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Old 06-05-2010, 02:43 PM
 
613 posts, read 971,415 times
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After years of drought where everything would turn black amid the crispy chatter of cicadas and the hoardes of stink bugs (in JUNE--- yes, June.) and squash vine borers.. and vowing at last to give up the useless battle... but then every spring, trying again... we finally are had a decent Spring here in central TX with lots of RAIN (you mean that thing where water actually falls from the SKY,, and for free?? I can't believe it!)..... and finally once again,, I had a garden full of big, healthy, happy, green, lush tomato plants, full of big green tomatoes... and was SO looking forward to having my own again...!

That is, until each one I had my eye on, that was just starting to ripen, started disappearing, one by one. Apparently, I have put all that hard work.... YEARS of back-breaking labor trying to dig these beds out of ROCK hard soil, pulling up rocks, composting, adding endless amounts of store-bought amendments and compost (only for the soil to turn back into a rock hard.... rock, after a few months)..... and buying good heavy-duty tom cages; going far & wide to find the tom varieties I wanted, sometimes getting the very last one they had... only to have the squirrels get them. Such are the joys of gardening. Why does it always end up feeling like such an exhausting battle that can't be won....?

Oh well..... at least the birds & butterflies enjoy it and it looks pretty.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,437 posts, read 41,795,006 times
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I feel the same way but also please include deer. I have tried sprays of all kinds, chicken wire on the ground hair in the garden and on and on. And yes rocks DO reproduce underground and make baby rocks and eventually mature rocks.

Finally I decided I would garden only ornamental. This was after I bit into a small slug in the creases of lettuce. I decided to support my local farmers' market for my fresh veggies and to buy them off season shrink wraped.

I know alot of people love veggie gardening but honestly it is-for most of us- a very expensive hobby. The soil amendants, equipment, labor, etc just are not as satisfying to me. And if you do get some results some critter like deer or squirrels or slugs or other insects get to it before you do. Also I was very frustrated by the fact I had to be ready at the exact right moment to pick or all my efforts were wasted. I couldn't go out of town, be sick or be lazy. I had to pick stuff from the garden.

Now I am an obsessive compulsive gardener but my shrubs and flowers give me so much more pleasure than veggies.

My hat is off to all you who do produce great veggie gardens. If you feel like I do be sure to support your local growers at farmers markets and road side stands. Lord know they need it.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Midessa, Texas Home Yangzhou, Jiangsu temporarily
1,505 posts, read 3,767,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalminor View Post
RAIN (you mean that thing where water actually falls from the SKY,, and for free?? I can't believe it!)
Out here in west Texas I have heard rumors about that, but I always assumed that it was just an urban legend.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,752,594 times
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Squirrels can wreck ornamentals, too. I planted 6 dozen tulips in pots several years ago. I spent the winter watching squirrels dig them up and eat them, while watching me. I'd chase them off, they'd come back. It amused the neighbors -- a non-animated version of Donald Duck vs. Chip 'n' Dale -- but did nothing for my garden.
10 tulips survived.
When I was loosening up the soil the next spring, I discovered that the squirrels had buried walnuts in the pots they stole the tulips from.
I did feel a great deal of satisfaction a couple of weeks ago when I saw a huge owl sitting in one of the trees the squirrels use as a freeway, with a dead squirrel hanging from his claws. He was having a lovely breakfast.
But more have come back. There are always more.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:41 PM
 
8,649 posts, read 14,903,934 times
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Two words...... Pellet Gun ... takes care of those tree rats
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:41 AM
 
613 posts, read 971,415 times
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<And yes rocks DO reproduce underground and make baby rocks and eventually mature rocks>

lol... I KNEW it wasn't my imagination!
Glad someone else is feelin' my pain. Yes thank god for the farmer's markets.... I go as often as possible. I really don't know how they do it, as they have a lot of frustrations too (and on a much larger scale). For instance, I still or the life of me don't understand how anyone is able to grow squash..... ever. Those people who joke about leaving bushels on their neighbors' porches and running....??? HOW do they get beyond the squash vine borers....(without insecticides)?? I don't get it. The SVB's decimate my plants before I ever get one thing from them- and nothing has worked, so I finally gave up.

Lucidus-- ha, yes that strange phenomena really does happen here once in a while. Then the sun comes back out, it goes up to 90o again and the world becomes a giant stifling greenhouse. Guess you don't have that problem out there, huh?

A pellet gun-- hhmmm,,, just can't do it....
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:53 PM
 
11,318 posts, read 16,858,239 times
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Why does it always end up feeling like such an exhausting battle that can't be won....?

Because human nature programs you to think that it requires some kind of complex or unpleasant solution when the answer is quite simple.

Get yourself some dried blood fertilizer. Any brand, don't matter. Cost about 5 bucks per bag. Sprinkle it where you do not want the critters to tread. Wet it down. That's it. Helps the plants and scares the living hell out of squirrels. Its funny to watch them first approach and then flee in terror. Replenish every so often.

Then be a good sport and hang up some dried corn cobs for them to munch on. No pellet guns. Just enforced harmony.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:51 AM
 
7,038 posts, read 10,356,493 times
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The squirrels won here, and we are only guests in our back yard.

So, now I relax in my lawn chair, look up into the 100+ yr. old English Walnut trees and count squirrels, instead of sheep, then doze off.

Last edited by rdlr; 04-27-2011 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:15 AM
 
5,905 posts, read 5,087,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moth View Post
Get yourself some dried blood fertilizer. Any brand, don't matter. Cost about 5 bucks per bag. Sprinkle it where you do not want the critters to tread. Wet it down. That's it. Helps the plants and scares the living hell out of squirrels. Its funny to watch them first approach and then flee in terror. Replenish every so often.
Any idea if this works for rabbits as well? We have an overabundance of both animals here, and I'm looking for something to ward them both off.

And if it doesn't work, my husband is definitely going to opt for the pellet gun.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:41 AM
 
11,318 posts, read 16,858,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayneinspain View Post
Any idea if this works for rabbits as well? We have an overabundance of both animals here, and I'm looking for something to ward them both off.

And if it doesn't work, my husband is definitely going to opt for the pellet gun.
Probably.

This common fertilizer is composed of <hold your lunch> dead cows. As it was told to me, the squirrel, being a smaller creature, knows that something very large died and thus reasons that he is an easy target and avoids the area.

So, if that is true, a rabbit would sense the same thing. I have heard that it can attract vultures and dogs, but I have not had that problem.

You could also get a Havahart trap and simply trap and relocate them to a state park. I have done that when the population hits a high point and it looks like a convention.
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