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TheWaterbug
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

I hear you. Every time I go to HD I debate how much of the green stuff to buy. Even though I know I'll have to come back later and I buy more, the price always pummels me into buying less than I need.

Here's a better picture of the cages:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/AntiSquirrelCages.jpg[/img]

At the end of last season I had 70 of these stacked up in the shed. Took up nearly 1/4 of the shed!
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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Fig3825
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

What do you use to close the top and meet the ends of your cylinder? And do you anchor them to the soil or just sit them on top? I bought the weed block fabric from costco and it came with these horseshoe shaped soil nails for attaching the fabric to the ground and I've found it works for anchoring the pointy hats to the ground as well. But I haven't found them 'a la carte' anywhere except the soaker hose websites, [url=https://mrsoakerhose.3dcartstores.com/12-x-8-Galvanized-Metal-Stake-bag-of-100_p_116.html]like these.[/url]

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TheWaterbug
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:15 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Near the bird netting &c at Home Depot they had green twist-ties for closing up the cages, and they also had green plastic stakes about 4" long. They had a cross-shaped cross section and a round head like a giant nail.

They're OK, but not great. They won't penetrate hard ground, and they're not long enough to really hold in soft dirt.

I considered using metal stakes like you're using, but I don't like having metal pieces in my field. I rototill the field every year (well, at least twice in 2 years now :D) and I'm not thrilled with the prospect of running over little pieces of metal all over my field.

But it seemed to deter the squirrels well enough. I think there were only 2-3 cages that got knocked over, and that was as likely to be the neighborhood dogs and/or peafowl as it was the #$!@#$%!@# squirrels.
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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Fig3825
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Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Soil Testing Results

Okay for those of you who were advising me up front and requested soil testing data, I tested it tonight.

PH was 7
Nitrogen was "Low" to non-existent
Phosphorus was "Medium"
Potassium was "Medium" to "High"

Now that the plants are in the ground, and knowing there isn't much I can do aside from liquid fertilizer (or granular, I suppose), any suggestions? I've read fish meal is a decent organic 10-5-0 fertilizer which seems to meet my needs? Fish meal, recommended or not? And is it going to make my backyard smell like the Chesapeake Bay?

I have access to coffee grounds, but have no idea how much to use and whether to mound it near the plants or spread it all over? I understand it helps add Nitrogen. I could amass around a cup of used grounds/day - we have an ancient drunk hoarding useless aunt living with us and when she's not drinking cheap wine or Keystone, she's swilling coffee... Don't ask... :?

And how the heck to do you bring Potassium down, or will it be okay once nitrogen is up knowing phosphorus is okay and potassium is borderline okay?

I think what I'm noticing in the soil is that the organics has not completely broken down, maybe not at all. I'm finding quite a bit of sticks and whatnot in the soil, some are the size of my thumb and are rock hard.

I also found a bug in the process of making holes in my okra leaves late this afternoon. It was yellow and black. I thought it was a Corn Rootworm, but then I looked up what damage they do and it HAS to be a Cucumber Beetle. I can get a picture of what the bastard did today and will post it tomorrow. Might explain why my cucumbers are getting cut up also? I posted this in the pesticide forum, but the topic started here... I'm interested in knowing how to apply the soap/water spray mix. I applied this evening and it came out bubbly wet and stick nicely. However, I'm not savvy on how much to coat the leaves (like dripping or just a misting), how often I can put it on (like, every day?) and how much soap I mix in the water. I've read 1/4 cup/quart (which seems excessive) and I've read a tablespoon/quart or gallon even...

One last thing - I thought a lot about buying beneficial insects. There is a relatively cheap package out there with ladybugs, lacewings and nematodes in it. Would it be worth trying? I've read that the ladybugs might fly home on the first day unless there are plenty of bugs to eat... I've also read that some nematodes can cause damage. I think the bottom line is that I read too much. All reading aside, does anyone think this is a worthwhile tactic? I enjoy watching bugs eat each other just as much as the next person, but will it work?

So, here we are again...Help? :?:

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