I haven’t done a garden update in a while. So you’ll have to excuse the length of this one.

Today, I’d like to talk to you about expecting the unexpected in your garden.
If you look at a map of our town from the 1700s, you’ll notice a creek that runs through what is now my backyard.

Whenever we have a significant amount of rainfall, it floods because that’s where the water naturally wants to go.
In the past, the water has only gone up to a certain point, so we planned our garden for that.

Is it rot or animal damage on this sunflower?

During the past week, I noticed what I thought was squirrel or rabbit damage in a sunflower stalk — the peeling of the outer skin to get to the tasty center.

Someone in the Victory Garden Facebook group I’m in noted that it looked a little like rot. She asked if we had flooding in our garden.

We have flooding but never up this high in the yard, I remarked. But a rainstorm a few hours later proved the water was going up a lot higher than we thought. Let’s just say we had enough water in our yard for 20 minutes that my husband kayaked back and forth through the yard with his paddle barely touching the ground. Yeah… fun times.

Fire ants made their home in one of the cinderblock planters.

We are also seeing more bugs in the yard.

While watering the plants today, fire ants attacked me. I still have a scar from when their ancestors from Texas attacked me when I was 5 years old.

We’re also getting various beetles that like attacking vines. The adults don’t do much damage. It’s the eggs and larvae inside the vines that do the damage. They basically eat the plant from the inside out. My biggest pumpkin vine has a beetle in it this morning. I found signs of larvae throughout the vine. It has baby pumpkins on it, so I don’t want to totally destroy it. The problem is, vines are big tubes. If you cut damage off, you risk giving the disease or whatnot access to the rest of the plant.

Here is an obligatory photo gallery giving you an update on what everything looks like.