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SPierce
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Chipmunks :(

Several of them have been wrecking havoc in my garden beds. I came home today, to find several of my onion tops chomped :/

AUGH! As soon as I get the rest of the plants in the ground, I'm going to be doing some major reinforcing around the fence to help protect everything so it doesn't get eaten like it did last year. They're the reason I didn't get any cantaloupe- and the only animal that can fit through my fence! :evil: :evil:

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applestar
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Are you sure it's chipmunks?
This area where I'm having problems with them also:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35506
is planted with garlic and onions along the both sides of the path but the chipmunk did not try any of them -- granted it was more interested in the corn.... :evil:

Baby and young bunnies can fit through surprisingly small gaps and they tend to "try" everything even if they're not going to eat it. They just nip them off and spit them out. One year, I watched, helplessly from upstairs window, a young rabbit nip and spit 2 out of 3 Moonflower Vine seedlings that I had started indoors and nurtured for 8 weeks, and waited to plant out until I was absolutely sure of the night time low temperatures. :evil: :evil:

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SPierce
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applestar wrote:Are you sure it's chipmunks?
This area where I'm having problems with them also:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35506
is planted with garlic and onions along the both sides of the path but the chipmunk did not try any of them -- granted it was more interested in the corn.... :evil:

Baby and young bunnies can fit through surprisingly small gaps and they tend to "try" everything even if they're not going to eat it. They just nip them off and spit them out. One year, I watched, helplessly from upstairs window, a young rabbit nip and spit 2 out of 3 Moonflower Vine seedlings that I had started indoors and nurtured for 8 weeks, and waited to plant out until I was absolutely sure of the night time low temperatures. :evil: :evil:
Augh! It's quite possible it's bunnies, too. I didn't think they were big enough to fit, and didn't really see any paw prints anywhere. :evil: :evil: :evil:

I'm sorry about your moonflower vine :( I'm afraid similar is going to happen to my seedlings when I plant them out. I'm going to cry if anything happens to them! SO horrible about the corn, too! I'd be so mad!

Oh, and by the way, i think the seedling in my garden i was so excited over is an oak tree. Whoops! :lol:

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Motion-activated sprinklers? Water blasters? Super-soakers? Heck, water pistols???

If you can actually *see* the varmint, can't you hit it with a good shot of water and make it remember urgent business elsewhere? Or maybe motion-activated sprinklers can make it remember said biz.... :twisted:

Cynthia H.
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SPierce
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cynthia_h wrote:Motion-activated sprinklers? Water blasters? Super-soakers? Heck, water pistols???

If you can actually *see* the varmint, can't you hit it with a good shot of water and make it remember urgent business elsewhere? Or maybe motion-activated sprinklers can make it remember said biz.... :twisted:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
Good idea :D

And I haven't actually seen it happen, I'm away from work. I know squirrels are around, too, but I think my fence is too small for them to be able to fit through. I could be wrong. I just have to fence the hell out of everything ! I just don't know how I'm going to manage to be able to get into the garden after the reinforcing!

I also have to figure out a good way to keep the chomping critters away. I'm taking over another section of our yard this year for my pumpkins, gourds and watermelons, and it's right next to a patch of wild raspberries. I have no idea what I'm going to do to keep them (the raspberries) from spreading. I'm going to have enough issues with the kids next door wanting to eat/pick/etc- i don't want the local critters going at it, too!

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TheWaterbug
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SPierce wrote:I also have to figure out a good way to keep the chomping critters away. I'm taking over another section of our yard this year for my pumpkins, gourds and watermelons, and it's right next to a patch of wild raspberries.
This method is completely impractical for anything except large, valuable fruit, but [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=198240#198240]here's what I did to protect my pumpkins[/url] last year.

It worked very, very well, but it can be somewhat labor intensive. I had the whole family in the living room, assembly-line style, "manufacturing" a set of these :D
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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SPierce
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TheWaterbug wrote:
SPierce wrote:I also have to figure out a good way to keep the chomping critters away. I'm taking over another section of our yard this year for my pumpkins, gourds and watermelons, and it's right next to a patch of wild raspberries.
This method is completely impractical for anything except large, valuable fruit, but [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=198240#198240]here's what I did to protect my pumpkins[/url] last year.

It worked very, very well, but it can be somewhat labor intensive. I had the whole family in the living room, assembly-line style, "manufacturing" a set of these :D
that's fantastic, and similar to what I was thinking in terms of protection! Thank you!

Do you just make bigger cages as the pumpkins get bigger?

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SPierce wrote:
TheWaterbug wrote:This method is completely impractical for anything except large, valuable fruit, but [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=198240#198240]here's what I did to protect my pumpkins[/url] last year.

It worked very, very well, but it can be somewhat labor intensive. I had the whole family in the living room, assembly-line style, "manufacturing" a set of these :D
that's fantastic, and similar to what I was thinking in terms of protection! Thank you!

Do you just make bigger cages as the pumpkins get bigger?
I made two sizes. I bought several rolls of [url=https://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202024121/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053]this hideously expensive stuff,[/url] then cut it either in half or in thirds down the length. From the third-width stuff I made 1' diameter cylinders with a 1' x 1' "lid", and from the half-width stuff I made 18" diameter with 18" x 18" lids. I assembled them with green twist-ties.

They ended up being $1-$2 apiece, but they should last for years, and I much prefer working with plastic mesh than with wire, especially with a 7-year-old helping me out. I have a big stack of them in my shed, just waiting to go into action.

I put the small ones on as soon as I saw a female flower emerge, then I'd go down in the mornings to hand-pollinate them, though I'm not 100% sure this was necessary. I'd occasionally see bees inside the cages, but I also saw that it took some effort for them to get in and out.

As soon as the pumpkins got too big, I'd switch to the larger cage and use the small cage for a new flower. By the time they got too big for the larger cage (I didn't have too many of those :( ) the rinds were usually hard enough and large enough in diameter that the squirrels couldn't do as much damage.

I considered using the 1" x 1" square mesh instead of this 3/4" hex mesh, but I don't know how small a hole a squirrel can squeeze through. After all, they're like 90% fluff, aren't they?

I'm planting more plants this year, so I might do a semi-controlled experiment and make some cages with the 1" material, and also try some lidless cages, just to see if they're effective at all.

The other issue to contend with is that the plain cylinder works well if the vine is on the ground. I just make two small holes on opposite sides of the bottom of the cylinder, then stake it down around the pumpkin with the vine passing through. This works in the early phases of growth, but some people like their Hallowe'en pumpkins grown on their flower ends instead of on their sides.

If I rotate a pumpkin, now the vine has to enter the cage at some height above the ground, and usually exit, too. I had some of them just exit through the top of the cage. But it was ugly.

I'll have to think through some other shapes/configurations for this year. Any suggestions?

I suppose this doesn't matter at all for watermelons and cantaloupes.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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SPierce
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TheWaterbug wrote:
SPierce wrote:
TheWaterbug wrote:This method is completely impractical for anything except large, valuable fruit, but [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=198240#198240]here's what I did to protect my pumpkins[/url] last year.

It worked very, very well, but it can be somewhat labor intensive. I had the whole family in the living room, assembly-line style, "manufacturing" a set of these :D
that's fantastic, and similar to what I was thinking in terms of protection! Thank you!

Do you just make bigger cages as the pumpkins get bigger?
I made two sizes. I bought several rolls of [url=https://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202024121/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053]this hideously expensive stuff,[/url] then cut it either in half or in thirds down the length. From the third-width stuff I made 1' diameter cylinders with a 1' x 1' "lid", and from the half-width stuff I made 18" diameter with 18" x 18" lids. I assembled them with green twist-ties.

They ended up being $1-$2 apiece, but they should last for years, and I much prefer working with plastic mesh than with wire, especially with a 7-year-old helping me out. I have a big stack of them in my shed, just waiting to go into action.

I put the small ones on as soon as I saw a female flower emerge, then I'd go down in the mornings to hand-pollinate them, though I'm not 100% sure this was necessary. I'd occasionally see bees inside the cages, but I also saw that it took some effort for them to get in and out.

As soon as the pumpkins got too big, I'd switch to the larger cage and use the small cage for a new flower. By the time they got too big for the larger cage (I didn't have too many of those :( ) the rinds were usually hard enough and large enough in diameter that the squirrels couldn't do as much damage.

I considered using the 1" x 1" square mesh instead of this 3/4" hex mesh, but I don't know how small a hole a squirrel can squeeze through. After all, they're like 90% fluff, aren't they?

I'm planting more plants this year, so I might do a semi-controlled experiment and make some cages with the 1" material, and also try some lidless cages, just to see if they're effective at all.

The other issue to contend with is that the plain cylinder works well if the vine is on the ground. I just make two small holes on opposite sides of the bottom of the cylinder, then stake it down around the pumpkin with the vine passing through. This works in the early phases of growth, but some people like their Hallowe'en pumpkins grown on their flower ends instead of on their sides.

If I rotate a pumpkin, now the vine has to enter the cage at some height above the ground, and usually exit, too. I had some of them just exit through the top of the cage. But it was ugly.

I'll have to think through some other shapes/configurations for this year. Any suggestions?

I suppose this doesn't matter at all for watermelons and cantaloupes.
I love working with my hands. Building little cages like this is a fun day for me! Thank you. My tractor supply has similar fencing at a decent price, so i'll head over there. This is my first year growing pumpkins, and some of them are Big Max ones! Hopefully i'll get at least 1 or 2, and i'll be estatic.

The bees are another good point- i have never hand pollinated any plants before... i guess i need to go and do some research to see what I can find! Do you know what type of flowers work well with pumpkins as a companion, and still attract bees?

I do think I'm going to end up having to put a fence around them, anyway. The neighbors have several stray cats that like to hang out in the area I want to plant my pumpkins in...

On a positive note, though, another gourd and pumpkin seed sprouted yesteday :D

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SPierce wrote:The bees are another good point- i have never hand pollinated any plants before... i guess i need to go and do some research to see what I can find! Do you know what type of flowers work well with pumpkins as a companion, and still attract bees?
Actually they liked my pumpkins quite a bit. I had lots of them in my field every day, including honey bees and the big black bumble bees. I didn't have anything else in my field, and still they came.

Pollination is easy--just break off the pointy part of a male flower and stick it into the, uh, receptacle of the female flower. Some brushing against the female bits allegedly helps as well. G-rated pictures :D of the procedure [url=https://nefaeriaofetsy.blogspot.com/2010/08/giving-pumpkins-hand-in-love.html]can be seen here.[/url]
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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Chipmunk-related posts here! Bring yer chipmunk-related posts here!

Anyone looking for the honeybee discussion may find it [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35691]here[/url]. :D

Cynthia

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SPierce
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cynthia_h wrote:Chipmunk-related posts here! Bring yer chipmunk-related posts here!

Anyone looking for the honeybee discussion may find it [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35691]here[/url]. :D

Cynthia
Thanks Cynthia. Love your sense of humor! :lol:
TheWaterbug wrote:
SPierce wrote:The bees are another good point- i have never hand pollinated any plants before... i guess i need to go and do some research to see what I can find! Do you know what type of flowers work well with pumpkins as a companion, and still attract bees?
Actually they liked my pumpkins quite a bit. I had lots of them in my field every day, including honey bees and the big black bumble bees. I didn't have anything else in my field, and still they came.

Pollination is easy--just break off the pointy part of a male flower and stick it into the, uh, receptacle of the female flower. Some brushing against the female bits allegedly helps as well. G-rated pictures :D of the procedure [url=https://nefaeriaofetsy.blogspot.com/2010/08/giving-pumpkins-hand-in-love.html]can be seen here.[/url]
I guess i'll have to remember that :D So it's OK to remove parts of the male flower? it won't hurt the pumpkin plant?

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Only the female flowers produce pumpkins. The male flowers are necessary for fertilization of the female flowers.

You can tell which ones are the female flowers by looking between the base of the flower and the vine/stem of the plant. The female flowers will have a tiny bump, like an embryonic pumpkin. That's exactly what it is: if fertilized, this is the future pumpkin. :)

Sorry, male flowers: your fate is to fertilize the female flowers and then to be picked for being stuffed and eaten for dinner.

Cynthia

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SPierce
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cynthia_h wrote:Only the female flowers produce pumpkins. The male flowers are necessary for fertilization of the female flowers.

You can tell which ones are the female flowers by looking between the base of the flower and the vine/stem of the plant. The female flowers will have a tiny bump, like an embryonic pumpkin. That's exactly what it is: if fertilized, this is the future pumpkin. :)

Sorry, male flowers: your fate is to fertilize the female flowers and then to be picked for being stuffed and eaten for dinner.

Cynthia
Stuffing male pumpkin flowers? Do tell! I didn't even know you could do that with pumpkin flowers...

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They're squash; most cookbooks (and on-line recipe collections) have recipes for stuffed squash blossoms.

Ooh, maybe dinner later this week has changed? :wink:

Cynthia

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SPierce
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cynthia_h wrote:They're squash; most cookbooks (and on-line recipe collections) have recipes for stuffed squash blossoms.

Ooh, maybe dinner later this week has changed? :wink:

Cynthia
My squash and pumpkins aren't even in the ground yet. Alas, no blossoms for me, yet. Sometime soon, though, I hope!

As long as chipmunks don't eat everything while I'm away on vacation! :twisted: :twisted: :evil: :evil:

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SPierce wrote:
TheWaterbug wrote:Pollination is easy--just break off the pointy part of a male flower and stick it into the, uh, receptacle of the female flower. Some brushing against the female bits allegedly helps as well. G-rated pictures :D of the procedure [url=https://nefaeriaofetsy.blogspot.com/2010/08/giving-pumpkins-hand-in-love.html]can be seen here.[/url]
I guess i'll have to remember that :D So it's OK to remove parts of the male flower? it won't hurt the pumpkin plant?
I generally get 5x-10x as many male flowers as female flowers, and the male flowers begin blooming earlier than the females so as to attract the bees (here we go again!) and keep them coming.

It only takes one male flower to pollinate a female.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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SPierce
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Ugh. The darn things took out my biggest/best looking lettuce last night. Augh!

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What you need is a critter control critter... for the little ones, I have a jack russel pug mix dog... funnier as all get out as she runs across the yard, stops dead in her tracks and starts listening to the ground.. I have seen her start digging and un earth moles... works for me...
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SPierce
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donworden wrote:What you need is a critter control critter... for the little ones, I have a jack russel pug mix dog... funnier as all get out as she runs across the yard, stops dead in her tracks and starts listening to the ground.. I have seen her start digging and un earth moles... works for me...
I wish! Alas, we have outdoor cats from my neighbors that hang around, but they don't seem to do anything. I went out and picked up a 50ft roll of chicken wire, to put around the garden instead of the fence i've got now. If something manages to get into my raised beds from there- well- there's nothing i can do about that! :shock:

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Chipmunks can fit through some chickenwire and climb what they can't fit through. Sorry if this is too harsh for some, but Rat traps (larger than mouse traps) work great on chipmunks.

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SPierce
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BP wrote:Chipmunks can fit through some chickenwire and climb what they can't fit through. Sorry if this is too harsh for some, but Rat traps (larger than mouse traps) work great on chipmunks.
If they can fit through this, i'll be out there with a shot gun all day :D

[img]https://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c25/Liskarialeman/Garden-58.jpg[/img]

So far so good for this weekend, actually. Nothing's been dug up since i changed the fence!

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i used 1/2" wire mesh, much smaller than chicken wire low enough so that i could step over it and get into my area, so far the chippy munk girl we have has not figured out how to climb over it and my caulifower plants all came back but one (she killed that one) so far so good for me, but seeing as someone in here was asking to share chippymunk stories i thought i would share too! lol

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SPierce
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WinglessAngel wrote:i used 1/2" wire mesh, much smaller than chicken wire low enough so that i could step over it and get into my area, so far the chippy munk girl we have has not figured out how to climb over it and my caulifower plants all came back but one (she killed that one) so far so good for me, but seeing as someone in here was asking to share chippymunk stories i thought i would share too ! lol
Glad I'm not alone- but also sad to hear you're dealing with a similar issue! Hopefully both our wire mesh fences will keep them out, out, out!

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so far she has stayed out and no more has been needed to do to that area, cross our fingers for e1 lol

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