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Geezer's 17

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Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/21/2017, 10:00 am

I am running several days late due to an inability to work for more than 5 to 10 minutes in the garden.

This AM, I uprooted 4 volunteer tomatoes from the community garden and brought them home to transplant in the home garden.  I have no idea what I have planted, so it will be a surprise for us all, as well as the hungry squirrels.

I planted them in the 4 middle squares of what was going to be the 3 sisters garden before Turan advised me about corn in Mel's Mix needing staking.  I will now plant some form of squash on the outer corners as an attempt to discourage the squirrels and chipmunks from getting to them before they are ready to pick.



I have some little weeds peeking through the eggshells and coffee grounds, and I picked a couple hands full, and then the intense pain returned, so I am back on the couch with an ice pack on my shoulder.

I saw that some of the corn has already come up, but I didn't take a picture.  When I feel a bit better in a couple hours, I will go out and snap a picture if the weather allows.  Severe thunderstorms are on the way.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/21/2017, 10:37 am

Here is a pic of one of the corn seedlings that have emerged.  I counted 88 of the 116 planted that have emerged.



And, here is my current quick hot compost.  This was made with grass clippings, old compost, kitchen waste, and the 3 "secret" ingredients of organic light brown sugar, brewer's yeast, and alfalfa meal.

This is on Day 16.  Normally, it would have been complete two days ago, but I have not been able to turn it over every 2 days due to my shoulder issues.


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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  trolleydriver on 4/21/2017, 11:11 am

Nicely done Geezer.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/21/2017, 12:28 pm

Nice corn.  Raccoons eat my corn whenever I plant it. Mad
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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/21/2017, 5:48 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Nice corn.  Raccoons eat my corn whenever I plant it. Mad

They did the same to ours the last time we planted it, but we are hoping that the squash surrounding the corn will deter them enough to leave some for us.  I have been given a recommendation to get dry dog food and serve large amounts in the woods just above our backyard, and the raccoons might get their fill of continual dinner every night and leave the corn alone.

I have also been told that this might increase our raccoon population in the area from 6 to 60.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/22/2017, 11:03 am

TNGeezer wrote:


I have also been told that this might increase our raccoon population in the area from 6 to 60.

gruesome...
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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  countrynaturals on 4/22/2017, 11:24 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:Nice corn.  Raccoons eat my corn whenever I plant it. Mad
Really? We have an occasional raccoon come to visit. Fingers crossed it likes cat food better (we always leave some out for the outside cats).
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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/22/2017, 3:23 pm

Unlike the raccoons of two decades ago, our raccoons in this area tend to carry canine distemper.  The raccoons of the 1980s and 1990s were basically very healthy, and our county at the time had gone years without a rabies case.

So, we really do not want them sticking around, but it is virtually impossible to drive them away.  They are not afraid of the coyotes or bobcats, and the wimpy dogs on our block seem to be scared of them.

I am trying to create a stay away essential oil spray for the garden that will make the raccoons not care for the corn.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Turan on 4/23/2017, 12:22 am

A neighbor puts up a simple electric fence.
I have 2 dogs, one of whom has a vendetta against raccoons and has killed many.

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Catastrophe!

Post  Banned Member on 4/24/2017, 11:52 am

Oh, I am fuming mad!!!   No

The rain finally stopped, and I went outside to check on the garden.

A squirrel has dug up every single one of the about 3 inch long corn seedlings--all 116 of them.

The dad blame thing pulled them out and left them in the same general location, obviously looking for the kernal.

There isn't a single plant on the ground that can be re-planted.  The roots are not there.

I am totally ready to just plant potatoes in their place, because nothing attacks them.  Getting more seed and planting it now would just invite more of the same.  

I didn't figure at 3 inches that the corn was inviting to anything.  Obviously, the squirrel didn't want the plant.  He didn't touch anything else, just the corn.

I don't have the resources or the finances to go buy enough fencing to fence the thing in, and we are talking about 36 feet by 2 feet with a 5-foot fence on the back side.  I have tried hot pepper spray (homemade and store-bought), but every time it rains at night, by the time I can get out there the next day, the squirrels have been at it again.

The community garden doesn't have squirrels, but it too is all messed up.  There is a huge construction site adjacent to this property, and this AM, my 100 SF in this space was covered in concrete dust and who knows what.  I hear they have removed asbestos from this site, so there could even be asbestos fibers from the demolition of a former college.

Last year, we planted potatoes and sweet potatoes for the majority of our garden with pinto beans, pole beans, and long beans.  Nobody touched any of this.  Maybe, we should stick with crops that squirrels, raccoons, and birds do not like and that rabbits have not yet found.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  RC3291 on 4/24/2017, 12:06 pm

Time for squirrel stew
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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/24/2017, 12:35 pm

I am so with you on that stew, Geezer!  Mad  I have to use chicken wire over my beds and if I forget to put it back on next day there are holes & plants everywhere. Can you use hardware cloth on the corn? That way they could grow up through it maybe?
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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/24/2017, 7:28 pm

I need to do something or not re-plant the corn.  We had bird netting, but it almost ended in a tragedy for a beautiful animal.

A rat snake got caught in the netting and then wiggled until it was wound tightly around its body.

I tried and tried to do something to pull it loose, but I just made the situation worse.

It was a very warm day, and I kept sprinking cold water on the snake, while a member of our local volunteer wildlife rescue came to my house.

She was very brave.  She had never worked with a wild snake before.  I knew the rat snake was not poisonous, but they bite like bulldogs.  She covered the head with a cloth and then held the cloth down with her left hand, while she began cutting away the bird netting with her right hand, and I tried to help by separating the netting where she had cut and keeping an eye on the snake.

She took 15 minutes, but she freed the snake.  She said it was very dehydrated and needed immediate care.  She put it in a crate meant for small mammals, and the thing began to come through the holes in the door.  I ran in the house and got a cardboard box and cut out a piece to tape over the door, while she enticed the snake into the back of the crate.

She made it back to the place, called Walden's Puddle, and the snake's life was saved.  She made me promise never to use bird netting ever, ever, ever again, so if I am to buy something to place over the plants, it must be something safe that will not harm snakes, birds, or me (as klutzy as I am, I could get it wrapped around my leg and fall face first onto a stake or fence post.)

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Turan on 4/24/2017, 9:17 pm

O MAN that is Awful!  Mad 

Can you just lay small opening poultry fencing on the bed?  I can get it in 3 foot wide by 50 feet long with 1 inch hexagonal openings of wire for 18$ at Ace Hardware. Laying flat on the bed it keeps cats and chickens out of newly planted beds.  Maybe for chickens you might need to lay a 2x to lift it enough off the bed to make digging through the holes too hard to reach the corn?  Hardware cloth with a 1/2" grid would be small enough to just lay on the soil but costs easily twice as much.

Good luck,,,,,

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/25/2017, 9:14 am

Thanks for the advice, everybody.  I think I am just going to go ahead and put in the crops that the squirrels and raccoons do not eat.  I just saw a squirrel pull the clear plastic sheeting off the recently planted cucumber seed square, and then it began to dig there.  It is a losing battle, and that is why most people in our neighborhood have stopped gardening.

I can plant potatoes along 20-22 feet of the run where the corn had been planted.  The squirrels leave the potatoes alone.  I will plant the pole beans that were to be part of the 3 sisters in their own 10 feet of space, and then I will plant a lot more squash in the space that is left.  We haven't seen any rabbits lately, so I think we have a fighting chance with these.  Also, I have a lot of potatoes that are sprouting out, and I don't have to go buy anything else.  To re-do the corn, I would definitely have to plant in peat pots or something and transplant when they were tall enough that the squirrels would not dig them up.

I am going to go ahead with the plans to do the 3 sisters at the community garden, but there are other issues there.  The big construction site adjacent to the property is becoming a big nuisance.  I think the low-class laborers are purposely throwing rocks into the gardens, because these rocks would not land there on their own, and there have been pieces of broken concrete atop smashed vegetables.  I have seen empty cans of potted meat and some empty beer bottles in these gardens, and I know the gardeners are not doing this.

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Lemonade Made

Post  Banned Member on 4/25/2017, 12:46 pm

I sucked it up and went out and dug, dug, dug.  There are now 20 SF of potatoes planted in the first 20 SF where the corn had been planted.  I actually found 8 little corn seedlings still alive, and I transplanted them to the very end of the property in the leftover patch.  It is not actually a Square foot patch, as it was a lasagna garden experiment years ago.  The corn will get a chance to grow there, and if the raccoons get it, then at least it will be isolated from the rest of the garden.

While I was digging anew in the square, I saw something that might interest everyone that participated in my red glob post.

I dug this out.  Case is now definitely solved.


I am 99.9% sure I did not plant any purple sweet potatoes in this spot.  Unless my senility began a year earlier than I first thought, this square was occupied by 2 cucumbers last year.

I don't know if this is going to be worth it or not, but since it was free, I guess it can only be a free mess.  I was gifted with a box full of yardsticks that cannot be sold, because they were supposed to be double-sided.  One side of them was fouled up, so I just got about 10 pounds of free yardsticks.

So, I just made a spot decision to use them for my square dividers until they run out.  What better way to see each of the 12 inches in a square than to have them marked right there.  Here is how it looks in Square number 31A of the original style SFG.



I still have additional weeding to do, but my shoulder cannot make that moving motion yet.  Just an hour outside at light movement, and the ice pack is back on.  I now have kinesio tape on my shoulder and neck.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Turan on 4/25/2017, 1:20 pm

I would sure like some that cucumber seed Razz

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/25/2017, 1:58 pm

@Turan wrote:I would sure like some that cucumber seed Razz
 Ha Ha.

Speaking of cucumber seed, we saved the seeds from the most delicious heirloom cucumber we ate last year.  It is called Beit Alpha, and if it grows in our garden like it tasted in our mouths, we will be planting this variety every year.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  sanderson on 4/26/2017, 1:56 am

Chicken wire? The squirrels and rats can't get through the holes? bounce

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  RC3291 on 4/26/2017, 10:03 am

@sanderson wrote:Chicken wire?  The squirrels and rats can't get through the holes?  bounce

If they don't want on the other side it will. Might stop a big squirrel but not a rat.
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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  sanderson on 4/27/2017, 4:27 am

That's what I thought about rats. They can squeeze through almost anything. The rat traps took care of the rats last summer. Maybe there won't be rats this year, just the squirrels. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  Banned Member on 4/27/2017, 10:15 am

Where there are rats, there is almost assuredly to be snakes.  


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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  camprn on 4/27/2017, 11:02 am

snakes are good.
Chicken wire can kill snakes though, which is bad.

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Re: Geezer's 17

Post  countrynaturals on 4/27/2017, 11:25 am

TNGeezer wrote:Where there are rats, there is almost assuredly to be snakes.  

Great pic, Geezer. Cool
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