Saturday Gardening Thread: Get Away! [KT]

may texas.jpg

May in Texas

Lots of pretty photos at the link above. Some of the information from last week's thread on diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes made one hesitant to go out in the woods.

Last week we discussed deer. Deer ticks are problematic with regard to spreading disease. But they spend part of their life cycle on rodents. As suggested in the comments, today we have some content on squirrels and such. And on ticks and mosquitoes. And some plants.

Squirrels and other rodents in the garden

Some people are rather fond of squirrels. In Japan, there are squirrel gardens. Some specialize in particular species of squirrel, and some are sort of like squirrel zoos, with other furry rodents like rabbits and guinea pigs also roaming the grounds. Some of these facilities are kind of like petting zoos. Mitts or gloves are popular attire for visitors in those gardens which allow you to touch the critters. Many squirrels are bold even in the wild. Bet petting them makes them even bolder.

Does the little guy below change your attitude about squirrels, or not? How about this one? If only they didn't grow up. And carry ticks and fleas.

squirrel gardens.jpg

But squirrels and garden tomatoes don't mix. Neither do squirrels and tree fruit. And they can be destructive in other ways: eating birdseed, bird eggs and little birds, for example. Do you have a story? A successful control method?

cat-squirrel-garden-illustration-web.jpg

Keeping squirrels out of the garden

In these parts, ground squirrels and gophers are a bigger problem than tree squirrels. I keep thinking "hardware cloth" and raised beds. Our garden kittehs have caught a lot of gophers, but not ground squirrels, which used to drive the dogs nuts when we had a vacant lot next door.

Maybe some people with tree squirrels in the neighborhood could keep tomato plants in their outdoor kitteh retreat. Would protect against birds, too.

kitretreat.jpg

Available via the AoSHQ Amazon Store

Pest Reduction, Pest Repellents

This is kind of disappointing. How our CDC recommended (in 2015) controlling the tick population in your yard. With bait boxes for rodents, containing fibronil (the stuff in Frontline for dogs). I had read about the use of these boxes in the wild in connection with plague, but the details below do not make me want to rush out to buy this system.

the CDC developed and tested rodent bait boxes in field trials and found that they can reduce tick populations from 77 to more than 90 percent. To make them available to homeowners the CDC licensed the boxes to Tick Box Technology of Norwalk, Conn. Because they are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a professional-use product, the boxes are only available through licensed pest management companies.

And they're not cheap; one box costs $50 to install and the average home needs between 5 and 15 boxes, says Marc C. Dolan, M.Sc., a senior research biologist for the CDC in Fort Collins, Colo. The 5-by-7-inch childproof boxes are anchored to the ground and need to be replaced after about 90 days with boxes that contain freshly treated wicks and new bait, so the cost for an average yard with eight boxes is $800 for one year.

Great. Is there something else homeowners could do to control pests in the garden? Why, yes. For both mosquitoes and ticks.

. . . your best bet is doing things that discourage mosquitoes from breeding in the first place. Keep your yard free of containers filled with water, such as gutters, birdbaths, tires, wheelbarrows, wading pools, and swimming pool covers. Clear away ivy and decaying leaves, because mosquitoes like cool, dark places. And because ticks like tall grass and lots of shade, it's best to keep your lawn mowed and free of leaves and other debris. . .

I DID learn some new things about insect repellents. The best-rated insect repellent from Consumer Reports last year did not contain DEET. It contained Picaridin (from the evil Bayer Corporation) at a concentration of 20%. Picaridin seems to have less toxic potential than DEET, though it can definitely be an irritant, sort of like black pepper.

There was actually one "natural" insect repellent that also rated high in testing by Consumer Reports. The active ingredient is "lemon eucalyptus oil". Concentration seems to be important: The active ingredient is at 30%. And of that, about 65% is p-menthane-3,8-diol, which smells like menthol. Lemon eucalyptus oil must be refined to increase the concentration of this organic chemical. Refined quite a bit, actually.

The primary essential oil from this tree is not "lemon eucalyptus oil". It is citronellal, the main component in citronella oil. It is also present in other plants including Lemon Grass and Kaffir Lime leaves. If you cook with one of these flavoring ingredients, you may be interested to know that this chemical has strong antifungal properties.

Where hardy (which isn't a lot of places in the USA), lemon-scented gum is a tall, narrow landscaping tree with small seed capsules that can be planted close to walls or walks. Its botanical name has been changed from Eucalyptus citriodora to Corymbia citriodora. I don't know why. Here's a row of them in Perth, Australia. Notice that the sidewalk remains perfectly flat.

citriodora.jpg

Photograph by Greg O'Beirne

Types of repellents to skip include "all natural" ones and citronella candles. Though some of these products smell nice.

So I guess if you want to grow those lemon-scented mosquito-repelling geraniums (pelargoniums), it should be mostly for the smell and the looks. This one seems to bloom more than most I've seen.

mosquitaway eva.jpg

Mosquitaway 'Eva'

Gardens of the Horde

We've had some more mild days this week. hard to get used to. Apricots are on. Anything going on in your garden?

If you would like to send information and/or photos for the Saturday Gardening Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden
at g mail dot com

Include your nic unless you want to be a lurker.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:02 PM




Comments

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1 Good Afternoon greentumbs

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 11:59 AM (Ot7+c)

2 Pellet guns work well as squirrel control. .22's work better but firing guns inside city limits is problematic. But pellet guns don't count as 'guns' in most areas (not all, not legal advice, yadda yadda)

I need some sort of magical blackberry control, personally. Crossbow (the chemical herbicide, not the inferior ranged weapon) works great but would like more options.

Damn birds keep pooping blackberry seeds into the fence line.

Posted by: Mark Andrew Edwards at May 20, 2017 12:01 PM (+kmkU)

3 Have I gots lot to tell.
Dodged a bullet this week, I have had a dead pine tree by the road and my power lines for a few years, worked on getting some branches down but it was large and overhanging lines I couldn't get and dropping it wasn't possible. Monday came home it it and another live but overgrowning tree in corner were gone and for free. I took a big chance of a storm taking it down and most likely a power line.

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 12:03 PM (Ot7+c)

4 Added more plants yesterday so now have 3 types tomatoes, cucumbers, dill which I seprated and got 4 plants, curly parsley 2 in garden and 1 going onto deck in a pot, planted a bunch of lettuce and or spinach I grew from seeds. All to add to my already 2 types of basil, oregino 3 types of peppers. Sad to report chives seem to be going southand not sure if it is a water problem ( to much or little), they were doing well a few weeks ago.

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 12:10 PM (Ot7+c)

5 I had voles killing some pines and some hollies....I think I've gotten rid of most of them.

Posted by: BignJames at May 20, 2017 12:10 PM (x9c8r)

6 And am working on mulching around plants with my compost to attempt to keep weeds down and watering assist.

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 12:11 PM (Ot7+c)

7 Mice can carry deer ticks into your house, so you definitely don't want that. Mice have also been known to build nests inside of electrical service panels*, usually in garages. When the electrons are really flowing in the dead of winter, the nesting material catches fire, the service panel blows up, and you suddenly have an 'electrical fire' and possibly a hundred thousand dollar plus house fire. Proof that mice caused it disappears, up in flames.

I don't care about the 'humane' way of killing something that can disable or kill human beings and cause substantial property damage. Someday, in reeducation camp, I will be made to care. Until then, I'm protecting myself and my family.

This time of year I leave mouse poison along the foundation walls in areas I've seen them in the past, and snap traps in the garage. They eat poison, get something to drink, and die outside.

* There are pics of this I've seen on the internet posted by electricians who usually discover them.

Posted by: E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 12:12 PM (HTdUD)

8 Psst, pass it along. We're breaking out of this joint tonight when the guard changes.

Posted by: Squirrel in pet park at May 20, 2017 12:14 PM (61c4R)

9 I've just hacked down a nasty, thorny, half-dead shrubbery near the Main Entrance of the Zettaibunker using a chain saw, a machete, and a mattock... It's wood is an unusual bright, almost fluorescent, deep yellow colour! I believe it may be a barberry bush -- ???

Posted by: Zettai Ryoiki at May 20, 2017 12:15 PM (e9G8E)

10 The problem with poisoning mice is that if you have cats or a terrier or dachshund type dog it can be poisoned if it catches and eats the mice.

Posted by: Kindltot at May 20, 2017 12:16 PM (mkDpn)

11 KT you did it again. I have to go garden. Today is rototilling day!

Posted by: Kindltot at May 20, 2017 12:17 PM (mkDpn)

12 Errr, its wood! (There's not any Apostrophe Nazis prowling about, are there?)

Posted by: Zettai Ryoiki at May 20, 2017 12:19 PM (e9G8E)

13 A popular and effective Iowa bug spray that is marketed under the name Bug Soother. You can find out about it at simplysoothing.net. This stuff really works. Skeeters and even chiggers will leave you alone.

Iowa has been wet, windy and chilly for the last 5 days. Large hail and 70 mph gusts have kept gardeners in doors. Heck, we had some below 30 wind chills. Hope everyone else has had good gardening weather

Posted by: colfax mingo at May 20, 2017 12:22 PM (FLjWH)

14 Errr, there aren't any... Christ!

Posted by: Zettai Ryoiki at May 20, 2017 12:23 PM (e9G8E)

15 The problem with poisoning mice is that if you have cats or a terrier or dachshund type dog it can be poisoned if it catches and eats the mice.

Posted by: Kindltot

I suppose it's possible. But the LD (lethal dose) for a mouse is orders of magnitude less than for a larger critter. I suspect that when this has happened the owners have not protected a LD of poison from being consumed by their own pets who don't know better.

My situation is quite different from most, as I border hundreds of acres of open space. It's a stampede of mice when cold weather arrives. The fox will chase them right up to my house.

Posted by: E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 12:23 PM (HTdUD)

16 I prefer traps to poison for rodents, and if I get green beans I will catch whatever is getting them. And will impale its head as a warning to all others.

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 12:25 PM (Ot7+c)

17 Another tip, try spraying a dilute mixture of vinegar water on the ground around plants and tree trunks to discourage squirrels from damaging your plantings. Its needs to be renewed everyday after the dew dries.

Posted by: colfax mingo at May 20, 2017 12:26 PM (FLjWH)

18 Big yard work day here at Fort Stain. My hopes for a year of only working the blueberry and grape patches and planning for next year died when the Mrs. brought back 75 plants from the county plant sale.

Of course she has a shoulder problem and can't help but will be able to supervise.

Its going to be a cool and rainy summer this year and most of the veggie plants are not going to produce. This is why I didn't want to do much gardening.

Posted by: Embarrassing Stain at May 20, 2017 12:27 PM (61c4R)

19 I have 1 chipmunk, and was wondering yesterday if they eat garden vegetables. Just looked it up and they do, so is it possible it was the culprit that eat all my green beans and the leaves?

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 12:30 PM (Ot7+c)

20 Skip,

They will eat beans, peas, and leafy greens, take a bite out of green tomatoes, and often spoil what they do not eat. Try mouse traps baited with peanut butter.

Posted by: colfax mingo at May 20, 2017 12:34 PM (FLjWH)

21 Cursed be the ground for our sake. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for us. For out of the ground we were taken, for the dust we are...and to the dust we shall return.

Posted by: Insomniac, Lord Hurlingbone, Earl of Melancholy at May 20, 2017 12:34 PM (0mRoj)

22 Re: Squirrels fruit.

They can be cast-iron d***s about it, too. The Momster has an apple tree in the backyard and the fuzzy rats go after them. That would just be nature, but they only take one bite out of each apple. So they get weathered and spoiled fall off the tree.

Like I said, d***s..

Posted by: Captain Comic at May 20, 2017 12:36 PM (hvAh5)

23 So Presdent Obama loved terrorists !! Trump goes to Sandi Arabi and gives those terrerists money and weapons because they probably do not like persons of color. Good job Trump... Now we gets more attacks because of the stuff gave to them and TRump not liking persons of coler !!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Mary Clogginstien from Brattleboro, VT at May 20, 2017 12:37 PM (WmgTn)

24 Good article about deer and ticks. Cliff notes version...
the mice are the problem, not the deer.

http://www.wildlifeeducationcoalition.org/ticks.html

Posted by: E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 12:47 PM (HTdUD)

25 E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 12:47 PM

Thanks. Just here for a minute.

Looks like some people are tackling some tough garden projects, too!

Posted by: KT at May 20, 2017 12:52 PM (qahv/)

26 FYI....If your out in the field and you don't wash for about 2 weeks and you have ample body hair, no insect will touch ya. Cigars help too.

Also, when coming indoors or intermittently while out and about in the field, check yourself and your dog for ticks and other hanger-ons.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at May 20, 2017 12:53 PM (5VlCp)

27 I stuck 8 taters in the ground on Tuesday. Wed and Thursday we had rain/snow mix to about 3 inches of precipitation so they got well watered. We will see if they come up and produce anything. They were just taters I hadn't cooked before they sprouted so no loss if they got too cold and wet but I think taters are fairly cold hardy.

My baby cottonwood weathered the snow well. The baby Russian Olive is looking a bit tattered but alive. I'll just have to watch to see if it has a main stem/trunk to grow up. I'm not interested in growing a mini thicket there.

Posted by: PaleRider at May 20, 2017 12:54 PM (8qFZP)

28 2, I need some sort of magical blackberry control, personally.

Machetes work good. Our blackberries help to retain a hillside that contains lots of loose glacial till, so I just trim them away from the garden fence about 10 feet and leave them be.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at May 20, 2017 12:56 PM (ArJJq)

29 Spent last Saturday planting mammoth sunflower seedlings in the fron and side yard beds. Chipmunks snarled the ones in the side yard. Ok Chip & Dale, it's on like Donkey Kong!

Pew Pew Pew

Posted by: Duke Lowell at May 20, 2017 12:56 PM (kTF2Z)

30 Crows are the worst for tasting fruit with a bite to see if ripe. A couple crows can screw up a cherry tree in mere days.

I don't begrudge the squirrels eating my apples.

Posted by: Embarrassing Stain at May 20, 2017 12:59 PM (61c4R)

31 I hate the ground squirrels. I use a pellet gun during the day when there are people on the ranch. I use a .22 where I can see what's behind where I'm shooting. (I have a lot of trees).

The baby owls have fledged and they are eating mice, gophers, and rats. I've seen the mother delivering dinner.

I won't use poison. I have strong bait. You have to have a PCA license to use it. I keep yelling at the guys working here, no poison. We have live traps for the ground squirrels. They use blueberries for bait. If I catch them using bait I'm going to be mad.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 01:00 PM (Ri/rl)

32 I put out Quaker oatmeal squares for the rabbits and peanuts for the squirrels around my house. I used to put out almonds, but that gets kinda expensive. I also sometimes put out sesame seeds.
I haven't done it recently, but I used to sit quietly on the porch and feed the chipmunks almonds and sesame seeds. They were really quite bold. The squirrels and rabbits were cagier. They got very close, but were often reluctant to be hand fed.
They are all rodents and can be pests, but they can be fun and interacting with wild animals is an interesting challenge. I remember one time seeing a rabbit across the street in my neighbor's yard and shaking the cereal box, and he immediately came bounding over.

Posted by: kraki at May 20, 2017 01:02 PM (TNa9O)

33 The leaves of the Beauty Berry bush, berries are a metallic lilac color and edible if not tasty (supposedly very good as wine or jelly though), are being tested for anti-mosquito compounds. It's supposed to show great promise, with the usual caveats about skin reactions.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at May 20, 2017 01:03 PM (sEDyY)

34 GM. Not sure why deer are getting all the bad press, rodents are by far the bad guys. So there is lots of animals that can carry ticks, including birds. Remember that diner scene in Hitch's movie The Birds - it's the end of the world!

Posted by: Bebe Dahl's apocalypse drunk at May 20, 2017 01:04 PM (yNyJy)

35 30 Crows are the worst for tasting fruit with a bite to see if ripe. A couple crows can screw up a cherry tree in mere days.

I don't begrudge the squirrels eating my apples.
Posted by: Embarrassing Stain at May 20, 2017 12:59 PM (61c4R)

Birds have eaten all the cherrys off one of my trees.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 01:07 PM (Ri/rl)

36 For the most part we tamed a number of squirrels years ago. Hand fed, they and their babies would nap with me on the hammock. The dog and cats left them alone.

We even wintered an injured squirrel and freed her in the Spring.

Posted by: Embarrassing Stain at May 20, 2017 01:09 PM (61c4R)

37 Posted by: kraki at May 20, 2017 01:02 PM (TNa9O)

The guy that works here picks up the bunnies. I don't know how he does it. He's had a hawk and a pair of quail.

Here's the latest critter I caught in my yard.

http://tinypic.com/r/2rgi595/9

Bobcat. I think it's a young female.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 01:10 PM (Ri/rl)

38 My pansies were doing lovely up until two days ago when it went from 50 degrees high to 85 overnight. Poor pansies look sad now.

Posted by: Bebe Dahl at May 20, 2017 01:10 PM (yNyJy)

39 Also, when coming indoors or intermittently while out and about in the field, check yourself and your dog for ticks and other hanger-ons.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy

That raised an interesting question I didn't know - can dogs contract Lyme disease? Apparently yes. I've had Lyme at least once - possibly twice (it really messes with your mind and memory during) -- and it's no picnic.

Considering the deer tick is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence, good luck finding them. Once they're in your house, then possibility of human exposure increases. The bigger tic to worry about this size - O - is a lot easier to spot.

I'd say - based on a bunch of decades of exposure, tall grass is their favorite hiding place. So that romp through the field your dog may enjoy, but it exposes him or her the most. A ball field, cut frequently, is probably a whole lot safer.

Posted by: E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 01:14 PM (HTdUD)

40 Yeah Caligirl, sure looks like a bocat, alright.

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:15 PM (yNyJy)

41 Not really sure about that outodor cat playhouse.

My cat is a rescue, and you can leave the door propped open and she won't budge.

"Mommy, I live in the house. Why are you putting me in jail outside? Am I a bad kitty? Don't you love me anymore?"

Posted by: shibumi at May 20, 2017 01:18 PM (BPeNq)

42 @Skookumchuk

Agreed. I use a garden Kama, the pulling/slicing motion works better than slicing for me. Just end up getting scatched up and irritated by the thorns.

Bionic gloves work well.

Just want something chemical or magical.

Posted by: Mark Andrew Edwards at May 20, 2017 01:20 PM (+kmkU)

43 Vet was really pushing the tick meds prevention last week. I am not real keen on giving chemicals for the dogs to digest when inspection & avoidance seems more logical to me. Tall grass & thicket where rodents hide & eat is the ideal breeding ground for ticks.

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:21 PM (yNyJy)

44 I give up. Can someone point out where May is in that picture. Xhe is nowhere to be found. :p

Posted by: Thursby at May 20, 2017 01:24 PM (1wofY)

45 I use K9 advantix topical too. I heard that Frontline is losing its effectiveness, probably because the ticks & fleas are becoming immune - but that's another story for the animal thread. Stupid ground hogs are eating my strawberries, my pansies, etc. Its WAR!

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:26 PM (yNyJy)

46 The rodents live precarious lives. I was walking with my daughter and saw a hawk that had just attacked a rabbit. We weren't that close, but the hawk flew away. 30 feet away another rabbit was watching the mortally wounded, but still not dead rabbit. They could have been from the same brood, I don't know.
It was clearly distressed, but afraid to approach.

I don't begrudge the hawk; it has to eat too. But I don't think it came back to finish the kill and have his meal, so another rabbit probably died.
We weren't even that close, but we spooked it and I feel partly responsible.
Nature is harsh.

Posted by: kraki at May 20, 2017 01:26 PM (TNa9O)

47 MAE, 42 - I need to stand back a bit and use something longer that also keeps me away from the thorns. Even so, I put on some old Dickies and a thick Carhartt jacket. Suit of armor stuff. But the kama should work fine if you don't mind getting up close. You may also have better control and get closer to the roots than I do.

A battle perpetual in any case.

Posted by: Skookumchuk at May 20, 2017 01:30 PM (ArJJq)

48 Posted by: Thursby at May 20, 2017 01:24 PM (1wofY
------
May Pai was John Lennon's girlfriend during his " lost years".
Few saw her in that picture either;-)

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:31 PM (yNyJy)

49 Posted by: kraki at May 20, 2017 01:26 PM (TNa9O)
Actually kraki that's not unusual for a hawk, it will come back later to eat. It's all about opportunities, for daylight was a wasting & hawk don't like to eat where it eyes humans close by. Bugs bunny's death was probably not in vain;-)

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:35 PM (yNyJy)

50 Our dog got Lyme disease and getting him to take his meds for a month was tough. He isn't even out that much, but we found some other ticks on him occasionally. Deer ticks are really small and spotting them is really tough.

He wasn't eating much then and to keep him nourished we mixed in diced beef (round roast, London broil, anything fairly lean) with his dry dog food. Meanwhile I eat spam.

But we're both happy, so life is good.

Posted by: kraki at May 20, 2017 01:37 PM (TNa9O)

51 KT, thanks as always for the garden thread. Those pictures are great. The Mosquitaway 'Eva' is especially pretty and, hopefully, useful.

We're lucky. For some reason we have few problems with squirrels and such in the garden. Maybe they are more enthusiastic about the sunflower seed feeders we hang for the birds.

Posted by: JTB at May 20, 2017 01:39 PM (V+03K)

52 We transplanted a fairly large saskatoon bush into our front yard a couple of weeks ago.

I suspect it might not doing anything positive by way of growth until next summer. In fact, it may look deadish this summer, which has been the case previously.

Saskatoon bushes may have a different name in the U.S. It produces berries similar in appearance to blueberries (with a different flavor) that are very popular in the Canadian Prairie provinces.

We saw a bush in Montana that had many berries but left untouched until we saw it. So it also strikes me as possible that Americans don't identify the berries as edible. I prefer blueberries but saskatoons are also good.

Posted by: Northernlurker, Phillips screwdriver of the gods at May 20, 2017 01:40 PM (hJrjt)

53 Odd story about fipronil. (With a "p" and not a "b", I believe. I'm reluctant to correct cobs). Did the math once. There is about .2 cents fipronil in Frontline.

It is a very effect insecticide. Cotton was the main crop, IIRC. Also used on golf courses for mole crickets at a cost of about $225 an acre.

Additionally, it is very, very effective for fire ants. AT A COST OF AROUND $5 AN ACRE.

Strangely, it is no longer readily available to farmers.

Posted by: Golfman at May 20, 2017 01:40 PM (34Md9)

54 Look, a squirrel!!!
Nevermind, it's just a Nood.

Posted by: L, Elle at May 20, 2017 01:40 PM (Rsi2C)

55
I don't want to say where Lyme tics favorite place is to hide on males, but let's just say Bruce Jenner doesn't have to worry much anymore.

Something I've noticed, in all the years, and all they people I've known, is that every single case of Lyme has been a male. I suspect it's;

- lack of hair on arms and legs makes early detection easier in women
- perhaps quicker to shower after exposure, spending fewer hours exposed
- that particular area, they lack
- girl cooties scare them away

I may have made that last one up.

Posted by: E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 01:40 PM (HTdUD)

56 Hey fellow gardeners, what groundcover can I grow in mostly shade that is low profile. I have tried ivy & ajuga, both died from winter kill?

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:41 PM (yNyJy)

57 >>>I don't care about the 'humane' way of killing something that can
disable or kill human beings and cause substantial property damage.
Someday, in reeducation camp, I will be made to care. Until then, I'm
protecting myself and my family.<<<

Find out where the rodent runs and strategically place a glue pad in an area where the little bastards are required to touch ground and can't clear it while leaping about. BAM! Nails them every time. I collected my mini rat-bastard within 4 hours of him running across my bare feet while changing out of work clothes.

Posted by: Fritz at May 20, 2017 01:42 PM (TNQMS)

58 BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:41 PM

Will get back to you when I have more time. What region do you live in?

Posted by: KT at May 20, 2017 01:43 PM (qahv/)

59 Glad to have them thar girl cooties if'n it means no ticks;-)

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:45 PM (yNyJy)

60 Wow! We just got back from some errands and I checked the Earth Boxes we use for the salad greens. Yesterday they were doing fine but nowhere near ready to start clipping. Overnight leaf lettuce and spinach and chives (love that combo in a salad) increased five fold. At least it looks like that.

The tomatoes will be store bought but we might get our first salad of the season this week. Hot diggety!

Posted by: JTB at May 20, 2017 01:46 PM (V+03K)

61 I'm in lower MI, KT. And thanks!

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:47 PM (yNyJy)

62 Major bunny problem in our yard now. Our cat killed a baby one last week but there are tons more streaming in and destroying the small patch of grass we have. Traps and pellet guns are ready!

Posted by: keena at May 20, 2017 01:49 PM (RiTnx)

63 I don't plant tomatoes any more. I don't why but for some reason tomatoes seem to be a magnet for mosquitoes. Even during the day. I gave up, I just rely on the kindness of fellow gardeners for tomatoes. Stupid ground hogs chew them up anyway. Cut the stalk in half, yet leave the fruit, stupid vermin.

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:50 PM (yNyJy)

64 Hey fellow gardeners, what groundcover can I grow in mostly shade that is low profile. I have tried ivy & ajuga, both died from winter kill?

Posted by: BebeDahl

Pachysandra. But pricey, last time I saw on Amazon something like $70 per 100. I'll gladly sell you a couple hundred thousand for less than that, though.

They tolerate winter - down to -5 (F) here. They're not happy, but they perk back up in spring.

Posted by: E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 01:52 PM (HTdUD)

65 Well keena, that's the dilemma I have with ground hogs. They are as destructive as bunnies. At least bunnies don't smell, and are covered with flies, and bunnies are cute. But bunnies are destructive. I feel your pain;-)

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 01:54 PM (yNyJy)

66 Posted by: E Depluribus Unum at May 20, 2017 01:52 PM (HTdUD)
Thanks EDU, I considered Pachy, it's a good grower here,but unfortunately it grows too tall. I need something very low profile, something that doesn't harbor mosquitoes in the morning dew. <------ that last line sounds like the lyrics of a country song;-) but thanks anyway:-)

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 02:00 PM (yNyJy)

67 Our tomatoes are growing nicely. We have onions planted that need to be moved to the ranch near the row of tomatoes.

The tomato plants I have in my garden area are bigger than the row on the ranch. I think my garden area is more protected.

We are going to have a bumper crop of pomegranates this year. The rain obviously helped.

The fruit trees are doing well also.
I have about 15 artichoke plants that we have been getting chokes from.

It has been windy for a few weeks I'm surprised we didn't lose more fruit off the trees.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 02:01 PM (Ri/rl)

68 Posted by: Golfman at May 20, 2017 01:40 PM (34Md9)

I use asana for ants and I think they mix a "kicker" in with it. I don't know how expensive it is.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 02:05 PM (Ri/rl)

69 I got woodpeckers, both the large red headed & the smaller variety. They eat every ant that is dumb enough to venture into my yard. My neighbors have problems with ants, but not me. Now woodpeckers can be a nuisance too with their pecking, but luckily I have 1950 tin siding on my crib that may be as old as Joe Lieberman but the peckers leave it alone. I wonder if that is what Trump has in mind as far as the FBI;-)

Posted by: BebeDahl at May 20, 2017 02:12 PM (yNyJy)

70 "Bobcat. I think it's a young female."

I guess that solves the mystery of the unidentified animal seen in your nighttime trail cam shots.

Posted by: torquewrench at May 20, 2017 02:13 PM (ujwCG)

71 For when the grapes were getting ripe and the birds were starting to peck at them, I used a "BirdGard" that makes predator bird sounds ... can pick one or rotate through several different birds. It seemed pretty effective. Plus I had wren houses and bluebird houses, both birds are territorial and tend to chase off birds close to their nest.

This link is to the BirdGard but it is $240. I paid like $50 on Ebay for a used one.
birdgard.com/product/bird-gard-pro/

Posted by: illiniwek at May 20, 2017 02:13 PM (TmCOq)

72 70 "Bobcat. I think it's a young female."

I guess that solves the mystery of the unidentified animal seen in your nighttime trail cam shots.
Posted by: torquewrench at May 20, 2017 02:13 PM (ujwCG)

I saw it. It was definitely a bobcat. She was pretty.
It took me a second to register what I was looking at. I thought it was a giant yellow jackrabbit at first.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 02:16 PM (Ri/rl)

73 The lilacs were just getting ready to bloom, but the snow/rain mix and freezing temperatures a couple days ago probably put an end to the blossoms.

Posted by: Ronster at May 20, 2017 02:27 PM (CDUSe)

74 oh, thanks to KT's inspiring idea, I bought 10 red twig dogwood ... they were only $24 for 10, including shipping. Bareroot with decent roots, thicker than pencil size. Put five inside the fence across the pond, the other five near the house in a more protected area for future transplant perhaps.

On the deer protection, besides one high fence, another single wire fence maybe 3' from the main fence helps since it keeps them from standing right by the fence and jumping.

Years ago I had a five wire electric fence and slanted the 8' posts a little with the same intent. They get a little nervous about jumping a wide and high space. Seemed to work.

Posted by: illiniwek at May 20, 2017 02:33 PM (TmCOq)

75 For years I have a Downey Woodpecker visiting but doesn't seem to be here everyday.

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 02:43 PM (Ot7+c)

76 I think 'saskatoon' is known as 'service berry' here in the U.S.

They grow in the woods north of here, but I've never eaten any.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 20, 2017 02:49 PM (5muuD)

77 I have helped to clear a place with blackberry canes as thick as your wrist. We used machetes with a hooked piece cut into the end. They are very handy. You may leave blackberries alone but they won't leave you alone. If you use Crossbow, apply it after a rainy day following a dry spell. We were told that the leaves somehow stop absorbing during a dry spell but open up after the rain. They will absorb better.

There are rodent poisons that are supposed to be less toxic to pets. I think Tomcat is the name of the one we use.

And we do have a beauty berry bush at the river place and lots of mosquitos. Will have to test it out.

We have had a friend work___ on the yard of our house, so we can get it ready to sell. He's cut back bushes in the front yard and we've had some big branches taken off the maple tree. Now working to clear blackberries and brush in the back yard. We'd like to list the place within six weeks. Then we rebuild the river place and sell it too. So no garden this year, although I did buy some herb plants.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at May 20, 2017 03:16 PM (Lqy/e)

78 I also planted a second volunteer plant I think but wish it wasn't a spaghetti squash, if it proves it is it might go right back to the compost bin it came from.

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 03:29 PM (Ot7+c)

79 I also planted a second volunteer plant I think but wish it wasn't a
spaghetti squash, if it proves it is it might go right back to the
compost bin it came from.


LOL. Can totally relate. We had an overabundance of spaghetti squash a few years ago and I *still* cannot stand the thought of eating it again!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at May 20, 2017 03:32 PM (5muuD)

80 Too many and took over the garden, I like straight squash especially grilled.

Posted by: Skip at May 20, 2017 04:09 PM (Ot7+c)

81 Just built a purple Martin house so they'll nest and eat mosquitos.

Posted by: EmpireHasNoClohes at May 20, 2017 04:09 PM (tTBAb)

82 No report from Idaho's Treasure Valley today. I just got back from a 2-day trailer trip to Hagerman at 2 PM, and I'm getting ready to go to a board gaming Meetup this evening. Maybe I can get to it tomorrow. All I know is that my 4-foot-tall mystery irises have a bazillion purple flowers. I will try to get some pix so I can get help identifying them.

I do have a female friend in New Hampshire who's had Lyme and one other tick-borne disease: "girl-cooties" theory debunked.

My yard's rodent problem is voles. My raised beds DO have hardware cloth lining the bottoms. No problem for them, they climbed into the TOP of the tomato beds last summer and wreaked havoc. We poisoned them, and threw the bodies away as soon as we found them. Anybody wants to know what we used, I'll be checking on this thread again, so just post a note, and I'll go out to the shed and find out what it's called.

Posted by: Pat* at May 20, 2017 04:44 PM (qC1ju)

83 I feel like I've asked this before but is a vole different than a mole?

We have gophers and moles.

Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 05:02 PM (Ri/rl)

84 CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 05:02 PM

Yes, voles are different from voles. Voles are like cute mice. Moles are generally almost blind and burrow for insects.

Posted by: KT at May 20, 2017 05:06 PM (qahv/)

85 I love pleasant garden surprises. A volunteer tomato plant is now yielding a bunch of delicious cherry tomatoes. The zucchini onslaught has begun here too, much to my better halfs dismay!

Posted by: keena at May 20, 2017 05:16 PM (RiTnx)

86 KT,
I noticed one of my roses has orange spots. I think it's rose rust. The guy here sprayed them and I'm going to cut it back but we spray the grapes with sulphur as a preventative I think.

Next year should I have the guys spray the roses that get the rust at the same time they spray the grapes? I think they may do it every 4 or 6 weeks after winter.

I read on the internet sulphur will help prevent rose rust.



Posted by: CaliGirl at May 20, 2017 05:42 PM (Ri/rl)

87 Little story on squirrel control: One house I lived in was surrounded by tall pine trees. There were of course many squirrels. I liked the squirrels until I noticed them gnawing on the deck. I would yell at them but they usually came back. There were also crows nesting in our tall pine trees. Apparently one day a squirrel got too close to the nest. Those crows began dive-bombing that squirrel like they meant business. Even after knocking him out of the tree, the crows did not let up, they continued to chase the blighter all the way down to the ground and into the next yard.

Posted by: Nancy at 7000 feet CO at May 20, 2017 11:52 PM (JreH3)

88 Well, Nancy, sounds like the crows knew something about squirrels. Heh.

Posted by: KT at May 21, 2017 09:28 AM (qahv/)

89 About squirrels. Tree hugging elderly parents, rigged a squirrel feeder near a bird feeder. Soon they were nesting in climbing viney plants and trees. My step dad would sit in his chair at the kitchen table, open the sliding door screen and rattle a peanut container. They'd run up his leg to get a treat and then leave. Yes, they're bold. Next to that chair was a window with a windowbox. They left the window partially open with a screen and went out. Peanut can on the kitchen table nearby. Squirrels literally broke through the screen to get into that kitchen. Word to the wise, don't invite squirrels to an area, indoor or out, where you don't want to independently meet them later on. They're smart and tenacious. If you're going to feed them, might want to keep it away from your home. And whether you're feeding birds or squirrels, don't put a feeder anywhere near where you want pristine lawn. They always knock seed to the ground and now you can have a weed farm. Learned the latter the hard way. I have enough critters that unless you're a hummingbird, I don't want them near my home. From the weeks, to the poop, to them breaking into air vents to nest, they're more of a hassle than a joy. Ticks are a problem here and both dogs were on Frontline Plus, now have been changed to Interceptor plus. Even treated dogs can bring them into your home where they're just crawling on fur. And yes, human tick checks every day the temp is over 32, and frequent vacuuming to deal with hitchhickers. And keep your small kids out of tall grass. Yes, they can and will end up having to be removed from tender nether region areas. No one is having fun at that point.

Posted by: tired at May 21, 2017 04:07 PM (kOGRT)

90 An attempt at my report for Idaho's Treasure Valley:

Grass seed spread in tilled areas around back shed last Sunday.
Harvesting continues for lettuce, spinach, a few green onions and radishes.
On Tuesday, heavy rain, wind, thunder, lightning, and pea-sized hail where I was (a polling place in Boise). Our crops were not damaged.
Trailer trip to Hagerman Thurs.-Sat.
Today: Out to Home Depot for plants and seeds. Planted 2 tomatoes, 'Early Girl' and 'SunSugar', in cloth planter pots. Planted 16 feet of row of green bush bean 'Blue Lake 156' and 16 feet of 'Blue Lake 274'. Filled in a few spinach seed. Planted 1 more cantaloupe hill. Planted 2 rows of sweet corn 'Bi-Licious' and 2 rows of 'Peaches & Cream'. Put up fence for Asian snow peas to crawl up. Added a few spinach seeds to replace ones that didn't sprout, but they may not get the chance to produce if weather heats quickly.

In future (spring/early summer): More sweet corn. More green bush beans. One more cantaloupe hill. Waiting for husband's poblano pepper starts to get big enough to plant out - ditto for the Cherokee Purple tomato starts a friend gave me. Watching asparagus bed and realizing even though this is their 2nd year, we still won't be able to harvest anything. Waiting for strawberries to bear. Thinking of things to do with chives. Buying basil plants when the tomatoes bear.

Posted by: Pat* at May 21, 2017 05:47 PM (qC1ju)

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