Friday, July 8, 2011

Trials, Tribulations, and G@DD@MN F@#K%NG SQUIRRELS!!!

So while we have lots of projects to get going, I haven't really started yet. The electrical is wired in the downstairs bathroom, that's progress right? Last night I stopped over to take a tour of Robin Hood's Hideaway and that got me inspired to get some work done. But, until then here is a general garden post.

The red Belgian peppers are really coming along. These are actually hot peppers that were bred to be sweet. Since we haven't had any luck growing traditional bell peppers I thought these were worth a try. They stay pale yellow until full size then turn red. They look good and I really have high hopes.

This has really been a tough year for tomatoes. All of the heirlooms got wiped out by spray, virus, sickness, something. The remaining ones aren't looking so good. I can't seem to get ahead of the blight working it's way from the bottom up, all the new leaves are misshapen and funky, and I have a squirrel with a taste for tomatoes. Every morning I go out and see loads of half eaten tomatoes all over the garden and occasionally I chase the squirrel out of the garden. I am pretty sure it is only one that is causing me problems. They eat the big green tomatoes and chew off the stalks to get them down. My poor tomatoes look terrible.

Now pretty much everyone close to us has had problems with squirrels and has a solution to my problems. So before you provide solutions here is what hasn't worked.

1. Sprays: hot pepper, black pepper, garlic, lemon juice...... I have sprayed these around the garden, on the plants, on the fruit, to no effect. I mean this stuff is so hot that the blow back from application just about kills me.

2. Dangly things: Hang CDs or plastic bags out to scare them away. Right, not a chance of working.

3. Blood meal: The smell is supposed to keep them away. Besides providing way too much nitrogen, this didn't work at all.

4. Put water out: ok they eat tomatoes because they are thirsty. Bullsh$t, they eat tomatoes to piss me off. Water hasn't helped.

5. Feed them: Seem like a good idea until you have way more squirrels, chipmunks, and mice than ever before. I am still trapping rodents from this little experiment earlier in the year. I have relocated 21 chipmunks and 6 squirrels. I am the crazy guy that brings caged animals with him to work.

Here is my second to last solution. This is a motion activated sprinkler. I put it in yesterday and was excited that there were no new half eaten tomatoes in the garden this morning. Then I realized there is not a single tomato left in the garden. When I bought this the very nice sales clerk at the hardware store wouldn't let me leave without showing me a very nice pellet gun with a scope. Trust me, it is under serious consideration at this point.
Ok, moving on to something a little more pleasant. The cucumbers are doing very well. The left are the regular and the right are the gherkins. Yes they are growing on the roof.

The Mexican sour gherkins are loaded with ripe fruit. Here is one for scale. They are small, sour, and taste a little like lemons.

The straight eights did great for us last year. Looks like at least one is ready to go.

Even up against the house with limited sun, the fennel is ready.

Seems like I planted the wildflower bed just a little tight.

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