One of the covers blew off during the night on Thursday, and when I checked my plants Friday morning, I found one of them snapped clean off 1/4 above the soil.
I took some defensive action today, and stopped by Canadian Tire to pick up some marigolds, and a replacement pepper for the one that had snapped off. It was one of the bigger peppers they had snapped off, and while there was a very small chance it could have pulled a Lazarus on me, I wasn't holding out much hope.
I don't know what kind of pepper I bought as a replacement. It was in with the jalapenos, and it looked like a jalapeno, but when I got up to the till, it had no tag, and they ran it in as a Yolo. I am hoping they are wrong.
I planted the replacement pepper, and planted the marigolds in an assortment of pots that I placed in strategic protective areas. The idea of the marigolds is that the ravens seem to prefer those to the other plants, so they will pick those and leave the others alone. Marigolds produce flowers by the bunches, so it really doesn't hurt them if ravens pick their flowers.
I'd have preferred to just put up a few raven heads on spikes around the garden as a warning, but they are oily little bastards and hard to catch.
Once I had the new pepper and sentries planted, I set to weeding the existing pots. I used some of the soil that atara had bought for her raised beds - which we later learned was riddled with grass seed, so I had grass vying with my little pepper plants for space in the pots.
As I was weeding the first pot, I was merrily ripping out grass and mulling on how it had gotten so thick, it was completely obscuring the pepper. Then I paused, and discovered the reason I could not see the pepper was because it was lying in the pile of grass I had torn out.
Most of its roots seemed to be intact, so I cleared out the rest of the grass and weeds, dug it a new hole, and jammed it back in where it belonged with a fresh helping of bone and blood meal. I shook a finger at it sternly and said, "You just think about what you did!"
Peppers have never struck me as the brights of the plants, so I figured there was nothing lost in trying to convince it that it was the master of its own misfortune rather than the victim of me murdering it through blithe incompetence.
As soon as I let go of it, it doubled over like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, burdened down by the sheer weight of its lone flower bud. I watered all of the pots, replaced the protective covers and hoped for the best.
I wandered over to check on it while I was grilling dinner, and it had fallen over completely by then. It was pressed flat to the ground with its little limbs and leaves akimbo, and if peppers had tongues, its would have been lolled dramatically to the side. It looked quite dead.
I guess to quote Monty Python, it wasn't _quite_ dead yet. I checked on it a few minutes ago as I was covering the grill for the evening, and the pepper was standing proud as if its day had never been interrupted. I guess my little lecture worked after all.
Now if the marigolds do their job, we may yet get a crop of peppers from my little garden.