I planted my peppers in April and they are mostly doing well. It's my third season so I'm still a rookie. I planted 13 above ground half barrels with about 40 plants of all types. They are surrounded by a green mesh barrier that keeps my dogs and the rabbits out.
The last couple weeks I've noticed something strange. The soil in several of the barrels has holes dug 4 or so inches down, as if someone had scooped out the soil with their hand. Also, on a couple of healthy plants, some of the stouter stalks are broken, as if something heavy tried to climb it or a human being broke it part way through.
In fact, I've ruled out humans, so it must be some critter.
Does anyone have any advice? Could it be a clever rabbit that is getting under my barrier? A curious squirrel that doesn't like the greenery but still romps through? Could this be a local bird, in particular crows, of which we see often in the trees? And what might be doing the digging into the fresh potting soil? Note that the leaves are NOT getting eaten, in fact they look quite healthy.
Thanks for any advice you can provide!