A murder of peas, a birth of beans

The rabbits have committed many sins this summer. Many, many sins. And I’m not talking about the two that chase each other around the yard with gleams in their eyes.

Among the sins committed includes murder. A murder of peas. All of them. I planted little pea seeds, I implemented a rudimentary trellising system (granted, it involved tomato cages, but the vegetables could not possibly know what is what when it comes to trellises, and the rabbits certainly don’t care…), and I ended up with nothing. A few pea blossoms, of course, but not any actual peas.

But I’m not bitter. Really. Not. Not. Not. Bitter. Who needs fresh peas out of the garden, really? Who needs a truly miraculous treat? No, not me. Not unbitter me.

Baby beansSo now I’m trying beans. And they’re incredibly cute when they come up, all furled and curly, and then they stretch their way up toward the sky.

I decided to just grow some pretty standard bush beans, and I probably planted them too close together and didn’t water them enough, and I also planted them the same day that I ripped out the spinach and lettuce, which was a day when we got more rain in 24 hours than we have practically all year, so I’m probably pretty lucky that all the seeds didn’t just wash away.

But so far, so good. The beans are born, and are rapidly heading toward adolescence. I’d rather, after all, have an adolescent, cranky bean than the stumpy dead pea plants I ended up with at the end of my earlier experiment.

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19 Responses to “A murder of peas, a birth of beans”


  1. 1 Tracy July 10, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Before you’re completely heartbroken, put some sort of fence around those beans! My rabbits like bean shoots just as much as they like pea shoots. There’s nothing worse than doing the early morning garden inspection and finding stubby little stems where beans once grew. Quick – fence them in!

  2. 2 Jenny July 10, 2007 at 9:54 am

    My sympathies on the peas. There’s always the fall to try again, right? Regarding the beans, I concur with Tracy. Rabbit fencing is fairly cheap and having to root around where a seedling grew to see if the stub is still there is horrible. Though if the beans have already survived several days, maybe they’ll be okay?

  3. 3 Carol July 10, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I’ve also had good luck putting a row covering over my peas and beans until they got big enough to withstand some bunny nibbling. You can find the row covering, a thin white material, at most garden centers.

    This year was the 1st year in several that I actually got some peas and I hate to tell you but they were absolutely delicious. My beans are forming now and I’m looking forward to harvesting some in a week or so, maybe sooner.

    Hang in there, if we give up, the bunnies win. We can’t let that happen! Stay strong!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  4. 4 Michelle July 10, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Genie, I think it’s time you know the truth. Go and read what Tim Bedore has to say about animal conspiracies and it will all make sense. Stay strong. Fight the furry oppressors!

  5. 5 jackiesgarden July 10, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Oh so sorry to hear about your peas – my very favorite ‘eat-right-in-the-garden’ food. That is soooooo frustrating. We live in the middle of the deer country, so hubby fenced my garden – where I play in my raised beds. Without a fence, there would be nothing left for us. Good luck with those beans. (And I’m so envious of your red tomatoes – mine will be awhile yet).

  6. 6 kate July 10, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    And here I thought the rabbits were distracted in other parts of the garden!! I hope the beans do okay … those poor, poor peas never having had a chance to grow and see the light of day or be poised on the edge of a fork. Oh darn those rabbits. Why don’t they eat dandelions instead?

  7. 7 Robin (bumblebee) July 10, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Does the pepper treatment work on peas, I wonder?

    I have, until now, been extremely fortunate not to have rabbit or deer damage in the theme garden. (I think the cat is a big deterrent.) But recently a little brown bunnies has moved in. He ate all my newly planted mallow, but hasn’t yet destroyed anything IN the theme garden.

    –Robin (Bumblebee)

  8. 8 John Roper July 10, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    My condolences on your peas. While I love how cute the rabbits in my yard when I see what they do to my veggies I am sometimes tempted…

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/105493

    ;-)

  9. 9 Jenny July 10, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    John Roper’s comment with accompanying link is one of the funniest I’ve read in a long time!

  10. 10 Annie in Austin July 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    One of my old garden books recommends using prunings from twiggy overgrown spiraeas and shrub honeysuckles for ‘pea sticks’, letting them clamber around. Maybe the little twigs would poke the rabbits when they come with murder on their mind?

    Good luck with the beans, Genie!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  11. 11 inadvertentgardener July 13, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    Tracy, a fence is a great idea.

    Jenny, so far, so good, but I still might implement a fence…

    Carol, row covering also sounds good. I loved hearing about your peas this year, by the way — that was part of what made me so sad when I lost all of mine!

    Michelle, I’m fighting! I’m fighting!

    Jackie, ugh…deer country…ugh.

    Kate, oh, the rabbits are everywhere…

    Robin, by the pepper treatment, do you mean shaking hot pepper all over everything?

    John, I agree with Jenny — that is a hilarious comment, and a very apropos link.

    Annie, I also like your idea of ‘sticking it to ’em.’

  12. 12 jennylitchfield July 14, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    An age-old gardening story. I haven’t had the heart to tell my two-year old grandson the truth about these pesky pea-eating pests. He’s happy Peter Rabbit managed to escape Mr MacGregor’s stewpot.

  13. 13 inadvertentgardener July 15, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Jennylitchfield, let your grandson rest in ignorance for now. After all, Peter Rabbit teaches lots of great lessons!

  14. 14 Chet Claff July 26, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    This spring I planted 250 shell beans in 5 rows. They sprouted perfectly, maybe 95%, and I even replenished the missing 5 %.
    They even started to blossom. I have an electric fence, with only one wire, which keeps out dogs and cats, I think, but I soon saw rabbits nibbling in the bean garden.
    Within days, there was not a single blossom showing, and of course I have absolutely zero beans. I protected one plant with bamboo stakes, it blossomed, and I got a one-inch bean. I took out the stakes, and within a couple of days the bean was gone. Definitely eaten. I was wondering if it was a disease.
    I have decided a fence is a necessity. Will 2 feet high, with an electrified wire near the top, be high enough? I will use PVC fencing and tie the wire to it.
    Enough already!

  15. 15 inadvertentgardener July 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Chet, you lost the whole one-inch bean? Tragic! It’s quite possible that your plan might work — I certainly hope so for your sake. That’s so frustrating!

  16. 16 Matron August 5, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Good luck with your beans! I tried growing 10 different climbing varieties on 5 wigwams. Be careful not to save seed because they cross-pollinate like there’s no tomorrow!

  17. 17 inadvertentgardener August 6, 2007 at 6:33 am

    Matron, good tip on the seed! Thanks for passing that along.


  1. 1 Witness to the population explosion « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on July 25, 2007 at 8:00 pm
  2. 2 Holy bean leaves, Batman! « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on August 2, 2007 at 4:42 am

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