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Strange Year for Gardening

Last Fall, hubby and I made improvements to my little backyard vegetable garden.  One of the improvements was a low tunnel.  This gave me the confidence to plant my garden earlier this year than I ever had.  I had frost cloth to cover my young plants if freezing weather threatened.  Fortunately, I did not have to use it.  This earlier start has paid off this year - so far.  I have plants producing veggies earlier than ever.  I picked jalapeno peppers yesterday.

My bell peppers are doing so well that some critter has already helped themselves to several.

We have rabbits that play in our backyard on a daily basis.  I know that two litters of rabbits were born in my raised garden beds this year. Our neighbors on both sides of our backyard have dogs so they figure our yard is safe.  Something has chewed holes in my wood compost bins.

We have had so much rain this Spring that I have only used my drip system one time.  I also ordered additional rain barrels.  Hubby has built the stands and has one additional barrel connected before more rain is expected today.  We chained two together located closest to my garden.

The first rain barrel filled on the first rain after it was installed.  It has been overflowing ever since so maybe I can store an additional 50 gallons for the dry times that are coming. It has rained so much that the seed in the bird feeder sprouted.  Clean bird feeder is now on my "to do" list.

Additional items in the garden include tomatoes, green beans, carrots, okra, and spaghetti squash.

You can see a small spaghetti squash at the bottom left side of the right picture.  I also purchased blueberry bushes last year and am happy to report that they are still alive.

I planted potatoes for the first time this year.  They sprouted and have made great plants on top of the dirt.  They seem to be very water hungry and wilt quickly if not cared for.  Right now the potato leaves have developed some spots.  We shall see if I get any potatoes out of this.

No pictures of this but this item has become my dud.  I cleared out the flower bed at the end of my patio of the rose bushes that became diseased.  I have grown cantaloupe and cucumbers here before with great success.  I planted cantaloupe seeds and only one hill came up - and did not grow.  I think possibly my hubby was not careful with the pre-emergent we spread on the grass earlier this year.  It stopped my seeds from germinating.  Not to be outdone, I purchased transplants from the garden center.  The rabbits have eaten all the leaves off the stems.  It is so sad. 

I am seriously thinking about getting a dog.  I need a dog big enough to stay outside 100% of the time. He needs to chase the rabbits and squirrels out of the yard, stay out of my garden, and not bark at all the people walking their dogs on the path behind our property.  In return I can offer love, attention, a covered patio, a dog house, a dog bed, fresh food and water and medical care.  Anyone know of a dog that will fill this bill?