It has been a perfectly terrible year for our home garden, and we've heard the same from others. Critters have practically destroyed our tomatoes (we've had two or three all year, and only one was really good). Our zucchetta, previously so prolific that in August I used to never leave the house without a plastic bag full of squash to foist upon friends, neighbors and homeless people encountered in the street, has given us about three fruits all year. Even our basil has been hit by a blight, and the big batch of pesto I processed a couple of weeks ago will be it.
In the midst of lamenting our bad luck, we commented the other night that it's a good thing we're not dependent upon our crops to get us through the winter, because we'd starve before Thanksgiving.
We tried to protect the tomatoes from the critters (deer, chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, all have been seen on our property and we don't know what all is feasting on our stuff) but to no avail. We encased a ripening tomato in a plastic onion bag and the critter ate through the plastic to get a nice bite of tomato. We've pretty much given up on everything and are about to just rip the plants out and put the whole garden into arugula for fall (our critters hate arugula).
On my walk the other day I encountered a gardener who apparently shares our frustration, but unlike us, isn't ready to give up yet. Here's how he's protecting his tomatoes.
I say, good luck.