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rainbowgardener
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war is on!

This isn't about insects and disease, but it is about other pests.

So I've been floating along in this fool's paradise of all my veggies growing so fast I can practically watch them, and no problems, everything perfect. I planted corn, beans, and squash, separately, in the latest bed to get filled. I planted two kinds of winter squash, 3 of one kind and 3 of another, across the back, and double rows of beans along the sides. The beans are beautiful little plants with second pair of true leaves and there were three squash plants (all one kind) up and starting on the first true leaves and a bunch of teeny tiny corn plants in the middle. Then yesterday morning I came out and there were TWO squash plants and one had just disappeared! Today I came out and there was ONE squash plant left and I managed to find the stub of the second one cut off just barely above soil level. AND several of the bean plants had had their tops and all their leaves nibbled off. And there were a bunch of roundish footprints in the soft soil.

I haven't seen much critters around and my compost pile in the open three-sided bin has not been disturbed (so clearly no raccoons). But we did spot a bunny in the neighbor's yard, so I am suspecting him. There is chain link fence around three sides of the yard and I haven't seen any burrows under it. But the horizontal connecting the chain link to the house is an old wooden fence and there is space between it and the ground. A little dog that was staying with us for awhile used to get out under it, so clearly a bunny could get in. GRRR!! Our bigger dog is out in the yard a lot during the day, but sleeps inside with us at night. Night time is when the depredations are happening.

And my kale and cabbage is starting to get a bunch of slug holes in it. Time to start defending my garden!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Lindsaylew82
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Location: Upstate, SC

Re: war is on!

You can borrow my neighbors with their very irresponsible pet ownership! :>

No mo seniorita bun bun! :eek: :wink:
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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applestar
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Re: war is on!

Oh no! Yes, time to get serious. :evil:
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j3707
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Location: Pacific Northwest, Zone 8, 48" annual rainfall, dry summers.

Re: war is on!

Get after 'em RG! :-()
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Allyn
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Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: war is on!

Rabbit stew is on the menu!

Susan W
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Location: Memphis, TN

Re: war is on!

Time for a Bunny Fence! May change the aesthetics of garden, but you may get some veggies.
Have fun!
Susan

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rainbowgardener
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Re: war is on!

Yes indeed. In fact I am just about to leave right now to go buy bunny fence. And deer netting which I figure I will have to put around the corn once it starts making ears (we have lots of squirrels and birds). And diatomaceous earth.

I really want this garden to produce a substantial amount of food for us, so I have to defend it!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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digitS'
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Re: war is on!

The Mountain Cottontail that lives around here is supposed to be a little bigger than his Cottontail relatives, elsewhere.

Still, I have seen adults pass right through a chain link fence. It took them a little time but that fence wasn't much of a problem.

The neighbor's little dachshund caught one the other day but she needed her owner as a partner. Other neighbors like the bunnies around ... Wiley and Hedwig have both helped me out in the past.

;) Steve
Guard Your Garden!
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Re: war is on!

I did put up rabbit fencing (picture later) and so far so good, no more plants lost.

But two of my tomatoes have had deep triangular gashes that I think are bird pecks. When I get the deer/ bird netting, I think the tomatoes as well as corn will have to be protected with it.

Sigh... my garden was looking so pretty. I hate to have to have it looking like a fortress. But otherwise I won't have crops!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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applestar
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Re: war is on!

You could try Birdscares. We use aluminum foil pans with big eyes and other features -- colorful neon duct tape pieces, colored sharpie markets, etc. long thin string so they swing around, tied on flexible stick so they sometimes bang. You can make variations, you could make them more devorative or whimsical.

They work better if you can move them around. They do cleverly attack from the birdscare "blind spots" I have old garden hose pieces pretending to be snakes, too.

I did put up a bird netting for the large patch of strawberries -- you may have already seen the photo I posted.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

pepperhead212
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Re: war is on!

I have not been able to catch rabbits in traps, but I do know that they don't like hot peppers, or being shot with a slingshot! I have caught a few other critters that have been digging through my windowsill boxes on my deck, but placing a rat trap in the areas they have been digging. I tried this where the rabbits have been eating - at my kohlrabi (they zero in on the kohlrabi, and don't bother any of those other greens I have planted!) - and didn't get a rabbit, but I got some of their fur!

@applestar (or anyone else, but I got them from you, so I figure I'd ask you)- do you have trouble with birds in blackberries? Am I going to have to put a net over them? I saw the berries forming today, and I started thinking about all of the birds in a mulberry tree when I was growing up - talk about a mess!
Dave

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Location: Southern California, Zone 10

Re: war is on!

I've been trapping gophers for about a month. It's disheartening to have a lovely plant one day and the next morning it's totally gone. Or totally wilted and with no root remaining. I hate to jinx it, but right now, they seem to be under control.

Next in the cross-hairs... ground squirrels who are eating my pepper plants.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: war is on!

I probably should never have used the word "war" in the title. I have no interest in capturing the rabbit and absolutely no interest in killing it or much of anything else. The rabbit is beautiful and it was her territory long before it was mine. But our whole lawn is mostly white clover (which I thought bunnies liked) and there is plenty of other stuff for her to eat and feed her babies. All I want to do is defend my crops. I would be quite willing to share with animals, if they would share with me. But I know from long experience, that if I don't protect my food plants, the animals will take it all or almost all.

So, although I don't think my garden looks as pretty all fenced in (even with stuff like deer netting, which is less obtrusive), it is not hard to fence things. "Good fences make good neighbors." So having good fences allows me to coexist in a neighborly way with whatever wildlife is sharing my space.

I'm the one who couldn't stand killing the Japanese beetles. I was knocking them off and dropping them in to soapy water, but they swim around for a long time and I was having to actively push them down and drown them. After thirty or so, I felt like such a murderer. I decided that having the wild grapes trap crop was good enough. Since they mostly stayed on the trap crop, I didn't need to keep killing them. I never did again.

"All God's critters got a place in the choir, some sing low, some sing higher, some sing out loud on the telephone wire, some just clap their hands or paws or anything they got now." :)
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Thu May 26, 2016 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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digitS'
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Re: war is on!

When I lived on a high bench in this valley, in the native forest and right up against the mountains - I never saw a Mountain Cottontail.

Beyond the bugs (and the greatest threat, the gardener dragging a hose ;)), deer were a danger to the garden plants. Oddly, the supposed toxic defense of potato and tomato foliage served as no obvious deterrent since deer have caused the greatest harm with those plants ...

I had a partner in residence, a little stock dog who would take after the deer like the dedicated carnivore that she was. I was happy that she couldn't catch them, or the elk which showed up during the winter. The herbivores could win, in any conflict - although, they must have known of my presence, cheering her on.

I saw owls and hawks and Pine Martin and those chicken-killing Coyote, but never once, a Mountain Cottontail. The endangered Pine Squirrels seemed to be in good supply but did not appear in the garden. I'd find the Pine Squirrel tracks in the snow but never once, what I thought was a rabbit's.

Then, I moved down closer to suburban lawns and people. Not only had the invasive Eastern Grey Squirrel taken over the territory that must have once been the home of Pine Squirrel but then and now, I have Mountain Cottontails. Nearly every time I show up in the garden, one scoots out of the neighbor's raspberry jungle and races off to hide in his several hundred square feet of juniper bushes. Sometimes, I have seen them, or what remains of them, on the floor of his hay barn, where the Horned Owls have taken them after capturing. Sometimes, a coyote comes through but he shows me where I hadn't known there was a nest of voles, under a tomato plant, usually. Maybe, he packs off a rabbit. I no longer have one of his domesticated cousins. Of the 4 closest neighbors, only the aforementioned Minature Dachshund is around for garden patrol. The neighborhood rabbits abound ...

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Re: war is on!

This morning I saw two rabbits, one in the north neighbor's yard and one in the south neighbor's yard! But I have lost no more plants since I put up the rabbit fence, so I am happy! :) The south neighbor is a vacant house being rehabbed and the north neighbor has no veggies, so I don't guess they care about the rabbits in their yards.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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