Gopher, I don't care how pocket-sized you are, you have hit my last nerve. I told you that you could have the front lawn - it's not in good shape and it's mainly crab grass anyway. But no, you couldn't stick to your part of the deal. You had to go looking for yummy treats outside of the safe zone! One more tomato plant chewed off at the roots, and of course you picked the one that was the largest and healthiest, and just making fruit - just like last time. I dug up your holes and tried to bait you with Juicy Fruit. I installed two new thumper-sticks in hopes of driving you crazy and forcing you to move. And after I found the carnage today, I opened up your newest hole and poured hose water down it until I thought the entire backyard, front yard, street, and house foundation would be floating. I half-hoped that you would pop your decievingly adorable head out so that I could repeatedly smack it with the trowel. And I am not a violent person. I now understand why people in the middle of nowhere use you as shooting targets.
I can deal with my tomatoes not surviving because of our cool, foggy weather here. That's what happened last year. But this year I took special precautions to make sure I got at least one plant's crop of tomatoes. Planted them early. Made sure they got caged and watered regularly. Fed them Tomato Miracle Grow to make them happy. And they were...for a while. We even had a few weeks of sunshine to get them going. And what happened? Evil gopher varmint had to go exploring. Two he pulled down into the dirt completely - one day little plants making their way in the world, growing up big and strong, next day there's no trace of them. Just little holes where they had been. That made me mad, but it was still early. There was still time to replant, plus there were three others in a different area next to the house that were doing so well and growing so big and strong!
And now, the two that were biggest and strongest and just getting fruit (and of course the only two with the large-size fruit to be grown) had their roots chewed off right at the base, nearest the plant. And what did I find when I dug the hole out to chase the gopher? All the rest of the roots that plant had put out. Just sitting there, uneaten. That just made me fume!! If you're going to eat it, damn gopher, eat all of it!!!!
I had to re-pot it the first one, and now the one today and hope they come back enough to even get their leaves back. A plant that big takes a long time to grow enough roots back to survive. Luckily they have this amazing ability to grow roots out of their leafy branches if you bury them in the dirt. But it still takes time. I have now been forced to plant the rest of my tomatoes in pots in the dirt, and they're not doing nearly as well without all that room to push their roots out.
Mr. Gopher and all your little family and friends running around the whole street, under our houses, munching at will - know this. I will find a way to have my tomatoes survive. But you have pushed my last button and now you will pay. So watch your back. Because we're coming for you. And I'm going to get the neighbors in on it too! Dream of friendly exploding squirrels and rabbits tonight, varmint!