causes. I then noticed some leaves on the tomato plants were missing and all that was left was the stem. Could be Tomato Horn Worm, but I’ve been pleasantly free of them this year. Besides, worms generally don’t leave HOOF prints in the soil! Once I saw the tracks, the rest of the evidences suddenly leapt into view. They seemed to enjoy the cherry tomatoes where a number of leaves and fruit are missing. A section of lima bean leaves were missing as well as a section of cucumber leaves.
In the end, it could have been much worse and I am thankful that I was let off with just a warning, but the message was clear, next time I won’t be so lucky.