I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.

Argh! (and aints)

I come home from 2 days…count them, two days….in Denver to find my corn seedlings have been dug up and destroyed.  I thought the squirrels only ate the seeds, which is why I did what you are not supposed to do…..transplant corn seedlings.  I started 20 corn in the greenhouse and planted them in the garden last Friday.  I swear, they grew 2 inches in two days. I figured they were very happy.  Then I had to go Denver on Sunday.  Came home tonight, to discover them dug up and only one left. ….

sad face.

You can’t have just one corn, they need to cross-pollinate; you need to plant a block of them so you can have corn cobs.  I will try again, this time I will put netting down.  I just don’t think they will be knee-high to an elephant by 4th of July…..

A friend suggested “baby electric fencing” a lower voltage electric fence that won’t kill them, just knock them for a loop.  I just can’t quite figure out how to set it up?  Do you run the wire next to the seedlings?  Do you make a little box around the whole area?  Squirrels are agile and arial little creatures and there is a tree overhead.  They might just parachute into the garden rendering a fence line in-effective…unless you run wire over the seedlings too. That might be bad for my health. I don’t know if it is worth it for 20 plants.

I shouldn’t have fed them leetle furry-rat-varmints this winter and then stopped feeding them when the weather got warm.  They are taking revenge.  My book on how to deal with squirrels should be arriving soon.  Then I will take re-revenge.

In other news, my squish is doing well.  I am growing both winter and summer squish. The summer squish is the ones doing well, the winter squish hasn’t shown heads up (or should I say leaves up) yet.  I am trying to start some Acorn and Butternut squish in the greenhouse, but they didn’t get watered when I was in the big city.  They got pretty dry in there.  We shall see.

My Egyptian Walking Onion is doing great!  We have had the leaves…tubes…green things growing str8 up without any bulbettes on them, for dinner several nights in a row.  They have a strong flavor and are great both raw and fried.  Thanks to my friend Erica, who is a fantastic, under-appreciated librarian, for giving me a start.

No lettuce or Swiss Chard yet.  Spinach and carrots are starting to show. The sugar aints are eating my Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts. I’ve lost three plants over the last week.  I must away to the garden shop and buy diama……diamota……buy that white earth stuff that you sprinkle around plants to keep them safe.   Last year I had to dig the aints up to convince them to leave, but they showed themselves before I planted anything last spring.  So, this year, I am going to have to resort to other methods. I don’t want my Brassica’s covered in Aphids.  Those 2,000 ladybirds I wee-weased are gone to parts unknown. Oh, Bob, I hardly knew ye….. Hey, Bob is a lot easier to remember than 2,000 names.  Don’t judge.

When my eldest was a small, he was fascinated by ants. He conducted various experiments on them all the while saying, “Aint, Aint! very pointedly. Most of the ants didn’t survive the experiments, which included things like stepping on them or dropping rocks/dirt on them.  This is why ants, aint.

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Squirrels……

Can you believe it? Those squirrels tried to steal my sunflower seedlings!

I am hardening off my seedlings as our  Frost Date is fast approaching.  All my little green babies are basking in the sun, enjoying the breezes and generally making me feel better.  I am talking on the phone with a friend and what do I see, but two BRAZEN squirrels making off with one of my sunflower seedlings. Usually they are just content to steal the seeds and leave the seedlings alone, but this….this display of wanton cruelty made my blood boil. I run out on the deck and stamp my feet and clap my hands and they look at me like ….”Wha?” and continue to cart off the little expando-pot!  My friend is all like, “What is going on?” and she has the gall to laugh when I tell her what the noise was about.

Humph.

I manage to get the sunflower seedling back and put it in the house, along with it’s brethren  and sistern.  The furry little beasts come back and I can see them plotting, staring through the screen at my tender little sprouts. I run noisily  at them again and eventually they get the message and leave.

I suppose I should tell you that I  feed the squirrels in the winter.  In the coldest days in the heart of winter, I put out food for them. It isn’t winter anymore. You would think they could figure it out.  Food appears in the winter and not during the rest of the year. Squirrels are supposed to be smart.  Maybe these ones didn’t do well in Squirrel School.  Maybe that is why they are married.  Maybe we will get a whole crop of un-smart squirrels.  Maybe I could capture them and start breeding them and market them and make a fortune with my dumb squirrels…..Gardeners the world over would laud me.  Maybe.

I go down and check on the seedlings I had planted earlier in the day.  My Italian Flat Pole Beans.

Let me digress a bit.  I love green snap beans and usually grow the bush beans, having had a bad experience with pole beans in my formative years. But last year something happened to change my mind.  We visited some friends who were farm-sitting and  the owners had this beautiful, lush, veggie garden.  We picked lots of good stuff for dinner, but the only thing I remember about the whole meal was the pole beans.  They were the most luscious beans I had ever had the fortune to eat. They changed my mind about pole beans….forever. This year I decided to grow only these Italian Flat Beans and forgo the Bush beans. I planted 17 of them. For only two ppl, that is a lot of beans, but I don’t care, I am in love.

So I told you that, to tell you this. Imagine my dismay upon arriving in the garden to see that the squirrels had been digging in the garden…..they have 8 beds to choose from and where do they dig? My Italian Flat Pole Beans…… Luckily I managed to arrive early enough so that they didn’t wreak too much damage.   But.  War.  has been. declared. No-one messes with my pole beans.  I am expecting a book to arrive in the mail within 3 weeks that will give me some advice on how to wage a successful war.  I have told  Squirreletzer and his mate, Squirrelette,  that they should consider moving before things get really serious. Tomorrow I will put down some netting.

The war begins.

 

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