Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 25, 2009) The Squirrels Invade

Originally Posted at InsightAnalytical

~~By NM-GRL (IA)

I had a very busy week in the garden this week and posted the details here.

Today, I finally got the chocolate flower into the ground. Hopefully, I won’t drown this one…it’s tricky with desert plants because they need some moisture to get established when first planted. BUT…it’s sometimes hard to tell what is too much.

The big event of the week actually occurred yesterday. The SQUIRREL WARS have begun in earnest! After the carnage in the garden a week or so ago, when all my baby swiss chard and mesculin was munched on by bugs, I bought on the spur of the moment a 9-pack of buttercrunch lettuce. To be safe, I planted them in the patio pots, in with the tomatoes and peppers. Perfect, right? Wrong! Yesterday afternoon I caught not one, but TWO squirrels brazenly eating the lettuce!

Last spring they also ventured far into the yard. It may be that they are raising a family and need a lot of food. Since the dogs are out for most of the morning, they stay away. But their past behavior has to start coming over the wall from about 1 or 2 pm until about 4. In the morning, the white-tailed doves eat most of the cracked corn I set out in this old plastic fountain that I found in the trash, so this afternoon I put more out and guess what? The two buggers munched happily on the corn and didn’t wander onto the patio. Of course, I had put up some gerry-built chicken wire to deter them…but… Here is a shot of how they peek over the wall…

Surveying the food situation...

Surveying the food situation...

Enjoying the free grub…

Wallowing in the food dish...

Wallowing in the food dish...

Frankly, I do have a soft spot in my heart for any animal that sits in its food dish. I had gerbils that did the same thing…the enthusiasm of the act is rather endearing.

I don’t know if I can keep them from my peaches for much longer. I’ve developed a new strategy. Instead of picking up the dog poop and putting it in the garbage, I’ve been tossing it along the other side of the wall near the burrow entrance that is hidden by big rabbitbrush bushes. Why I think any squirrels would be deterred by this, I don’t know…but I figure it’s worth a try! This year I have the most peaches ever and they are already HUGE!

Peaches waiting for squirrel visitors...

Peaches waiting for squirrel visitors...

I still haven’t finished the new trellises for the new grapes and I have to start training the Flame grape which is already full of little bunches. And, if I had time, I would be bagging those peaches now…my luck can’t hold out!!

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6 thoughts on “Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 25, 2009) The Squirrels Invade

  1. Those peaches look wonderful. I have peaches and nectarines out now too, and was thinking of bagging them. How do you bag yours? I was thinking of slipping ziplock baggies on them, a practice I read about somewhere.

    After the primary and general, my garden is one place where I feel sane, and it’s nice to come here to take a break, too.

    • I tried plastic once but regretted it. Moisture builds up and causes lots of problems!
      I just buy paper lunch bags and staple them at the top, after I slip them over the fruit. I also use ice cream bags that I save which cover bigger branches. I usually get at least a couple of peaches in each bag, sometimes more. The hardest ones to cover are the singletons close to the branches, but it works out.

  2. Thanks for the heads up.

    Off topic–are folks talking about swine flu in your neck of the woods?

    • We have our first case, an infant downtown.

      Haven’t seen anybody with masks on but I’m carrying hand sanitizer with me now…

  3. Beets are wonderful. I tried one year and got a few…

    However, they have a very high oxalate content! So, if you have any tendency toward kidney stones….beware!!!
    Also swiss chard, spinach are extremely high. My personal favorite is chard…but I have to watch how much I eat!

    Luckily, mustard greens are MUCH lower…we’re talking 750 mg vs. 7.7 per 100 mg serving (~3.5-4 oz). I grow mustard all winter and LOVE IT! Bought some the other day, because I love greens and it’s about the safest for me (kidney problems)

  4. I think a couple of beet plants are just starting to poke through the soil in my backyard garden. I went with beets considering them a twofer (two for): the beets and the tops. I think I read that beet-tops-as-greens are very nutritious. I have no idea how they taste.

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