Monday, September 30, 2013

Chipmunks in the Sweet Potatoes

One night last week when I headed out to check the garden, I saw two chipmunks racing out of the sweet potato patch, with their tails at an unusually saucy, jaunty angle. The little critters looked way too happy to me, so I pulled back some vines in the area they seemed to have come from.

Chipmunk excavation in the sweet potato patch.
The rascals had been mining the garden! I found numerous excavations, all right at the bases of plants, so I decided to dig up all the sweet potatoes at my first opportunity.

That chance came on Sunday, and it turned out that the chipmunks had eaten pretty nearly all the sweet potatoes from the end of the garden nearest the creek.

There were a few, very small Porto Rican Golds and a few small sweets from the Annie Hall area. There won't be enough of the Porto Rican for me to eat any, but I might get to eat one of the Annie Hall.

Another chipmunk entrance to the sweet potato mine.
In better news, there seem to be plenty of the Purple Delight and plenty of Beauregard at the far end of the sweet potato bed. I haven't weighed the harvest yet; I know there will be less total weight than I had hoped for, but at least I didn't get totally "skunked" (or, in this case, "chipmunked").

The chipmunk discovery meant that I harvested my sweet potato patch a couple of weeks sooner than usual; typically, I don't dig the sweets up until sometime in October. If anyone out there is worried about running behind schedule in harvesting sweet potatoes -- don't worry -- you aren't! I am just early.

Hope all the other sweet potato patches have managed to escape the notice of the chipmunks!



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