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Posts Tagged ‘squirrels’

Our lettuce looked promising when we transplanted it.

Our lettuce looked promising when we transplanted it, but it hasn’t grown much bigger than this.

As some of our space cleared from summer vegetables that stopped producing or died, we were really excited to plant our fall garden. Peas could go where the cucumber was, lettuce could take over the first bed, Brussels sprouts and broccoli could fill in wherever they’d fit. It was a great plan, or so we thought.

We should have known that when multiple sowings of lettuce, spinach and broccoli seed never sprouted that it was probably a bad sign. I assumed we hadn’t watered them enough, the seeds were bad, something. So we decided to try to start everything in pots and transplant where needed later.

This part worked wonderfully. We had lots of baby lettuce and almost a dozen Brussels sprouts plants.

The peas we planted in place started to sprout and grow. It looked promising.

But looking promising and being productive are two different things, and our fall garden excitement quickly turned to disappointment.

The lettuce transplants look great, but they aren’t any bigger than the day we put them in the raised beds. All the Brussels sprouts either wilted or had their leaves chewed by something. And the kale we tried to grow in a pot? Knocked over and spilled everywhere –probably as a result of the squirrels trying to bury acorns wherever they can.

While it was unfortunate we couldn’t keep the harvest going into the cooler months, we’ll try again next year. And we hope, with a little more planning, we’ll have a fantastic fall garden.

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So when I came home today, the gray devils were sitting on the edge of our raised beds. I figured it was not a good sign because they already dug up our lettuce earlier this year, and earlier this month I caught one red-handed feverishly searching for acorns in our potted plants.

Our street is lined with big, beautiful oak trees so I know why there are so many. Don’t get me wrong, I usually adore squirrels and love watching them run around, but I despise when they invade our garden.

A mixture that will repel squirrels and other critters. I hope.

I did a lot of reading this weekend about controlling pests in the garden. We’ve had more than enough to deal with this year. One consistent (and natural) deterrent I found was cayenne pepper and garlic.

I mixed a healthy amount of garlic powder and cayenne pepper in about one gallon of water in the watering can. I don’t know how much I used because, like with my cooking, I never measure.

I sprinkled the solution all around the garden and focused on the lettuce and peas, which we replanted last weekend. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works!

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It’s almost April and we have two (well, four, actually) of our plants in the ground. A couple of weeks ago, we planted our peas, lettuce, spinach and broccoli.

The peas are doing wonderful. There are a few tiny lettuce leaves poking out of the ground but far below what we planted. I figured the seeds might have washed away because there was a pretty big rain the day after we planted everything. But I guessed wrong.

We’ve noticed a couple digging holes in the bed and when I came home from work today, there was a squirrel sitting on the edge. Then it hit me. Do squirrels eat lettuce? Yes, they do.

Our yard is crawling with squirrels (our street is lined with many, large oak trees), and it’s not uncommon to see 8-10 at a time. So, this weekend’s plan is to throw down a few more seeds and hope the squirrels move back to their acorns. If that doesn’t work, who knows? We might try planting some in containers.

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